I’ve been blogging here at MyTeamConnects for awhile now and I’m getting more comfortable with the process. I’m thinking that maybe on the weekends I’ll do a more personal post — one that might not be about email marketing or small biz, although it’ll probably have some connection to it.
I figure a weekend post would be a good time to have some fun and bring it down a notch. We’ll see how it goes…
Also, I borrowed the phrase “8 pm Warrior” from @8pmwarrior on Twitter — a champion of people who stay up late start a business, improve their lives, educate themselves, etc. I recommend you follow him.
A New Perspective Came With the Start of the School Year…
This month has been a watershed moment in life because I jumped into a couple of new responsibilities and roles. MyTeamConnects is starting to grow — and we’re getting glimpses of being able to help small businesses with email in a way that is far beyond our dreams of serving our customers. It’s so exciting! The email biz rocks my world; pretty geeky I guess, but it’s true.
I’ve never been more committed to my work than I am about my role today at our small email service company. The idea of helping small biz folks truly see their brands bloom and multiply among their email subscribers is satisfying beyond my expectations six months ago.
“To whom much is given, much is expected.”
This fall I also volunteered to be Room Mom for my youngest child’s third grade classroom — something I felt I needed to do for my kid’s wonderful teacher Mrs. Porterfield AND because I knew there was no other role I could take on that would make my baby boy as proud of me as being ‘Room Mom.”
Time is slipping by so fast that I know if I’m not careful it’s possible my kids will all be grown up soon and I won’t remember the 2011/12 school year at all. I’m squeezing every hour for work, so why not toss in family too? (Ha! Joking. Actually the truth is that my family comes first, no doubt about it.)
Because of that room mom decision I can indeed testify it’s true that if you need something done, just give it to a busy person…and the payoff on my receiving end is incredible. Just yesterday I got a phone call from a parent asking for the spelling list for today’s test. Being needed (even in a very small way like that) and being able to serve a fellow mom was a wonderful feeling of connection on a hectic school night. I was so happy to receive that phone call and connect for just a minute with another mom. We shared a laugh, caught up briefly on personal stuff, and I felt like treasure had just fallen into my lap.
On top of that I joined a women’s discussion group at my church one evening each week. Again, I felt it was important to balance the business and family bits with a little God talk. That two-hour time-out centers me and builds community. All good.
When life is busy for the home-based business person, it’s the small stuff that takes on the most importance. As I said earlier, I came across a tweet last night by someone named “@8pmWarrior” who tweets about and for those who start their second shift at nighttime; after the regular J-O-B is done, after the bedtime story, after the dishes are put up…
We sit down late in the evening when other people watch TV or go out with friends — and we get to work.
“Get to work” as in “We don’t have to; we are privileged to do so.”
“Get to work” as in “Move it!”
I was still writing last night at 10:54 and was about to call it a day; I had just finished reading emails from Sam, who was up working and sending me updates between 2 and 4 am yesterday morning. (He’s jazzed about email marketing too, can you tell!?) So the 8pm warrior really caught my attention; he and his (or her) followers are kindred spirits.
In the end, service feels to me like the best part of life. It’s rare when you regret your service to another person, although prioritizing your commitments is a must if you want to stay balanced.
Ironically, when you’re passionate about what you are doing, you have a natural prioritization that leans heavily toward serving people who matter — your family, your customers, people who reach out to you for whatever gifts you and your small business possess. And because of that service I believe your business and your relationships prosper.
In spite of the great energy you get from service, these days of building your new business must be peppered with simple pleasures. If you’re bootstrapping, you’re not going to have a lot of money to throw around on luxuries OR the time to spend the money you are making! And you’re probably not going to have a lot of time to spend on weekend get-aways or starting a new hobby. I’m guessing most of your choices regarding money and time will center around your business and family, just like most small biz owners.
Here are some ways I’ve recently tasted the good life in the midst of purposeful chaos:
Cool clouds over Bee Creek Road…
These are a few of my favorite things that make this 8pm warrior feel like a pampered queen. How about you? Do you relish the simple pleasures in your hectic life?
Written by Jen McGahan