Beginning around 2008 / 2009, the number of female entrepreneurs in the world exploded. I don’t pull that data from anywhere formal, just from what I noticed in my own friend-groups and online. The internet had a lot to do with that, making the barrier to entry much lower (and less expensive) than in the past. Women everywhere started pursuing their dreams of business-ownership (through their own platforms or through direct-sales companies like R&F, Jamberry, etc). We dove in head first – many (if not most) of us pursuing one common, sacred thing: freedom. We wanted freedom from the rigors of the corporate American work-week (for many of us so we could have more time to spend with our little ones), financial freedom to breathe a little easier budget-wise, and something to call our own. I italicize that last one because – while all three points are important – that last one pertained to women of ALL types – those with jobs outside the home and those without jobs outside the home.
I jumped in with both feet in 2008 and never looked back – until my own entrepreneurialism became unhealthy. “Getting ahead” (or even staying ahead / organized / successful / inbox-0 / whatever) became just as (if not, at times, MORE) important than what I remember being prioritized by my own mom: having quiet talks in the car on the way to ballet, lingering prayer-time / book-time before bed, and everything else that was sweet and slow.
Slow became, for many of us, something we didn’t identify with anymore. Entrepreneurialism wasn’t the only thing that did this to us, of course, (I’m looking at you social media, more demanding corporate jobs, etc), but it sure fanned the flame of FAST. In 2015/16, I started to “look back,” pulling both feet out of the water (the rapidly racing current, mind you). Perhaps it was my own age (33/34) or perhaps it was my growing family, or perhaps it was straight up burnout (very real), but the pace of it all became too much. Oh my heart… am I glad the pace became too much. Am I glad I hit that wall. That wall changed my life . And I found myself backing up, forcibly pushing *everything* except what mattered most to me to the back seat, and rewriting my life -> more so, rewriting what my days looked like. For years, I’d said (while working in corporate America especially) who SAYS I should have to sit in this seat from 8-5, who SAYS business should have to be done this way, who SAYS we should wear / act / do this certain thing. And I found myself, at the helm of my own little enterprise, saying who SAYS I have to work 60-80 hours a week, who SAYS I shouldn’t go to the gym a few times a week DURING NORMAL WORK HOURS (gasp!), who SAYS business should be done this way (sound familiar…)
You see where I’m going here. Full circle. Entrepreneurialism can be unhealthy. It can also be an incredible gift to a family, like it has been to ours. This little note is to encourage all you boss-ladies, girl-bosses, mompreneurs, or whatever other fancy word we’re using these days – to take a few minutes today to evaluate your ambition, your drive, and your passion. Are your priorities in line? Is your heart in the right place? Is your health and your family’s health in the right place (emotionally, spiritually, and physically)? Have you thought about how much your company / endeavors / calling / ministry will flourish with your attention on the right things (this is VERY real and something I’ve experienced tenfold this year)? Is it time to turn your ambition, drive, and passion inward? Inside the walls of your home and inside the walls of your heart? Maybe not. Maybe so. And if it is, I’m walking that path with you, sister. It’s the most personal freedom I’ve ever felt in my life and it makes me so proud of what I’m giving my family — the best of me.
PS: image by Gina Zeidler
PPS: read more from my Coffee Break series here.