The Journal

A Balancing Act

I just got back from a wonderful tête à tête with my friend Amanda. She and I went to Cafe Francais – remember them? It was such a lovely intermission to my day – the conversation was just what I’ve been needing. Both Amanda and I are business owners, and we commiserated over brioche and pain au chocolate about the highs and lows of owning a business and how easy it is to become emotionally involved and unable to separate business life from personal life.

Amanda and her husband, Brian, are two of the most talented swing dancers I know. Their specialty is Lindy Hop, and the way they kick up their heals and dance is impressive. They run Vigilante Swing and teach lindy hop to beginning and intermediate dancers. If you live around the Bozeman area and want to learn how to dance, you HAVE to go one of their classes. Trust me. Once you’re jiving to the beat of Benny Goodman, you’ll thank me.

As Amanda and I sat eating our pastries, we discovered how alike we are when it comes to nurturing our business and getting frustrated when things don’t happen as fast as we want them to or don’t go how we envisioned. And then the business starts to overflow into all aspects of life. Anyone who owns their own business can empathize, I’m sure. You want your business to succeed so badly that it ends up taking over all of your thoughts. You take everything business-related personally.

Case in point: Someone didn’t comment on my Facebook post – why not? What am I doing wrong? Why isn’t everyone hanging on my every word?!? Please just “like” us already!  Doesn’t anyone love me? Validate me!!

Yeah…it can get a little pathetic. But when you’re so invested in making a business succeed, it’s hard not to treat it like your child and be insanely obsessed about making sure it’s growing like it’s supposed to (or like you want it to). It can be very discouraging at times.

Amanda and I came to the conclusion that in order to stay sane, we need to get better at compartmentalizing. It’s good to be invested in your business and work hard to nurture it, but it’s also good to separate business life from personal life. Work needs to be given its own time and place. And while the highs can be awesome, the lows don’t have to impact every facet of our personal lives.

I think I’ve found new meaning in Joe Fox’s (you know…from “You’ve Got Mail”) motto: “It’s not personal – it’s business.”

It’s all about finding a balance. And it’s also about acknowledging and being thankful for the little successes, even if they appear few and far between.

“So often we are depressed by what remains to be done and forget to be thankful for all that has been done.” –-Marian Wright EdelmanC

Can I get an “Amen?” 🙂 So, balance and thankfulness, here I come!




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