When life gets in the way of building your business

Watch me pull a post out of nowhere.

Yesterday I “cheated” on my write and publish a post every day in March challenge.

I took a post I had published last year, added some cartoons, changed the publish date and promoted it.

This is something I routinely advise my clients to do.

Breathe some new life into older work and re-release it. As your audience grows, the new people won’t have seen the old work – and even the people who HAVE seen it can benefit from re-reading.

This is a way of refining your message and making sure you get as much value as you can from the things you’ve created.

A valid choice.

And yet…

Last night it dawned on me that by doing that, I was missing the essence of this challenge – which was to show up, write and share every day – no matter what.

Republishing the old post met my goal of “being consistent” – and it missed the goal of “growth.”

This was a way for me to escape being vulnerable and truthful

The key to success is to pretend your life is perfect. Then everyone will want to BE you. Then they’ll throw money.

Because ugly truths in life have no place in business.

We are taught things like:

  • Fake it until you make it
  • Never let them see you sweat
  • Don’t share problems while you’re still in them

If you’ve spent more than, say, 15 minutes in the small biz entrepreneurship marketing laptop lifestyle world, you’ll have seen a lot of picture perfect nothing ever goes wrong everything is shiny and beautiful and perfect. Carefully scripted, curated and airbrushed. A performance of sorts: look at me! I have a perfect life! (And business too!)

Oh…you’ll see the “bad” stuff.

But only as the “rags” in the rags to riches tales or as the problems someone had BEFORE they discovered the thing they are selling. Or the “problems” that come from such high levels of success. (I just can’t cope with my email this morning! So many paypal messages!)

This has been labelled as being “transparent” or “authentic.”

But I wonder…

Is it really transparent or authentic if you only ever show the good?

Our boy and his friend.

Here’s what I started writing yesterday:

I’m not having a good day.

Our dog Milo is dying. As much as I’d love to say that he’s “sick” – the reality is that he is not going to get better.

When I challenged myself to post every day in March, I believed that Milo would be with us for a few months yet. Now we’re not so sure. It could be any day.

I don’t feel like writing today. I don’t feel like working.

I looked at it and thought: “I can’t publish that! How could that possibly be helpful to anyone?”

So I decided to recycle the older, more helpful post.

But maybe it would be helpful to share a bit of reality. Because sometimes it helps to know that you’re not the only one dealing with “stuff.” And it might be nice to know that it’s possible to have a business alongside a messy, imperfect life.

Business isn’t always easy. And life isn’t always fun.

My life? Oh, it’s perfect. Nothing ever goes wrong. Here…let me show you some photos.

On Monday’s Action Call, one of the points we looked at was the idea that “there is no hurry.”

In times like these, I find that thought comforting. Because right now my life is distracting me from my business. (As it should!)

Milo is having a good day today. (I was delighted to hear him barking up a storm this morning at 7:00. The neighbours may not have been quite as impressed!)

Things are going to be up and down and disrupted over the next little while.

I may not be able to write something new each day. I may recycle another older post. Or miss a day or two.

I may need to reschedule some client appointments or renegotiate some project deadlines.

At least I have that flexibility.

One of the nice things about having YOU-Shaped Business is that it accommodates your life. Even when life isn’t so nice.

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6 Comments

  1. Rosalie Boulter on March 7, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Oh. Heart breaking. I can’t stand news of a fur family member leaving or getting ready to leave this world. It is SOOOOOO hard. Thanks for your vulnerability. No matter how much we all know it, it is good to be reminded that we never know what is going on in somebody else’s world so be compassionate always. And, yes, life can get in the way of work. Thanks for stepping bravely into your challenge.

    • Patty K on March 8, 2017 at 9:06 am

      Thanks, Rosalie. And a great point about staying compassionate. I read a book recently that advised to think loving thoughts towards everyone you connect with during the day. You never know what someone is going through.

  2. Amanda O'Leary on March 7, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    What is the point of life if you are too busy working to enjoy it or those that are in our lives? Many choose to believe our lives must be sacrificed to our business. To prove how committed we are. That it’s okay, we’ll will get another chance, one more time but later at a more convenient time, when it fits into our business life. Never happens.
    You have made smart choices Patty. You chose to follow your heart. To enjoy the time left, with Milo who you love and who needs you and who you need. Time and experiences we can not get back. You chose to honour your sadness and your life and therefore business will only be stronger because of that. Those who admire you for your priority and put Milo first are those you want in your life.
    I have been very lucky, my business choices allowed me as a single mom to only need one after school daycare per week, the rest of the time I could be my most important business being a mom. My income business came second to my daughter always. If there was ever a conflict, I asked her if it was okay if I worked. Only once did she say no. Guess what? The timing was terrible but I turned down the job and money. Not because I was rolling in dough but because my daughter needed to know she mattered and I respected her ‘need’ to have mom and daughter time even when it meant I didn’t make money. I honoured my commitment to her.
    For her to know she was my priority and we would be okay because I made choices not comfortable for today but for the future. Not based in ‘business’ values but in love values. My daughter knowing I’d put her ahead of ‘business’ – priceless!
    Peace and love and hugs to all of you. It is just a rotten, tough, gut wrenching time.
    Amanda

    None of us know when the last grain of sand will fall from our life’s hour glass.

    • Patty K on March 8, 2017 at 9:10 am

      Wow Amanda, you nailed it here: What is the point of life if you are too busy working to enjoy it or those that are in our lives?

      What is a business for except to support our lives and the priorities in them?

      It sounds like you found a great way to balance business and life with your daughter, by putting her first. She is fortunate to have you for a Mom.

  3. Lynne Brown on March 8, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Patty, I am sure this was a hard post to write and it’s one of your best. It shows you as the loving person you are and offers us a way to move forward out if our own grief and pain

    • Patty K on March 8, 2017 at 9:11 am

      Thank you, Lynne!

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