Sometimes it feels like instead of running a business, I have a business that’s running my life. My day looks something like this: the email is coming in faster than I can delete it; there are last minute fires to put out for a client; I accidently delete my QuickBooks file, my virtual assistant is on vacation and I have no idea what to do next.
When my workday turns into a survival challenge, I know it’s time to ask for some serious assistance — so I pray for The Gifts of Spirit and Strategy. These transformative gifts are my secret weapon against overwhelm and confusion. They have the power to bring me out of the chaos and into a life of peace and productivity.
The Gifts of Spirit and Strategy help me realign with my purpose (and God’s plan for me). They help me refocus on my priorities and stop walking in circles trying to figure out my next step. They help me step up and take action – so my business begins to support my life rather than running it.
If that sounds like a good idea to you, I give you permission to enjoy any or all of these six gifts yourself. Here they are – ready and waiting for you to receive:
The 7 Gifts of Spirit and Strategy
1. The Gift of Clarity. Getting clear is the greatest gift you can give yourself. When you are clear about your purpose (in life, in business, or in the moment), you can take action with confidence. You know exactly what to do and exactly what to stop doing. Because everything you do must support that purpose.
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” ― Stephen R. Covey
What is your biggest priority in your business right now? Write it down and tape it to your wall. Add a scripture quote and pray for divine confirmation of your purpose. Create a vision board if you prefer. Just keep a clear purpose statement or image someplace you will see it every day. When you feel yourself getting sidetracked, read your statement and reconnect with your purpose.
2. The Gift of Decision. Let’s face it – making important business decisions isn’t easy. But if you can choose breastfeeding or bottle feeding, cloth diapers or disposable, epidural or natural labor, then you can certainly make a decision on a business loan, logo color or retail property. Honestly, I know it seems like a HUGE issue right now, but whatever you are deliberating beyond due diligence is probably not worth the time and energy you are exerting to avoid making the decision.
“I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.” ― Maya Angelou
What is one decision you have been avoiding or procrastinating on making? Say a prayer, make a choice and move on. Start taking imperfect action and be willing to make mistakes. Learn from doing. Get in the trenches and start accepting the risks and responsibilities that come with owning a business. (After all, without the risk, there is no reward.)
3. The Gift of Completion. If you’re reading three books at once and there’s been a half-finished art project on your dining room table for six months, this gift is for you. (And just to clarify – I’m not judging you. I’m the one who owns hundreds of dollars of Creative Memories scrapbooks, each with only one page finished).
Incompletion is emotionally draining. Take a mental inventory right now of all the little things that are incomplete in your world – missing buttons on a favorite shirt, neglected gardens, stacks of paper that need to be sorted. The list goes on. These may seem like minor annoyances, but the cumulative effect of all the “little things that need to be finished” builds up to a heavy weight we carry around every day. Add to that the projects that are incomplete in the office and no wonder we go to bed wishing there were more hours in the day.
“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&M’s and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.” – Dave Barry
Never underestimate the power of crossing something off your list. No matter how small it is – there’s a sense of satisfaction that comes from simply getting something accomplished. What is one thing you can complete today? Make it something that has been weighing on your mind for a while. Carve out the time and finish it today; then let me know how it feels to cross it off your list!
4. The Gift of Commitment. Have you ever lost weight on a diet only to put it back on again? Or started a “Read the Bible in a Year” plan only to give up after three weeks? We tend to get excited and motivated about making changes and then somewhere along the line our enthusiasm withers.
Your business can’t survive a yo-yo success plan – filled with the ups and downs of your latest “get rich quick” ideas. There are no shortcuts to success. Simply a series of deliberate choices – built on a foundation of clarity and commitment. This means you’re going to have to commit to doing something – and stick with it. Maybe that means you need to start a blog (and keep it up!). Or join a monthly networking group (and attend the meetings!). Perhaps you need to write a book, clean out your office or create a video. If it’s important, it deserves the Gift of Commitment.
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.” – Peter Drucker
What’s the one thing you will commit to doing immediately? Every day? Every week? Once a month? Every quarter? Each year? Write down your commitment and place it somewhere you will see it. Then pick up the phone and call a friend and commit aloud. Let someone know you’ve made the commitment and ask her to firmly (but lovingly) hold you accountable. Go!
5. The Gift of Boundaries – One of the perks of being a mompreneur is the flexibility to work whenever and wherever we want. We set the rules. We create the schedule. Right? In theory, that sounds lovely. But in reality, for most of us, that isn’t happening.
Instead, we’re shushing our kids as we conduct a business meeting while driving them to soccer practice. And we’re writing a blog post or completing paperwork for the business while helping with homework. That might sound like the ultimate in multi-tasking, but the truth is that it’s not serving you or your family or your business.
Mompreneurs need boundaries. We need specific office hours and a structure to our day. Why? Because it enables us to be fully present both in the office and at home. When we are 100% present, we can accomplish so much more than when we are distracted by being in two places at one time. Boundaries don’t limit us – they protect us. They protect our time, our energy and our sanity!
“To do two things at once is to do neither.”-Publius Syrus
Where do you need to establish boundaries in your day? Do you need specific work hours? Do you need to set boundaries around a physical space in your home (e.g., no work in the family room and no kids in the office)? Boundaries around the people you interact with (e.g., no personal calls during certain hours)? Think of one area where the Gift of Boundaries can help free you to create a better life and a more successful business.
6. The Gift of Investment. You know the deal – it takes money to make money. The best investment you can make is in yourself. This isn’t a new concept. But are you doing it? Are you investing in your own future right now? Are you actually giving yourself the gift of reaching your fullest potential in life and in business? If not, then take an inventory of your skills and knowledge and determine what investments you need to make in order to fulfill your purpose. Trust me — you’re not too old. It’s not too late. And you DO deserve it. God wants you to continue to grow and learn and share your gifts with the world.
“Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” – Robin Sharma
What investment do you need to make in yourself or your business? Consider investments of time, resources, knowledge, and personal and spiritual growth. Investigate first. Then invest and have faith.
7. The Gift of Support. This is a gift you probably think you can’t afford, you’re not ready for or you don’t have time to appreciate. If you’ve ever uttered the words, “It’s just easier for me to do it myself!” then I am begging you – PLEASE – open the Gift of Support today!
I know it’s difficult to let go of something – even if it’s a task you don’t enjoy. That’s because you’re somewhat of a control freak (you can admit it here – you’re among friends). But here’s the truth about trying to do everything yourself – things might get done the way you want them to be done, but you will end up exhausted and resentful. I speak from experience.
One of my coaches used to say (and please excuse the language), “Stop trying to get better at the things you born to suck at.” For me, that includes bookkeeping, anything that involves HTML, gardening and making pancakes, among other things. So I don’t do them anymore. Life is too short to do things that make me crazy. And there are too many other beautiful souls out there who are willing and ready to bless me, my business and my family with their genius work.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
How are you going to support yourself, your business, your family or your clients/customers? Is there something you need to let go of in order to open up space for you to do YOUR genius work? Maybe you need childcare, housekeeping, a CPA or a graphic designer. Give yourself the Gift of Support and let me know how it feels to receive!
Do you have any special gifts you pray for when your business and life get overwhelming? I’d love to hear about the gifts you receive that help you succeed as a mompreneur!