There is no doubt about it; running your own business, being an artist, creator, or your own boss, takes an enormous amount of work, and yes it takes sacrifice.
Sacrifice means giving up something you want to keep in order to make room for doing or receiving something else.
So much of our lives revolve around sacrifice, which, when approached correctly, is actually a very beneficial, (and yes, potentially even enjoyable), practice that incites self-reflection and change.
Try as we might, the hard truth is, we can’t do it all. We simply can’t be everything to everyone, and fill every role we see in need of a leading lady.
Which path do you choose, when you can’t see where any end, and you know there is no turning back once you embark upon your choice.
What things in your life, right now, are you willing to give up in order to grow? In order to allow more abundance into your life?
As a woman, who as a girl child was put through the extremely structured public school system from the time she was 4 years old until graduating college, at age 21, I abhor any kind of schedule and rigid structure in my life.
While no one on the outside would have likely been able to see it, and my schooling career left it’s fair share of wonderful memories, especially in the younger, grade-school years…but the truth is, as time went on, the overall theme of my educational institutions became one of competition, judgment, and never-ending stress.
It left a sour taste in my mouth and I now shudder at anything that triggers that feeling of desperate inadequacy and having to scramble to live according to another persons schedule, standards, and way of being…with no sense of self, because I had not really been given the room within my educational or job opportunities, to explore and get to know who I really was and my place in the world as I matured.
As a result, anything that comes remotely close to encroaching on my consciously created freedom and day-to-day life is rather quickly dealt with, by that primal, untamable, high on life, inner wild woman.
The ability to be in control of my time, and how I choose to spend my day, is honestly something I am still getting used to, and up until now I have been unwilling to sacrifice an ounce of this new found freedom. (Which is kind of an oxymoron of a statement since I, at other times, feel that as a stay-at-home mother, I have extremely limited personal freedom and my daily schedule is at the mercy of the human beings I brought into the world! I think the difference is that I still choose them every day. I chose to have babies. I chose to be a Mother, and I choose to let them rule my life, I surrender myself to their demands willingly lol).
However, I am beginning to see that there is a sacrifice I must be willing to make in order to be successful as a business owner.
If I truly want to help other people, and I do, (deep down, don’t we all?), I must be there for them. Consistently. Dependably. ‘
This means regularly taking time out of my day, away from my family and personal interests, to ask,
“How can I serve?”,
and doing so with an open heart. Ultimately, this means giving up a portion of my day, on a regular basis, to be there for others outside my immediate circle, something I have very much resisted in the past but realize now it is a sacrifice I truly want to be making.
Because there is another sacrifice I do NOT wish to make, one I think many of us make without being aware we are doing so before it’s too late;
Being with our children. Truly BEING with our children.
Not because they deserve our full presence and awareness, (and they do!), not because they need us and depend on us and model their beliefs and behaviors after our own, but because we as parents need to understand how much we need them. How much we owe it to ourselves to recognize the gifts we have been given in the innocence of our children. How blessed we are to have been given the teachers we need most in the tiny humans who call us ‘Mama’.
There is a magic, a wisdom there, in the pure state of childlike wonder, which they contain for everything, as it should be, that we need desperately as westernized adults.
There is a true and unconditional love there, a truth about the interconnectedness of all things in existence, that our children show us, and teach us about, if we are able to slow down and take the time to listen, and have the courage to feel.
These moments with my daughters, of playing and laughing, teaching and encouraging, snuggling and exploring….once they are gone they’re gone. There is only one way to preserve them;
To pay attention.
Pay attention to every little detail so that you can reexamine it later. Be present and observe with all of your senses so you can savor it and draw power from it, love, and joy from the memory, whenever and wherever you choose.
How does it make you feel when you are able to set work aside and crawl on your hands and knees through the garden, pretending to be wolves, with your young ones?
How does it make you feel when you keep blowing them off and interrupting them because you have something else on your mind, or because you really need to get some work done?
I am willing to sacrifice some of my “personal time” to grow my business. I am willing to sacrifice the frivolous enjoyment of a well deserved beer and Netflix for the less glamorous work that goes on behind the scenes in the life of an indie author and Network marketer. (Clearly, I enjoy a good challenge and dash of the adventurous unknown ;p) .
I am NOT willing to sacrifice being present and relaxed with my children for any career or amount of money in the world.
Nothing is worth that sacrifice to me and there are so many arguments I have as to why, but I will not get into them because I feel most are pretty obvious if you just take the time to ask your heart and have the patience to wait for (and hear) the reply.
And so, I would much rather sacrifice some of my “personal time” to regularly showing up for my chosen community. It is through this work, that I also serve my children, and thank them for the magic they have shown me and the lessons they have taught me by doing my part to actively participate in the creation of a community I would be proud to pass on to them and confident to leave them within.
What this means is that growth is likely to be slower, yet more sustainable. Many businesses, especially in the beginning, require an abhorrent amount of time and attention every of the week in order to flourish. If you want success, you MUST make those early sacrifices. There is no way around it. You WILL loose sleep. Your spouse and kids WILL wonder when you went completely insane. You WILL want to rip your hair out and never know the meaning of the term “weekend” ever. again. Thats just the way it is.
Or so we have been told.
I am willing to make sacrifices, but I am unwilling to sacrifice the time spent with my daughters in order to do so. I am not willing to sacrifice my ability to stay present with them each and every day. For each and every day is a miracle, a gift, and I am well aware of how limited our time together really is.
Even a day spent preoccupied about this and that, (ultimately insignificant), business detail, is one day to many, and while it still occurs from time to time, I always mourn it’s loss.
For myself, I have discovered that I would much rather be able to devote a small amount of focused time and energy everyday into something, to have patience, to little by little watch it grow.
I am not willing to devote “a few short years” of “hustle”, running myself ragged, being detached from my kids and husband while I obsess over my business. No. Not I.
I already have the life of my dreams. I have a safe home, a loving, handsome husband, healthy happy children, and my own miraculous womans’ body that’s alive and full of sensuality and feeling.
I love my mind, (flawed and rebellious as it is) and the voice within my heart (which never steers me wrong).
I love the souls of the People (human and otherwise), I interact with on a daily basis.
When it comes to business, running my own successfully is simply a bonus. Icing on the cake.
Yeah, I want more money because more money equals more time with my man and obviously….more books, plants, and horses. I want to have my own business because I feel that I have an important service and message to share with the world and don’t see a damn thing wrong with being supported financially for doing what brings me joy and makes my spirit soar. But a business, no matter how genius or successful it is, (or even if it were to crash and burn), will never define me.
It will never take priority over my sense of connection with nature, and with my family. I will never sacrifice those simple, yet so incredibly full, moments of doing nothing but watching my daughters run and laugh together on the bare crust of the earth.
These are the moments worth living for, the moments that make me feel the most alive, the most connected and in the flow. And I will not be sacrificing them for anything in the world. Ever.
What about you. What are the hardest sacrifices you’ve had to make as business owning, mindful mothers, and what has and hasn’t been worth it for you?
Please share your own experiences in the comments!
Much Love- Sara