Today’s post is going to be short, sweet and to the point because I’ve got all my immediate family here visiting from the United States. The last time my sister and her family were here was eight years ago!
People often ask me, “how do you do it all?” and the first thing I say to them (and in my Business of Baking on Tour class, where I have an entire module about it) is this:
Balance is Bullshit.
Some weeks, I’m a great mother/sister/wife/friend and some weeks, I’m a great business owner and on some weeks, I’m great at both. I’m simply not great at being both every single week, and I refuse to beat myself up about that.
This week, I’m choosing to be with my family and my friends and spend time away from my business. This week, I’m not going to be a great business owner who moves her business forward, makes things happen and earns a heap of money. This week, I’m just going to be a good mother, sister, wife and friend. I’m not attempting to balance anything at all and instead I’m pushing the scales all the way to one side.
The cliche is true – nobody ever lay on their death bed wishing they had made just one more cake, or wishing they had spent more time in the office. So this week, my lesson to you is simple: choose to have a life outside of your business. It can be so VERY EASY to get entirely sucked into the bubble which is your business. To obsess over money (or lack of it), plan world bakery domination and just give every waking moment to your plans while your relationships languish. Especially in a fast-paced, high-pressure, lots of competition environment like ours where it feels like if we are not CONSTANTLY creating new things, inventing new techniques, answering client emails within minutes of them sending one that we’re going to miss out, or worse that we might fail. We get utterly consumed by our businesses, don’t we?
I’m here to tell you that cakes (or macarons or cupcakes) and dreams and plans will ALWAYS wait just a little bitty bit longer. Your children’s childhood, your parent’s growing older, your friends needing you…that won’t wait. Ever. Those things march on no matter how many wafer paper flowers you make. A year from now, you might not remember losing that one order, but you will remember how guilty you felt for not making it to that family birthday party or friends’ engagement. Yes, I do often tell you to take action and not make excuses, and yes, I do often tell you to find a way to do both life and business…and I stand by that advice. Today, I’m also telling you that it’s okay to choose your life (to actually HAVE a life) once in a while and that it’s vital to your long term well being to do so.
Choose to make time for family and friends and to be a person outside of your business. Accept that this might mean you lose an order or two, or don’t make as much money as you need or want to. Accept that it might mean that success will take you that little bit longer than you had hoped. Success can wait the few hours or few days you need to go on vacation, attend a family event, or call your Mom to have a chat.
Choose to have a life outside of your business, because your business does not define who you are.
And on that note, I’m off to play tourist with my family (and laugh at myself as my American accent comes back in full force and I suddenly stop ending each sentence with the word ‘mate.’)