It’s been quiet around here for quite some time, and while you may wonder if I’ve fallen off the face of the earth, or you’ve forgotten I existed, I’ve not stopped thinking about all of you.
You have dreams and my desire to help you achieve them hasn’t changed. And I know that if I’ve struggled with something in my business, chances are one of you, my awesome readers, has, is or will struggle with it too. So here goes…
The raw and honest truth…
I’ve been quiet because, to be raw and honest with you (as I’ve always been), I felt like a fake.
- I’ve worked my tail off for 13 years so I could be a stay at home mom, and now I am a working mom. Did that mean my family, mostly my kids weren’t the most important thing?
- Was I selling out on myself and my dreams?
- Was I ever living my dream if I was willing to leave it for a paycheck?
- Was I a failure in my home based business if I took a job?
- Was I giving up on all I’d worked and sacrificed time with my family for?
- Was that giving up on my dream if working toward my dream had helped me to get that dream job?
- Would you, my readers, students, and online friends, think I’ve “cheated” on you by getting a job that paid me more than what I was making in my business?
- How could I talk with you about being a home based business owner when I was no longer one myself?
Stepping Back with a Sanity Sabbatical
After accepting the job at FatWallet, at first I tried to keep things going on CleverMarketer, but I ended up having to take some much-needed time to step back and adjust to the changes in my life.
I needed time to learn how to be a good working mom. The most simple things overwhelmed me, like figuring out how to get myself and 3 kids out the door on time every morning without having someone end up in tears or making 3 trips back into the house for things we’d forgotten. 🙂
I also had to learn the whole money-saving, bargain hunting retail world that FatWallet is a part of so I could blog about it and converse in social media without sounding like an idiot.
My step back was a bit longer than I originally anticipated it to be.
Stepping Back In with a Dream Manager
I work for one of the most amazing companies out there, and one of the benefits we are offered is a chance to work with a dream manager. I started with the dream manager program in mid December, taking some time to really evaluate what I wanted my life to look like. No surprises here, but the confusion I had around what I wanted to do with CleverMarketer were a huge part of that process.
Through that personal evaluation I learned I was no longer content to let CleverMarketer stall. CleverMarketer is my journal of all the good and the bad business decisions I’ve made for the last couple of years. Leaving it to linger and languish felt like letting a piece of me die. And even if my circumstances had changed, I have a lot of things I’ve learned while doing my job, traveling to blogging conferences, and new experiences I’ve had that I want to share, teach, and help others with.
I realized that I was letting self doubt kick my butt.
Isn’t it funny how easily self doubt can settle in when we’re not paying attention to it? When I finally stopped to answer all the questions and doubts in my mind I realized how ridiculous they sounded!
- I’m great at what I do and I love it!
- I’ve always been a working mom, it’s just the location of my office that’s changed.
- I love my kids and family as much as I ever have and I’m more focused on them when I’m home than I was before because I’ve learned to separate my work and family time better.
- The skills I learned to market CleverMarketer are the same skills needed to market a multi-million dollar business like FatWallet!
- I loved being a home based business owner and I love being an employee too.
- I’m still a business owner even if I have a job.
- I made more with my marketing skills in 2011 than I did in my business in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2o07, 2006, and 2005 (probably combined) and more than half of this year’s income came from my businesses even though (as you know) I wasn’t active in them for the second half of the year!
- I am happy, but I’m not content with letting CleverMarketer stall any longer.
Strategically Moving Forward with a Goal and a Business Mentor:
But instead of following my gut, and flying by the seat of my pants as I’m always doing, I’m using the new skills I’ve learned working as part of a marketing team for a big company:
- What is my goal?
- What are 3-5 possible ways I can reach my goal?
- Which way is the best way for me giving my resources of time and money?
- Why is this the best choice?
- What challenges do I anticipate?
- What is the return on my investment of time and money that I want to receive?
- How will I measure success?
One of the biggest things I’ve learned through the growing pains of working for a big company is that everything boils down to profitability! I was building CleverMarketer to make money using my skills to help others, so when the opportunity to make more money, doing the same things came across my plate, it only made sense to take it. You’re in the business to make money too, or you wouldn’t be reading a post on a marketing blog!
It’s important that we get tough with ourselves and question how we’re spending our time and our money, to make sure it’s on the things that are moving us closer to our one most important goal.
Your Take Action Assignment:
Your time and money are valuable.
I received an email from one of my first clients and readers on CleverMarketer this past weekend. She wanted to let me know she was canceling her membership because she was cleaning up her finances and was eliminating the things that aren’t a fit for her in her business right now. She was concerned that I might think she was angry. Quite the opposite. I can’t express in words how proud of her I am!
She’s questioning things, evaluating them against her goals, and taking action. I’m giving her a standing ovation!
Your assignment, after you comment and share this post in social media of course :), is to evaluate what you’re spending your time and money on and eliminate the things that aren’t giving you a good ROI and helping you to reach that goal! Get brutal with your budget and stingy your schedule. Share with us in the comments, the things you’re going to eliminate.