Work/life Balance is a myth. Not because it can’t be achieved, but I believe it should never be achieved. My family wins. Every time. The attention I give my family should never equal the attention I give my business. In turn, 2016 was a doozey for my business. There were many, many days this where my to-do list was cancelled, work rescheduled, and I had to drop everything to be with my kids or take them to an appointment or because they were sick or **I** was sick. There were many times I had to say “no” this year, so that I could say “yes” to something else. “No” to new clients and projects that I would love to embrace but the timing was not right, so I could say “yes” to taking care of myself and my family. “No” to too much Pro Bono work so I could say “yes” to the projects that would support the limited amount of time I could give to my business last year. Even “No” to some of my own work just so that my husband can say, “yes” to his.
The result of those decisions could have cost me my livelihood and the momentum that had been built over the years. Less clients = less work = less referrals = less money = dying business.
Except, thankfully, it didn’t cost me anything. Why? Because my business has been built and structured in a way that I can hit the pause button on my input anytime, and the ship keeps sailing on it’s own. Budgeting, automation, annual forecasting, planned marketing, systems, extra support, outsourcing and time management became a very real thing that I had to rely on this year. I had to trust the system I had created, and then depend on it while I tended to other things.
The results are that I still have a job today, drawing the same salary I always had been. Just as if I was working for a corporation and had taken extended vacation or sick leave. Except that I am a full time self-employed entrepreneur, dependent on generating my own revenue in order to even see that steady paycheck in the end.
I share this publically now, because I work with many families and small business owners who want the same thing. Parents who want to be parents, but also have a business that supports the family. Or millennials who watched their parents struggle and save over their lifetime just waiting for their rest time to come in retirement. They started businesses because they wanted the freedom to live and work simultaneously, not wait to live at the end of a lifetime of work. Or maybe it’s even the hobbyist, who sees great potential in what they are doing, but don’t know how to take it to the next level. Or why they even should.
I never decided one day I would be a self-employed business owner. I probably would never have had the courage to take that bold risk and leave behind a budding Business Management career helping other people find freedom in their own work/life balance. For me, it happened slowly over the course of several years before I realized I should take it seriously, and sow into a solid plan. That was a decade ago. And by God’s grace, and proper business planning, I’m still here.
In 2017 I look forward to continuing my purpose where my heart is: to help nourish families in their relationships with each other. I pursue that through meaningful portrait photography, business consulting and management for entrepreneurs, teaching practical stewardship and home management systems, and creating simple products and tools that maximize the quality of our lives. Sometimes it’s just over dinner at our kitchen table with friends, or in ministry with our church. I am most passionate about my faith and my family, and I look forward to meeting yours.
To the working mothers, struggling business owners, dreamers, frustrated hobbyists, lost sheep in a dying job…if any of my personal experience prompts you to say:
“Should I set my business up in a similar way?”, “What if something happened to me?”, “I wish I had more time with my family?”, “How will I know if this endeavor is worth it?”
or even just “I could use some help in this.” “I wish I could just brainstorm with someone.”
Then I would encourage you to reach out to me personally, by clicking on the image below. There is nothing special about January, but “a year from now you’ll have wished you had started today”.
Redefining the Family Portrait Experience ® by creating a space to strengthen family bonds. She has photographed for celebrities, Bravo TV, NFL Films, and local families and has been published in magazine print and multiple blogs for her work in photography and in strategic business management practices. Angelsea also teaches both subjects in various conferences and workshops across the country and resides with her husband of 19 years, their two children, and barely 3 pound Yorkie near Long Beach Island, New Jersey.
To book your portrait session with Angelsea Urban, please visit www.angelseaurban.com
For education and consulting opportunities, please visit www.urbanrg.com