Life is one big long journey.
Who I wanted to be when I was 13, 18, and 25 is different to who I want to be now.
Who I want to be in 5 years time will no doubt be different from who I want to be now. My aspirations will change. My life will change too. My kids will be more grown up. I’d sure be a sad puppy if my business didn’t change either.
What I do increasingly feel is that I know more about who I want to be and what I stand for. Perhaps it is a simplistic concept. And people say it all the time - ‘just be yourself’.
But it’s hard to just be yourself, perhaps:
- work is not allowing you to
- you don’t feel you have the time to yourself
- being yourself means creating a lot of change around you
- you have to do things differently, and that is scary.
(etc, etc, etc!)
I often relate this back to my business and my kids. The fact is that creating a business is hard work. Raising kids is hard(er). Doing the two whilst homeschooling feels like a whole other dimension.
It was a couple of years ago that I decided to be somewhat selfish: everything I wanted to do had to evolve around me, my life and how I wanted to work. I felt this was essential to help me become a happy and productive human being.
Initially this meant working at home with an infant whilst my other 2 boys were at school. Now it means working whilst homeschooling all my boys. A subtle change? Hmm, not quite.
It also means I work strange hours. An hour here, a couple there, often late at night. I’m happy with that. My kids come first, that’s the way it should be. I’ve also learned to become very efficient with my time.
It also means that I create my own image of myself and my business. This could come in the form of general branding. However, it can come in many other forms - the way I dress, how I behave, my personality, the effort I give to create something special and fun, the time I spend getting to know people (without giving them a hard sell).
Perhaps the biggest change for me is adapting my business to work for my family. One example is bringing my kids along with me when I have an event or go to a meeting. I don’t do it all the time. I did it today for a Rapid Software Testing course. I brought my #2 and #3 in with me whilst the students got settled. It wasn’t longer than an hour. They enjoyed it and liked the drinks and croissants on offer. I’ve done it for business meetings too - “if you want to talk to me, then we’ll have to meet in a park”.
It felt awkward at first, especially with my youngest (who is 2). But it’s important for me. Partly because it’s me ‘ learning to being me’. But the other part is that (I believe) it helps create conversations and change.
These conversations and hopeful change is what drives me. I want to show people how it is possible to live a life of balance - because frankly society totally lacks it. <- I’ll leave that for another rant.