What if the key to getting more done was to start by feeling good?
In one week, I’m doing something I’ve never done before and I’m pretty pumped about it. I’m about to take off for the trip of a lifetime to Paris with my dear friend, Tonya Leigh.
As I’ve been making preparations for this trip, I realized at this time last year, I would’ve never said yes to going on this trip. I had a business to run, people to help, and money to make. I would make time for fun, leisure, and trips of a lifetime later.
What I am about to share is deeply personal and I never expected to tell you this, but when I get intuitive hits about business, I’ve learned to trust them.
Last August, I found myself working 12 hours days with numerous clients. This was nothing new to my business. I’m a hustler and I get stuff done. I create results for your business and I’d been running this way for years.
One random Wednesday, after hours of work, I found myself sitting on the floor in the corner of my office, curled in a ball, crying. I felt tight in my chest and wondered how I was going to get through the remainder of the year.
I was booked solid almost every day, no lunch, and hardly time for a restroom break. I believed this is how things had to be as you built a business; Hustle hard, get results, push harder and higher.
I was on a fast track to burnout and ruining everything I’d worked so hard to create.
Today, I’m floored at the difference a year makes. I still hustle, but I’ve adopted a new attitude that allows me to take the trip of a lifetime with friends, double the amount of money I made last year, help more people, and connect back to the real me.
I’m not the right person to talk to you about today’s topic because it’s only through the love and support of people like Tonya that I’m recovering from this.
Make no mistake about it; this is something that almost ruined my business so I ‘m turning over your Authentic Selling Challenge to the woman who helped me change it all, the lovely Tonya Leigh.
If you’re like I used to be, you’re probably thinking, “What? Start by feeling good first? I need to check off my to-do list first.”
I want to show you how living beautifully, making space for play and pleasure and tending to the details of your life (not just your business) can increase your bottom line. In the past year, I’ve:
- Reached thousands of women around the world to help them discover their je ne sais quoi and the art of living well
- Successfully launched Slim, Chic & Savvy twice in the past year
- Tripled my business
- Built an incredible team to support me in carrying out the French Kiss Life vision
- Attracted happy customers who are getting mind blowing results
Clearly, pursuing pleasure and beauty first isn’t hurting my business. But don’t get me wrong. As much as I love drinking a glass of wine while listening to Nina Simone serenade me over a three-course meal, I also love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with planning, executing, and making things happen.
Here’s what I’ve discovered. Balancing ambition and ease isn’t just possible – it is crucial to building a business that serves you instead of you being the servant to your business.
You went into business for a reason, right?
You probably found your job wasn’t worth the stress or time it took away from your family. More importantly, you have a message that you are deeply passionate about sharing. And now, you’re dedicated to getting that message out through your products or services.
And yet, once we start on our entrepreneurial journey, we often find ourselves in the same perpetual hustle we were in our old jobs.
You’re in a hurry, so you roll out of bed and stay in the sweatpants with the holes in them. You don’t have time to cook, so you’re not eating well. And who has time to exercise? You find yourself gaining weight or feeling lethargic. As a beautiful friend of mine said, “I feel like Marge Simpson when I want to feel like Audrey Hepburn.”
It’s no wonder we find ourselves as exhausted as we were when we had our jobs (or, maybe even more so). Running on fumes of fear and scarcity, there never seems to be enough time, money, resources or clients to support the life you dream of.
Well, my friend, I’m here to tell you, it’s a lie. There is more than enough for you to be highly successful. And, it has so much more to do with who you’re being than what you’re doing.
Luckily, there is a better way, and it has everything to do with letting more ease in.
The secret to my business success – leisurely hustling
It sounds like a strange combination of words, but it’s completely possible for your inner hustler and your inner lady of leisure to coexist. Leisurely hustling combines ambition and elegance to create a beautiful life and business that is successful and supports you.
It may sound counterintuitive, but believe it or not, that mindset is exactly what I’ve discovered as the key to success in my business. Letting go of my Protestant work ethic in favor of a life of pleasure one took a major mindset change, but slowing down to a saunter has done nothing but serve my business and my personal life.
In case you’re not familiar with my work, you should know I am a devoted Francophile, and the French life is focused on quality and pleasure. Many people believe that success leads to happiness, but I think just the opposite is true. I believe happiness leads to success.
So I have a question for you.
Are you working to live or are you living to work?
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Kendrick, and I know this. If you’re here and you love her work (as I do) and you believe in being the kind of woman worth looking up to – one who will toast her 90 year old self and say, “Well done!,” then learning to leisurely hustle is for you.
When you think about your life, what do you think your 90 year old self would say about it?
You’re making a living with your business – but are you truly making a life?
The answer to that question is why it’s a must to focus on creating a life that maximizes your happiness and joy.
So instead of starting your day with emails and racing to get things done before the kids get up, what if you start your day with some leisure?
Here are some of my top tips for becoming a leisurely hustler.
- Dress the part
You are the leading lady in your life. Do you really think you should stay in your pajamas all day? Energy is everything, and I know the energy I bring to my business is influenced by how I feel. That’s why I make it a point not to start working until I’ve put on a little lipstick and a beautiful outfit. And, on the rare days I stay in my PJs, you can bet they are beautiful ones.
“But, no one will see me,” women often say to me.
Well, you see you. And, don’t tell me you don’t feel better when you’re in a great outfit versus tattered sweatpants.
Show up for yourself first so that you can show up for your clients.
- Cultivate an environment of elegance
If your work environment could talk, what would it say? There was a time where mine would have shouted, “The CEO of this company is a hot mess.” Thank goodness, things are different around here these days.
It’s a fact – beautiful spaces make us feel better. I’m inspired when I’m surrounded by pretty things.
Spend some time creating a space that brings you happiness while you’re in it, from putting fresh flowers on your desk to cleaning out all of that excess paperwork that’s been sitting in your office. Work from a gorgeous hotel lobby. Fill the background with tantalizing melodies. Surround yourself with beauty, and see what happens to your work. (I bet you’ll like it.)
- Shorten your to-do list
As a fellow hustler, let me just say that there will always be more to do. That’s just how business (and life) is. And as a lady of leisure, let me say that pleasure can’t wait. Instead of reading another list of “productivity tips,” what if you just did less of mundane tasks and more of what’s really important?
Please trust me when I tell you this: people are wasting their precious time on low return activities. (Cough, cough), Facebook!
If you’re stuck in the nitty gritty details of your business and life and not the high impact items that will lead to more momentum in your business, you’re probably feeling scattered and exhausted.
High impact items, for me are: cultivating relationships, creating content, providing quality service to my clients, leading the French Kiss Life team, cultivating a vision.
Every Sunday night, I pour myself a glass of wine (or I take myself out to a swanky lounge) and create my leisurely hustling plan.
I choose three (yep, just 3) business projects that are most important right now. Then, I break them down into doable tasks put them in my calendar. And, I don’t dare leave my life out of this equation. Things such as dance, lunch with girlfriends and a dinner party are a part of my plan as well.
Here’s what I’ve learned: If you don’t create a schedule for what’s important to you, It will seem as if life is happening to you versus you happening to your life.
It might sound scary to let go of the idea of needing to work all the time, but the fact is that there is no hurry (my favorite mantra ever!). You have all the time in the world. It’s just a matter of slowing down, getting focused and savoring your life.
Besides, if you don’t have the time to read a book while you savor your morning cup of coffee or to take a bath and paint your nails, what do you have time for?