This is my first year back in full-time entrepreneurship and to being in a (healthy, loving) relationship. (Yes, you read that right! :D) While the demands of both sides of my life haven’t been easy to balance–and while entrepreneurship can be extremely challenging if you’re used to the comfortable paycheck and benefits–I can also say that 2018 so far has been extremely fulfilling and meaningful. Now that half the year is over, I’m taking advantage of my quiet solo weekend to distill lessons from the past six months.
Here’s hoping that you’ll pick up a few nuggets from it, too. 🙂
Making health a priority. As I’d been doing for some years now, I started the year with the Master Cleanse, and detoxed physically, mentally, and spiritually to prepare me for the rest of the year.
Aside from that:
- I gave up chocolates for Lent and proved that I can go without my favorite hot cocoa cups and dark chocolate bars for 40 days
- Inspired by that Lenten sacrifice + the ketogenic diet, I began, on March 1, an experiment that would prove fruitful and sustainable for me: an extremely low-carb and sugar diet; vegetarian days on Mondays and Wednesdays; and pescatarian days on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, leaving only the weekends for meat (and Sundays for dark chocolate). Of everything I’ve tried, this has been the most sustainable eating regimen for me so far, because it’s allowed me to eat healthier without feeling guilty when I have some of my favorite foods on weekends. (The bonus: I’ve lost an additional 5-7 lbs. since March and so far have been able to keep it off.)
- I went back to the mat! After a 19-month hiatus from my fledgling Ashtanga yoga practice, I went back to the mat, through two videos that have allowed me to re-familiarize myself with the sequence:
More unplugged, no-work days. When I said yes to a committed relationship, I also said yes to keeping work out of weekends (as much as possible). While there are days when weekend work can’t be avoided, I’m really super happy that I’ve finally been able to set more boundaries between myself and my work. I’m a healthier, more balanced, (more human, haha) and happier person for it, and I thank my beloved, D, for taking great care of me and for inspiring me to take even better care of myself.
Having flexible work hours. Now that I co-own my business, my co-founder and I have made a deliberate decision to keep our on-site work hours shorter, try to get home before rush-hour traffic, and just work remotely to get the job done wherever we are. I tell you, just knowing that I can be home by 5PM is such a liberating feeling! I don’t mind working longer from home on most weeknights, as long as I know that I no longer have to deal with late-night traffic and unreliable Grab rides most of the week.
Showing up for (and creating your own) opportunities. As a full-time entrepreneur, I definitely could not just sit down and wait for clients to come knocking on our door. While health has become a major priority for me, so has hustling, strategizing, creating innovative programs, getting clients, delighting those clients, and dealing with the administrative matters of the business. (Quite a paradox, right? But it can be done!) This was the year when I’ve had to put my being a Strategic-Futuristic-Arranger-Activator-Connected person (according to the Gallup CliftonStrengths Finder 2.0) on full throttle, create opportunities, show up fully present for the ones being offered to me, and actively design the kind of work life that I wanted to have. (More on all that soon.)
I can actually list more things that went well this year–and I can write more about those soon–but let’s now go to the hard lessons learned from the stuff that haven’t worked so far:
Not being able to delegate work. At present, it’s only my co-founder and me who are full-time in the business. While we’ve had an intern and have great help from our accounting team (Beyond D’Numbers Consulting = if you’re in Manila and are looking for great accountants, I highly recommend them!), we’ve reached the point where we recognize that we really, really, really need to hire at least one new person in already, and maybe a virtual assistant who can do some remote work. It’s fun meeting and pitching to clients, designing workshops and programs, and running those workshops–but there are many moving parts that need to be attended to, and the most effective way for us to scale and grow properly is to grow our team as well. We’re now in the recruitment process, and I’m looking forward to seeing our team properly expand. 😀
Multi-tasking during family time. On those days when weekend work can’t be avoided, I admit to multi-tasking during family time–and, to be honest, I feel really guilty when it happens. I want to be as present as I can be for those I love, and I really don’t like having to check my phone or send emails when everyone’s together and are supposed to be spending quality time together. I’m hoping having a new person (or two) on board will help me reduce this, and I will really work on being more present for my loved ones as often as possible.
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Two versus a long four isn’t so bad, and there’s still half the year to adjust and make the year even better. 🙂 How about you–what have worked and what haven’t for you? Please do share so we can learn from each other!
In my next post, I’ll write about some bigger, braver goals I’m setting for 2018 and beyond, so please stay tuned for that, and let’s make 2018 our best year yet!