It's not even the middle of June yet, and I already feel like a steamroller has run me over. I've been searching for a new employee since the end of March, our studio has been in renovations for 2 months (and some projects still aren't done) and our office JUST got one door installed yesterday (after 3 months of living here.) Our other set of doors SHOULD be getting installed soon. With some of these projects finally finishing up, I realize what a burden I've been carrying.
My friend told me the other night that a very difficult (9 year) project was finishing in her life and she was now reaching out to a therapist to discuss. She asked me, "Why now? Why, after 9 years, am I reaching out to the therapist?"
I thought about it, and then said, "Imagine you were pinned under a car. Guess when you feel the most pain? When the car is finally lifted off of you. . ."
It's only AFTER the weight is lifted that we feel how heavy the burden was. You may be pushing through a difficult season right now. Maybe you're not even aware of the weight you're carrying.
Looking back over the last 3 months, what has helped me persevere? What has gotten us through, even while carrying this extra load?
I was making my coffee this morning, straightening up the house, laying out a few things for my son to take to camp today, and this here are my musings:
1. Have the strength to initiate hard conversations
Someone once advised me: "The extent of your success depends on the amount of difficult conversations you are willing to have."
This statement has come back to me over and over through the years when I've made very difficult decisions for my business. First, a decision to end a partnership where I was sharing space with another business. That was one of the hardest seasons that I've ever walked through. I've also had very difficult conversations with former employees when I had tell them: "This isn't the right place for you." Awful to go through for both of us, but worth getting the right people in the right positions so everyone can be fulfilled and the company can continue to grow and thrive.
As I've been searching for a new employee for the last 3 months, I have had to disappoint a lot of people when I've told them, "This isn't the job for you." It is NOT easy being the boss and making these calls. But the result of having a stellar team, working together towards a common goal, is golden! It's all worth it in the end: when everyone loves their job and is working in their sweet spot.
I do not love hard conversations. But I do love the result when the conversation is over.
2. Organize Ruthlessly
Summer is a busy, chaotic time. Even the advice to "Enjoy the moment! Seize the day!" can cause chaos when you decide to drop everything and head to the park for a picnic. "Where's the quilt? Bug spray? Sunscreen? Do we have any food around here? Hurry! The weather is gorgeous! Let's GO!!"
Signing kids up for camp or VBS results in "Where's the sleeping bag? Do we have extra sheets? I need a laundry bag--what's that?? My swimsuit is too small! Mom, I have to be there early for the first day!" Yikes. It can be downright crazy!
This week, we were headed out to a baseball game for my oldest son and because we just moved into this house, we are not familiar with where all of our summer baseball gear is located. I stopped, closed my eyes, and remembered exactly where I had put the summer quilt for games. Chris was shocked. "What the what?!?" he said as I opened a random cupboard and there it was. Organization saves the day.
Today, I pulled a form out of a file that we need today, to bring my son to camp. I had received this parking permit in the mail BEFORE we moved. Thank goodness I started a file for "summer activities." It saved me having to hunt through endless piles of paper to find that random sheet!
Avoiding chaos helps us enjoy the moment, enjoy the summer activities, and be high capacity leaders, keeping all the many balls in the air.
I don't need more stress from looking for a quilt for baseball! I want to enjoy the summer breeze and relax while watching great game (which we won, by the way).
3. Adopt a Tenacious Spirit
You have to be determined to make it to the other side. You have to have armor of steel and have a warrior spirit. And yes, when the house is dark, and you're lying in bed, sometimes the tears roll down your cheeks from everything you are facing, and the load you are carrying. But your spirit has to be willing to keep fighting and keep pressing on. When the next day dawns, you'll jump out of bed and you'll make the coffee, and your fresh perspective will help you face your giants again.
Do you have people in your life encouraging you? Do you listen to music that pumps you up? Do you subscribe to podcasts that give you fresh perspective and great ideas? These are the things that will build tenacity into your soul. You really can't do this alone, you know? You're going to fall down and you need someone to pull you back up. You're going to get discouraged and then you need someone to remind you, "You've got this."
Don't wait until you're weak. Feed your tenacity now. Arm yourself with people who believe in you and surround yourself with audio books or conferences that will give your brain and your heart the sustenance to keep pressing on.
Never, ever give up. It's cliche, but it's one of my life mottos. You may need to rest for awhile, but don't give up.
Whatever you are facing right now--I know you'll make it through.
This is a season. And all seasons change into the next one. Whatever you're going through, hang on. I believe in you.
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Book Recommendations for You!
Want to have a better company? Hire better people? Delight your customers? I'm enjoying reading Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney
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About the Author
Hi, I'm Jen Hickle!