Welcome to Odds n’ Ends, a monthly newsletter by me, Michelle Spalding, focusing on business, empowerment, and occasionally something to make you laugh. I’m glad you’re here.
The world is heavy, a lot is going on, and I’m not going to spread positivity by pouring pink paint over it to help you ignore it. I’m also not wasting your time calling attention to the things you already see in the news and online – we all could use a break at times from that.
Instead, I want to sit for a moment in gratitude and invite you to do the same – as I write this, I’m in yoga pants – the super stretchy kind, a t-shirt, and my hair is up in a messy clip. This may not sound like something to be grateful for, but it is a dream come true for me. I used to work in an office, where suits, dresses, and even pantyhose (remember those horrible things?) were a part of my daily life. Each day I slogged it out at work, I dreamed of being in a more casual work environment.
Maybe you have something you wished for and have accomplished it, only to move quickly on to the next thing. I get that we’re conditioned to strive for newer and better versions of ourselves and the things we wish to experience, but instead, and especially when the world feels as it does, maybe it’s a good time for reflecting and being grateful before pushing for the next goal.
“I’m not sure I can do this any longer, I feel like I want to quit, but I’m afraid of what others will think, especially my friends and family,” a client began as we started a coaching session. “Tell me more,” I encouraged her, reminding her this was a safe space to explore all of what she was feeling.
After taking a deep breath, she shared with me that she’d done the math, and after expenses, her hourly rate was barely a living wage. She’d been in her business for about two years and found herself working 10-12 hour days, often working well into the night to keep up, long after her family had gone to bed. This was taking a toll on her relationships at home and her health.
“What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I make this work?” she said through tears.
“Nothing is wrong with you. This is your business, and I believe it is possible to make it whatever you want” – we discussed a few small steps she could take immediately, and I assigned her the Soul Crafted Success® workbook and audio. You can also receive it delivered to your inbox via the first page of my website.
At our next session, she shared with me what came up for her in that exercise and that she felt she was ready to give her business a chance; she was prepared to make it what she wanted.
Things didn’t dramatically change in her business overnight, but over the next few months, she was able to implement small changes that led to a significant impact; she raised her rates and cut back on her work hours; now, she’s working 7-8 hour days – and always takes off Friday afternoons. Both helped her to double per hour income more than before.
We also tackled some things at home that she had on her plate to give her more fun time with the family rather than work; those included a meal subscription service, hiring a housekeeper who came twice a month, and a chore chart for the house. There are still some areas she’s working on, but at this point, she feels like this is possible and that she can have a business that aligns with who she wants to be in the world and how she wants to feel.
Was all of this easy? No. Some of her clients balked at her higher rates, and a few complained when she didn’t reply after hours and changed her offerings – even a few decided to leave. But she is happier in her work, her health is better, her income is up, and most of all, her family relationships have improved.
I call this Soul Crafted Success®, and I firmly believe it is what we all deserve.
Are you making time for the things you most want in your life? Life gets busy, a kid gets sick, a client needs extra help, and the washing machine breaks in the middle of the first load of laundry you’ve been putting off doing for far too long.
In moments like that, it’s hard to make time for the things outside of what is demanding your attention, and it is unrealistic to expect that is possible. But that doesn’t mean we abandon them; we can choose to adjust.
If there is anything that 17+ years of being in business have taught me is that something will always happen that is beyond my control. No matter what I plan or who I plan it with, things beyond my control are inevitable.
One suggestion I’ve found helpful is adding essential things to my digital calendar and blocking out the time needed. Then, on days when I can’t get to them because of something unforeseen, I simply move the appointment to another time. Occasionally that’s a few hours, sometimes it’s a few days or a week.
The idea is that when we look at our calendar, we see that we’re not only making time for clients, family, work, or other obligations, but we’re also making time for the things that are important to us. The things that feed our soul and light us up – and when life gets messy or things happen that are out of our control, we simply adjust our calendar rather than skip important appointments with ourselves.
- If you can be anything, why not be kind? 50 kindness ideas.
- It’s not always easy to be present at an important meeting, but with this tool, you can be – it will transcribe your meeting.
- A friend recently shared this TED Talk with me, and I’ve watched it twice! Why the secret to success is setting the right goals by John Doerr.
- Mile-IQ is my all-time favorite app – it effortlessly helps me track mileage, creating a detailed report I deliver annually to my CPA.
- What I’m reading for fun this summer – Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho (author of The Alchemist).
- The surprising link between stress and memory – A TED Educational video by Elizabeth Cox.
Sign up for my Sparks of Wisdom book club and join us in reading The Awakened Woman by Dr. Tererai Trent.
Are you feeling stuck? Need some support in crafting your business to allow you to live your desired life? Treat yourself to one of the last coaching spots of the summer.
Thank you for spending another month with me digitally here. If there is anything I can do to help you, send me an email, and, as always, remember to make time for the thing that makes your heart sing.
Business Alchemist | Mentor | Author