Thursday, July 15, 2010
In some ways, I consider all of these reasons real threats to the word, and for those of us who are loyal to the end . . . I'm guilty of that . . . Quitting = Defeat . . . and I am not a loser!
Yet, I am quitting and in the process of quitting more and more as I kick back and reanalyze my life.
Being a high achiever, pushing myself to the limit, self-imposing deadlines--I either make, or I stay up to the wee hours to accomplish the task have finally taken their toll. My hobby, passion, joy has become a druggery and now I'm rethinking my life. For the lack of a better term, it is a defining moment and what I realized is that I *can* do everything but I *choose* not to!
I began "working" my business seriously a little over one year ago. It was a great hobby, a pass-time really, that was profitable. When I jumped in to bring in some real income I did so squarely, with two feet and I have not stopped running. I accomplished.
1. Finished managing my fledging website for educators to monetize their seminars and added tracks for business people and entrepreneurs.
2. Finished my online membership mentor-training course for authors. 1. For authors on how-to books and (soon to launch) 2. For authors wanting to write fiction. Currently active
3. Taught over thirty webinar classes with interactive slide presentations to hundreds of people including students and adults.
4. Wrote and maintained this blog, one for a woman's networking group, and my own publishers blog
5. Began to be more active on FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
6. Began and maintained a weekly broadcast for authors.
7. Took on a select group of paying clients to mentor with their book or publishing projects.
8. Launched two new books.
9. Worked with publicists as a copy editor.
10. Ghost writing for an entrepreneur.
11. Took on another publishing company with 100+ titles and am in the transition of transferring those books into Media Angels titles.
12. Rewriting and Updating my book, Information in a Nutshell: Writing and Publishing
13. Signing on another author for the series
14. There is more (yes really) and now you get the picture.
I became a member of a local networking group that only required two meetings per month. That looked doable, I enjoyed the group, made great friends and found I could contribute. I wrote a weekly blog on social media and networking. I helped others with their blog posts, taught social media classes for the women in person (three classes in Naples, Cape Coral and in Ft. Myers), was asked to teach a class on LinkedIn to the NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) and did. . . and then came the one-on-one. You meet and learn about other women, their businesses and decide if you like them and their companies enough to promote them when you meet others who are in need of their services. With me so far?
My twice a week turned into many hours per month on top of a very full and busy schedule. My passion was being shoved to the bottom of my to-do list while I took on this very real life social-networking time. I participated in about 1/8 of the activities offered, yet the time involved took it's toll. Do I regret the time? Absolutely not. In fact, here is what I gained:
1. Some wonderful relationships with smart business women.
2. A new book keeper (go Dena, she is awesome!)
3. A new graphic artist (go Sandi, what talent!)
4. A new web master (go Shelly, you rock!)
5. A new life coach (go, Karen Z., you inspire!)
6. A new beauty consultant (go Karen, you're a gem!)
7. A new photographer (go Stacy, you're amazing!)
I also learned I can not do anything half-way. I am a 200% driven person. It is my nature to be passionate about a topic (or not) and if I am passionate, watch out... I give it everything. Add loyalty to the equation and you have a person who can self-implode. Thankfully I have a wonderful family, loving husband, Jeff (it will be 31 years this August), and great friends.
When I began my coaching sessions with Karen she asked me what I do. That is such a loaded question that she kept asking (and rightly so) for clarification. Her parting line was, and I paraphrase...When you find what you are passionate about, and give it your focus, you will find the success will follow. I can not be passionate about everything, or so you would think. While not a cheerleader in my younger days, I am definitely a cheerleader in real life.
I cheer on other authors and clients.
I cheer on other entrepreneurs.
I cheer on my family...children, husband, extended family.
I cheer on my friends.
I cheer on the children of my friends.
I motivate, I excite, I am fired-up and ready to go!
And, here comes the punch line. When you do everything, and do it consistently well, you *think* you are handling everything and when you find you are *not* it is time to stop blogging about it and time to take action. Here are the indicators that your life needs change. Your list may be different than mine... but this is what really happened to me.
1. You won't look at your to-do list.
2. You won't write your to-do's on the list because it looks overwhelming.
3. You decide not to go into your office anymore and work from you laptop from anywhere but your office.
4. You take your laptop to kids sporting events.
5. You answer emails, read facebook, post to LinkedIn groups rather than get your work done.
6. You stay up late to finish projects that must get done.
7. YOUR ARE NOT HAPPY AND DREAD WORK
So, I realized things had to change. I began adding "fun time" in my schedule.
Work in the morning. Swimming with kids 1:00 today
Friday: Sister-in-law Jodie, visiting with the girls, Sanibel, beach...fun, lunch. Check. Scheduled.
Work is now tempered with family, break time and fun. I can accomplish but feel that I can take a break and still be productive. Another great thing happened. I began finishing projects and they were squarely crossed off the to-do list. And... the hardest? The one I've been thinking about for months, but could NOT do? I began quitting.
I had the opportunity to join three more local networking groups. No, not happening.
I am an "at large" member of the Networking Group I was previously a member of (okay, I know... but, slowly, okay?)
I resigned from the networking group's blog posts on a regular basis, and I'm not giving the last two presentations I was slated for...all with the blessings of the leader, Joanne, (thanks girl! You rock!) She knows and understand my heart.
Now is the time to put the list into priorities! And get rid of the baggage.
I Quit. And, I have never felt better!