WHEN SKY DIVING SUDDENLY BECAME A GOOD IDEA, OR IN OTHER WORDS MY CRAZY, COURAGEOUS RESPONSE TO LIFE GIVING ME MOULDY LEMONS.
It was back in October 2019 when I last shared some content – 5 months ago – and it was all about the things I’d created + the things I was working on and I was full of ALL the excitement and enthusiasm about sharing it with you.
I bet you’ve absolutely (not) been wondering where all the stuff is right? And losing sleep over where I went and what the heck happened since then?
Well I am going to tell you my dear, uninterested, reader.
LIFE happened. In the biggest way.
You know that feeling when you’ve had a hard year and you’re at the end of a really bad day. That fine rain is pouring down and soaking you through and it’s late and you’ve not eaten in what feels like forever and you’re thinking, will someone, please, just shove a Snickers in my mouth!! But instead you’re trudging round the supermarket and then of course the self checkout doesn’t like the weight of your items and Doreen takes a lifetime to come and save you from the flashing red light, waves her magic staff card at the scanner without even looking to see if you’re stealing bananas and then, finally, mercifully you’re on your way back to the car. You can practically smell the hot food and feel the hot shower you’re going home to when the plastic bag (that you’ve paid 10p for despite having like 10,000 of them at home) breaks and all your shopping falls to the road – a road that is more like a mini river right now because storm whats-his-face is reeking havoc – and now your carrier bag is blowing in one direction, your receipt blowing in the other and you’re the lunatic trying to pick up your shopping and chase down the bag and the receipt because you’re not the sort of person to litter and the only blessing you can find right now is that the rain at least covers up the tears which have broken free…
You know that feeling right?
When adulting just got very real and very hard and will somebody just let me curl up in a onsie and escape into a box set for about a year? Like, wake me up when it’s Christmas 2020 thank you very much, preferably when that annoying elf has departed and Santa has dropped off my presents.
That was me for most of December 2019 and well into the New Year. Because it seems that every time I think I know what I’m doing, or the bad luck has left me or things are falling into place, life teaches me there is so much more I’ve still to learn, to suffer and to grow from. I’m convinced that someone somewhere is sticking little pins in a doll that looks just like me (and I have a good idea of who it is too) but when I push my ego aside I know life gets tough for us all.
So I’m not here to share the gory details of the heartbreaking, life changing few months I had – though the details are worthy of a storyline on Coronation Street.
I am here to share that no matter how ‘together’ our life appears to be it can change in an instant. For any of us. And as always running a business makes that both harder and easier.
– Your business is your reputation and the promises you keep. There is no compassionate leave, sick leave or any kind of paid leave. There is just work to be done.
– Your business is your motivation and the energy you bring. There is no clock watching, ‘going with the motions’ kind of days. You bring it all because that is what people pay you for. When your motivation, creativity and enthusiasm is absent you risk not just losing money but losing everything.
– Your business is your visibility. There is no hiding behind a boss, an organisation or a brand. Your face, your personality and your ability to be seen and remembered is what keeps the work coming in and hiding just isn’t an option no matter how much you might want to. This more than anything else can make you want to throw in the towel because being seen is HARD.
– You made the rules and you can unmake them. Need to take a month off? Great, go ahead. As long as you can plan it and manage it in a way that doesn’t do irreparable damage you’re free to work as much or as little as you want and it’s surprising how little money you really need when your life or sanity is on the line.
– You decide how you work and where you work from. I know countless freelancers and business owners travelling the world and working from anywhere there is internet. It brings its own challenges but literally anything is possible when you’re in charge.
– You decide how much of yourself you share and how much you keep private. There’s no need to get a sick note from a Doctor or have an embarrassing conversation with your boss about your break up. There’s no need to share your private life at all with anyone if you don’t wish to but there’s also a wonderfully accepting world in business where the lines blur and being human doesn’t hurt you but can actually help you. Your fellow business owners will support you and cheer you on knowing exactly what you’re going through because they’ve felt exactly how you feel right now.
The hard stuff will always be hard but when times are tough thats when the brave decisions really pay off and just as important as seizing opportunities is recognising there will always be more coming your way. There isn’t just one chance in business otherwise there would be a lot less people self employed. There’s hundreds of chances and you can go after any those chances or none at all.
For me, business equals freedom. Freedom to only do the work I want to do, to charge what I need to charge, to live where I want to live and work the hours I want to work. That freedom has always been at the core of my business model and at the start of 2020 that looked like spontaneously flying around the world to spend 3 weeks living in New Zealand and a week in Los Angeles. It looked like leaving my laptop home each day and not even thinking about my business for a month. It meant meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and remembering that life is exactly what we make it and happiness is something we cultivate within.
It was feeling liberated and independent and strong when my self esteem really needed it.
It was believing in myself enough that on my return success would not have disappeared but would be right there waiting for me, ready for me when I was ready for it again.
It was jumping out of a plane over Mount Maunganui and rafting down Rangitaiki River. It was dancing at Disney and seeing Dolphins in the wild for the first time.
It was living a life I NEVER imagined possible and realising that my life resembles nothing I ever wanted but is so much MORE than I could have wished for.
It was remembering that no matter how dark our days get or how challenging life can be, everything moves in cycles and that with courage and hope we can use the hard days to forge a strength that will see us fly higher than our highest heights – or even beat a fear of flying altogether.
It was having the flexibility to adapt to life’s changes and use them as a catalyst for growth and a launch pad for a new chapter.
I’ve been gone for a little bit, but I’m back. I don’t know what is next for me but I do know that business has consistently and continuously opened doors to an exciting (and sometimes terrifying) kind of life.
Here’s to another week of being in business! As always, if there is anything you need – from an encouraging word, to an understanding ear to help with your business – you know where I am.
P.S. Here is my amazing skydive in Tauranga, New Zealand