I have a huge confession.
I have something that I want to share with all of you. The reason I’m so passionate about sharing it is, I don’t want the same thing to happen to you.
I’m a virtual health and fitness coach. If you follow me at all, you know that based on my social media accounts. When you work from home, there’s a big challenge that I didn’t see coming when I made the decision to become a Beachbody coach and work from home. It’s very hard to find balance between family and business. Because my business is social media based, I can be available anytime. 24 hours a day. That was my mindset when I started out, I was happy that I could work on my business at any moment of the day.
I am truly, truly passionate about what I do. I wake up every, single day so excited to see what’s going to happen, who I’m going to meet, or what opportunities I’m going to encounter. I love the whole thing. When I jumped into this business 3 years ago, I jumped in full force. I had huge goals. I wanted this business to be successful immediately, I wanted to build an amazing team and I wanted to help as many people as I possibly could. That passion is what has driven me for the last 3 years. Even though all of that was positive, something eventually happened that I could not ignore and it turned into a little bit of a negative thing for me. I let this business overshadow my top priority. My family. I don’t even like to admit that, it honestly hurts me to say it out loud. They are the most important people in my life. My husband and my children are EVERYTHING to me. When I started this business I told myself that I was a wife and a mom before I was a business owner, and that’s the way I wanted to align my priorities.
Anyone who owns their own business knows that there’s a tremendous amount of pressure that you put on yourself to hit goals and make things happen. Eventually you become completely preoccupied all the time thinking about your business. Every single second of every single day, that’s what was happening to me. Whether we were having dinner, sitting on the couch watching a movie, or just spending time together as a family, I was always thinking about my business. I was wondering how I could do certain things better, or remembering that I needed to email or message someone back, or jumping every time my phone dinged with a new text message. It overtook my life. It wasn’t until God started screaming at me, that I finally realized what I was doing.
About 3 weeks ago, I was in my Bible study group and the text we were reading focused on social media. The Bible study, by the way is called “7” by Jen Hatmaker. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. It will rock your world. During the section that focused on social media, Jen Hatmaker shares how she fell into the same trap of letting her business overtake her life. She shared that her biggest lesson was, even if she put things down for a little while, they would be there when she got back. The business isn’t going to disappear or implode. It will still be there on Monday morning. That was my first little tap on the shoulder from God. He was asking me to pay attention to the way I was running things in my household.
I listen to audio books all the time. Not long after I had that experience in Bible study, I was listening to an audio book called “Make it Happen” by Laura Casey. Low and behold, she also has a home-based business, she can be available at all times, and she shared that unplugging from all of it is ok sometimes. She shared that it’s ok to really put things down for a while and really enjoy time with family and friends and let go of the pressure that business owners constantly feel. That sounded really nice to me. That was the second message.
My sister-in-law had recommended a podcast to me called “On the Move” by Andy Stanley, who is a pastor. Randomly, I decided to turn it on one morning and the title of the podcast was “Breathing Room.” What do you think the subject was? Yep. Letting go. Allowing yourself to relax and breathe and not feeling like you have to be plugged in all the time. That was the third sign. All three of these events occurred within 3 days of each other.
The message that hit me over the head from all three of these experiences was this: I was operating out of fear. Therefore, I was not trusting God. That is the last thing I want to do. I want with everything in my to trust Him. I want to lay my family at His feet, my business at His feet, my future at His feet. He is in control. Because I was afraid of losing my business, I was not trusting Him. That revelation completely slapped me across the face. It made my head spin. I had no choice but to make some changes in my life immediately. When I say immediately, I’m not kidding. When I heard this message for the third time I was in my bathroom and I literally raised my hands to the sky and said, “Ok Lord, I hear you. Changes will be made.”
That night I sat my husband down and told him the whole story. I told him that I needed help and I needed him to hold me accountable. I also asked him to give me a little bit of grace. God knows, I’m not perfect. These were big changes to be made and I had 3 years of bad habits built up. My husband looked at me and said he would support me and help me and give me grace. He also promised to let me know when I started down the same old path again.
After speaking with my husband and outlining a plan, the first thing I did was turn off ALL the notifications on my phone. Facebook messenger, off. Instagram, off. Paypal, off. Every notification my phone is capable of sending me, I turned them all off. I also went into Facebook and turn off the notifications to my email. I was bombarded every single day with emails from Facebook telling me about who liked or commented on my posts. It was truly ridiculous. I am not kidding when I say that just 24 hours into that, I could breathe so much easier. When I chose to check my messages on Facebook or Instagram, it was on my terms. That is so freeing! I didn’t realize what I was missing when I was allowing myself to be consumed by those notifications.
The second thing I did was specify business hours according to my children’s school schedule. 7am to 3pm is when I work. When my boys walk through that door at 3pm, I no longer have my head in the phone. When they walk in that door, I’m all theirs. They are my priority and I am no longer going to do anything that would make them think that what’s on my phone or my laptop is more important than they are. So at 3pm, my work day is over. I used to start it back up at 8pm once the kids were in bed. I would sit down and check a few things while my husband and I were watching TV, but I have now decided that I’m not going to do that. I’m putting my phone down at 3pm and not checking work related things again until 7am the next morning. Guess what? My business is just fine. People are still reaching out. I’m still working toward all of those big goals. I feel as though there is fruit in that decision because it is blessed by God. I’m trusting Him, and not trying to control every single aspect of my business by having my hands in it all day long.
The last decision I made (which was the hardest), was to not work on the weekends. Anything I have to get done before Monday now has a deadline of Friday at 3pm. Friday afternoon through Monday morning, I am enjoying my family. If we want to sit and watch a movie, I do that guilt free. I used to sit there during movie time thinking I could spend that time better by working on my business. But that is not what matters most to me. My actions are now aligned with my priorities.
I felt so strongly about sharing this with you. If you have a home-based business and this is something you are struggling with, I want you to know that I was there and I’ve made the same mistakes. These changes have helped me, and I’m hoping that this message can help you too. Give yourself permission to relax. Have some down time. Unwind. God gave us a Sabbath for a reason. One day a week we are supposed to do nothing.
I sincerely hope this message blesses you. These changes have made all the difference in my life. It’s only been 3 weeks, but I’m happier, more productive, and more intentional with my time. We are not perfect. But every single step we take is progress and it matters. Progress is an accomplishment in every area of our lives. Please remember that.
Y’all have a blessed day!