Why are there so many
Songs about rainbows
And what’s on the other side?
When I hear those words I think of my knit pink outfit. A skirt and a cardigan. Some tights. The scent of a sweaty horse. . .
WHAT WHAT? I think of 6th grad cotillion with Mrs. Kinnear. She had a white bun and lucite heels with goldfish in them. A little band with a piano player, someone who played the snare drum with a brush, and maybe a string instrument.
I think of white gloves and a little dance card that hung around my wrist. (Let’s be real. A tiny little book? That was my favorite part.)
I think of sixth-grade boys. (Ew.)
We were all there to learn how to behave and be civil. I think. Maybe?
Unfortunately, my turn at cotillion was always on Tuesday nights after horseback riding lessons. My friend Marcy and I would be dropped off in our boots and britches, dirty with slobber from old schooling horses and covered in fine hair and we’d change into “appropriate attire.”
Then we’d learn to waltz and smile and we’d carefully cradle cups of punch handed to us by our (dates? escorts? boys who snapped our bra straps in science class).
We carefully box-stepped our way into what we thought was a glimpse of being a grownup.
The choreographed steps. The clearly defined rules. The “if you do this, that will happen.”
Follow directions, be civil. Just keep dancing. You’ll get there. There’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
HAHAHAHAHA WE ALL KNOW HOW THAT TURNED OUT, YES?
Making a pizza is different than running a business
While walking this morning, I listened, for the second time, to Brene Brown talking with some sisters who wrote a book about burnout.
All of the things about burnout and processing emotions are wonderful and helpful but what stuck in my brain today, that I don’t even remember hearing the first time through, was the part about how there’s really no “there there.”
When I make a pizza (and by “make,” I mean, take it out of its plastic and put it in the oven), I cook it and it’s done. Then I eat it. Simple. Done.
Running a business, living my life, well, it isn’t that simple. Running a business isn’t like cooking dinner.
There’s no “there” in running a business. A business is never all the way done.
I’m never going to be done. I was today years old when I realized that.
I think I found it like, this morning. I think I found the rainbow connection.
In business, there’s no pot of gold. (And by a pot of gold I mean a “destination.” An endpoint. You can make a LITERAL pot of gold in business, but you know me, I don’t do “literal.” I do metaphors.)
There are no pots of gold.
There are only rainbows.
I gotta stop chasing the pots of gold. I gotta enjoy the rainbows and not worry about what’s on the other side.
I gotta reframe my thinking from:
“I just have to get through today and it will be fine.”
“If I just get this process ironed out, everything will work.”
“If I just hire this person my issues will go away.”
To something more like:
“There will always be something, but what do I want that something to be?”
“I didn’t necessarily change the world, but I made someone’s world better.”
“I convinced a few business owners to try xyz a different way and it made a positive difference.”
Today, to steal a line from Oprah, “What I know for sure,” finally, is: I can stop chasing the pot of gold. In fact, I must stop chasing the pot of gold.
Rather than exhaust myself or beat myself up about the fact that my processes aren’t done, my finances aren’t done, my staff training isn’t done, I’ll work sane hours, I’ll iterate things that need to iterate, I’ll work with clients for new solutions and growing their businesses. I’ll stop trying to be done.
And you can, too. You can stop trying to be “done,” and just be. You can stop trying to reach an ultimate endpoint where everything’s perfect and working, and enjoy the work.
Not enjoying the work? The view? Turn around, look in another direction. Maybe you’ll find it, the rainbow connection.
Is managing transactional email (not fabulous newsletters like this one 😉 killing you? Well, thank you to Carol Michel for sending me this fantastic book. I’m also a big fan of this one by the same author.
Seth Godin’s latest podcast episode about right-sizing projects and what to do if things don’t go the way you planned.
A job description template for hiring someone on Upwork to help with data entry (like building emails, entering products on an e-commerce website, naming photos, organizing your dropbox, uploading blog posts to the website, etc.) and a description for hiring remote customer service help.
I’m not making it up – the part about Mrs. Kinnear’s goldfish heels (I’d like to point out that I wrote the entire first part of this newsletter from memory before I found that article to confirm the spelling of her name, and, well, wow. If you read it, you’ll see.
Need help with something? Email me.
Have a wonderful weekend. Send me pictures of your rainbows. Whatever they might be. P.S. This week starts the beginning of “Business Fridays.” My team will be in, working, and available to assist you on Fridays, but I will be working on the business instead of in it, which means no emails and phone calls. If there’s an emergency, my team can reach me for you. Contact info will be on my out-of-office email.
Thank you for being wonderful. Stay wonderful!