There's been a theme emerging this week in many of my circles:
Successful business owners that I respect all agree: it starts at home. When I get my systems in place, when I take care of my marriage first, when my kids' needs are met. . .then my business grows.
Many of my fellow business owner friends are admitting to me, with almost a whisper, "I'm homeschooling this year." And why is that? Simply put: you have better control over your schedule and your life. YOU get full control. Homeschooling and owning your own business work hand in hand.
This month, I've filled about 10 pages in a notebook and created multiple Excel sheets with our fall schedule plan. I'm obsessed with making sure all the pieces are there: date with Chris, family meals, kids' school time, my work time, staff meetings, connecting with friends.
The only reason my schedule runs so smoothly is because I've put the work in to making it all work.
On a couple of my coaching calls this week, I've encouraged people to think ahead. Do not keep putting out the fires right in front of you. I'm already looking ahead to September, October, November, and even January. That's what successful business owners do.
I don't want to just live in the moment. I want to be prepared. And when I know all the trains are running on time and I've done my homework to get all the pieces in place? THEN I revel in the moment right in front of me. The beautiful scent of a candle in my kitchen. The front porch swing and a conversation with my daughter. An impromptu car ride with my son. A movie on the couch with the whole family. ALL of this is possible because I've thought ahead, planned, and put the systems in place.
If you feel like you take three steps forward, only to side two steps back, it's time to stop. Let everything fall around you. Chart a new course. Get help in place. Hire more staff. Plan your entire fall schedule. Plan your week and plan your days. You can proudly say "I live in the moment," but if your reality is constantly catching up and putting our fires? That's not the way to live when you're running a company. Maybe other people can live that way, but you can't. People are depending on you for their paycheck. People are paying you for your services. Now is the time to make a change. It's almost Fall. Get ready. Prepare. Think ahead.
I believe in you. You can do this.
This week, we're scheduled to have some family time. It's scheduled and it's intentional. Because that's the way I choose to live.
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This week I shared my thoughts about Facebook's stocks falling and Instagram rising.
When I was young and starry-eyed, I knew I would change the world. I believed I could make a huge difference in lives. I had grandiose plans.
I had no clue I would need money to survive.
We married young and plunged into debt pretty fast, just to pay bills and keep food on the table. I was still starry-eyed and optimistic and had no clue. Chris was juggling the bills and work and I had a toddler and new baby at home. When I found out that we were using credit cards just to buy food, I flipped out. Practicality stepped in. Forget changing the world. Let's change our habits and get out of debt.
We sold our beautiful new vehicle (that we bought for the youth group that we were leading), sold our brand new townhouse that didn't fit our growing family anymore, and moved into a little tiny rambler. We clamped down ALL spending and started digging out of the huge hole we found ourselves in.
Big dreams kinda went out the window. Our reality was not being able to afford fresh produce at the Farmer's Market in the summer--it was simply too expensive. Reality was not even shopping at garage sales because we had no spare change. Reality was getting out of debt and realizing that ministry in a church plant start-up was NOT paying our bills and growing our business was the only way we would actually make more money.
I thought I was turning my back on ministry when I turned my focus to growing my company.
The lives I have influenced in business are many. The mom with the brain tumor, the teen suffering with depression, the staff who is hurting, the teacher who lost their loved one, the random client you encourage, and the lives you touch EVERY DAY. This is our minstry.
I asked God to let us touch lives and show them HIS LOVE and He has. Every single day.
So don't think you're "just" running a company.
Oh, no, my friends.
You are influencing the world.
Every phone call, email, encounter, walk-in, drive-by, new enrollment? A chance to show love and compassion and touch their hearts. Brighten their day. Make a difference.
I'll never forget the years we were on staff at a church. But now I'll realize that I am still touching lives in my business. Maybe more.
This is the path God has given us. He has given YOU your path, too. Walk it out.
Love like He loves.
Hi, I'm Jen Hickle!