It's been six months since I officially launched Raising Women and during that time I've always been very honest about the fact that Raising Women has been born out of my own journey and my own unanswered questions about life and my place in it. I've also been very honest about the fact that I am very much a woman in process and this business of mine has been born out of this process, never by me believing that I know better than anyone else.
There are times over the last six months I've had laser focus and others when I've felt like I have been completely flailing, drowning. These feelings have come in waves as I've navigated the creative process, going from those feelings of being hugely inspired, motivated and excited to bring a new idea to life to the polar opposite of feeling defeated, like I've failed and just not getting it 'right'.
Recently I've been feeling like I'm failing, I've lost my confidence. I've spent a lot of time this week trying to work out why I feel this way and I've started to understand a few things. I'm not feeling very clear about where I'm going with Raising Women, and I'm very aware that confidence comes through clarity. When we are clear about what we are doing, it's very easy to be confident about it.
Being a creative and a holistic health coach with a mission/message I have so many ideas, too many ideas, I struggle to reign them in and find focus. Because to me it feels a bit like putting my passion into a box… yet being unfocused can be utterly exhausting and feel like you are feeling your way in the dark.
It's very noisy in my head, there is A LOT going on up there and sometimes it just gets too loud and I find myself at times, like now, when I need to 'exhale' release some of the energy, the thoughts and emotions that get stored up there. Tell some of my truth, in order to regain some of that focus and to filter through all of my thoughts.
We each define success differently and I've spent a lot of time working out what success means to me, and it's primarily not about personal financial gain. One of the main goals for me is freedom, freedom of location, freedom to mother, freedom to create, express and freedom to be and most importantly to financial freedom to be able to give back… However, I've made Raising Women my full time job and therefore I have to ultimately think of it from a financial standpoint, which ultimately feels like my freedom is being compromised. But at the same time, I need to stand back, step away from all the noise and regain some focus and to do that you often need to set boundaries/guide lines. Which can be made using the things we often feel constrained by.
As an advocate for women striving to reach their potential, whether it be on a personal or professional level, many might think that me telling this truth is not a 'good' thing, it's not good to show your weaknesses, especially your financial weakness as a business owner. But from my position I also believe that I would be doing the women who have been supporting me a huge disservice to keep up a charade that my business is financially blooming and that I have it 'all sorted'. It doesn't feel right to me.
I also believe that on a whole the mothers who are becoming entrepreneurs are ultimately doing a disservice to other mothers who are considering leaving corporate and becoming an entrepreneur by showing only their 'perfect' when it comes to income, because juggling motherhood and business is hard, and maybe giving up the security of a steady income is not suited to all of us.
As women and mothers we have become very good at overcoming many taboos, for example breastfeeding and women's rights in the workplace, however I believe that we still need to work on this and open up the conversation about a number of other subjects. I don't think we can truly support each other, if we are still not being truly honest about our situations. Money matters like 'women's matters' way back when are still very taboo, it's still seen as not OK to talk about income and finances, and yes I agree in some circumstances it is crude, yet if we are encouraging women to take the 'big leap' I think that to truly support them we have to be more open about when they will be landing on.
Just coming to these conclusions and thinking more about my feelings, I have a clearer understanding about where I would like to take Raising Women and why I am truly doing all this. I've found it exhausting that this business has been so much about my personal experiences and emotions, because I want to ultimately detach from from that and not relive it again and again. So I've decided that I'm going to take some time behind the scenes to try and regain my focus and take everything that I've learnt so far and built up over the last six months and make some new goals. I'm very certain that these will include the continuous building of community, connections and definitely I want to continue giving back. Where I struggle is in defining my place in all of this. When you set out to create a purpose driven business you are often emotionally involved and this is where I struggle as sometimes my emotions get the better of me.
Appearances can often be deceiving. With each project I learn something new and my latest campaign is no exception. I've spent a lot of time doing, however I spend little time defining what it is that I'm actually doing. Through my various projects and coaching sessions I have these wonderfully clarifying rare 'a ha' moments around what it is I'm actually creating. I start close up painting on the blank canvas and the image changes everyday as I work on my 'painting', however it is only when you step back that you see your 'bigger picture'. Recently I've realised that freedom, freedom to be who we truly are plays a huge part my bigger picture, and I realise that to be who we truly are and accepted, we need to be truly honest about who we are and what we do. Otherwise people are making connections with us based upon their perception of us.
So I'm not sure what will come from me stepping back and taking a look at my 'bigger picture' however I know that this will ultimately be a step forward, for me personally and for Raising Women. So please bare with me while if my 'perfect' slips at all.
What do you think we need to talk more about?