Bold & Pop : 3 Tips for Dealing with BIG Life Changes as a Business Owner

You may have caught a smidge of some of my life changes in the #BoldBossTribe Facebook Group or on our social media, but let’s just say it’s been a month for me personally. It’s been scary, exciting and heartbreaking all at once and with big changes comes a lot of growth. So in true Bold & Pop #RealTalk fashion, I wanted to share a little about my news as well as some of the things I’ve learned. Because I know I’m not the first or last business owner to make some BIG changes.

So what the heck do I have going on? Well after living in NYC for nearly 7 years, I decided to blow up my life, or that’s the term I’ve decided to coin. It was truly one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I don’t think things happen by accident and everything seemed to be leading me to make a change. As a lot of you know, I’m originally from the west coast and after years of the back and forth to visit my family, home was calling me back. I had so many feelings about this decision because one of the biggest motivators in starting our own business for me was being able to go back and forth more. In my mind, I had decided that if I could just spend more time in Washington those feelings of being homesick would fade. And for a bit it did help, but those airport goodbyes never got easier for me and instead of feeling content I just started to feel my heart wanting to be home even more. Now that in itself would be a BIG change, but in making that decision I also called things off with my longtime boyfriend. Add in sorting out breaking the lease we just re-signed, renting said apartment, and planning a cross-country move in 3 weeks and you could say things have been a little cray. #AllTheFeels

It has certainly been a lot, but I’ve come out on the other end so I wanted to write a post giving you the rundown in hopes that this will help some of you who are either considering, in the middle of, or going through some shifts right now.

Making Big Scary Changes is SCARY, but do them Anyways

In the midst of these changes, a Facebook Live popped up in my newsfeed that I really needed to hear. I don't even usually watch live sessions, and to be honest, didn't really know the person who was doing the session, but for some reason, I hit play. Back to that everything happens for a reason thing. She said often making decisions isn’t what holds us back but living through the repercussions of those decisions. Ultimately, a lot of times we know exactly what we want, but the pain of living through those changes often holds us back. Her words struck a nerve, and to be honest, I’m not sure something has ever resonated with me so much.

The truth is, the idea of moving home has been on my mind on-and-off since I moved out there. I originally only planned on staying a year, but years 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 quickly came and went. Every time the idea of moving back would pop into my head though I would eventually brush it off. I had built an amazing life in NYC... I had a great boyfriend, amazing friends, a great career and I lived in New York fricking City!... I’d be crazy to just leave all of that behind, right?! So I did my best to make it work. In my head, I always had milestones of when I would be completely okay with the decision to stay but as those milestones came and went, those thoughts never completely faded. I was terrified of making the wrong decision, terrified of regretting staying in the city and even more terrified of regretting not moving home. But, sometimes you just have to listen to your heart, like really listen to your heart.

It’s not the first time I’ve been scared of making a life-changing decision and it certainly won’t be the last. If there’s one thing I have learned from the past though it’s that I’ve never regretted making any of these big scary decisions. They certainly aren’t easy, but these pivotal decisions have always taken me down a path that has changed my trajectory for the better. Moving to New York was a HUGE decision for me, and even though I'm ready for a change now, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Quitting my agency job to start our own business was another -- and one that I'm not sure would have happened if I didn't move to New York. All of these big decisions culminate into a bigger plan and even when you can't see the whole story, one day you'll look back and understand. The great part about life is the road isn't always straight and just because you make a decision today that will be right for you doesn't mean you can't take a turn later down the road.

Life changes are scary, but have the courage to do them anyways! My advice is if your heart is calling you to do something, at least take the time to listen. And I mean realllyyyyy listen. Take the time to try and understand why you feel that way and which direction it may be pushing you. Think it out... write down pros and cons... talk about it with someone you love... daydream... cry it out.. do whatever it takes for you to take a solid look at your options. You definitely don’t have to follow your heart blindly and just because you consider it doesn't mean you have to go through with it either, but if fear is the only thing holding you back, then it might be time to go for it.

Know When to Ask for Help

I'm the queen of I can do everything (or I like to think I can anyway). I also like to internalize and just sort things out myself. If there's one thing I've learned from this experience though it's that it's SO important to admit you need help when you're in the middle of going through life. It's not a weakness, and I can promise you your support system will be there to help lift you up when you need it the most if you ask. Whether you need help sorting out your thoughts or making plans for if you actually decide to take the plunge, this is an important point to remember. 

Luckily for me I have the BEST biz partner who has been there with me through this whole process on both the personal and professional end. Not going to lie guys… I’m seriously spoiled with Mallory as a business partner. She has certainly been my rock and other half of my brain during this month to make sure we were on track with everything and that all of our clients were getting the love they deserve. Holy moly have I been thankful for her! While being business owners certainly offers a little more flexibility, there is also the stress of managing your personal emotions while still getting work done in your business. Prioritized daily to-do lists have always been a go-to for us at our business, but even more so when your life is exploding!

If you have a business partner, I suggest having a really honest conversation about dividing and conquering your tasks. Being super specific about everything we needed to get accomplished each day helped me clear my head and get down to making some magic happen while also having a little flexibility if I needed to also squeeze in sorting out some life details. Same goes if you have a team... be honest about what you can realistically put in and ask for their support. Things may be a little tougher as a solopreneur without having additional hands on deck, but you really need to have a real conversation with yourself on what you can accomplish each day during the transition. It may even be worth hiring a VA or additional support for the time being so that you can keep your head above the water. No matter what you decide, don't be afraid to ask for help because that support will make SUCH a difference.

Be Patient with Yourself

With any big life changes, there are going to be quite a few ups and downs. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to feel all of the emotions. I extended my trip and planned my move while I was still back in Washington and thought I had kind of come to terms with things, but ended up completely falling apart when I went back to NYC. I’ll be honest, it really hurt. Even more than I thought it would. As crappy as packing up and saying my goodbyes were though, I did my best to fully embrace it. I let myself process everything, feel that pain and take some time to really feel the impact of these decisions. Were there some moments I wondered if I was doing the right thing? Absolutely, big changes are NOT easy and things will go in waves. Taking the time to really feel the effects of those decisions just reminded me how much this chapter meant to me though and was so imperative to finding peace and closure.

As business owners, we often live this illusion that we have it together 100% of the time and I want to remind you to give yourself a break. You don't always have to have it all together and I think it's actually better to just embrace those feelings head on. If you have a moment in the middle of your workday, roll with the punches. Take a few to sort through your emotions. I know personally, taking a break here or there during this experience has been crucial to being able to process my personal life while also keeping up with my work. While of course we all have work to do, one of the reasons you started a business was probably for more flexibility, so if you need to take a few throughout the day and change your schedule a little -- take advantage of that.

All that being said, while closing chapters and writing a new one is scary/sad/exciting, you’ll get through it! After all, I imagine starting your own business was one of those big, scary decisions and look how that turned out! Follow your heart, face your fears and hang in there because you’re going to be just fine! If you have other tips you think would be helpful on this topic I’d love to hear from you in the comments too!

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