I am curious if you can think of a well-meaning teacher or parent or friend who labeled you as “something” as a child? Perhaps you were told you were a day dreamer. Or bossy. Or hyperactive. Or the class clown. Isn’t it funny how those labels can stick with you and you remember them??
Of course I know that we need to manage behaviors that may be disruptive or offensive….especially when we are children or raising children. But often we are born with certain tendencies like “dreaming” or like “bossy”….. to fulfill God’s calling on our life. Anyone who has children will agree that there are some qualities that our kids are just born with. 2/3 of my kids are very strong-willed. They came out that way…. insisting they were right. My job is NOT to correct them into being compliant adults and to break their will in the process. Rather, my job as a mother is to help them to manage those strong-willed traits in such a way that God will use them for GOOD in their life. Being “strong-willed” WILL be THEIR ADVANTAGE in life. We have to “label” differently!
I recently took the Kolbe assessment test to determine my strengths and instincts in business. It has FREED me people….freed me!!!!! I always knew I was different from a lot of business owners, but this test has given me the seal of approval to continue doing exactly what I have been doing!!!! Based on my test results….. it confirmed about me what I already knew. I work best when I hire good people, when I don’t over plan, when I have the ability to work impulsively and when I am given the opportunity to dream of new ways of doing things. That’s EXACTLY what I have been doing!!! That test just gave me permission to continue working like I do!
But the test made me think of many of the labels that have been put on me in life. I have been referred to many times (even by myself) as someone who is a “Hot Mess” or even funnier…..a “spaz”. But according to my test results, my “hot mess” tendencies actually HELP me in my business. My hot mess is not only PERFECT for me….but, it is PROFITABLE. If I was a hot mess but made no money, well, that wouldn’t work and The Magic Brush would go under. But the numbers don’t lie. It may look like a 3 ringed circus….but for me, it has worked for 13+ years in business and 4-8 ladies working with me on any given day.
So I want to encourage any of you who have been labeled in life or in your business. Or maybe you have been told you have to “do it a certain way”. Or that you need to do it “like so and so” did. Or that you should model your business off of someone else’s successful business. Ug. Yuck. That is so last decade.
Today’s successful business owners MUST understand that this is no longer a right or wrong way of running a business. You can now sit at a computer at midnight if that is YOUR prime working time and make an income. You can now start-up an online business using social media alone (I was labeled in grade school as a “talker”…..yep, I now talk to 50,000 + Facebook fans every day….TALKING always was and still is an advantage for me!).
So, I am redeeming the words “Hot Mess” for all of us who are all over the place!!! And I’m hoping this will free some of you as well, especially you “creatives” who tend to be so critical of ourselves and so sensitive to the opinions of others. I’m hoping if I am transparent with my mess that it will help you to embrace YOURS!!!
So, this is what being a “hot mess” looks like on me. I am not rigid in the least. I roll with the punches. One of my builders has actually told me that they choose to hire The Magic Brush over other faux painters….because I am easy to work with. I don’t think that “we are all that and a bag of chips” and need every.little.thing ready for us. Instead, I understand my industry and how the building process works and I don’t freak out when conditions and time frame aren’t perfect. This is paint; not brain surgery. When I have a builder who needs us to work around a million other sub contractors in a house…..I can do that. If I have a client who wants to switch finishes at the last minute…..I can roll with that. Being a hot mess usually means easy going!
Being a “hot mess” means your CREATIVITY level goes way up!!! I can switch ideas on a dime. Where other people get “stuck” in doing it one way….I am willing to see if another way makes more sense or looks better? It may appear like I don’t have a plan…..but don’t kid yourself, I ALWAYS have a plan. I am just very comfortable with switching that plan…..because I trust my instincts and I’m unafraid to try new things. Most “hot messes” have great instincts!!! And when creative people quit trusting their instincts, their creativity level comes up dry. On the flip side, when they allow themselves to try things that they’ve never done before, they often come up with winning ideas (think of everyone you have ever seen on Shark Tank).
Being a “hot mess” means you are fun to work for. Work isn’t mundane. I can break out in an 80’s rap song on a job site at any given moment. Hot messes usually = fun! And work SHOULD be fun. No one wants to work for crabby, overly serious people. Sure there is a time and a place for everything….but when people ENJOY their jobs….they perform so much better and will continue to come back.
Because I hire people to do my painting and my accounting and my emailing and my house cleaning….I have been called “high maintenance” or told I live a “charmed life” (it wasn’t meant to be a compliment). No, I just have little desire or patience to do those things. So….while I HIRE people to do the things I am NOT GOOD AT or DON’T WANT TO DO….I get to focus on the things I AM good at that are benefiting both my family and my corporation. If I tried to paint all day, who would do the marketing? Who would meet with new clients? We wouldn’t have work! If I tried to do our books, I would certainly end up broke or in jail….so I let the experts do that. I am not high maintenance; it is wise to operate in your STRENGTHS. Thinking you need to do all different facets of your business is a poverty mentality and I want nothing to do with that. Therefore, this hot mess HIRES others.
I have also been called “a dreamer “. Well, dreaming has paid off well for me. I bought my first home at the age of 21. I have dreamed of being debt free. I have dreamed of raising my kids while I get to stay home and make $ at the same time. But let me just warn you, when you are a dreamer, people will be put off by you. They want you to “conform” and do it like it’s always done. Sometimes people get bitter that they didn’t follow their own dreams and therefore, they don’t want you to follow yours either. Dreaming is a GIFT…..EMBRACE IT. It allows me to set goals and to wake up expectant for the best every day. It allows me to see my life in a different light thru a rosy lens. If you have the ability to dream….get good people around you who can help you MAKE THOSE DREAMS HAPPEN. Dreaming without executing will NOT make your dreams come to fruition. But dreaming and hiring good people around you WILL.
I have been told I’m a “pushover”, not “tough enough”. I would like to think I have the ability to show grace upon grace to those who need it. Remember…because I am the “hot mess”….I NEED GRACE ALOT! I show up on wrong days for appointments. I forget to bring ladders to a job site. I sometimes in my spaz-ness say things that come out the wrong way. Any of the girls who work for me will tell you that you just never know what you are going to get with me. But we just laugh at who I am. So, I try to give to people what I want in return. And that means I choose to often overlook, turn the cheek and ignore stupidity. It’s not because I am afraid of a confrontation….it’s because it’s NOT WORTH IS TO ME! PEACE is worth it to me. Living a life of not holding on to “crap” brings me much joy. And it’s biblical!!!!
I will warn you that being a “hot mess” can make people a bit nervous….especially if they don’t know you and if they are much more organized and detailed. For instance, when I spoke last year at the Kearney Baptist Church’s Women’s Conference, I did not rehearse. I remember the night we did a rehearsal and everyone but me rehearsed. But, I just told the director that I preferred to wing it the night of. I hate rehearsing; rehearsing to me is boring. It never goes like you rehearse anyway! And so she gave me grace and my segment was wonderful! Wonderful enough that sssshhhhhhh….. don’t tell, but I have been invited back to be a guest this year as well! =) And, I will again WING IT …..because that’s how I operate BEST and that is WHO I am. Thank you, Kolbe test for affirming me and reminding me that its ok to be me!
So look, this post is not meant to tell you all about me. I’m trying to evoke in you the permission to be WHO YOU ARE. You are made in His image. You are just fine. My way of doing business will not be your way of doing business and that’s ok. Thank God we don’t all do it the same. Good grief, if we were ALL hot messes, this world would be in trouble! Lol! But the bottom line is…. work in the God-given talents and abilities that were given to you. If God made you a hot mess too, embrace it. Quit trying to live your life like Susie Q down the street whose children all speak 5 languages and their family volunteers weekly and they make their own salsa and their own clothes and keep a family schedule on their iPhones and etc, etc, etc. I am so glad there are people like Susie Q in this world, but in my house….it’s a good day if we all get out of the house with our teeth brushed and matching shoes and we are squealing in on 2 wheels. But you know what….we had fun on the drive! THAT is who WE are.
Finally, in the event that anyone misunderstands…. being a “hot mess” is NOT permission to run a sloppy business. It’s not permission to be flaky or undependable or wishy-washy or whatever else. But it is permission to operate within your giftings. And if your giftings involve juggling 14,964 things at once….then baby you need to do that. If you create best at 1:30 in the morning listening to 80’s hair bands….then do that too. I GIVE YOU PERMISSION to run YOUR business the way you work best. It is YOURS. Do it YOUR way. Quit trying to live up to the expectations of others! Instead, make your “hot mess” into something that thrives.
God has given YOU a unique set of talents and a unique set of gifts that make you a PERFECT for SOMETHING. You need to quit listening to your critics. Quit remembering the negative words that have been spoken over you and start operating in YOUR gifts.
I’m believing in you.
From one hot mess to another,
If you need a help getting your creative business going and growing … Look into joining my Creator’s Roadmap course. It’s a six-week course tailors to help CREATIVES, LIKE YOU succeed in building an online business. I hope you will check it out!
PS….the only people who will have issues with this blog post are the total opposites of “hot messes” and grace, grace, grace to you. I’m so glad there are people like you in the world. Please be glad there are people like me in the world too! We need each other! xoxo