‘Tis the Season for Pruning

Alexia Healthcare, Women in Business Comments

Racheal CookWhen Racheal Cook invited me to be a part of her Business That Loves You Back Blog Tour, it was a no brainer decision to say, “heck yeah!” I knew that I would be in Costa Rica when my writing went live (which would nudge me to write early). And that as someone who loves pulling back the curtains on my business and collaborating with other leaders invested in creating conscious businesses, Rachael and the fellow entrepreneurs and changemakers participating are EXACTLY the kind of online company I like to keep.

(In case you are new to Racheal’s world, Racheal is a successful yogi turned entrepreneur who is now sharing her mindful strategy with entrepreneurs so that they can turn their own passions into a profitable business. From yogipreneur virtual conferences to a virtual mastermind, this woman has namasted her way to a serious online following while retiring her husband from his job and raising three kids.)

But as I sit down to regale you with my wisdom about how I define success, ‘having it all’ and what integration looks like for me, all I feel like I can write about is the palo verde tree in my backyard.

For the last few months, my favorite tree had been simultaneously growing and dying. One side was green and lush while the other was brown and brittle. After our landscapers identified that we had been over watering our precious tree, we made the painful decision to cut half of it off. Even though this half of the tree was dead, as my daughter and I climbed onto our couch and both sat equally mesmerized as one dead branch after another was cut off and disposed of, I wept as though I had lost a family member. In doing so I realized what I had gained was some true insight about my life and work.

I like to share that since my daughter’s birth I only work 20-25 hours a week. That my last 9 months have been my most profitable. And I like to share these truths not because bragging is my thing, but rather because I think it proves work-life integration and success can coexist.

And doing so reminds me of what I’m striving for—presence with my family, my clients and my tribe. Work that matters to me—and to the people I seek to serve.

Yet, at the same time, I’ve been starting to experience some…let’s just call it, strangeness. My postpartum insomnia is back. I feel overcome at times by powerful waves of anger. For a couple of days recently I rocked a low-grade fever while clearly not physically sick.

So what gives?

Well, I’m pretty sure that I am the tree.

Part of me is undeniably thriving, while at the same time a piece of me is utterly wiped out. Growth, in business and in life, takes a lot of resources. And I need to shed from both what is not working in order for the part of me that is really flowering to continue to flourish.

While I’ve known for a number of years that my purpose in this world is to show people how to speak with power and impact (or what I call moxie) on stage, at work and with their loved ones, the business side of how I make that happen has grown tremendously as I increase the amount of people I touch with my work. And that growth is only going to continue.

Yes, I see tens of thousands of people going through my “spotlight” programs in the next 5 years. I’m starting to crush out on the idea of writing another book. THE book. My spirit is starting to show me what my future collective for changemakers will look like. And while I may not be “working” 40 hours a week, I’ve come to realize that I’m in my head thinking about my business at times upwards of 15-18 hours/day.

Is my designer on track for our summer launch?

Did I update my availability in TimeTrade for Q+A calls?

Why can’t I get that one piece of copy to land just right?

Is this person the right fit for expanding team?

And even when my head is out of the weeds and in the really good stuff like my clients’ talks or an upcoming gig of my own, my mental busyness has become the enemy of what I want most for myself and for everyone in my life—presence.

By the time you are reading this, my hope is that I’ve used my time in Costa Rica to kill the limiting beliefs that are starting to infringe on my sense of well-being.

I don’t want (or need) to cut back my work—I want to cut back my obsessive thinking about my work.

I don’t need to do a better job of managing my time. I manage the heck out of it! I just need to be more honest with myself about how much time projects take and plan accordingly. And enlist a bit more domestic support!

And most of all, I want to answer the question, “How are you?” with the answer, “Friggin awesome, full of energy, and on purpose,” and be telling the absolute truth.

Death is one of the only certainties in life, and just as every year has its seasons, so does every business.

I know I’m in the spring of mine. Now, I just need to give myself some time to let go of the pieces of my thinking and behavior that should not have survived the winter.

Prune, baby, prune!

Want more musings on how to integrate business with life?

The women participating in the Business That Loves You Back Blog Tour are fantastic, many of them like Hillary Rubin and Suzi Istvan, true soul sisters. You can take a peak at yesterday’s post from Casey Berglund at Worthy and Well and enjoy Shenee Howard’s post which goes love tomorrow by clicking here.

To capture all of the wisdom contained in the Blog Tour, click here, to sign up and follow on social media with #bizloveblogtour.