I recently saw this picture on facebook. It was posted and shared a gazillion times and said, “I’m a holistic entrepreneur”. It’s meaning is that in being a holistic entrepreneur, my life + love + work + spiritually are not separate but are one. And I thought hard about that. Really really hard. Because while so many were “liking” and sharing this picture, I didn’t do a thing with it. I let it be where it was. See, there’s not a “dislike” button on facebook and if there was, that’s the one I would’ve clicked.
For a long time I’ve also been a holistic entrepreneur. My life and my work and everything in between was all one. And that led to a lovely (said in sarcasm) road that I call….major burnout. And the ones that suffered the most from that burnout were the ones that unwillingly also had become “holistic entrepreneurs” because they were pulled into that “oneness” as well. It was my family. They suffered from this approach of being a holistic entrepreneur. And it wasn’t fair for them nor myself.
Then one day I realized, that while my work grew from the passion I found as a mother, I needed my business to be separate from the other aspects of my life. Now, mind you, when you have a small business and you run on a small staff, it’s not like I could sit in a fancy office and work and leave it at home and then go care for my children, have dinner and not think about work until the next day. In case you’ve forgotten, on top of all of this, I’m also a homeschooling mom. My kids are with me the majority of my day and of course at night. And many times when I go into my store for example, I do often take them. So it’s not like I could ever be completely compartmentalized and have family in one side and work on the other. But, still I had to make the decision that the whole “holistic entrepreneur” thing just didn’t make sense for me. I had to make sure to keep separation. And because it’s a journey, every day it’s my goal to make sure that my family is first and separate from the rest. When I’m with the kids, I’m with the kids. When I’m at work and I have the kids…well, yeah that can go any which way (try bringing 4 kids to a small ecobaby boutique then come and talk to me). But I’m still their mom first and it’s not always perfect, but I’m there for them.
I just happen to not think that it’s “cool” (at least not for me) nor that it should be my goal to keep all the aspects of my life as a unity. It’s not a healthy approach as mother, a business owner, a woman and as a partner to my husband. The joys and challenges of being an entrepreneur should not automatically also become those of my family, my love and my spirituality. And to keep a balance (a not always realistic goal, but still a goal), I aspire to keep them separate as much as possible. It’s what keeps me recharged and energized to conquer and dive into the many aspects of being an entrepreneur. For me, separation makes it possible. And that doesn’t make me any less of an entrepreneur. It’s a lesson I’ve come to learn and appreciate.
With that in mind, I will sign off on this post to pack up and head home….and truly be home, with the kids, with my husband and be present with them…completely separate from my work.