I had the inside track on the surprise speaker. I had prepared myself for what was coming, right? She was being introduced, I saw her red curls behind me and familiar faces with her. Then, the gasps and heads turning as she so energetically and lovingly entered the room, ready to inspire us to focus on the deep parts of our hearts for just thirty minutes. Yet, somehow, those thirty minutes rocked me harder than any of her blog posts, live feeds or books. How could this woman speak so much truth, encouragement and love into the room in just half an hour? Because she has such a gift to love others!
I don’t know if it was the hormones or the excitement to see Lara in person, but I definitely teared up. She has been such a spiritual and business inspiration for me since before HHE came to be (when it was a tiny seed of thought). I didn’t go up and talk to her afterward because I didn’t want to fan girl too much – she is just a person, after all, navigating this life just like the rest of us. I also had no idea what I would say. Not to mention, in my emotional state, I might have ugly cried on her!
I’ve listened to countless webinars and read all of her blog posts and both books, yet somehow, hearing her speak in the room with me was different. Many of the things I heard were definitely “Lara-isms” full of truth and grace. Others just knocked me on my tush and humbled me.
Y’all know I’ve been doing the PowerSheets process for 5 years and at least quarterly ask myself what my life looks like at 80 years old. I’ve even done so since we’ve been expecting. Yet, somehow, answering it in that room rocked my world. Maybe it was the fact that she rephrased the question to “What WILL NOT MATTER when you’re 80, that you’re so focused on now?” Ummmmm, more than I’d like to admit. Things that are important to my business growth, according to many things I’ve been told. Then, I wondered, what if that’s not the ONLY way?
What if I could reenvision what growing this business looks like? What if I have the freedom to decide how things happen? I’m not talking about control – we all know that’s not in my hands. However, I can change my heart and expectations to align with other things. That is not to say that I won’t do some of the things like content management, social media sharing, checking my email, etc. BUT – there has to be a better way than what I’m doing now. Because when I’m 80, on our front porch, watching my grand-babies run around laughing while I sip on my tea, that stuff will not matter.
My 80 year old self will be focused on the joy and life that was LIVED – off the computer, away from screens, in the presence of people I love and surrounded by God’s beautiful creations. Not the things I saw from my desk chair.
So – what does that look like? I’m still brainstorming that, but here are some things I plan to implement before my maternity leave this year.
I use HoneyBook and Trello now (see how over here), but I need to systemize a few more things. I just signed up for Coschedule and love it so far! I’m so excited to see how it streamlines my marketing and social media. I also plan to finish my Operations Manual. I’ve been working on it off and on for the past year. I’ll be posting about why later this month, but my end game is so I can get help from an assistant and have everything documented.
This kind of goes along with systems, but is more practical in the everyday. Amanda Hedgepeth does this and calls them “Lifeflow Lists”. I have a few template to do lists for various things, but they are not granular. So, I’m going to take the guess work out of EVERYTHING I CAN.
For years, I have wanted to schedule days that are just for me to explore, unplug and get inspired. That might look different every month, but I would like to prioritize them. Maybe it will mean sitting in silence, completely unplugged from ANY media. Perhaps a trip to a new neighborhood or park. Whatever shape these days may take, I want them to be without expectation or definition – to see what happens and what comes to me.
Taking the time to get our family into a routine, keep lists handy, and cut out anything unnecessary. Otherwise known as contentment. If we do not need it, I don’t want it cluttering up our life. That can mean things, attitudes, thoughts, expectations — anything not essential to our faith, family or well-being.
I already have some ideas for how this will not only improve our personal lives, but help me to better refine our services to serve our clients better next year. Until they are fully baked and action taken, I will hold them close. When I can finally share them, it is going to be SO GOOD!
I am vowing to let go of expectations on myself and for ‘the plan’. God already knows exactly what will happen, so I am going to listen and do the work. The part about this I am most excited for is allowing myself time to step away from things. To just be – with family, with God, with myself. Not for the sake of being creative, like above, but to just live in the moment. By letting go of things and expectations (99% of the time self-imposed), I will free myself up to truly be present.
I share all of this with you for accountability. I will not be perfect, but day by day, piece by piece, I honestly believe these actions and visions will get me to that rocking chair on the front porch having lived my life surrounded by what matters to me. I will never forget those thirty minutes and the loving kick in the pants that Lara gave me. Her words truly shifted my heart and inspired me to get to it. Should you ever read this, Lara, THANK YOU!
What things that you are doing now, will NOT matter to you when you are 80 years old? What small steps can you take now to shape the life you envision and make it your reality? We are all meant to forge our own path and live the truth on our hearts, regardless of what that looks like for others. I’m here cheering you on in whatever that is for you!