Late Friday morning, after a busy morning of working, I stopped by our local post office to rent a box.
While I filled out the paperwork and chatted with the clerk, my daughters wandered around the lobby.
Looking at my business name, the clerk asked me how long I’ve been in business.
“I’m just starting out,” I told her. “I’ve been working on some e-books since June and I’m getting ready to launch them soon.”
I paused. “I also have a job,” I said.
She pointed to my daughters, “And kids.”
Leaving the post office, hand in hand with my girls, I thought about all that I’ve added to my life over the last six months.
Mostly this: The new business (12 Minute Media) and all it requires — new clients, new relationships, another blog/website, a weekly newsletter, a web video show, another Twitter account, another Facebook page, a Google+ account, a Google+ page for the business. I am delivering social media training in webinar format, also.
The only (small) adjustment I made to accommodate all the new activity is to cut back my work hours at my job by about a sixth, freeing up about 5 hours a week.
Earlier this year, I wrote in this space about my struggle to keep boundaries between my work life and my home life.
Yesterday, as the sun faded into the trees behind our house, one of my daughters stood near my desk, eyes brimming with tears.
“You’ve been on the computer all afternoon.”
It’s true — I was.
Seeking to justify myself, I thought: we spent the whole morning together; she seemed happy playing independently with her sister; I had work I needed to get done. But the truth is, that in all of my starting, I haven’t done enough stopping.
I took a blogging break back in June. I enjoyed 9 days offline during our vacation in August. But, I continue to hold onto this blog as an important part of what I’m doing. At times, I do this when I could be enjoying my family.
In the first guide of my soon-to-be-released e-book training series, I talk about the importance of finding your why with everything you’re doing online.
Why are you blogging? Why are you using Twitter? Why LinkedIn?
For every activity, you need to find a compelling why. Your why can help you stay committed, keep you focused.
For me, the why behind this blog has never been completely clear. I started writing here when I stopped writing another blog. I didn’t have any particular goals here, except to share and reflect.
In some ways, my writing here is selfish: I write what I want; I write because I want to.
What’s missing is a compelling why.
I am realizing that it doesn’t make sense for me to continue. For now, I’m going to step away, let go.
If you’re looking for me online, you’ll certainly be able to find me:
- You can read the new blog.
- Subscribe to my newsletter.
- Hang out with me on my new Facebook page.
- Send me a tweet. Here or here.
- Circle me on Google+. While you’re there, circle my business?
For my job, I am also still managing this blog and writing occasionally there, so you can find me there, also.
I’ll likely come back to this space now and then to reflect and write. Maybe I’ll share some posts from Mr. Becky or invite my daughters to share their writing here. And, perhaps, if I find a compelling why, I’ll be back to post more regularly at some point in the future.
For now, I’m stopping.
Thanks for your support, friendship, and connection here.
Tell me something! What have you started this year? What have you stopped? How do you maintain balance in your life?
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
Good luck in all of your new endeavors, Becky. For the first time in my life – in preparation for a move to Saudi Arabia – I have disentangled from EVERYTHING. It’s an odd feeling. The move to Saudi is not going to go forward so now I am regrouping and trying to figure out which way to go. I know how easy it is to become overwhelmed with so many opportunities and I’m going to try not to get into that spot again. After spending 6 months away from my husband, I’m going to try and spend every minute with him that I can and work my new life around our life together. I’m excited and I’m excited for you! 🙂
Glad to be connected to you and glad we are often up and on Twitter at the same time. I am excited to see all that’s ahead for you, as well!
Becky, stopping is never easy. Just a perspective I wish to put across though my friend, as I don’t have to be as hard on you as I feel you are being on yourself. You have a lot on your plate and it is good to cut back to feel more effective. You make a statement above, “What’s missing is a compelling why.”… Well, just before that you answered the compelling why in my opinion, “In some ways, my writing here is selfish: I write what I want; I write because I want to”… That means there are no obligations, to write this Blog, and we come because we want to here you write about what you want. That at least is my agenda when I read what you write. I think it works the same for many that know you and believe in what you are doing.
Good luck with the reshuffle…
Thanks, friend! I always appreciate your wisdom and insight. 🙂
Good for you! Becky, I admire you for looking at life through the eyes of your daughter, and doing something that is extremely hard for many of us to do. Stopping something. Examining the “why” as well as the benefit, or lack thereof, for you and those closest to you. Best wishes as you continue to think about theses things.
I appreciate you. I saw you do something similar last week and I noticed and considered your choices. Thanks for leading the way!
If I may say, I am proud of you for your choice(s). If I may further say, God is a waster of no thing. I am sure there was (and may yet still be) profit in the conversations held here.
Bravo Becky, bravo:-)
Thanks, Mike. Lots of good stuff has happened here, indeed! I appreciate your support and encouragement!
A long time ago, after my life had been on hold due to some medical issues, an acquaintance said to me, “your yes’s mean nothing if you never say no”. sometimes we all need to drop something in order to make room for something else. Just adding on activity after activity really does nothing for you or the people you think you are helping.
Good on ya!
Thanks for your encouragement, Barb. Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Write what you want, when you want and I’ll be here to read it. Sometimes the “why” can be a seemingly simple as “because I want to” without having to have a business perspective to it. Keep this personal space for you reflect when you need it. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow but that day will come. Congrats on the many successes!
Thanks, Lisa. I am sure I’ll be writing here again, sometime, but it’s nice to remove the “have to” that I’ve been feeling up until now.
I admire you, my friend. It takes a lot of courage to stop.
I look forward to following you on your other outlets. 🙂
Thanks, Daphne — glad we’re connected!
1. I’m proud of you.
2. I love you.
3. I’m honored to be your sisterfriend.
Thanks, Angie! Ditto on all three! I am grateful to have you in my life!
Well, first ~ congratulations on making a decision to stop something that, for many of us, becomes an ego-driven and ravenous consumer of energy.
You asked yourself the tough questions, and more importantly, listened to your own answers:).
One tiny comment:
YOU: ” In some ways, my writing here is selfish: I write what I want; I write because I want to. What’s missing is a compelling why.”
ME: “I’m not sure we always need a “why”, especially when it comes to “selfish”. Sometimes it’s good to not rationalize or try to find some socially acceptable or motivating reason for our behavior.
After all, I have no compelling “why” for the three cookies I am about to make non-existent in their current form. Pure selfishness. Still gonna eat ’em.”
On another note, I imagine putting this blog aside will not greatly reduce your work load – you seem to thrive on “busy”.
Have a great week and never give that darling little girl another reason to cry because you’re on the computer too long:)
Trying to summon the guts to do some of this type of thinking myself ….
Interesting food for thought in your comment. There are certainly things I do selfishly… yes, cookies included.
And, no, stopping this blog for now doesn’t free up much time. Mentally, it frees me to focus on other priorities, though.
I appreciate your support. Let me know how I can help with the tough thinking you’re doing.
Becky – Good for you. With every start, there’s always a stop. It’s wise to be deliberate about what you’re stopping to enable the starting. If not, we stop things we may not even realize — things like sleep and time with the kids. I just read Seth Godin’s book “The Dip” which talks about how important it is to quit the right things at the right time. So, congrats on quitting!
Thanks for the encouragement, Meredith! I want to be sure I always start (and stop) the right things!
Writing is something you do well. You have that gift to write things that make others say, “Oh yes, that’s exactly right.” And “Oh, yes, that’s exactly what I was thinking.” Whether you write here or elsewhere you will share that gift with us.
I’ve always enjoyed these posts, Becky–even if it takes me a day to get to them!
but I certainly understand the starting and the stopping. And I appreciate you asking the question “Why?” It’s a compelling question to ponder as 2011 winds down into 2012.
I know we’ll connect over at Twitter and other places! You’ve been an encouragement and an example to me.