Let’s Talk About Your Why… and Finding Balance

Passion Led us Here by Ian Schneider at Unsplash. https://unsplash.com/photos/QLqNalPe0RA

I recently shared with everyone who follows my journey on Dama Camelia that I will be refocusing and dedicating this website to my professional writing.  Moving forward, my plan is to fill my journal with writing prompts and tips for becoming a better wordsmith.  I will also be expanding into the world of branding, marketing, and direct-response copywriting because I just so happen to focus my time on all of these.    

In directing my energies towards my career, I have found myself overwhelmingly nostalgic as of late. I think often of how life is full of surprises and even irony, and how my journey up to this point has been surrounded by both.  Several years ago, I studied marketing at the University of Miami. Seems like an awfully long time ago actually. I had originally selected entrepreneurship as my major, but due to the sequencing of classes being an obstacle in graduating a semester early, I switched my major to my intended minor – marketing.

It has now been exactly a decade since I graduated. 

That seems shocking to admit… 

But for years, I felt like I had studied the wrong subject matter. Now a student of creative writing (I will have a Master’s degree by this summer, woooohoooo), I have spent my fair share of time expressing my deep regrets for studying business; for years I found myself wishing that I had studied English instead, yet now that my formidable entrepreneurial nature is driving my every action, I have developed a new appreciation for that dusty diploma in the back of my filing cabinet that confers a “Bachelor of Business Administration.”

Truth is, I have always had a desire to work for myself, branding and building up my own business. But as an INFJ personality, I also have an innate desire to help others, and I am a dependable employee.

The risk-averse part of me likes working a nine to five and having structure. But my free spirit grapples with the aforementioned way of living. I love structure, but I love freedom equally.   I appreciate being able to come and go as I please – more so now than ever that I have children. 

Having my own business affords me freedom, but I also find myself working tirelessly around the clock.  It is hard for me to disconnect because I can always learn more.  With an insatiable hunger for knowledge, I spend as much time learning as I do executing (I may actually spend more time learning than executing, if I am being perfectly honest).

With a mildly addictive personality that has been obsessing about work, I am trying to balance having a family with building my career, but it has been a challenge.

Follow Your Passion by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

If you have been following me over on My Life As A Baseball Wife – my lifestyle blog – you will have read posts that I wrote in my early twenties that touted being a housewife. I was proud to be the supportive wife, and I cared little about anything that fell outside the lines of that role.

My goal as a newlywed was to be the perfect Stepford wife, but I had to look myself in the mirror and admit that I was a terrible housewife. Being home 24/7 (my introverted self has little desire to step outside of the house at times) left me depressed and wanting more. This really wasn’t much of an issue for me until I became a mom.

But why was it worse when I became a mother? Being a mother was supposed to be the life I was meant for.  I always pegged myself the ideal candidate for the stay-at-home mom role. The perfect Catholic mom with three or four perfectly behaved home-schooled children. Nope. That isn’t me. I am far from the perfect mom. And my children?  I often call them my animals because they behave more like rabid animales.

When I became a mom, although the most amazing gift I could have received, my life revolved around changing diapers, cleaning the house, and watching cartoons for a solid three years. My existence felt dismal and I was projecting my feelings onto those closest to me.

Although my self-worth has never been tied to a career, I sure feel a lot better about myself when I am sharing my gifts and talents with the world and subsequently helping provide for the needs of my family.  But the grass is hardly greener on the other side.  When I first went back to work, I struggled with not being home more with the family, with missing the occasional bed time, birthday party, and school event. I ended up paying a big price for going back to work: quality time with the family. 

This is when I decided I needed to trust God and listen to unrelenting pull in my heart to just STOP.  To stop the zillion things I was doing and start working from home.

But taking a leap of faith was scary. It always is. For a long time, I wanted to find a way to work from home, but I failed over and over again to make it a reality; there were reasons for this that slowly revealed themselves over time, and I have to believe that everything has worked out in His perfect timing.

The past few years while I have struggled to find my way, I have learned something valuable by watching my friends who have built small empires as Beachbody coaches, Rodan + Fields consultants, Yonique presenters, and Zija distributors. These ladies know their WHY and there is something magical about that and how it translates to their businesses: it drives them. The most valuable lesson I have learned in seeing them rise, is that order to succeed as an entrepreneur, you must know your why.

But I am sure you know running a business is hard.

There are myriad challenges that come from owning and operating a business. Let’s take for instant the gift of not having a boss breathing down your neck?  This is great, but… having the freedom to schedule your day as you wish can be a blessing and a curse simultaneously. You need to find a way to stay accountable to yourself and your business. In a world full of instant gratification and technology, there is no shortage of distractions and you have to stay laser focused on your why in order to persevere. Drive and persistence are the two things that will lead you down the path of success.  

I’m going to be completely honest with you here…. ready? 

I can be lazy.  There have been times in my life when I have done nothing more than binge watch Netflix, hardly making the time to even shower.

Yep. You read that right.

I can be completely and utterly useless if I let myself be.  This is why I need to remind myself daily of my why.  Right now I am functioning on all cylinders, but if history keeps me honest, burnout isn’t far behind me. I have been known to function on all or nothing.

As an INFJ, I have to find purpose in what I am doing, the moment I feel stagnant or as though I have lost my purpose, I crumble and crash.

HARD.

I am working on finding a balance though. My plate is overflowing with commitments and I have to remind myself to take time for me, too. If I don’t nourish myself, I know all this hard work will end up being detrimental to my health.

I like to call myself a lifelong learner because I never stop learning and growing.  If you aren’t willing to learn, you can’t expect to grow. 

So I just wanted to say, I am here because I know my why.  My why is my family and my passion for writing.  This is what will keep me on track.  It is what I will lean on when I get weary and when doubt starts to creep in.

If I can do this, I know everything else will fall into place.  I will probably stumble along the way – don’t we all? – but ultimately, as long as I stay focused on the things that truly matter, those which drive me, I know it will all work out.

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