"Well, OBViously!" Six lessons I learnt this summer (and why they might make me look like an eejit)
Can you feel it? All the back-to-schoolness that’s in the air at the moment? My social media feed has been full of proud parents posting ‘child-in-slightly-too-big-uniform-with-oversized-school-bag- on-first-day-of-school’ photos, and business owners sharing their latest offers.
I’m feeling it too. That shiny shoes, sharpened pencils kind of vibe. But before I look too far ahead, I like to reflect on what’s behind me. To see where the lessons are and to observe how far I’ve come.
Perhaps you do the same?
If not, I highly recommend it! It isn’t always obvious in the moment, but you never know what insights might emerge when you stop and look back.
In the spirit of sharing - and hopefully inspiring you to make a list of your own - here’s what I learnt this summer:
1) Life will always happen. No matter how carefully we plan, no matter how much space we clear and how many lists we write, life will always happen. Last month I cleared my diary for two weeks so I could focus on developing my business. I wrote a could-do list and was clear about my priorities. I was ready and raring to go. And then life happened. I unexpectedly needed to go to the hospital with my dad the morning I had research calls booked in. My phone was playing silly buggers. My laptop broke and needed taking in for repair. All in the first week. Needless to say, much of what I’d hoped to get done, didn’t. Life will always, always, happen. (I did already know this, but I guess a reminder never hurts!)
2) Being self-employed makes it easier to roll with it when life happens. I get to choose how I respond. I could’ve got myself in a tizzy, thrown a strop or two and cursed the universe for getting in the way of the perfect two weeks I’d planned for myself. But how would that help, exactly?! Instead, I chose to sigh, shrug my shoulders, deploy my sense of humour and roll with it. I’m the boss. I get to choose. And the fact that I didn’t need to ask anyone’s permission to be there for my family was golden.
3) Connection is key! I may not have spoken to as many people as I’d hoped, but the conversations I did have were nourishing, inspiring and thought-provoking. As well as online chats, I met with some of my business buddies in-person and had loads of social time with family and friends over the summer. If I’m not careful, I can stay hidden behind my laptop. This summer reminded me of the value of connection.
4) There really is no need for me to schedule my weeks around a typical Monday to Friday work routine. Duh! It’s been three years. I really should’ve figured that out by now, no?! And whilst I sort of had, I also sort of hadn’t. I have lots of thoughts to share with you around that, which I think deserve their own blog post. Watch this space!
5) My sister always comes home in July. I mean, this has been the case for the last 15ish years, ever since she moved to Dubai. But for some reason this was the first year I realised I could prepare for it, planning my time so I could enjoy hanging out with her whilst she’s back in the UK without worrying about what I ‘should’ be doing in my business. Again, I’m in charge. (Can you spot a theme here?!)
6) Lots of people go on holiday during August. I thought I was being really clever by taking my two weeks of business development time whilst many of my clients were away. One of my main priorities during those two weeks? Connection and conversations. I hadn’t quite appreciated that many of those I wanted to connect would be away too! Oh dear. Classic case of failing to join the dots.
As I share this list with you, I’m probably making myself look like a proper plonker.
Did you find yourself muttering “well, OBViously” when you got to numbers 4, 5 and 6? I know I did!
Talk about slow on the uptake!
But I’m happy to look like an eejit, in case me owning up to these pretty obvious lessons sparks something for you. Maybe there are some “well, OBViously” things in your life that, once you tune into them, might make things flow more easily for you.
So, I’m sharing my sometimes embarrassing list, and taking one for the team.
Have you learnt any lessons this summer, obvious or otherwise? I’d love to hear them! Leave me a comment below and let’s be enlightened plonkers together!