Back in the Swim – My Wellbeing Journey

Back in the Swim – My Wellbeing Journey

Some of you may know that I’ve been working on addressing my adrenal fatigue in recent months. And one of the things that comes along with that is a recommendation that I give up running for a while.

I’ve always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with running. I’m not a naturally gifted runner, I’m very much a plodder/shuffler/stumble over the liner. I hate that I find it so hard. But I love how it makes me feel once it’s done. The “runners high” everyone talks about. (At least, everyone who’s a runner). I loved that I worked my way up through the mileage. Beaming with pride when I finished my first 10km event, my first 15km event, my first half marathon (at which I was six weeks pregnant!)

I didn’t run much through my pregnancy, but between my first and second babies I was running pretty regularly a few times a week. But over the past four years between juggling two children, moving home to Adelaide, deciding to open my own business, and my husband changing jobs to one where he leaves the house at 5am every morning, I’ve really struggled to get back into it. I couldn’t go out for my usual early morning run as I had the girls at home, I hated running with a pram and the treadmill at the gym bores me to tears, so I didn’t run during the day, and by the time hubby got home and we made it through the cactus hour “dinner-bath-bed” routine – it was too dark. And I definitely don’t run the streets in the dark.

I’ve certainly tried, I’ve pushed myself through a run at least every other week when I found time on a weekend, and there’s been periods of time where I’ve been more motivated than others – increasing my runs to a couple of times a week – sneaking out the door as soon as hubby got home from work for a quick 20 or 30 minute job – especially in those first two years after we moved back here.

Bu then the adrenal fatigue really kicked in at the start of last year and I found I just couldn’t run. My legs always felt heavy, and I no longer actually wanted to run, despite desperately wanting to want to run (if that makes sense.)

I even signed up for two running coaching programs last year, the first one I pushed myself through with a once a week run with my personal training group. This was great – having a team around me meant that I actually went for those runs. But afterwards I would be just completely spent, and crash on the couch for the next few hours. My ‘runner’s high was completely non-existent’, and in it’s place was a ‘runner’s crash and burn’.

The second program, was a fantastic online running program, with a great online community. I had the best of intentions when I joined up – despite not listening to any of my body’s signals. I was mistaking my body’s call for rest as simply being lazy and unmotivated. “Maybe I just need a program to get me on track?”, I thought to myself. So I signed up. But I just couldn’t do it. When I did go for a run my body responded the exact same way it had in the previous program.

And it’s because it was exhausted, literally. My adrenal fatigue has just stripped my body of any energy reserves, and – quite frankly – it’s shit.

So I’ve given up on running for the next few months. Until at least April (I’m still harbouring dreams of my second half marathon in July). I’m giving my body the opportunity to rest. I’m going to be focusing on less strenuous activities such as walking, light weight training and yoga.

Oh, and swimming!

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Remember when I said I’m not a naturally gifted runner? Well as it happens what I am naturally good at is swimming. I’m not fast, no sirreee. But I’m a strong swimmer and I have great endurance. A couple of decades ago I used to be a swimming instructor and lifeguard, which is how I worked my way through Uni. Back then I used to swim 2km every morning (that’s 40 laps of a 50m pool!).

But once I graduated and gave up the swim teaching, I lost the swimming for fitness alongside of it – after all, I had a full time job now and I could afford a proper gym membership! I also moved to pretty much the coldest place in South Australia and suddenly swimming didn’t seem so appealing anymore.

I dipped my toes back in the pool briefly again during both my pregnancies, but didn’t continue after I had my babies.

Until this week, when I signed myself up for the 300m swim leg of a triathlon with some people from my personal training crew. I knew there was no way I could do the full thing. But a 300m swim – that’s less than 10minutes. I can definitely manage that!

So I jumped back in the pool for my first swim in about four years. With no idea how I’d go. Would I even be able to make it to the other end of the pool without struggling for breath? Turns out I could. I did that first 300m easily, and I felt good, so I kept swimming for another 700m. And just like that I did my first 1km swim in a very long time.

Me, after my first swim last week. Red faced, but relaxed.

Me, after my first swim last week. Red faced, but relaxed.

Funny how we sometimes forget the things we love. And the things we’re good at.

But now I’ve been reminded, I think swimming is just what my body needs. Movement, that doesn’t stress it out physically – or emotionally. More than anything, I find swimming calming. It’s just me, the water and that blue line. The slow rhythmic “one, two, three, breathe” of my stroke rate is so incredibly calming. It’s basically a moving meditation.

So while I mourn the loss of my regular runs, I’m going to enjoy my return to the pool.

Cheers, Sarah

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No, you don’t need a “Pilates Body” to do Pilates.

No, you don’t need a “Pilates Body” to do Pilates.

I’m a Pilates Instructor. I have a body.

But I do not have what would be considered a “Pilates Body”. I don’t really have to explain what a “Pilates Body” looks like, just type the words “Pilates Body” into Google images and see what the internet spits back at you.

I do not look like ANY of those images. Actually, sorry I take that back – there’s a few ‘before and after’ shots on the page, and my body probably does resemble some of those before shots.

In case we haven’t met before, here’s a picture of my Pilates Body (minus my head, which is what happens when a three year old gets hold of the camera!) I know it’s not really important that you know what I look like, but maybe it helps, so here you go:

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Check that lack of six pack, that lack of thigh gap, the squooshy boobs in an ill-fitting sports bra (it must have been laundry day!). I’d also really like to thank Miss Three for the shocking angle of this image. You’d never see a Pilates marketing photo from this angle!

In fact, when it comes to Pilates Body internet imagery you don’t even need to type the word “body”, just type “Pilates” into an image search and this is the body you’ll find. Young, blonde, female, long and lean. You’d be forgiven for thinking the only people who can or do practice Pilates are Australia’s Next Top Model contestants.

Why, when we type Pilates, don’t we see more women with bodies like mine? Or images of the 14 year old girl in her school sports uniform doing Pilates to address her scoliosis, or the 50 year old truck driver doing Pilates to recover from his back injury, or the 70 year old woman doing Pilates to keep strong after her osteoporosis diagnosis? And I know we see lots of pregnant bellies in crop tops and “Mummy and Me” Pilates – but those Mums are, by and large, quite “yummy” – there’s rarely any new Mums pictured in beige maternity bras with baby spew down their shirt and dark circles under their eyes due to lack of sleep. It’s all matching crop tops and leggings with bouncy pony tails and no hint of a “mum-tum” at all.

Pilates has an image problem. And the problem is the general public is only being presented with one image of Pilates.

Part of this is due to the fact that Pilates instructors are, overwhelmingly “Pilates Bodies” types – but that is slowly changing – here’s just a selection of a few instructors doing great things to promote body positive Pilates over on Instagram.So hopefully the stereotype of Pilates just being for the beautiful bodies is slowly changing.

But we still have a long way to go – and a lot of that rests on us as instructors to lead the charge. Just as @sixthstreetpilates, @grace.movement.pilates, @pilates.fbg and @sheofdc are doing.

At a women’s health conference I attended recently I was seated next to a lovely Pilates studio owner who did indeed have a ‘Pilates Body’, she was stunning – the workshop we were in was about marketing and naturally we got chatting about marketing our respective studios through social media, branding and imagery. This lovely lady had two studios, and while she said one just ticked along nicely through word of mouth, the second, inner city studio, was all about “the body beautiful”. That was the marketing strategy that drove attendance at that studio.

“It’s all about the body beautiful”, she said, “That’s what the clients want.”

I had to politely disagree. The “body beautiful” is what people who value the body beautiful want. But there are also people who value the “body functional”, the “body pain free”, the “body recovering from pregnancy”, to “body challenged to see what it can perform”, the “body that feels so much more relaxed after this one hour per week to myself”, the “body that just wants to stretch and move”, the “body who likes to hang out with friends in a space that’s not a pub”, or the “body who appreciates mindful movement”.

There are a hundred reasons why someone might start, and continue, a Pilates practice, the least important of which is rock hard abs.

Joseph Pilates, the creator of the Pilates method, wrote a book about his work. He named it “Return to Life Through Contrology*”, not “Return to Booty Through Contrology”. (*Contrology was what Joseph originally called his method, I guess he just wasn’t Kanye enough to personally name it after himself, his protégé’s named the method Pilates after his death.)

Pilates is about moving your body, and restoring it to functional movement patterns so that it can carry you through life. In the words of my lovely friend Taryn Brumfitt, of the Body Image Movement, “My body is not an ornament, it is the vehicle to my dreams”.

So if you have dreams, and you want your body to be strong, flexible and functional, in order to help you achieve them, maybe give Pilates a go. Even if you don’t have (or don’t want) a Pilates Body – you’ll fit in at my studio just fine!

Until next time – Sarah xx

ps. If you are keen to give pilates a go, and you’re close to me in western Adelaide – make sure you check out my “Buy five, get 10” discount – 10 classes for the price of five ($90). To book or check the schedule, click here.

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Life is better in slow motion

Life is better in slow motion

As of today I’m officially on holidays for a week. I know, super exciting. About six weeks ago I realised what a ridiculously busy June I had scheduled, so I decided I’d take a full week off from all of my clients and contracts this week. And now it’s finally here! Whoop!

Considering I haven’t ever taken a proper break from from all aspects of my business in the 20 months I’ve been running it, I definitely felt it was time to do so. To be honest, the past 10 months or so have actually been quite challenging for me in terms of finding balance, and my own wellbeing has seriously suffered. But that’s another post for another day. For now, let’s just say, I needed a break!

So back to my week of holidays.

It’s interesting really. I’m not going anywhere, so for me, it actually feels like it’s not a ‘real’ holiday. To me a holiday necessitates lounging by a resort pool with a fruity cocktail. But finances wouldn’t allow that this week, and hubby has to work, so we really couldn’t even go anywhere local for the week. So it has been really challenging for me, leading into this week. I’m home, I’m 10 minutes from the Pilates studio where I work. I’m no more than 10 metres from my laptop at any time in this house. Can I really take a “holiday” at home? Should I?

Even up until Thursday I was driving into the clinic thinking to myself, “Oh I guess I could just take an hour each day to respond to emails, phone calls and Facebook…” Really, Sarah? Come on!

I remember a time, way back when I was working in a government desk job I hated, when a colleague actually did ring me on my holidays to ask me some inane question about work. You wouldn’t believe how stroppy I got and how much I silently seethed to myself while answering their stupid question. “Seriously, couldn’t they figure this out for themselves, I’m on leave dammit!”

Fast forward to now, a ‘mere’ 14 years later – and I can barely let go of my laptop!

Maybe it’s a sign of the times? We’re all so much more accessible now, emails on our smartphones, Facebook on our iPad. We have 24 hour access to everything and everyone, and somehow that translates to the thought that we should be available 24 hours ourselves.

Or maybe it’s because I run my own business now? No longer are those questions inane and something someone else should and could figure out. In my business, I’m it. Sole trader. Just me. Alone. Solo. If I don’t do the work, answer the calls, return to emails, no-one will. So yeah, that definitely makes it harder to be on leave.

But be on leave I must. Because I do need a break, and I do need some extra time with my girls and my hubby. Something that was reinforced to me even more on Friday.

Like so many South Australians I was shocked to wake on Friday morning to the news of Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh being murdered, allegedly by his son, overnight. As a dedicated Crows fan since their inaugural season, it’s something that hit home, as it has for footy fans all across the nation. Even though I didn’t know Phil at all, and he’d only been with our club for a short time, I was surprised by how much this death impacted me.

But more than his high profile role as the Crows coach, I think it was the nature of the death that stopped me in my tracks. A son killing his own father? It seems so incomprehensible.

I was chatting to my brother about it later that day, and we both spoke of how shocking it was, to which my brother said, “But I suppose this kind of thing happens every day, we just don’t hear about it unless it happens to someone in the spotlight.” And it’s true. People die at the hands of loved ones every single day. The tally of domestic violence victims who have lost their life is now up to 49 in Australia – 49 – thats almost two women each week so far this year. It’s horrific and tragic, and all those terrible adjectives we so desperately wish never to use.

I think there’s something about intra-family violence that strikes at our very core. Because our home, with our family, is the one place we should all be able to feel unconditionally safe. We should never have to be afraid of our son, our husband, our father, our mother, our sister. These people are supposed to protect us. Not harm us. So when we hear of it happening, it’s simply unfathomable, and it makes us hold our own family a little tighter.

Which brings me back to Friday. After running a bunch of errands that morning, choking back tears each time I heard the Phil Walsh updates on the radio news, something happened.

I was driving past the Adelaide Aquatic Centre, where there’s a big playground we’ve never been to, but which we always say looks amazing, and that we “should go there some day”, when my big Possum from the back seat said “Mum, there’s that playground, can we go there today?”

Not someday.

Today. 

Any other day I might have said no. We’d already been out all morning. Moochie was due for her sleep. It was a bit chilly. There were plenty of chores to do at home.

But none of that mattered. Not that day. So I checked my mirrors and pulled across three lanes to make the turn into the playground. And of course, the girls had a blast. This playground truly was amazing. So much to explore, and so much fun to be had. And for some reason, I decided to try out the slow motion camera on my phone, which I’d never used before.

And what I captured truly made me think, and was the final reminder I needed that I truly did need to take a break.

Check out this video.

And this one.

You might have noticed that I rarely share images of my children, and I do that purposely, because I want to protect their privacy. But I just had to share this.

Do you see it. Do you see the joy? The excitement? The happiness in those carefree faces.

Those original clips were about three seconds each. It’s easy to miss all of that in three seconds.

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I’ll share this too. When we slowed down enough to visit the Zoo yesterday, we were lucky enough to find prism rainbows covering my little Possum’s face. More slow motion joy.

It was while watching these slow motion clips that I realised – I don’t slow down often enough to appreciate these teeny moments of pure happiness. I used to. Back in the first couple of years of motherhood. Back in my maternity leave days (which I honestly miss so much!) I had all the time in the world with my girls and I made the most of it. We were always out for walks, going to the park, meeting friends for babycinos, visiting the petting farm, splashing in the pool at the resort near where we lived. It was truly a blessed time. Even when I was working part time after my first bubba was born – my spare time was my own. Once I got home from work, that was it, my time was my own – our own.

But now, it’s different. For better or worse, I don’t know yet. I wouldn’t give up the opportunity to run my own business for anything. Because I love what I do, and I know it’s going to pay dividends in years to come in regard to work-life balance. But I also know I need to find that better balance right now too. For my own health and for my relationship with my daughters. Because as a small business owner there’s a very real possibility of becoming completely consumed with your business and having it permeate all areas of your life. And that’s not healthy on any level.

With all the events of this past weekend, the main message I’ve received is that I really do need to live life in slow motion sometimes. I need to slow down, appreciate where I am and who I’m with, and not be running a million miles an hour into something else all the time.

So that’s why I’m on leave this week. I’ll be off Facebook and off email, I’ll be hanging with my girls at the park and ordering babycinos at the cafe. I may even get myself a hot stone massage. Now that’s my kind of slow motion.

See you next week!

S xx

Is your clutter making you sick?

Is your clutter making you sick?

Don’t think clutter impacts on your wellbeing? Think again!

I’m sure we’ve all watched those episodes of Hoarders and thought to ourselves – “How can people live like that?” Piles of decades old newspapers lining the hallways, stuffed toys stuffing every single closet, rusty saucepans spilling out of kitchen drawers. Ugh – it sends most of us non-hoarders into a tailspin! Often in these shows, there’s some sort of documented psychological issue that precipitated the hoarding – the compulsive need for “things” often comes from a place of deep unhappiness, anxiety or  trauma. It really is quite a serious condition, and if you, or someone you know fits this category, I’d highly suggest looking for some professional assistance to help you work through it.

But I’m not talking about that level of clutter today. What I want to talk about is our everyday, run of the mill clutter. The type of clutter that the vast majority of us DO have in our homes, and which doesn’t come from a place of mental distress. It just comes from a busy life, full of stuff and things, and potentially with limited amounts of time and space.

Overflowing wardrobes, toys sprawled across every single room in the house, bathroom cabinets teeming with expired beauty products, cans of corn with expiry dates of October 2013. You get the idea. Most of us have clutter. And most of us just put up with it, perhaps telling ourselves that we’ll get around to clearing it out “someday”. Right?

Apart from the mental health aspects, the thing that always strikes me about the people on those Hoarders-type shows is how physically unwell they generally always are. They often complain of having multiple health conditions, many of which disappear once they get on top of the cleaning, clutter and chaos.

As with pretty much everything in life this falls on a continuum. We don’t have to have floor-to-ceiling clutter to be affected by it. Even your average run of the mill clutter can have a negative impact on our wellbeing. All the more reason to make that “someday” today, and take action on clearing your home of the unnecessary “stuff”.

Here’s just a few ways clutter affects your physical health,

  • Increased respiratory stress – due to dust, allergens and airborne particles
  • Increase falls hazards – not to mention the intense pain of stepping on a stray Lego piece barefoot – youch!
  • Mould. This stuff is toxic. Don’t just think about the mould growing on your shower curtain. How about the mould you didn’t know was growing on your winter boots, or that suitcase you put away slightly damp last winter?

But it’s not just about physical wellbeing – it never is! We already know that our physical health and wellbeing is intrinsically linked to our emotional health – mind-body connection, right? So these physical health issues will certainly affect our emotional wellbeing.

But there’s also more direct correlations between clutter and emotional and social wellbeing.

  • Blocked chi – the ancient Eastern practice of Feng Shui sings the praises of clean, uncluttered open spaces. This is because clutter is thought to block the flow of “Chi” throughout a space. “Chi” is the life force, we want it to be able to move freely and swiftly for optimal health, we don’t want it to become stagnant or stuck. When Chi can’t move freely, our energy and stress levels can be negatively impacted. Not convinced? Close your eyes for a few seconds and imagine yourself walking into two rooms. The first, bright, breezy, airy, lots of natural light, plenty of wide open spaces. The second room, piled high with books, clothes, bags, shoes, too much furniture shoved into the room. Maybe you’ve already been in two rooms similar to this. Close your eyes and focus down into your body – in which room do you feel the most comfortable? The least stressed? The happiest and calmest? I know which one it is for me. In fact, I use de-cluttering as one of my stress management techniques. You know I’m getting stressed when you see me emptying my collection of Women’s Health magazines into the recycle bin!
  • Financial stress: Bills that get misfiled and forgotten so you attract late fees, food that gets wasted as it’s stuck at the back of a cluttered fridge. Having four almost identical black clutches because you can never find one as it’s stashed somewhere at the back of your wardrobe so you just buy a new one. Clutter costs us money, and that causes us stress.
  • Guilt – when faced with clutter in our homes, or our lives, many of us experience extreme guilt. “I really should sort that mess out”, “I really need to clean out that spare room”, “I really need to take those bags of old clothes to Vinnies”. We instinctively know that our clutter is detrimental to our health, so we feel guilty about it, which simply amplifies the negative emotions we’re already feeling.
  • Not to mention how clutter affects our ability to manifest the life of our dreams – it’s all about abundance and the law of attraction. This part is pretty new to me, but the total expert on it is Denise Duffield-Thomas from luckybitch.com , check out her website to see how clutter impacts on your lucky (or unlucky!) life. There’s also lots of correlations here to financial stress – just as I mentioned above!

The solution?

De-clutter!!

This is seriously one of my favourite things to do in the entire world. (I know, I’m strange – sorry!) But I simply love the feeling that comes with clearing a space, and feeling the fresh energy flowing through. I always feel calmer and more focused in a de-cluttered space, and I seriously struggle to focus in a cluttered, messy office. So yes, I’m struggling a bit now, as my office has gotten pretty disorganised towards the end of this year, due to a pretty hectic last few months! But don’t worry, I’ve already got a few days over the Christmas break set aside to declutter, clean and sort out my office!

In fact, I love de-cluttering so much that at the start of 2014 I set myself a New Years Resolution – to declutter 2014 items from my home! Sounds impossible? Nope, it’s not. In fact, I’m so, so close, to 2014 items. I’ll blog about it when I hit my target. (And no, I didn’t start with a Hoarders-style situation!)

My de-cluttered bookshelf.

My de-cluttered bookshelf.

But if you’re not a seasoned de-clutterer, don’t despair. There’s a million and one resources out there about de-cluttering so feel free to Google away and find one you like, but a couple of my favourites are listed below:

Katrina, the Organised Housewife – she runs a free year-long de-cluttering challenge, which is awesome and very simple to undertake.

Peter Walsh (from The Living Room tv show)

Denise Duffield-Thomas, of Lucky Bitch

(ps. No affiliate links here, I just love to share the people I think are great!)

So over to you? Are you a de-clutterer? Do you do a yearly de-clutter, or are you more of a de-clutter daily type of person? Or are you just drowning in a sea of kids toys, tupperware containers and “one day I’ll fit back into them” clothes? I’d love to hear your story – let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Live your best (uncluttered) life.

Sarah xx

So you want to be a Mumpreneur? The top six questions to ask yourself before you take the leap.

So you want to be a Mumpreneur? The top six questions to ask yourself before you take the leap.

Psst. Wanna be a Mumpreneur? Want to live the ultimate lifestyle and work on your own terms? Want to set your own flexible hours so you create your business around your kids and never miss another Book Week parade or Sports Day? Yeah, I know you do. We all do.

And it’s so tempting right? It’s so tempting to tell your crappy, insensitive boss to “Shove it! I’m outta here and I’m going to open my own business!”

Yeah, go sister! Woman power! Mums can do anything!! Whooohooo!

But hold on a sec there honey. Do you really know what you’re getting yourself in for? Do you really understand what it means to be a woman, who also has children, who also happens to run her own business from the kitchen table? (and who may or may not also have to hold down a regular “dayjob” while she gets this Mumpreneur thing off the ground). By the way – I’m not a huge fan of the word “Mumpreneur – but I’m using it here because “woman, who also has children, who also happens to run her own business from the kitchen table” doesn’t quite have the same SEO ranking. (And don’t worry, if you don’t yet know what SEO is, you will soon!)

I’m not saying don’t do it. Don’t become a “Mumpreneur”. I can’t say that, because I’m doing it right now – and you know what – it is great. And I can see amazing things on the road ahead. But right now. About 12 months into my self-employed sojourn. It’s freaking hard. And it’s an awful lot of work. And it’s costing money. And, and, and – so much else.

Mumpreneur in action. Yes, this is what action looks like sometimes.

Mumpreneur in action. Yes, this is what action looks like sometimes.

In these past 12 months I’ve learned a thing or two about running my own business while simultaneously raising two daughters, running a household and, yes, holding down another part time job to ensure we can still pay the mortgage! So I thought I’d do you a favour and list a few very important questions you should ask yourself if you’re thinking of making this big scary, crazy, amazing leap into Mumpreneur-dom.

Here goes.

 

Question 1: Is my significant other on board?

Because if he (or she) isn’t, strap yourself in for some drama. Cue arguments about “getting a real job” and “stuffing around on facebook isn’t going to make any money” and “no, we’re not spending $6K on a business coach”. Starting a business is a crazy tough slog, it’s no surprise so many start up businesses fail. If you’re serious about starting a business it’s going to take time, money and sacrifice. You’re going to need the support of your partner, because you’re going to need them to pick up the slack around the house. You’re going to need them to be okay with the fact that they’re doing the dishes for the sixth night in a row because you’re tapping away on the laptop trying to figure out how to install a WordPress theme to your blog. You’re going to need them to be okay with the fact that you won’t have as much time for them anymore – at least not right now. Get them on board early. Explain your passion. Share your plans and goals. Keep them involved. And hopefully they’ll be supportive.

 

Question 2: Am I prepared to resent my children at times.

Gah! Yes. I did just ask this question. Please stop calling me names.

This is the dirty little secret of Mumpreneur-ship. Because as much as you love your precious little cherubs and think to yourself, “I’m creating this new business for them, for us, to create our dream family life”. I absolutely guarantee that you are going to resent the socks off of them at least once while creating your new business (probably more than once, to be perfectly honest). Perhaps it’ll be the night before your big launch/meeting/presentation – when your teething baby keeps you up all night. Or the day you miss an all-important webinar because you’re cleaning blue paint-coloured poop off the carpet at the exact moment it goes live. (True story, not mine, thankfully!!)

The fact is that young children and start-up businesses don’t mesh nicely. They’re both unpredictable, time consuming, and, yes, frustrating. When you’re starting a business there are going to be days when you simply need to “GET STUFF DONE” no matter what. But guess what, you can’t always rely on your children to be perfect angels on those days. Even if you have childcare and supportive family, you’re still going to have to find time to do work at home – and the kidlets under your feet are going to get in the way. There are going to be days when you want to spend more time on your business than you do on your kids. You will feel like this. And you will feel guilty for feeling like this. Are you prepared for that?

 

Question 3: Am I prepared for the haters, the trolls and the poppy-loppers?

Not everyone is going to think your business is a great idea. Lots of them will try to dissuade you – “Don’t you know how bad the economy is, why on earth would you start a business now?” The thing is, these peeps are generally well meaning, they honestly just want you to be safe and secure, and not broke and homeless. They just have a completely different mindset and view of life than you. So they’re not as bad as the haters, the ones who will try to tear you down any opportunity they can. Why do they do it? Mostly they’re jealous. Maybe they want the kind of life and business you’re working towards. Maybe they just don’t have the guts to take that leap of faith. That makes them feel shit. So they take it out on you. #hatersgonnahate

 

Question 4: Am I prepared to replace most of my friendship group with another one entirely?

The truth is, I now spend way, WAY more time with my new business gals (who I didn’t even know a year ago) than I do the best friends I’ve had for 20 years. Starting your own business can be seriously isolating. Not a lot of people do it, and it’s scary and intense and there’s sooooo much to learn. So we business chicks have to stick together – we seek others out so we can network, learn, brainstorm and absorb business advice by osmosis. Most new Mumpreneurs figure that out pretty quickly and start surrounding themselves with other business minded folk. This isn’t to say that you won’t, or can’t, ever see your friends again, but just beware that friendships are likely to change. See question 1 and 3 for prime examples! Plus, because of all the extra work hours you’re putting in – it can often be quite hard to find time for all your friends – you’ll start prioritising them. Sad but true. The good news is, the ones who are really, truly your friends. They’ll stick around. They’ll stand by you. They’ll understand when you haven’t spoken for them for the past two months. Because that’s what TRUE friends do. (ps, for the record, I still love my old friends even if we don’t get to see each other as often – you know who you are!)

 

Question 5: Am I in it for passion or profit?

Really you need to be in it for both. If you’re not passionate about the business you’re trying to build, you’re simply not going to have the motivation to stick with it.
But you also need to want to make money. Which means you physically need an income stream – ie. you have to have something to sell!

But you also need to believe that you’re worth the money, that you deserve to make money and that your product is valuable enough for people to pay you for it. So really, you need three things: Passion. Profit. And a passion FOR profit.

 

Question 6: Am I ready to be transformed?

This is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT question of them all.

“Am I ready for a complete soul makeover?”

This is what you don’t think about when you’re first starting out. You just think to yourself, “Oh I’ve got a cool idea for a business, let’s start a blog and make some money”. You never think to yourself, “Gee, I feel like undergoing a complete and utter transformation of my personal and professional development, my mind, heart, body and soul, my view on the world, my belief in the concept of abundance and laws of attraction, my self-concept of who I am as a person and what my true calling and purpose in life are.”

No-one ever thinks that.

But that’s what happens. I’ve met so many amazing entrepreneurial women over the past year while I’ve been building my business. And while they come from all different walks of life, run completely different businesses and are at a million different stages of business growth and development – they all have one thing in common. Change. They’ve all undergone somewhat of a transformation. Some to the point where they barely recognise themselves from the person they once were. Some to the point where they’ve realised that they need to leave their husband because they’re not willing to put up with a sub-par relationship anymore. Some to the point where they’ve lost friendships because their old friends either “don’t get them” anymore, or got too shitty that they weren’t available for Friday night drinks every week anymore.

Are you willing to go there? Are you willing to make that much of a change. Are you willing to be utterly and absolutely transformed. Are you prepared to barely recognised the person you’ll be in 12 months time?

Yes?

Then welcome to the club.