Real Talk: How I made it through the busiest summer of my business (and life).
Well hello there, darlings! Remember me? We used to be such dear friends before I disappeared on a totally impromptu blogging hiatus eight weeks ago. I’m back today to tell you where I’ve been - and what we’ve learned in the meantime.
Y’all, this summer has been a perfect storm of crazy - between the amazing work we’ve been doing with our clients, typical summer madness and some unusual family circumstances it’s been weeks and weeks of late nights. We’ve had the pleasure of working with some amazing clients - and we can’t wait to share these projects with you soon. Meanwhile, with a wedding in the throes of planning and a fiancé on three separate away rotations (fourth year of medical school - can I get an amen?), this summer has taken me to San Francisco, Austin (three times!), Temple, Corpus Christi and Seattle in the last 10 weeks. It’s been as delightful as it’s been exhausting and I’ve loved every minute of it. But it’s also involved some unconventional workspaces, sixteen hour days and more than a few deep breaths.
Here’s what I’ve learned in this busy season of life:
Prioritize with Intention
When life gets crazy, be intentional about what’s most important - and what you can strip away. Our clients come first - always. Which is why when things got busy you saw less of us on the blog and in social media. While I love these channels deeply, taking a break allowed us to pour all of our energy into loving on our existing clients. Other non-negotiables for me? Breaking a sweat a few times a week, carving out time for friends and family, and at least a little sleep. First to go? Regular laundry folding, TV watching (I still haven’t watched the new seasons of Orange is the New Black or True Detective!), reading blogs and magazines and real cooking (more on that in a minute). Get creative with your balancing act. Several times this summer I’ve gone out for a meal with girlfriends, going easy on the wine, and returned home for a few more hours of work before bed. Bizarre? Yes. Perfect for me at this moment? Also yes.
Do one thing at a time
I have trouble focusing when my to-do list starts to overflow. I spend so much time obsessing over my plan to get it all done that I actually get… none of it done. This has taught me three things this summer: first, that doing anything is better than doing nothing on the list; second, that once I get some momentum by finishing a task or two, the next projects become easier and easier; and finally, that sometimes you don’t get everything done - and it’s ok. Adopting an all or nothing mindset only leads to pressure, stress and unproductiveness.
Get help in your business
Asking for help is terrifying - and so is receiving it. Like so many other entrepreneurs, I’m an unapologetic control freak - I truly believe that my attention to detail and high standards are a major contributor to my success in business, and so handing over the reins to anyone else is a challenge. While we’ve had a great team of contractors supporting Magnoliahouse in the past, this summer I became ready to start building a dedicated team. As a result, we’ve hired our first two in-studio employees and have slowly but surely been integrating them into our business. You met Hannah on our Instagram account a couple of weeks ago, and I can’t wait to introduce you to Binari, our new Junior Designer, later this week!
Get help outside of your business
This was the big one for me this summer - and definitely one of my most unexpected. The honest truth is that I love the work I do - and while I wouldn’t be able to sustain this in the long term, I take a special joy in working late nights and long days. So, to help me get through a busy season of life, I started finding ways to replace my chores and obligations outside of work to free myself up for extended work hours. My favorites? I’ve hired a housecleaner to come in and do the chores that really take me forever (can you say floors and bathrooms?) and relied heavily on Plated to replace much of my meal planning and grocery shopping. It’s a win-win for me because using these services still feels deliciously indulgent but still makes financial sense by freeing up several hours each week to work. Now if only I could hire someone to go to the gym for me.
I really want to hear two things from you in the comments - (1) how do you manage a busy season of life? and (2) now that we’re back, what questions can we help you answer on the blog? We’re reenergized and ready to help you tackle all things in your business, so don’t be shy with those suggestions!