This post is inspired by what I read this morning on Leo Babauta's blog, Zen Habits. As you know, this year I've been focusing on living an intentional and fulfilling life. My time is spent designing my "ideal day" and closing in on what really, truly fires me up. Thanks to Making Things Happen (Lara, Emily, and Gina are superstars) I've gotten some much needed clarity on what this means for me and my business.
Leo's post talked about the stress of measuring- why we are constantly tracking everything by a number. How many miles did I run, tweets sent, likes on my facebook, hours slept, etc. His examples were supreme and really hit home for me. Especially ones like, calories consumed, e-mails sent, etc. I started to think about what I measure. It was time for me to "get real" (a phrase that my husband loves). Clients booked, dollars in my bank account, "real life" friends, twitter followes, body weight, items on my to-do list. My friends, these are all very real parts of my life that either make or break my mood. It's not easy to come to terms with my fears. I can feel my heart start to race when I think about my bank account being drained or not booking clients or gaining weight over the holidays. Is that what I value? Lara said that to name your fears is to destroy them.
Since I've finished school and started this journey of building a business, a marriage and a life in a new city, I've been so thoughtful of each step. Planning everything so carefully, to the point of praise by my friends and family. It was only this morning that I took a giant step back and realized that I am not following my intention of authenticity by measuring each and every thing in my life. Planning out the next 10 steps will get me nowhere if I'm not happy and making the right things happen in that moment. I know that's what will make my long term intentions come to fruition.
A few weeks ago I turned down my first client. It was really, really hard for me to do. She was amazing and truly looked like my ideal client. When I went home from our initial meeting, I got this nagging feeling that it just wasn't right. For one, it could have been great financially for Occasions, it was a large event and would have taking a lot of time and creative thought. Serious thought went into it and eventually I let her know that I wasn't going to be able to serve her in the way that she deserved, or give her the level of service that I pride myself on- for a number of reasons. After I sent the e-mail I immediately felt better, relieved. My number of "clients booked" wasn't increasing, but I felt so much better and like I was doing the right thing. I was turning down this client to make room for something bigger and better, but not in the traditional sense. In business school, we called this "opportunity cost". In my heart of hearts I knew my business wasn't ready to handle the wedding this client needed. And by reccomending another vendor in my area that will truly knock it out of the park, it was a win-win situation.
I hope that as Occasions grows into the elegant, fun, flower loving, rose-colored, rustic-but-refined brand that I've been dreaming of and creating that I can continue to make tough decisions on behalf of my intention. In other areas of my life I hope I can slow down and enjoy the little things. Isaiah and I are headed to Mexico for the next week and I cannot wait to hug my mother in law and dig my toes into the sand. Things not on my packing list: laptop, alarm clock, to-do list. Instead I'm going to wake up each morning, practice some gentle yoga and put my swimsuit on. We're going to walk to the cafe down the street and eat fruit, toast and coffee before we head to the beach with our books and towels. I'm going to soak in each moment with the people dearest to me. I can't wait for that quiet time. It'll be the perfect way to spend Thanksgiving.
Next week on the blog, some really exciting news. I cannot wait to share with you all!