We're Lucky Because We Have Options

I’ve been away from this space for almost a month. My grandmother (who I mentioned a few times in posts either here or on Instagram) came down with pneumonia in early April and spent three months trying to get better. She died peacefully a little over a week ago, surrounded by family, and I was extremely lucky I was able to be there—to press pause on my business and just be with her and with my family as we honored her life.

While I was away (I’ve been in Virginia for half of the last three months), I wasn’t able to do much work. In a way that was a huge stress (my bank account is yelling at me even as we speak), but it also turned out to be a huge blessing. I had been struggling with nailing down the ideas for some changes I want to make in my business, and the time I spent not working was what I needed to pull back and get totally clear.

I think we’re all facing a similar situation. Time away—time to be with our families or take a break or just enjoy our lives—is crucial. Often, not taking that time just isn’t an option. But for many of us, if we’re not present (here, working, taking meetings and calls and putting out meaningful, intentional content), we’re also not earning. I’ve thought about this a lot lately. There’s a big rush toward putting out ecourses and group programs and self-paced learning options, and while that can feel a little overwhelming on the consumer’s end, in many cases it’s the best (and maybe even only) way to reach the number of people you need to reach…to make a living.

When I returned, I emailed an online friend whose business and way of approaching the world I really admire, and was so surprised and interested to hear that she’s completely shutting down her online business and has taken a job with a local company. In her stage of life, this just makes the most sense. And I couldn’t be happier for her—because she has the option. She’s making a choice that makes sense for her, and I admire her bravery and clarity beyond what I could express in a short post.

The thing is, we live in a time where options are abundant. We can choose to shape our own business, and then we can just as easily choose to shut it down. We can choose to hit pause on things for a bit and take care of things that need tending to, or we can choose to hit it hard and see major growth in a short amount of time. But these choices come with costs that can often be hard to handle, even if it's just the choice between two great options.

I don’t have any answers—and I’m not even sure there’s a question here. It’s more of an observation I’ve made since I’ve been forced to pull back a bit.

But I did want to stop by and tell you where I’ve been, and that I’m back. And that I appreciate every single comment, email, and bit of good energy and love sent my way. Thank you for being so wonderful.

I’m working hard over here to make some big (but natural-feeling) changes to content coaching—to strengthen what I’ve already built and to help you even more. Soon, I’ll be sending out some questions for you to answer, to make sure I’m on the right path—I feel like I see you so clearly, but I know there’s always more to learn. So keep an eye out, and I hope that you’ll take a few minutes to answer those questions.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts about what I shared today. Running a business online isn’t easy, and we’re all in it together—so let’s not hide behind the fears and the pauses and the tough choices. Let’s say things out loud, ask for help, and keep on going in the direction that makes the most sense for each of us. Because we have options.