My boss is a jerk. She doesn’t let me take any vacation time, even lunch hour is frowned upon. She is constantly criticizing me in front of other people. She expects me to work around the clock, to say yes to everything, to be available for clients or admin at all hours of the day and on weekends. She is sometimes cruel to me, says horrible things, doubts my abilities…generally causing me a high level of stress and anxiety. I don’t know why I put up with her.
The worst part is, I am my own boss.
If someone treated my friends or family like I treat myself sometimes, I’d probably punch them in the nose (figuratively speaking).
I have been running my own business, Inner Goddess Tarot, for about two years now, and I have come to this realization. I need to be the boss to myself that I would wish for for someone else that I care about. That I would wish for myself. A kind, fair, tough yet nurturing boss that will help me to bring out my personal best.
I had a revelation a couple of weeks back…I have gotten into the habit of not allowing myself to enjoy running my business. Or much of anything else really. Don’t get me wrong, I adore doing Tarot readings and teaching Tarot classes, this is where my joy comes from. When I’m in those moments, I don’t have time to worry about the future, to go over my latest financial figures in my mind, to fret. Time stops, everything flows, I am in my bliss.
But when I am in my home office, sitting at my computer, those self-doubting whispers in my mind tell me that in order to make my business a success, I have to WORK, to strive, to hustle, to be SERIOUS about it. It sounds so ludicrous to say it (or write it) out loud, but I have somehow talked myself into believing that until my business is at the financial level where I need it to be, I don’t deserve to have any fun. I have become aware that almost everything I do is Tarot or business related…I read books on Tarot or small business tips rather than novels, I go to women’s networking groups rather than visit with my dear friends, if I sit down to watch a movie with my husband I feel that I constantly have to check my email or Facebook or Twitter on my phone, or make a To Do List while I “relax”. Why should I be allowed to have fun until I feel that my business is thriving and I have my finances in order?
When I do see my friends, I have almost nothing to talk about except business. When was the last time I saw a movie? Went to a gallery or museum? Went on a weekend getaway?
The worst part is, this is completely self-imposed.
I have overwhelming support and unconditional love from my darling husband and family, and they believe that I can be wildly successful at what I’m doing. So where is this self-flagellation coming from? The causes are deep rooted, and familiar to the majority of new entrepreneurs, I’m sure.
But – THIS STOPS NOW. Lori, the Boss from Hell, is going in for sensitivity training.
As the new and improved Boss, I will henceforth implement these changes in order to create a greater sense of morale in the workplace:
- Recognizing the importance of employee well-being: I have pledged to put time aside for myself to see my family, my friends, to spend time with my husband. I am officially allowing myself to have fun and attend intellectually stimulating events. I am allowed to relax, to daydream, to sleep. I have become painfully aware of how inspiration and creativity can dry up when you don’t take care of yourself or allow yourself opportunities to expand your horizons and see different perspectives. I can’t help anyone else if I don’t replenish myself.
- Hour of Power: This is a Jack Canfield strategy that was introduced to me by my wonderful colleague, Patricia LeBlanc. The idea is that you put aside one hour a day for the following: 20 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of meditation, and 20 minutes of (uplifting) reading. I like to do this in the morning, because I find if I don’t, I just sit myself down at the computer in my pajamas and suddenly its 1:00pm. This is a lovely way to honour yourself, to do something that nourishes your body, mind and spirit. Sounds simple, but its made a huge difference for me in how I feel at the end of the day.
- Daily reminder of why you started your business in the first place: When I get bogged down with admin or financials, or when I start to feel panicky about the future, I remind myself why I started my business in the first place. I did it because I love Tarot, it just feels like the right path for me in life, and I know that I can help myself and others with my cards. Also, it gives me a feeling that I am making the most of my time in this life, that I’m not wasting it doing a job that just pays the bills and leaves me empty.
- Business planning, mini-retreats and professional development: I have put aside time in my weekly schedule to check in with myself and my business, to do some long term planning, and to make adjustments where necessary. I’m giving myself time tomorrow for a mini-business retreat (at home), when I will do some brainstorming and strategizing, and GET EXCITED about all I’m going to create and offer to the world! This kind of planning gives me the structure and focus that I need to stay on track. Also, I will continue to carve out time to read Tarot for myself, to study, to practice so that I am always increasing my skill.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. Just stop it. Not in a personal sense, not in a business sense. Just be the best, most authentic version of yourself.
- Play with the cat several times daily. If you don’t have one, get one. Trust me on this.
I know, words are cheap, but you have my sincere commitment here in writing that I’m going to shift my perspective when it comes to being an entrepreneur. I worry about the future, about finances, but I love my life. I love the variety, the adventure, the possibility…the occasional temptation to go back to a desk job or to curl up back under the covers and hide is often there, but the joys of doing what I love always pull me back, uplift me, and give me the determination to keep on going!
If you are in a similar place in your life, I invite you on this journey of optimism, fun and adventure. Please let me know how you keep yourself inspired, and feel free to share your success stories below.
PS. Here’s a follow up video I made on this topic…