Today is my birthday and when it’s my birthday, I often spend a lot of time reflecting. Maybe it’s because my birthday is so close to the New Year or maybe it’s the idea of being one year older that makes me take stock of where I am and what I want for my life.
SO bear with me, this is a long one 🙂
You may already know that my word for this year is “Simplify“. This word came about after experiencing too much overwhelm and upheaval these past few years. When I sat down to take stock of why I was feeling overwhelmed it became very clear that I had some hard choices to make.
Every year I do a “Year End Review” on my iPad (I share this practice in Episode #40 of the podcast) and every year look back at the prior years to see if I’m actually doing more of the things I said I wanted to do and less of what I said I didn’t.
This year was no different except I noticed something. For the past two years, I had written STOP OVERSCHEDULING MYSELF in my “Do Not Repeat” column.
You see, I have a tendency to cram in as much as I can into a day – I’ve always believed that was the only way to be productive. I value productivity more than I’d like to admit. But let’s face it. I AM productive. People always admire how much I can accomplish in such little time. I feel good when I’ve accomplished something. I despise laziness and can never understand people who just clock in and out of work, leaving tasks unfinished. I won’t go down the therapy rabbit hole but I imagine that I was molded by my hardworking single mother.
As much as I’d try to do less and find balance in my calendar, I would always squeeze in a call or meeting into what very little “white space” I could find in my Google Calendar. No buffer time to eat or take a beat.
I’d come home exhausted and just wanting to have a drink. But then, of course, I went into full-blown “parent mode”.
But I was tired.
I’d get irritated that bath time was taking too long. Wanting to end the chapter book early so they could just frickin’ go to sleep so that mommy could have mommy time before I too had to go to sleep. I’d veg out with Netflix, an online course, or scheme up marketing ideas. MY BRAIN IS ALWAYS ON. (Unless I have a few drinks and it beautifully numbs… More on that in a future post).
Anywhooo… I started to think about why I kept over-scheduling myself. EVERYTHING seemed important. I needed to fit it all in.
But then I thought to myself… “MAYBE I DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALL”?
So I decided to make a list of everything I do. And then, highlight what was really getting me excited, what lit me up, what felt like actual work, and what was making me feel more stressed than I needed to be.
If you feel overwhelmed like me I encourage you to do this exercise. More than anything it helps you see the sheer volume of what you are responsible for.
Some of the things on my list included:
- Creative Director at Rebecca Hay Designs – set design direction and work with the design team on selections, layouts, and all client materials.
- Principal Designer at RHD – host consultations, trade day, presentations, etc.
- Finances – meet accountants, oversee monthly reconciliations, tax filing, pay bills, review insurance quotes, and talk to lawyers as needed.
- HR & Ops at RHD – hiring, managing, and forecasting salaries, and expenses.
- Course Creator – create & update curriculums for POP, New Pricing Course.
- Organize & host in-person designer meet-ups.
- Retreat planning and promotion.
- Membership site – monthly zooms and support in Facebook group.
- Mom – shuttle kids to activities.
- Mom – bedtime.
- Mom – school planning, homework.
- And the list goes on…….
You get the idea.
My BIG observations:
- I was attempting to fulfill several FULL-TIME jobs.
- Being a mom is non-negotiable and something I LOVE. I want more time to enjoy it and make memories with my children.
- Creating courses excites me. I love curriculum (Same as I love process – same brain)
- I LOVE helping and supporting other women. My Designers Room Coaching zoom calls fill me up and meeting everyone in person gives me life.
- Design projects feel like a burden (this was hard to admit).
And then I asked myself:
Why am I doing it all?
Do I need to do it all to be happy? Successful?
Am I doing something because it’s easy?
Am I doing this for the right reasons?
And my big “Ah-Ha Moment” (that I think truthfully I’ve known for a long time) is that I don’t want to hustle working on 10+ design projects anymore while at the same time running a coaching biz on the side. I love Interior Design and it’s what’s brought me here, speaking to you all today. But if I’m being honest with myself, I love coaching more. I already spend SO many hours a week on the coaching business, either in courses, on zooms, or just scheming up new exciting ways to support this community. IT LIGHTS ME UP!
I heard this recently and it was really helpful:
You can be good at something and not have to turn it into a career.
So I’ve made a decision that is a little scary and also kind of exciting.
I want to lean more into coaching and scale back the design business.
I want to flip it all on its head.
I want the coaching business to be my primary business, my primary revenue source, and my primary focus. And I want the design business to be my side hustle.
I’m not giving up design, I love it too much. I have a frickin’ process in place that makes projects run smoothly. But, the reality is, I only need a couple of projects a year to scratch that design itch.
I’ve battled with this decision. Mostly I think I judge myself with questions like:
“Why walk away from a million-dollar business you worked SO HARD to build?”
“But what about your dream to be published in Architectural Digest and have a massive team of designers?”
“What will other designers think of me? Will they still want to learn from me if I’m not actively growing my design biz?”
But the reality is that these are just excuses I’m using to not fully lean into my true calling. I’m a teacher, an entertainer, and an artist and so here I am. I built a business before, I can do it again.
My dreams can change – that’s ok, It’s a long life with lots of time to try new things!
I’m a much better coach and teacher if I’m being honest with myself and my students.
I’m sharing this with all of you because I don’t know how to NOT be transparent and NOT share the inner working of my soul with the public.
I hope this helps you to maybe see something you’ve been ignoring about your life or inspires you to make the change you desire.
And if nothing else, I hope it shows you how passionate I am about this work I’m doing and this community of entrepreneurs I’m building. I hope you’ll stick along for the ride because I think we can do amazing things together.