Discovering your inner #girlboss: Wishing I was one and how I'm making it happen
You know all those posts around the internet where young female business owners talk about their habits and routines and you think 'damn she has her shit together, what a badass'? This, unfortunately, is not one of those posts; I don't quite have my life as sorted as these women, but I definitely want to work towards being there. This post is all honesty. It is an outline of how my life is, how I want to change it, and how I am going to do it. This is my journey towards becoming a #girlboss.
These women seemingly kill it when it comes to their business, have their mental and physical health on lockdown, have healthy habits, as well as effective business ones, and all over just seem to be owning the game. In contrast, I dream of being as good all round as these women who kill their everyday life. Now don't get me wrong, I have my shit together a little bit, but there are a lot of aspects of my life that I strive to be more on top of but manage to somehow not do it. I read all the articles, I know what I want to do, so this is where I start doing it and let you know how I get on.
Part of my experience at InFocus 2017 (read more here) was listening to Mark Rosetto, a photography business life coach from Australia and he talked about the vision for your success. He referred to the 8 different aspects of your life, and how your goal is to be balanced, and ideally a 10 out of 10, in all of them. If you aren't then something needs to be worked on to move it in that direction. It was, in part, meant to show you where your business sits in your life and how it may be impacting the other aspects in a way that is too detrimental to be completely sustainable. Overall it was meant to highlight what you need to focus on improving in your life in general, be it personal or professional.
Long story short, my life is not balanced. Like at all. I think finding that balance between all aspects of life is hard for anyone, but I know I could be doing better. I haven't focused enough time on it, instead throwing myself semi-aimlessly into my work. I want to spend the next 6 months working on myself and improving my overall well-being, from my business to my personal life, and I want to share that journey in hopes of inspiring some other people and be that imperfect but enthusiastic voice that I think a lot of us have. I think it is an important thing that all millennials, be they creatives or not, could work on. It is okay to take time off for yourself, but equally not too much time so as to be a detriment to your career. Your mental and physical health is incredibly important, as well as your relationships with others and with yourself. Especially in such a technologically saturated world, there is a lot to be said for stepping back and focusing on your life in reality, away from your life on the screen.
For starters, I made some big steps forward when I was at Uni. In the middle of struggling through my degree with pretty severe anxiety and, looking back on it, probably mild depression, I learnt the value of treating myself in order to keep me as sane and content as I possibly could. It took me a while to figure out, and after too much time struggling to get through the semesters and being incredibly unhappy, I knew something had to give. I began working out of a cafe once a day, and would get myself a nice barista made coffee without feeling guilty about spending $4.50 on it every single day. I would buy myself lunch once or twice a week and I wouldn't be mad at myself for it. I would get myself Wok n Noodle once a week (my obsession with this place is pretty insane and to this day it is an almost weekly treat). Mini treat things like that, as well as buying myself a new lipstick every once in a while, were the little happy things that kept my mental health a little bit more under control in a situation where I struggled quite a bit.
To make my life sustainable though I have tried to build on this intention since leaving Uni, but I haven't quite taken it far enough. To be fair to myself, there are a few things I do well. I am pretty organised in general because the opposite drives me crazy, and I my enjoy work. I am constantly trying to learn and improve, even though I still struggle at being openly bad at things. I am good at valuing looking after myself and treating myself. Having said that, I work too hard, and I don't work in a smart way a lot of the time. I push myself a lot and my health suffers, especially my mental health. I have a lot of things I want to be doing with my life that I haven't, and I am pretty hard on myself.
I've read those articles where people talk about how to have a handle on your personal and professional lives, I'm reading a few books about it too (I will talk about that in another post very soon). Having done the leg work, I now know what I want to be doing.
I've decided want to be a morning person, because I am so much more productive in the morning (Sampford and I joked about doing one super early morning a week and getting heaps done, because we both love morning productivity but struggle to get out of bed for it haha). I want to get a workout in before I get ready for the day so I don't have to do one when I get home and can save that time for friends, family or playing The Sims in front of the TV (little indulgences). I want to start running again, and start doing yoga to help both my physical and mental health. I want to kick my RSI back to the point where I can actually do those workouts, because I physically can't right now.
I want to have my work day stick closer to a 9-5 to give myself some me time. I want to have my organisation on point - its pretty good but it could always be better. I want to have a proper plan of attack for my businesses so that we have goals to work for, and an effective to do list every day. I want to have my finances under control - its been a year since I left Uni and I still haven't properly sorted my shit there. I want to treat myself more, but do it in a way that is completely beneficial to me and actually improves something in my life, and without spending all the money I make as I tend to do now.
So this is my goal and I genuinely understand the value in working towards it. I want desperately, for my own sake and for the sake of my business's success, to get my life properly under control so I can be a happier, more effective human with a lifestyle that is as sustainable for me as possible. I believe so wholeheartedly in the importance of ensuring you are the best version of you that you can possibly be that I wanted to be straight up about it and hopefully help other people to start valuing it more too. I hear so many stories of people my age especially just burning themselves out before they are 30. I hear horror stories of photographers hating their lives and careers after 5 years because of burnout and quitting, of creatives drowning in work and working harder rather than smarter to the point of giving up. I want to be happy, and I want to build my life and career in such a way that I love every aspect, I want it to be sustainable so I can do it for as long as it makes me happy, and hopefully, maybe, inspire some other people to come along on this ride as well.
I will be updating on how I'm getting on, and I'm going to sit down and plan it all out so I have little goals to hit in order to make this actually happen, and I'm actually excited to get this underway!