Number of Times Today I Got Online to Do Research: 4
Number of Times Today I Went to RueLaLa Instead: 3…. Fine- 4!
Number of Items Added to my “To Do” List After I Already Did Them: 6
I remember as a child every time my mom would tell me to make up my bed, I would say “Why? I’m just going to get into it again. When I grow up I’m never going to make my bed!”
I had a similar feeling of futility about folding towels.
My mom assured me that I could do whatever I wanted with my bed and my towels one day. Just not that day.
In other words, throughout my childhood, my bed was made and the towels were folded.
And now, 30 plus years later?
I cannot bear not to make my bed and unfolded towels make me crazy.
Once I had the freedom not to do it, I couldn’t stand not to do it.
I was recently thinking back to my fantasies of a messy bed and piles of towels (while sitting on my pristinely made bed), and I realized that owning my own business has turned out much the same way.
I remember thinking “This is going to be so amazing. I finally have freedom and flexibility. My life is truly my own.”
Fast forward eight or so months into this “freedom-filled gig.” I was at (yet another) networking event and ran into a good friend of mine. Her first words to me were “Where have you been? We missed you at…” and she rattled off four or five things I had missed out on in the last few months. Not obligatory things but things I really wanted to do. I gave my apologies and told her how sorry I was to have missed them. I was just too busy working. And I was genuinely disappointed to miss them.
My friend’s response was exactly what mine would have been when talking to someone who owned their business a year earlier: “What do you mean? You’re your own boss now. You can do whatever you want.”
And in that moment, I realized that much like my bed that gets made every morning and the towels that are folded and put away while they are still warm from the dryer, what you can do and what you will do are quite different when given the chance.
I also realized that entrepreneurship and this freedom about which people so often speak is as much a mindset as anything else. And it’s a mindset I need to work on because somehow I have managed to feel and act like I have less freedom than ever before.
As my business continues to grow and I have begun to feel a sense of stability, people tell me I can take a breath.
But I can’t. Not yet.
Soon though. Really.
And when I take that breath, I might not make up by bed that day either….