Confessions of a workaholic: the not-so-glossy parts of business

I thought I would share a newsletter of mine this week – something that normally only my mailing list subscribers would see. However, it received such a response that I thought I’d share it on the blog here with you too. I hope you like it.

It wasn’t intentional, but in terms of work, this week has personally had a bit of a ‘behind the scenes’ theme. 

First, I was invited by One Woman Shop (who recently included me on their top 100 websites for solopreneurs) to take over their Instagram account. So I spent way too much time on social media that day, sharing ten behind the scenes photos from my life on their account. Head over to their account here if you want to take a peak.

I was also featured in the local newspaper as a result of being nominated (and then becoming a semi-finalist) for the Queensland Regional and Community Awards under the Trade and Community Achievement category – which had required me to share behind the scenes information in my application. You can read the online version of the newspaper article here.

And this newspaper feature triggered me to remember a blog post that I wrote back when I won International Coach of the Year and somehow forgot to publish! It was all about how I managed to get so many media features as a new blogger and business owner. So if you’re a business owner or blogger and are wanting to get more media features – you can get some behind the scenes information on how I did this and read my seven tips here.

Then I realised that I was approaching the two year anniversary of officially launching my business next month. This resulted in me looking back and reflecting on the ‘behind the scenes’ involved in getting me to this point. I realised that even though I’m very (some would say too) publicly open about my business and life, that you often mostly see the glossy parts – the media features, the awards, and the wins – and not necessarily the not so glossy parts. To help balance this out, I thought I’d share some of these with you today.

  • Since starting on my business journey, I’ve worked with seven different life or business coaches. Hello, Cara PhillipsRenee BellKatherine Mackenzie-SmithMegan Dalla-CaminaClaire BakerGeraldine Barkworth, and Cass Mendoza-Jones (well Cass is technically a kinesiologist and naturopath but the amount of guidance that she’s offered in my life and business, I’m going to include her in my count here). SEVEN in under two years! Wowsers! They’ve all had different niches or focus points – and they’ve all led to personal and business shifts. Sometimes, I’m seeing one coach at a time – and then other times I’m seeing more than one. In other words, I’ve hired a lot of support to help me on this crazy journey. And it’s been absolutely worth the investment.
  • I have arguably worked way too much. Unless I’ve been unwell (and usually still even then), I’ve worked every single day (including weekends and holidays) over the past two years on my business. I kept saying that I would schedule a consistent ‘no work’ day (e.g., a Saturday) – and I have ‘scheduled’ it in my diary in the past – but it’s yet to actually happen in practice (e.g., I’m writing this right now on a Saturday HA!). Hmmm…. I should do something about that. I have however had varying success over giving myself some evenings off work. I used to see clients every evening AND also do paperwork and writing each evening. These days, I only see clients a few nights a week, and try to not work on the other nights unless it’s absolutely necessary (which confession, it has been lately, due to me overcommitting in some areas!).
  • For the first year of my business, I re-invested every single cent I made plus more back into my business (e.g., coaching, photos, design, giveaways, client gifts, training, etc). In my second year, I’ve still been re-investing a high proportion of the money I’ve made back into my business. Despite working long hours and having a full client schedule, I am certainly not (yet) rolling in money. I am, however, rolling in passion and love for what I do and what I hope to do in the future.
  • I have done approximately 70 pro bono coaching sessions since starting my business – and these generally went for an hour to two hours each. This not only helped build my experience and social proof, but I found it highly rewarding to be able to help people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford coaching. I hope to continue to always offer pro bono coaching as part of my business – and fingers crossed, once I manage to catch up on some major projects these next few months (including a pro bono / volunteer project that I’ve taken on for a human rights related non-profit), I’ll hopefully have time to take on another pro bono client or two at the end of the year. 
  • Since moving back to Queensland in late 2014, I’ve had LOTS of help from my family. My husband Dusty at The Web Drifter is a very hands on Dad to our son and also manages my website, hosting, maintenance, and other technical components of my business. My parents have also helped in MANY ways. For a starters, they babysit our son Daniel every morning during the week. Dad also writes guest posts for my blog and offers a listening ear whenever I need to debrief or talk through a complicated issue. My Mum also helps with design work, blog updates, and other odds and ends that I’d be lost without her help with! I’m very lucky to have such a supportive family around me.
  • I went from trying to adhere to no ‘screen time for kids’ – after having worked in the policy area in Government that recommended limiting screen time – to admittedly letting my son probably watch too much television some days while I work. On the plus side, as a mother who works from home, I do get to spend more time with him than what I did when I worked for government. We get to spend every meal together during the day, read books, play hide and seek, and stomp around the backyard like dinosaurs and wild animals most days.
  • I’ve had moments that have sucked pretty bad – moments where I’ve felt hurt by people I trusted and respected, moments where I’ve felt fear, moments where I’ve been overwhelmed with too much on my list, moments where I’ve felt alone, moments where I’ve been exhausted or unwell from continuing to push through and work when my body has been warning me to take a break, moments where things didn’t go to plan, etc, etc. But oh my, have I learnt the most in those moments. And I have found that by focusing on one step at a time to get through them – and reaching out for support when needed – they’ve passed faster that I would have predicted. 

Oh my this is getting much longer than I anticipated, so I will leave it there for now. If you are also in the world of business, I hope this helps you feel a little less alone. And if you are not in business, I hope you don’t mind learning a little about the less glossy parts of my work. 

Anyways, enough about me, let’s talk about you – feel free to share the glossy and not so glossy parts in your life or work below in the comments if you feel called. I’d love to get to know you better!

Let’s soar together,

Naomi x

PS. I just remembered as I was signing off, that Claire Baker recently did a behind the scenes video about her business that I was yet to watch. I’ve just jumped over and watched it – and it’s not only fantastic, but is very similar to my own experience in terms of growing my business. You can watch it yourself here.

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