Ok so business is good.

Business is really, really, reaaaaaaally good.  And I say that not to boast, but to try to explain how things have so quickly gotten way out of hand in my world.

A few years ago my social media numbers are up almost 35,000 new people on my FB page in 9 months.  I had several new girls working for me.  I’d asked to be a guest speaker at the Kansas City Home and Garden Show.  I’d been asked to be on TV again in the next few weeks.  I started the ball rolling for my book.  My DIY videos for cabinet painting were selling faster than I could make them and I was starting a line of faux finishing videos for walls.

Biz was roccccccccckin’.

But as biz continued to rock,   I spun out of balance.  And I was one of those people who said “that will never happen to me”.  And yet, it spun so crazy so quickly that before I knew it, I was a mess.

And here is what I mean by a mess:

  • My exercise regime has plummeted.
  • I have been working nonstop for months.
  • Friends are calling me wondering if I’ve dropped off the face of the earth?
  • My family is complaining.  The husband is feeling neglected.  The kids know I am distracted.
  • I have gotten sick several weeks in a row…… and I am NEVER sick. Fever blisters and feeling like a mac truck hit me and body aches and just YUCK!
  • I have been sleep-deprived, friend-deprived, exercise-deprived and working like a maniac.

And it has scared me. 

So ….I drew a line in the sand.  Because I know in my knower….. This is NOT what my life is supposed to look like.

I have always said…. that if I fail as a wife and as a mother, that it will never matter how good of a painter I was.  My priorities are my husband and my kiddos first.  Work has to come after.

And so, I made several business decisions lately to try to regain control of my life.

I want to share them with you because I know that I know that I know that I am NOT the only wife/mother/biz owner who struggles like this.  You fellow people-pleasers need to take note and LEARN from me.  Stop the madness before you too spin out of control.

Here are a few things that I have done that have already made a HUGE difference:

First, I only took work calls Monday-Friday 9-5.  Happpppppppppppppppy dance.  We have to be able to shut it off, my fellow self-employed friends.  The first weekend it was hard.  This weekend it was FREEDOM.

Second, we no longer travelled over 30 minutes from my home to paint.  It just didn’t make sense anymore.  And so I found great faux finisher in Kansas City to refer work to on the south side of town.  I said no to 6 jobs in the first 2 weeks.  The first one hurt.  The other 5 were FREEDOM.

Third, we installed a work line in our home that will help with boundary #1.  It can go straight to voicemail after hours.  No more client calls on our house phone. Hallelujah.

Fourth, I scheduled exercise right into my work schedule just like a consultation.

Fifth, I hired a personal assistant who has been a Godsend.  She is seeing to it that I stick to items 1-4. She has taken over my paperwork and errands and studio work and has worked over 20 hours each week for the last month.  Did you read that right?  She has saved me from 80+ hours of work in the last month.  WHY DID I NOT HIRE SOMEONE YEARS AGO?????

Sixth, I went and got some good counseling. Listen….. good Christian counseling is a gift from God.  Call it therapy; call it whatever.  But if it helps you get over some “humps” and helps you to get your groove back….who cares what it is called?  I sat and bawled like a baby and got my head straight.  Sometimes we just need someone to look at our life and help us to determine why we behave like we do (in my case….why have I been such a people pleaser?).  And then help us determine some action steps and take it to the Lord.  I am so grateful for good guidance!

And so I will say this,  just a few weeks in on my new “boundaries”…… and it was freeing me…..FREEING me. 

I know this sounds like such a no brainer, but we tend to forget…. that I am the only one who can take care of myself.  That YOU are the only one who can take care of yourself.  If I don’t make some changes….they aren’t going to happen on their own. And they won’t happen for you either.  Plus, “taking care of yourself” looks different for everyone.  For me, it is sleep and downtime.  You need to determine what it is that refreshes YOU.

And just to be clear, the work craziness that I have been experiencing is NOT my clients’ fault.  I have the best clients EVER.   It’s MY fault for not establishing better boundaries earlier.   But as I have told my decorators and some of my clients that week some of my new “rules”….they all were very excited for me.  This isn’t brain surgery folks….us discussing painting a furniture piece can wait through my family dinner and be handled TOMORROW.  I promise you that your clients, the ones you really want….will not mind.

And I know this is STILL process for me.  But when I am a wreck on the inside, everyone suffers.  My family suffers, the girls who work for me can tell, my clients don’t get my best and you don’t get the best of me either.  And my heart is to share with you my story and my journey to encourage you along the way.

So please hear me, it’s ok to say “no” to those jobs you really don’t want.

It’s ok to say “not now” to those requests that you just can’t fit in.

It’s ok to take care of yourself.  In fact, it’s NECESSARY.

The world doesn’t need a bunch of burnt out, stressed out, self-employed, people pleasers.

The world needs us to take care of ourselves and our families FIRST.  Then, and only then, are we healthy enough to create beauty for them.

xoxo,

Jennifer

 


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