2 hours and 43 minutes.
That's how long my family and I walked The Balsam Trail in Parry Sound, Ontario on our cottage vacation.
We passed a young family on the trail and the mom said to me,
"Are you enjoying the Enchanted Forest?"
It made me giggle a little. It certainly was a forest and it felt magical.
We didn't rush.
We heard the crunching of the leaves under out feet and the laughs when, our son, Oliver, caught a frog.
We smelled a fire burning from a local farm and saw the gorgeous Fall leaves.
We took a stroll and took our time.
This is not the normal.
Ohhhhhh nooo.... some days I'm cooking pancakes for breakfast after a Peloton workout and I have the patience of a saint.
Other days I'm manically ordering around my family like a dictator,
"Brush your teeth. Get in your martial arts outfit, eat your apples, I made a hair appointment for Oliver. We need to have lunch now because of our meeting. Dinner now because it has to settle for 1 hour before hip hop class. Did you get that web copy approved? Where are we at with this project?"
Some days I don't like who I have to be as a mom, wife, entrepreneur, friend, and CEO of a household.
I become a different woman on vacation. I become a different woman in the forest.
Why? Because I'm not rushed. I'm not responsible for everything living and breathing around me. I don't feel like I carry the weight of the entire world on my shoulders and I have to figure it all out.
I feel like I can breathe, love, and create from a place of peace and expansion. But before expansion can happen contraction takes place.
Contraction is a shortening of a muscle. I like to think of it as shortening up time.
When my inner dictator takes over, here's how I right the ship:
1. Bed at 9pm so I'm up at 5:30am.
I hate mornings. Always have, perhaps always will. I'm not a magical unicorn that jumps out of bed at 5am excited to do a workout, my morning routine, or tackle the day. But I'm willing when I'm rested because I can see the difference.
We focus so much on the morning routine, but I find the secret sauce is the wind down routine. When I'm well rested and up early, my days flows so much smoother. I'm massively productive and less reactive.
2. 30 minutes is the sweet spot for a one off discovery call.
It's NOT a sales call. I've made the decision in my business to no longer do free strategy calls. This is always a hot topic with hard opinions, but here's where I stand.
I produce a TON of free content. Weekly I write a blog, podcast and send out a newsletter. I also go live on Facebook with my two peers Susan and Shalini for Hump Day Happiness on Wednesday, and then again with Ginger for the Not So Secret Ingredient Business Show. Lastly, I go live most weeks on my own, and almost monthly I've been a part of an online summit. There is a plethora of free strategy and content you can digest from me.
If we do hop on a one off paid call, it's 30 minutes; Get in, get to it, massive value. I do genuinely care about your life, but that's not what you're paying me for. You're paying me for my well invested brain and perspective. We can shoot the breeze on email, social media or a scheduled phone call, but when we're in it, we're in it.
*Note: This is not a one sized fit all. If you're called to do free calls. Do it. I also don't dislike the ideal of free trials in a group setting, but 1:1 your time is precious.
3. Shut off my inner do-er.
We aren't human doings, we are human beings. Mother nature didn't intent for us to consume more and take more. She intended for us to be united and adapt. Dr. Ben Hardy says,
"The higher the stress, the higher the recovery."
Doing is how I've always survived. It's how I've gotten recognition, raises, and releasing weight, but what got me here isn't always what's going to get me to where I want to go. I've started to prioritize my mental health specifically after 6pm and on weekends.
One of the perks and downfalls of online business is that it can happen anytime, anywhere. It took me a long time to realize that just because a client wants my time and attention on the weekends doesn't mean that I need to respond. After busy, productive weeks, I need recovery.
I've fired clients who couldn't respect boundaries. Who texted, and messaged on Instagram and Facebook at all hours of the day and night. No amount of money can make up for your sanity and health. Turn off your phone, walk away from email and just BE.
Who shows up when you know it's time for change? Is it an inner critic? A bossy dictator? An argument starter? Do you shut down? It's so helpful to identify it without judgement.