As a mum, a partner, sister, daughter, girlfriend, and running my company, I have throughout the years so often felt I was running like a hamster in a cave. Running, running, running, but never going anywhere – sound familiar? I especially remember the years when I was running my import business. At that time, I was an independent mum (means single mum for those who are not sure of the meaning of being an independent mum) with two children, both attending school, doing sports, music and all the things children want to do.
Every morning I would get up at six in the morning, jump to my local gym, do my workouts in the speed of time, get ready to be home for the shower at seven to wake my children up for school, do breakfast, lunch boxes, kisses on each cheek and out they went at the same time I would drive to work. For some reason, it was important for me to be the first to arrive in my company, and somehow it became a habit as well to be the last one to leave. That meant I would be home around 7:30 at night. Dinner, school studies, and believe me, I was in bed at 10:30 p.m.
In this time, I was building up my import company, creating the image I wanted my company to have. Every month we got some coverage in the design magazines and newspaper sections, we took part of popular design TV programs, and at the time (I sold the company in 2006), we were one of the most respected and innovated import companies in this field in my country.
The turning point for me during that time was the day when I went to work as normal, and instead of having all the energy and plans for the day, I felt like I had walked into a brick wall. I had simply burned out my batteries, and totally forgotten to refill. I forgot myself.
When I look back, what did I learn from this time?
• Prioritize my time and projects – look closely at the difference
“nice to have vs. must have”
• Trust that the time I would invest in myself would be my best investment
• Having clear focus gives results, especially if I “go with the flow”
What worked best for me?
• Allowing my employees to find what they loved most doing in their job