Archive for November, 2011

More Than a Mechanic

Last year I finally made one of the best decisions of my life: I hired a business coach. I was lucky, I’d met one a few years back and got to know her personally and professionally before hiring her. I needed someone with a keen eye to take a fresh look at things I see every day: sales, marketing, merchandising, projections, etc. As the queen bee of my business, I occasionally get a bit bleary-eyed looking at all of this alone.

At our first meeting, I figured we’d look at the nuts and bolts of my business. Like a mechanic inspecting a car, I thought we would refill a few tanks, jiggle some wires and call it a day.

WRONG. Unlike a car, my business has heart and soul. I needed to work on a few things that can’t be seen: passion, inspiration, foresight and more. So we started with my heart. Am I in this for the long haul? Yes. Does my business fulfill me? Yes. What do I need to be fulfilled? The opportunity to be curious, unique, and a change-maker. Oh, and I really, really, really needed a vacation. Isn’t it weird that I needed a business coach to tell me to take a vacation? About 8 months after hiring my coach, I enjoyed a week on the East Coast with my son and husband. I came back to the shop renewed and energized. And I came home a happier wife and mom.

Turns out, once my heart and passion were finely tuned I was ready to work on my transmission. I needed to get serious about my numbers and growing the business, because I want to travel more! Looking under the hood of my business and fine tuning the mechanics thus allows me to access what fulfills my life outside of the shop—more time with my family, travelling, and gardening.

Without my business coach I never would have taken on my upcoming expansion. She has been my sounding board, devil’s advocate, number cruncher, and cheerleader. I am often very vulnerable–exposing my weaknesses, fears, and pretty much everything else to her. Laughing at myself helps a lot. We laugh together. Being vulnerable is healthy because it allows me to be open to change. And I’ve been making a lot of changes lately!

I recommend a business coach for anyone who is in business for themselves already or considering it. Your coach should be able to help you with pretty much anything, but here’s what I love most about my coach: she doesn’t help me with only what I ask for help with. She knows how to dig deeper and ignite my passion. My ignition is started.

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Now I Get It

Do you remember being a child, and one of your parents would say, “When you have children, you’ll understand”? Since my son was born last December, I think I finally understand. I think I’m good at regularly doing gut-checks and being mindful of what I’m thankful for. This week thanksgiving and gratitude are even more so on my mind, and this is my first Thanksgiving as a mom. Now, I get it.

When I was in high school, I suffered a concussion playing basketball. My dad never left my side for the three or four (I can’t remember!) days I spent in the hospital. He even made the hospital get us a double room so he could sleep in the room with me. Now I get it.

My mom was at every single teeball, softball, volleyball, and basketball game I played. She cheered for me from the cold, hard, steel bleachers and she beamed with pride each time. Now I get it. My parents always made the holidays special. We have traditions for everything: pumpkin hunting in October, a cornucopia for Thanksgiving, seven courses of fish on Christmas Eve, and so on. Now I get it.

My grandparents lit up whenever I’d visit them. My great aunt would stay on the telephone while I read her a Bearenstein Bears book cover to cover. My pictures were all over their homes. Now I get it.

Thanksgiving means more to me this year than ever before. Oscar has opened my eyes and opened my heart. Now I get it!

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