When I think back to the Balance & Boundaries event, I find myself smiling, nodding, and taking a deep breath.
I’m smiling because it felt so damn good to hear three successful women in our business community share such real, honest, and relatable stories to a roomful of over 35 entrepreneurs.
While this may look like a laundry basket filled with bread, it is actually so much more than that.
It is community, business, nourishment and education.
I can tell you that I do not look (or feel!) this happy at a traditional networking event. I've been to so many of them, in different cities/towns/provinces, and have decided to create the kind of networking event I would be excited to go to...and I'm so happy to trusted my gut to go with it!
While I have enjoyed meeting new people and deepening connections with folks I already know in networking events, there is something about the very traditional networking event that often makes me cringe. I think it is in part due to the pressure to talk with as many people as we can, finding someone interesting to talk to and feeling worried about what you'll actually talk about when you do meet them (and let's be honest...how to leave a conversation that isn't filling you up!).
Creating space for reflection is priceless especially when you are busy making decisions, taking chances, and growing and/or scaling your business.
It may seem counterintuitive to slow down just as you are speeding up but pausing regularly, as you are moving your business forward, can be hugely beneficial.
And all too often, we take time to think about why we failed and not as often to think about how we succeeded. Especially once it’s over and you are moved on to the next thing, right?
In my past work, I supported complex systems change work as a Developmental Evaluator with a national youth engagement project, called YouthScape. Think, many community groups working together in order to do better at engaging young people in their communities and organizations.
It was my job to deeply listen, watch and pose questions, nudge gently, and share observations, so that changes could be made in real time and not wait until the end of the initiative.
I think setting intentions may be the gateway to manifesting.
I can get behind the woo woo and my close friends would tell you I’m more woo woo that I think. I really do believe that good things happen to good people and that a positive mindset can make a difference in helping you move forward.
Nearly 10 years ago, we packed up our life in BC and drove across the country to the South Shore with all our worldly possessions (mainly our bikes, boats and surfboards) piled in and on top our little car...arriving mid-January in Lunenburg. We also had no jobs, no friends/family in the area or even a long term place to live. However, within 4 months we both had full-time work in our fields (he found a teaching job and I started working at the local women’s center), a short term rental and our eyes on a dream house that became our current home.
We've all had one of 'those' conversations. The kind that falls flat at best and cuts deeply at worst. Sometimes we walk into those conversations feeling prepared and rehearsed - knowing the key points you want to get across, focused on listening to the other person, and still it does not end the way you imagined. Other times, we rush into communicating without any thought at all and everything is beautiful.
Why is it that some conversations do not land well and others are flawless?
What I have experienced is that exceptional communication can be boiled down to 5 simple elements. Person. Place. Time. Tone. Content. Easy? Not always. Doable? Absolutely.
When you have all 5 right, you'll hit it out of the park almost every time. Really, even if you can get 4 of them nailed most of the time, you're doing pretty good!
It all comes down to communicating with the right person in the right place at the right time in the right tone with the right content.
I'm so happy to share some insights and stories from the recent Money Mindset: Bookkeeping event that happened on a drizzly, cozy evening at the beginning of June.
About 40 people came together to connect with each other, have some food+drink and hear from our three panelists about all things money, how to make more of it (and feel good about it!) and the nitty gritty details of how to keep our books in order.
Katie Condon is a bookkeeper who specializes in small to medium-sized businesses including sole proprietors, incorporations, and non-profits. Meg Craig is a creative director and brand strategist who owns Skysail Brand and Hailey Thompson is the owner of Here no There, a home decor and gift shop in Mahone Bay.
Katie started the discussion off with the story of how she became a bookkeeper - from a stay at home mom to a successful business owner who empowers others to take control of their businesses by understanding their money and bookkeeping. She encouraged everyone to keep their personal and business separate - from the beginning, if possible - so that you have a very clear story of what money is coming and going. She also said to get an accountant that you can build a relationship with - someone who has your back and can advise you as your business grows.
Can we talk about this?
I used to believe there was a way to balance it all. That there was a magical land where the pieces of our lives fell into tidy compartments, wonderfully and equally balanced, so that we can fully focus on each independently and successfully.
Now that I’ve tossed that notion out the window (for the most part..I'm always working on it!) and have embraced that my work is integrated into my life, unapologetically, I’m starting to see a shift.
Some might call it a mindset shift. I like to think of it as a lifestyle shift. It’s not all sunshine and roses, by any means, but by not trying to separate my life as a friend, parent, entrepreneur, community member, partner, human, family member, etc, etc...I feel better about fitting all these bits into my life.
I used to be a dedicated paper planner user and was so happy when a friend and co-worker introduced me to Polestar planners - did you ever use one of those? Maybe you still do? I loved mine and it was where I jotted everything down (work and life) back in the day before I had a cell phone...it's almost hard to believe I didn't carry a phone with me at all times?!
It has only really been with in the last couple of years since I stopped using a paper planner (but to be completely honest? I have a fancy 90 day planner I haven't used yet...more on that in another post!) and went digital and shifted everything over to google calendar.
It was certainly an adjustment (though, I still keep a notebook in my bag!) to go digital but I can't imagine it any other way now. Being able to share a family calendar, access it on the go in order to confirm meetings and set up client work is worth the awkward transition time it takes to swap it all over.
Have you gone 100% digital? Or do you stray away from cloud-based calendars?
Maybe you have a hybrid system?
Do you use a planner? Write lists on scraps of paper? Hold your breath and cross your fingers that you don’t forget anything? Family calendar on the fridge or inside the cupboard door?
Please share in the comments what kind of system you use in your life/work/business!