Back when I was starting my business at Uncaged as a brand new baby life coach, I remember sharing this quote from Seth Godin:
Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from
I read that and I thought HELL YES. I want a life I don’t have to escape from. Don’t we all?
Sure. But how naive I was back then!
What I didn’t know back then, was that no matter how amazing my life or business is – I will definitely need to escape from it at some point.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that there is no getting out of needing a break – from our business, our career, our family, our LIFE.
This summer, I packed up my entire life back in Toronto, and I moved out to British Columbia. About 3 weeks after arriving, I broke up with my partner of 4 years.
It was all a bit of a whirlwind. I went from stable, long term relationship and 12 years in the same city, to living in a new house, new town, new province, with no friends, no partner, and no idea WTF I was actually doing. It didn’t even feel like my real life. I was floating.
Needless to say, during these few months, I did ZERO work on my business. I didn’t have the bandwidth. Fuck what Seth Godin said — I needed an escape.
I remember chatting with a biz friend during that time and filling her in on what was going on with me. She was in a similar but different boat. She just had a baby. She was having a hard time. She was MIA from her business, and probably would be for many more months to come.
And while we both commiserated about how both our lives had just blown up and how hard things were feeling, she said something that stuck with me.
“How amazing is it that we can both just blow up our lives and actually be able to take a few months off? Thank god for being our own bosses”
And she was soooo right. What other industry can you decide to just fuck off for weeks or months, and still have a job? Not many that I can think of.
I am SO grateful to my business for allowing me to escape from it for a while. And I am proud of myself for having created a business that lets me honor what is going on in my life.
Building a business that supports your life is the ultimate in self-care.
There are many WHYs for creating your business. One of my biggest whys is that I believe in having the ability to live your life and not be bound by bosses, and limits on vacation time, and stupid office politics. I want to be able to take naps, work at night and play outside all day, go visit a friend for lunch, and take as much time off as I want — whether it’s because I want to travel, or need to just cry in bed for a few weeks. Oh, and I want to be able to make as much money as I want without a glass ceiling.
Does this sound selfish??
Shouldn’t I be building a business based on passion and purpose and helping the world? Isn’t that what the internet tells you are the reasons you should have for starting a business?
But maybe the selfish reasons are also just as important as the passion and the purpose. And maybe those reasons aren’t as selfish as you think.
What happens in your life when you are taking care of yourself? You take better care of the people around you.
What happens when you make more money than just barely scraping by? You have money to invest in yourself, your family, your community, and your business.
What happens when you allow yourself the ability to rest, travel, and make time for other things that matter to you? You set an example for others that it’s ok to take a break. And that example could just save someone’s life.
I’m tired of seeing businesses that push, push, push. I have many business owner friends who are VERY successful (and make a ton of money) – but who are also burnt out, working all the time, or constantly on the hamster wheel of how to get bigger and bigger and achieve more and more.
I’m tired of hearing my students say that they have a fear of success because they think it’s going to make them too busy.
And I’m tired of hearing people push passion and purpose as the only legit reasons to start a business (which then sets you on an endless search for finding THE thing you are MOST passionate about – and causes you to not get started til you find THE ONE BEST THING).
It’s ok to let it be easy. It’s ok to take what my coach calls the “lazy river” way of business. It’s ok to let life guide you and not be so regimented about it all.
Now, back here in BC, a few months have passed since my hiatus. My partner and I are figuring things out (though he got a new puppy so Rhubarb is not happy!). I just finished a successful launch and I’m working with a group of amazing students in our Uncage Your Business program. And I am back to business.
But I know this cycle will come again, at some point, and I know that I have a business that will support me through it.
I’m here to give you permission to let it be selfish if it needs to. Because it DOES need to.
Let yourself want your business for reasons that are purely for YOU. And then learn to build a business that actually lets you take that time for yourself.
It’s not only possible, it’s essential.