The Puppy on My Lap 6 Lessons from a #BossMom

Roy Lichtenstein
Wether you have chosen to exit the formal job market or was forced due to circumstances, it is tough to make it on your own. Trying to balance work/life, getting acccess to market, making contacts and basically being CCB (Cook, Chief and Bottle washer).
 
Trying to do all that and be a full-time mom with full-time mom responsibilities like lunch boxes, home work, sports, broken hearts and bruised knee’s, household chores, feeding the family, keeping the plants and pets alive and still looking fabulous at your next client engagement is a like living in a 70’s super hero comic book. At some point you will crack, the Kryptonite of your circumstances will render you helpless, unless you stop and breath for a moment.
 
It so happens that a couple of months ago my world was made just a tad more interesting by the unannounced arrival of a tiny Jack Russel Puppy. I love animals. I adore puppies. But I have enough responsibilities. My first reaction was desperation at my ever-changing challenges. But, taking a step back Blitzer the Jack Russel Pup, sleeping on my lap has thought me 6 lessons. I’d love to share it with other BossMom’s and similar super hero’s out there.
 
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1.     Peaceful minds don’t plan, they live now and follow through
I am an over-thinker, over-planner, over achiever. I can analyse the fun out of everything and often do. It is hard work to make my mind shut up and observe for a change. When your mind is at peace you can focus and follow through. Then the day-to-day dramas of life come and go while you can follow your North Star.
What does this mean for your business? It means you write down your vision on every mirror, on every white board, on every screen and recite it as your mantra. Focus and follow through.
 
2.     Everything is personal
By that I don’t mean the thin-skinned, immature, entitled, self-absorbed, reactionary “no body loves me, everybody hates me, I’m gonna eat some worms” attitude. I mean everything in life is about relationships. If you can’t connect with someone on a personal level there is no true connection made. That goes for clients, suppliers, your kids and your spouse. Time, acknowledgement, focus, attention, compassion – those are the rarest and most valuable of commodities.
What does this mean for your business? Take the time treat every person as a person in need of another person, not in need of a service or a product.
 
3.     It is not about you
We are all connected and when we loose our connection with each other, we become frantic and anxious. We have this drive to be independent and responsible, but we forget that we can only function fully when we stay connected and focus on what we can offer rather than what we can get. When we shift the focus from what we need to what we can give, life opens up a whole spectrum of amazing opportunities. All of a sudden we offer value and make an impact.
What does this mean for your business? Instead of focusing on all the things you need to succeed, focus on what you can provide and give to make a lasting difference in every situation you find yourself in. Focussing on what you can give rather what you need takes away the anxiety and the drive to succeed in a materialistic world of conspicuous consumption.
 
4.     You are asking/wishing/praying for the wrong thing
Whatever your religious or spiritual beliefs are, there comes a time in any mom-preneur’s life when you ask/pray/wish for more of something, less of something. Some kind of miracle, some intervention. When you are just so overwhelmed you don’t know where to but to wish on a star or cry a prayer. We ask/wish/pray for the wrong things. We want quick cures, symptomatic relief. Instead we should seek fulfilment and joy and self-growth. Not wealth and financial security. We need that to survive, but we need the other stuff to thrive.
What does this mean for your business? Yes you need to keep the lights burning and pay your child’s school fees, but when you trust in something greater than yourself and focus on a bigger “why” than making ends meet, an amazing shift in perception happens. We focus on what we have and thus our positive thoughts create positive responses, different people and opportunities are drawn to us and amazing things happen.
 
5.     The journey will provide
This concept is a beautiful African one that the over-thinker, over-planner mind struggle and grapple with because it means belief and purpose. It also implies that you cannot out-plan life and you need to let go and trust the process. If you know where you are heading, trust that the journey will provide you with the equipment you need to get to that destination.
What does this mean for your business?  If you have your vision formulated and embedded in your DNA, it is motivation enough to trust that whatever you need to get to that destination will be provided on the journey. What we think we become.
 
6.     Purpose, Purpose, Purpose
In real estate the old adage goes: It is all about location, location, location.  In life and in business I find it is all about purpose. Though purpose might and probably will change as we grow as people, we have to identify something so great and wonderful that resonatates with us so deeply that we are prepared to work and sweat and cry in order to achieve that. I don’t mean to be all “kumbaya-e”, it is a matter of business case-studies. I listened to the African CEO of a very large brand house say  that their brands that drive purpose are much more succesful than the brands without a purpose. Purpose drives profit – what a revolution!
What does this mean for your business? Know your “why” and remind yourself daily of that. If you cling to your “why” the struggles and the worries tend to fade away slightly and help you focus on what is on front of you and what you are working towards. It certainly doesn’t come easy and is not a quick fix, but to remember why you chose this journey helps you staying your course.
 
Now I have used a whole hour of “productive” time, but at least I can share my thoughts and the lessons of a puppy on my lap. Hopefully some thoughts for you to ponder on over this season of change and new beginnings.