Is Your Practice Eating Your Life?

I’ve blogged through miscarriages, and stockpiled enough blogs to last me through a maternity leave. I’ve blogged through sickness and varying degrees of anxiety. I’ve blogged through and about being sued. I’ve blogged through a lot of fear and not-enoughness. I’ve blogged through buying and moving into a new home and sick kids and sick family members. Consistency is one of the most accurate measures of whether or not a business prospers. I get an A+, good for me. And I’m also about to make a case for earning B’s. I’m in love with my business. I have been in love with it since before it was born. I love writing and podcasting. I LOVE the Abundance Party and the Abundance Practice-Building Groups. I love strategizing and figuring out how to reach my goals. I’m good at it, and I reach my goals, so it’s a positive feedback loop. My dad worked for the same railroad his entire career. I know the smell of a trainyard and there’s little as comforting to me as a train chugging along its tracks. It’s hard to slow down a train. It can take a mile to come to a complete stop. This business that I love has become a train. I didn’t believe in businesses building too quickly before. I was like “Psh- must suck to be so successful at something you love. Poor baby!” I’m realizing that there is a downside. And before you take my train metaphor too far, I have absolutely no intention of stopping Abundance. I’ve just gotta stop being that mom who hasn’t showered in 4 weeks. #mixingmetaphorsohwell I let my business become my hobby. And my identity. And my BFF. And my 3rd child. It was gradual but my business became pervasive in my life. I loved it, so it didn’t feel the way it felt to hate my toxic agency job and have that take over my life. It felt exciting and important. I realized that I was thinking about work while playing with my kids more than I was actually listening to them. When my friends asked how I was doing (all conversations involved catching up because I stopped showing up in my friendships) I answered by talking about how great Abundance has been going. Then I shared the cute thing my kids did or the fun thing Joel and I had planned. But it was always work first. Half the conversations I started with my husband were business-idea related. He’s so supportive but missed having non-Abundance-related conversations.   I’m telling you all this for two reasons: 1) You may relate. No matter where your practice is, whether it’s in those first stages where you’re working your ass off to get your first few clients or you’re packed full and trying to carve out time to eat lunch, you may be susceptible to this. I’d love to share some things I’ve changed that have helped but it made this post stupid-long so those tips are going to be in their own blog post next week. 2) Some of what I’m changing may impact you if you have grown accustomed to my… prolificness and availability. Maybe you noticed that the podcast hasn’t been updated and that’s because I can’t keep up. I’m dependent on other consultants’ busy schedules and the timeline with getting the Monday episodes to them… it’s a lot of juggling I can’t manage with everything. The podcast will continue, I LOVE it, we’re tweaking the format and creating the necessary infrastructure so the consistency piece doesn’t make me feel so harried. And for the first time I feel like that’s ok and that it doesn’t make me a failure. Just like if I were to skip a blog post one week, it’s seriously ok. In fact, there may be a gap this month since I’ll be out of town for a week. And I am not blog stockpiled anymore. And that’s okay. Can you tell I’m telling this to myself more than you? My awesome assistant, Megan, is taking more and more off my plate. I see moments of “what am I supposed to be doing right now?” in my future and it feels expansive. And exciting. And I have to STOP with the whole filling up all my time with new big projects that take months to execute.   How I’m Working Now As a part of all this, I’m going to work less in all ways. I’m revamping some materials in the Abundance Practice Group (don’t forget alums, you have lifetime access to all of it) and am only going to run 3 groups at once next time. One in person, two online. They sell out when I run more, so if you’re interested in them, the doors just opened, hop in. I’m having a BLAST in the Abundance Party. The next course in there is in collaboration with my buddy Tiffany McLain about managing busy practices and taking business to the next level. The FB group associated with the Party is always my first stop on FB. The people in there are freaking awesome. Later this month I’m collaborating with my friend Jane Carter for a super-affordable live event in Asheville called Brew Your Abundance. One full day talking about money. Another full day talking about marketing. $250 for one day. $450 for both. It’s a small event space so if it’s not already sold out (the website will say) you should get in there. I had a business coach who was big on upsells and downsells. Basically I was encouraged to have like 10 different ways to work with me. That’s a lot of moving parts that I’m done trying to build out or manage. I’m keeping it simple: The Abundance Party, Abundance Practice-Building Groups, and a couple live events each year. As for 1:1’s, which I love but can’t keep up with the demand, they’re only available for each of my Abundance Practice-Building Group members and 8 of the Abundance Party members per month. The end. No intense/obnoxious sales funnels, no big launches, no new courses (except for the ones in the Abundance Party.) Less schedule chaos. Easy, clean, simple. I’m sharing the changes I’ve made to support this next week. So if you’re like “Yes! But how do I stop!” don’t worry, I’ve got your back! Can you relate? Do you have a hard time slowing down, too? Let us know in the comments!