Hello! Thank you for listening. In this episode I talk about:
- Being happy with the progress you make as an entrepreneur and appreciating where you are in business
- Success in business needs a strong foundation and doesn’t need to be rushed
- The lessons farming can provide to do the hard work and not rush
- Keep moving though and don’t work on one skill when you need to add in another challenge
During my conversation with Emily Harris of Mrs. Emily (episode 002), we talked about timing. How building a business takes a lot of time, and effort, and strategy to lay a strong foundation. She often felt everything was slow to get in motion and wanted to push it more, but with everything going on in her life, it didn’t feel right or natural to do that. And she knows that she couldn’t be where she is today without the work and effort and time she took on building her skillset over the past year. And the time she took to enjoy being a mama over the past year. She recognizes she can’t be where she is today, both professionally and personally, without where she was in the past. But it’s still a struggle to be ok with that every day. She knows where she wants to be and often wants to get there faster. Can you relate?
I can! I’m nowhere near where I want to be. But I am where I’m supposed to be – does that make sense? I’m going as fast as I have been able to and as fast as I’m comfortable with.
When I started coaching, I had so much to learn and do in order to feel organized and professional. Not only did I spend loads of time prepping my site and getting clear on my vision, but I spent hours in coaching classes, hours providing free coaching and mastermind groups, and hours worrying about my credentials. Maybe I didn’t need to spend so much time on those steps, but I for me – it helped me get in the best place I could be in order to be an effective coach. I had to start somewhere. And I had to build the initial layer of a foundation.
I then had good movement in the business. But pitching myself to be on podcasts or in publications slowed because of a new baby, maternity leave, life. And that was ok. I loved every minute of that. And I slowly kept moving forward anyway.
But fitting everything in is hard. I often fall asleep working on my business at night after getting everyone else to bed. Or can’t think clearly enough to get much done when I wake up early in the morning to fit some work in before one of the kids wake up. Yet I’m drawn to this work and I’m going to keep moving forward no matter what.
Another aspect of entrepreneurship Emily describes is the iteration process. She designs clothes and to be the best designer possible, she spends hours upon hours designing, fitting, tweaking, measuring, working on scaling to serve more and more people. She won’t rush this process because she demands an exceptional product for her clients. She’s not building fast fashion. She wants something that builds confidence, is functional, and lasts.
I appreciate this because in the age of immediacy, this type of quality and effort is hard to find. In my business I don’t operate on fast results either. Not for myself or for my clients. I do have to fight overthinking what I’m working on. But making educated, deliberate decisions that have impact and are functional and can be prepared to scale is important. Taking a long time to see the fruits of the work can be frustrating, however, as a farm kid, it’s pretty much par for the course.
Growing up on a farm, there are no short cuts. You can’t skimp or slack or eliminate steps. There’s no shirking on pulling weeds in a pumpkin patch – you have to get every one. Trust me. When my dad went to check, he would find every single one I missed. There’s no skipping picking up rocks in a bean field. He’d find those to and tell you it will break the equipment if you miss it again. There’s no missing a row while detassling corn – those stalks will stick out like a sore thumb. And you can’t speed your way through mowing acres of grass. It will look sloppy and really, you can only go so fast before you bounce right out of the seat.
I was trained (often and over years) to do things correctly in an efficient manner – but in doing so, those jobs would take hours that bled into days. And then you’d need to do it all over again. So no matter what I wanted to do that day, work had to get done first. And they took a lot of time. My brother and I certainly wanted to do them faster. We wanted to get in the pool or meet up with friends, but we had to put in the work, not waste time, and get the job done to my parents’ high standards. We got better at the jobs with practice, but it never seemed to save much time! There was always more to do.
And that’s what Emily is doing. She’s continuing to build her skill and feeling more comfortable with each and every step. Her products continue to be the better for it too. And she continues stepping outside of her comfort zone to try things that will increase her productivity, grow her client base, and scale her company up.
Learning. Preparation. Confidence. Those all take so much time. But we want to put our best work forward. We want to be as knowledgeable as possible. We want to create a completely polished product. And that’s ok because you’ll start with an exceptionally strong base which will catapult you further from the get-go.
The trick is to keep moving, though, and not allow yourself to become paralyzed by too much overpreparation.
There really are only so many weeds you can pull. So many rocks you can pick up. So much grass you can mow. Before you do need to move on. There are other fields to get to. Other problems to solve. Other fun to be had.
What field are you currently spending too much time in? What project have you gone over and over? Have you reached a minimum viable product and are able to add in the next layer? Step to the next level?
Are you running the same path over and over or are you moving forward toward your professional goals. Going slow and deliberate is a good thing. But do keep building on top of that foundation.
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