First things first, I’d like to say hello, welcome back, and I’ve missed this space!! I haven’t written for this blog since M A Y! And now it’s early October. Finding a quiet moment where I want to write, truthfully has been non-existent for almost 6 months. You better believe I’ve beaten myself up, had guilt, questioned all of it. But I want to set an example for myself, and anyone who needs it, that taking a break is more than ok, sometimes it’s utterly necessary and essential.
It has felt sort of like going back to the gym/a workout class after a fallow period. It can be SO hard to just put those darn sneakers on. For me, it was that I couldn’t sift through my mile-long to-do list to prioritize this act of sitting and writing. Everything else in terms of my work time had more of an immediate need, and to be honest, Beautycounter is the only piece of Well Beyond the Kitchen that provides an income, so it’s been an important thing to prioritize!
But then it hit me at some point in August - I need help with my business. The product side of my Beautycounter business is growing (YAY for more people switching to safer products, and prioritizing self care!!) and so is my team. I have 125 women on my Beautycounter team, and the number is growing quickly. It suddenly became abundantly clear that if I wanted to keep up with the growth, I needed help.
Historically I wasn’t very good at asking for help. Like so many of us, I told myself that asking for help indicated weakness, I should be able to do it all. That "when ___ happens" I will be able to handle this, that, the other thing. Ahhhh patriarchy at its finest. But the further into motherhood and having my own business I made it, I got more and more practice with asking. As with anything, the more I practiced CLEARLY articulating what I needed help with from my husband (he was raised by a true feminist, and a man who is already incredibly helpful), parents, my mentors/peers at Beautycounter - it got easier and easier.
Very early on in my days of having my own small (tiny at the time!) business, I saw the value in having some carved out, alone time to do my work. Two weeks into my side hustle as a BC consultant, I told my husband I needed time to work for 2 hours over the weekend. Realizing I needed that, saying it to him, and then making it happen - actually was huge, and wasn't easy! It wasn't easy especially because I was caught between being a mostly stay at home mom who was working a bit. But having my OWN thing was important to me, having an income, and being part of a meaningful community. So I kept practicing speaking up, and it got easier (for the most part).
But when it came to asking for help with my business, something SO incredibly personal and dear to me, it felt so different. And so hard. I have had my pulse, my personal touch, on every part of my business for the last four years (Happy Birthday to Well Beyond the Kitchen this October!).
The two things that kept circling in my head:
1. Training someone to take on some of my administrative work will take too long, I don’t have the time to train them.
2. Not having my personal touch on every email, text, and correspondence felt so scary. The reason I have had such success is because of my connection with my BC clients and my readers, so whats going to happen when someone else comes in to help me?
Well, I’ll tell you what happened. This...2 weeks into hiring my brand new Client Care Support Person, I am writing a blog post! We’ve already created more systems than I’ve had in 4 years. We’ve organized my emails. We have some amazing projects in the works. And most importantly, I have someone else on this journey with me!
When I zoomed out, and took a look at how I was spending my working time, I was super caught up in busy work. I no longer had time to write, be creative, so many of my Beautycounter clients were being neglected. And I had to suck it up. As hard as asking for this kind of help felt, it truly felt like the only way forward.
I chose this "work for myself gig" because I wanted to work part time, and be with my children, too! To get them up from their naps, and feed them most of their meals - but I wanted something that was mine, and an escape. Sometimes realigning with what matters to us, and what we want from our days and weeks, can be so refreshing and liberating.
2020 being what it is, so many of us have more on our plates than ever before - and we've got the added stress of the unknown on top of it all. Asking for help is probably harder than it's ever been. And while we have to stay healthy and safe, sometimes putting our needs first is a major part of staying healthy and safe.
So a message for the road for myself and anyone - asking for help is brave and essential, and often times it's the only way forward. So whether it's help with laundry, dinner, a few hours to do your side hustle, a couple hours a week of childcare - or anything in between, you can do this! And, taking a break gives breath and light to better and brighter days ahead.