I’ve been taking sometime to look back at how far I’ve come in a year as an entrepreneur.
I left my full-time academic job in July of 2012, but it wasn’t until November of that year that I began marketing myself and my talents. I didn’t have a network or a whole lot of support. I knew very few people in my town. Most of the folks I knew within the state of North Dakota, I knew because of my career, in some way. It was scary and I was lonely.
But things have changed.
Today, my young philosopher overheard me calling a friend. “Mom, you know I can’t even keep up with all the people you know!”
I thought to myself, Wow. I really do know a lot of people! Things have changed in a year’s passing.
I was quiet pleased with myself. I took time to give myself the praise, “You have done well finding good people to connect with. It certainly does make life quite a bit richer.”
But that’s only the beginning.
After today’s Farm Beginnings Session, I was extremely motivated.
We talked about mission statements and marketing. I didn’t realize I love this kind of stuff so much, but I do!
I left energized, wanting to share EVERYTHING I learned with my husband, who had to work today.
I left wanting to revisit my visual business plan.
I wanted to get home and beg my chickens to PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE start laying eggs again.
I was ready to dive into next my proposal.
I wanted to go set up for the art class I teach on Monday.
I couldn’t wait to start thinking,
I wanted to start compiling information for my presentation at Farm Beginnings in December, in which I will be talking about how to tell YOUR story.
So much excitement!
But this was familiar…
My mind was reeling with ideas, but I was tired.
I had a quick thought to leave myself a voice message, telling myself about ALL this excitement.
Wait, I’ve done that before. And it wasn’t good.
(Remember, I struggle with issues such as overworking and undervaluing myself.)
It is easy for me to believe that I need to prove my worth through what I do.
In my final 3 months as Vice President of Land Grant programs, I would call my office phone on my drive home. I would leave myself messages about all the things I needed to do the next day.
This my friends, is not a good habit.
I thought it was brilliant at first, but it certainly led to some earlier morning cursing when I checked my voicemail each day.
*Light-bulb moment* Maybe that has something to do with my own disdain for to-do lists. To-do lists are made with our own self-talk imbedded in them. They can be painful if that self-talk used in writing them is overly critical, judgmental, or down right mean.
The point is I had been down this road before. So I backed up.
I did a U-turn before I got to the point of giving myself a to-do list on a Saturday night.
I retraced my steps.
I slowed down and took a look around when I got back to the excitement.
Was it impractical to think I could manage to do all the things that I wanted to do tonight? Or even this weekend?
I suddenly remembered that I had been here too, and that there was a bit more worth exploring.
I remembered the first time I shared my business plan with the folks at the New Rockford Area Betterment Corporation.
I remember the amazing amount of things I wanted to do when I came home.
And I remember not doing anything!
Instead, I was still.
I enjoyed the moment. I felt the excitement.
I didn’t force it into a product or accomplishment.
I let it be part of me.
I was on the road I wanted to be on. And, I even took it on a little further.
I mentally broke these tasks up by priority and complexity and I scheduled them into my calendar when I got home!
This is truly a first.
I came home, motivated and yet tired, and said to my husband, “Michael, next weekend, I would like to schedule a time to sit down to go over my business plan with you.”
And then, I let everything else “to-do” settle in my calendar and in my brain.
I let the excitement reside in my body as joy.
And then, I played the piano that magically found its way into our house this afternoon.
Thank you so much, Michael. Thank you!