It is an honor to share this post with you today as part of Rachael Cook’s Business That Loves You Back Blog Tour. It’s been beautiful to read the other stories of women running businesses that feel really good. Like this one from Shenee. And this one from Claire.
This Friday, I’ll joyfully board a yellow school bus to go on a field trip with a bunch of third-graders. We’ll roam around and I’ll be exhausted by noon. We’ll eat our brown bagged lunches. We’ll ooh and aah over the relics of our state’s history.
And when it’s all over, as a highly sensitive mom, I’ll need some serious self-care to recover from the noise.
When I talk about self-care around here, I rarely share about my very favorite and most vital self-care tool of all — the one that makes me jump out of bed each day and stay up way too late for sometimes.
I’m talking, of course, about running this project.
This project and blog, leading the online program and coaching women around the world is the only thing that truly brings me complete satisfaction in my life.
And while I adore yoga and taking hikes, those practices don’t leave me feeling proud and honored for the work I’ve done. They just make me feel good.
Running this project keeps me busy and happy all the time.
Last summer, I wrote a work-at-home mom’s mamafesto. This paragraph still stands out to me and really speaks to my mission here in this project and to running what I call an Abundant Business.
No matter what, I have chosen to be here, to do this meaningful work of raising children as an Abundant Mama. I will put my children’s needs at the top of my to-do list every single day. I will be a magic-maker of their one and only childhood. And, above all, this is my time to rejuvenate and reinvigorate my own mothering soul. I will embrace today as it is.
My abundant business is flexible so that my most important work — Being The Mom — can happen when it needs to each and every day as it needs to unfold.
But, the real self-care — beyond the planning, writing and creating that I adore doing every day — there is the fact that I am helping other families find peace in their homes. There is no greater feeling in the world than knowing you’ve changed someone’s life.
That feeling of owning a business that makes you feel so good is what I call owning an abundant business.
Abundance isn’t about money. Or success. Or fame. Or jet-setting around the world — at least not to me.
Abundance simply means freedom to live your life the way you want — so you can feel really content, happy and grateful for every single moment.
That includes life, and motherhood — and your work.
It’s not easy to run a family — and a business. And yet women are doing it more and more because of the flexibility and creativity of being your own boss. It takes extreme passion and organization — and a great big dose of willpower.
Thankfully, my Abundant Mama philosophies are also my life philosophies — and work philosophies.
As I do my work in this project — and two more projects are about to be released this year — I keep the same systems in place.
I do one thing at a time.
It would be really easy to work on this project around the clock. And sometimes it feels like that’s what I do. However, by living my rule of Doing One Thing or Doing Nothing I am rarely multi-tasking between motherhood and working on this project. When I choose to work, I am working. And when I am with my children I’m with my children. The only exception to this rule is when they are busy and I take some time to check email or grab my journal and write down some ideas.
I practice really good self-care.
Just because this work is my self-care doesn’t mean I should ignore all the ways I can be a Happy, Healthy Mama. In fact, even though I get up very early, I never get on the computer first in my day. My Rise and Shine routine, in fact, has nothing to do with the computer. And, I even get up early for my own self-care needs on the weekends. And holidays. I also have a very slow bedtime ritual that helps me sleep better.
I focus on being kind and generous.
As with my children and family, I try to put kindness and generosity first and foremost. This means I do actually respond to nearly every single email I get. It also means I donate time and money to really good causes. And it means that I stop and think about every move I’m about to make and ask what is the goal? And if the goal isn’t to serve a really big need in the world, I scratch it out and start again.
I embrace fun and ease over profit and fame
This might be the most controversial topic on this list but it’s important to me. People over profit is always the goal here and when I say people — I mean myself, too, not just all of the wonderful mamas who invest in this project for themselves. I like to have fun, and laugh and I never want this work to feel like a job or a chore. So that means I put fun into my week — like working outside or taking a break to clean up a room or do yoga. It sometimes means dancing in my kitchen or giving away something just because I can …
I put my family first.
Running this project makes me happy but it will never come before my family. When life happens, as it always does, I put the family first. All winter, with sick days and snow days and cold days, the children’s schedule came first. My husband and his job always come first, too, even if that one is often hard for me to swallow. The truth is that my work can be done anytime I want to do it — such as this morning at 4 a.m. when I felt like I just needed to get things done and off my list. And, this bullet point is helped by the fact that I have an amazing assistant to help make sure that business goes on — even while I’m boarding that yellow school bus for the class field trip on Friday.