I remember distinctly when we had our first baby. In my mind I had envisioned this newborn baby as all Kodak moments. Rocking sweetly. Cuddling. I had no idea that our first baby would be colicky, that he would not nurse well, that we would have to supplement with bottles, that he would be lactose intolerant, that he would cry endlessly for no reason for weeks on end. My Kodak moments were completely replaced with reality. And the reality was my chest hurt and I was getting no sleep. Having a baby was nothing like what I envisioned and yet 14 years later, I wouldn’t trade that baby for anything.
Last week we got a puppy. My kids have asked for a puppy approximately 1,597 times in the last few years. Our resolve had finally worn down, so we decided to get them a puppy for an early Christmas gift. In my mind I had this complete Kodak moment of how getting the puppy would look. I had envisioned Mr. Magic and I going to buy the puppy by ourselves and putting him in a box and somehow getting the box delivered to our house Christmas morning at like 6:00 am and then the kids bounding down the steps at 7:00 in the morning and us popping the top off of the box and this adorable dog bouncing out and us being the BEST PARENTS ever. Please tell me some of you fanaticize about this Hallmark movie stuff too?
So we got the new puppy and instead of it being Kodak moment, I have found myself googling “how many times a day should a new puppy poop?”. I’ve wondered if having a newborn would have been easier? I’m wondering if I’ll ever sleep thru the night again? There was no bounding down the steps to see a dog jumping out of the top of the box. Instead we met a woman in a Walmart parking lot you guys. We didn’t have a kennel or a food dish or any ideaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa of what we were getting in to. Our puppy has not been precious nor perfect nor adorable. Instead, he has been chewing on my new rugs and peeing on my carpet. And while it’s sweet, a puppy is just waaaaaaaaaaaay different from what we expected. I’m sure a year or 2 from now, we will feel different, but right now we are thinking “what are we doing?” and “are we cut out for this?”.
Can I just tell you that this is exactly what starting a business is like too? You have these Kodak moments in your mind about what starting/running a business will look like. You think that it’s going to be a clean break of you quitting your old job and beginning your new business. Or perhaps you envision just making the decision to start your business and immediately having sales. Whatever vision you have conjured up in your mind … I can assure you that it will not go like you planned.
I started my painting business 15 years ago and 3 months after starting it, I found out I was pregnant. I was pregnant and I painted for living. In my mind, the timing could not have been worse.
I would just like to go ahead and offer up the idea that perfect timing is a grand illusion. There is no perfect time to have a baby, no perfect time to buy a dog and certainly no perfect time to start a business. You’re going to have to pick a date and just do it. And there will be a lot of bumps and pains and things that transpire that don’t look like the grandiose vision of self-employment that you had in your mind. You will wonder if it’s a mistake?? You will wonder if you will starve to death?? You will wonder what were you thinking???? But, like anything else, the crooked paths are eventually made straight and all the crap that you have to go through in the beginning eventually turns into a precious toddler and hopefully a beautiful Goldendoodle and hopefully for you…… a thriving business.
If you are someone who needs help navigating your business because it’s not been all Kodak moments, I encourage you to join my monthly Inner Circle or my intense 6 week long mentorship . Both of these coaching groups are full of female creative entrepreneurs who are wanting to grow their business and aren’t getting STUCK just because it looks different from what they thought it would.
Self employment is my absolute favorite thing ever. I could never ever, ever work for someone else again. But it hasn’t been easy and I have had to learn thru trial and error. Let me teach you what I have learned so that I can save you from some of the mistakes that I have made.
Let me teach you what being a self-employed creative entrepreneur REALLY looks like. It is not all Kodak moments, but it IS worth it.
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PS…. our goldendoodle’s name is Cooper. He is either the best or worst decision our family has ever made. Just like self employment. 😉
Better use your kennel to house break him if you want to do it fast and easy. Do not let him have the “run of the house” unless someone is in attendance. Move the kennel from room to room so the entire house become s his home. He does not use the bathroom in his domain I was told. Our dogs Love their “kennel or taxi” and that makes it easy to travel with them. It’s a comfort spot and not a lock up spot for him. It’s worked for all of our dogs and we ve had many. Hope it works for you if you try it. Happy puppy days.
Congratulations on your new addition to your family. What a great analogy. Give it time…..and you will be wondering how you ever survived without Cooper. You need a lot of patience and a lot of self discipline, not to mention newspapers. Good luck and truly enjoy Cooper’s puppyhood because it goes by so quickly!
It will make your life easier if you restrict Cooper to one room during the day, like the kitchen and kennel him in your bedroom at night. I drape the wire cage with a big sheet so it blocks drafts and helps the dog relax. Cover any rugs or carpet he will be on with the cheap plastic $1 tablecloths and use Nature’s Miracle on the accidents.