Anyone else been feeling the pressure lately in their business?

I was all keep calm and crack on at the start of this crisis and then over time the reality of running two business and homeschooling, and generally just surviving started to take its toll.

I began panicking.

In my business, and in life (in the supermarket mostly)

A good friend and therapist asked me to name the fear, in a brilliant session he asked, “if it was a movie what would it be called?” to which I responded in my most dramatic voiceover voice,

“Alone and under attack”

And BOOM…there was my answer.

My fear in my business AND in the supermarket was that I had to do it all, that I had to be the protector, that nobody was coming to save me…a narrative I’ve been carrying around with me for years, like a lodger who pays no rent…and eats all your cheesy Doritos.

Anyway…he’s got the boot.

He’s gone.

And I now have a new narrative, a new mantra, a new roomie…which which goes…

“Just do the bloody Jigsaw”

I love jigsaw puzzles, used to love doing them as a kid in solitude in my bedroom, or with my siblings. they were a great way to spend time…and as a kid you have a lot of time right?

As an adult not so much.

Until now of course.

Well, I was watching everyone on Facebook baking bread, and doing puzzles as a family, with their kids and I was like “WHO HAS TIME FOR BLOODY JIGSAWS??????”

If I was short of anything it was time.

But that was (and is) just a story.

So I bought a jigsaw…a very nice one, its circular, its about inspirational women, and me and my 7 year old have been doing it this week…she will do like 10 minutes at a time before getting bored, but I am really getting into it…it is a great way to spend time.

I’m about half of the way through right now, and already thinking about which one I might do next.

Not watching the news, not working, not stressing about things that are out of my control….even if our new Kitten keeps jumping in the box for a sleep and trying to eat the pieces.

I am loving my jigsaw life.

So whats the lesson?

There is always a lesson.

I used to believe that your rewards in life were in direct correlation to your work ethic and productivity levels.

Like seriously I can get a lot done in a short period of time.

I created, and launched a new programme in the space of 5 days last week….and got 48 brilliant business owners signed up.

But the truth is…I often make things difficult for myself.

I take the scenic route, I put barriers in my way, walls to leap over, obstacles to navigate….because of this belief that it has to be hard, it shouldn’t be easy…because thats not fair.

With less time than ever.

With more need in the world than ever for the thing I do. (Helping small business owners build profitable community around their business)

It has to be easy.

Business is simply about having something people, need and want and offering it to them in fair exchange.

Just because something is easy to you, it doesn’t mean it is easy for others.

When you have spent 20+ years of your life living, and breathing community building, you forget that it doesn’t come natural to everyone.

It does not.

And so my lesson this week is in not over delivering, not complicating, not making up stories about how hard it needs to be to validate my worth.

Oh…and do the bloody jigsaw.

Julie Creffield is a community engagement strategist and business mentor with more than 20 years experience of creating and leveraging communities, both online and off. Her 8-week fully facilitated group programme One to Many is currently helping clients take their established expertise online using a group programme model. Check it out here

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