Sometimes Less Is More
Back in early 2018 when I started my speaking and coaching business, A Joyful Life With Jennifer, things looked different in my world – much, much different. Since then, I have gotten remarried, moved across the county, got pregnant, had a baby, and countless other “things” that have slowed me down a bit with regard to my business goals.
A few months ago, I made a commitment to myself to lean in and focus on something which I am extremely passionate about – sharing myself and what I do with the world in an authentic way that wasn’t “playing it safe” anymore. As I was making that decision, I had to give some serious thought as to the reasons I hadn’t invested as much as I planned to initially, as well as what could possibly hold me back this time. I also checked in with my values and set some pretty firm boundaries in order to protect and honor my number one and two priorities, which are myself and my family.
It became clear to me very quickly that if I was going to be successful at this attempt, I was going to have to clear my plate of a few things that just didn’t fit in right now. And let me tell you, that was not easy! I am passionate about a lot of things. I enjoy learning and growing and finding new ways to help myself and others. But, if I was going to “get back on track” with my business, it was evident to me that I was going to have to make some tough decisions.
If you’ve been keeping up with me at all recently, then you know I truly try to live a life of never saying “never”. (I’ve learned my lesson on that a time or two over the years.) So, just because I have decided to stop doing something or have changed things around in my life in order to support this goal, that does not mean I will never do them again. For example, I absolutely love being a CrossFit Coach. I have been coaching in that capacity for many years (since 2013ish, I believe) and have been so fulfilled by doing so. That being said, I made the really tough decision to step away from that role for a while. Although in the grand scheme of things, a few hours a week may not seem like much to some, for me, a few hours are a lot! I also made the difficult decision to workout at home in my garage versus at the gym. Again, the time saved may not seem like much, but it adds up. Between coaching and working out at the gym, I am definitely saving myself AT LEAST 5 hours a week, but probably quite a bit more than that when you factor in things like travel time and traffic, or stopping to have a conversation with someone. Another tough, but similar decision I made was to take a pause on serving as a BIRTHFIT Coach. This is another area that I am extremely passionate about and want to work in, but at the end of the day, there are other things that rank higher on my current priority list. And like I said, if I’m going to get serious about my goal of recommitting to my business – to the women Veterans and military families that I deeply believe need my help – then I must create the space for myself to do so. There are a few other smaller examples, but I think you get the point. Sometimes in order to focus on the prize or the goal, we have to eliminate things. Sometimes those “things” are projects, jobs, even relationships that we deeply care about.
You can call them distractions or you can call them passions. Whatever you choose to name them, I’m pretty sure you have some of them in your life that are preventing you from moving forward as quickly or efficiently as you’d like. It may require you to sit down and make some really difficult decisions like I did, or you may find that some of the things you are going to let go of are rather freeing and easy. Either way, I would like to invite you to pause and take note. What are you doing each and every day that is potentially part of the reason you aren’t where you want to be? That “place” may not have anything to do with a professional goal. Maybe your relationship with your spouse is not where you want it. Or, maybe your finances cause you some stress. What about the people you spend your time with? Could they possibly be part of the reason you aren’t in that “place” you dream about?
I share this in hopes of serving as a reminder and an example to you, that it’s okay to set goals and strive for something bigger. And it’s also okay to make room for you to be successful, by pausing or eliminating the things that may be blocking your personal progression. Part of what is most fulfilling to me, as I commit to and work on being truly invested in my business, is watching it blossom by watching people blossom. Whether it’s the person who approaches me or sends me an email after I have spoken at an event, or the one-to-one client that I worked with- to see that breakthrough, they are the blooms of my seeds planted.