Do you have a word or theme for 2016?
I do. Ambition. If this past year taught me anything, it’s that ambition is the key ingredient to success.
A year ago I didn’t know how 2015 would look. I was pregnant with my second baby, and I thought my business would be taking a backseat for who knows how long. At the time, my mindset was stuck at just getting by. If I could maintain my main clients and live off my saved income, I could be ok for a few months after I gave birth. I thought my only option was to tread water with my business to be a good mom. I worried that if I didn’t put the business on hold and take a “proper” maternity leave my baby, my family, and I would all suffer. What’s a “proper” maternity leave? Well, I’m fortunate to live in a country that offers a year of maternity leave benefits. I used these benefits after my older son was born but this time, because I wasn’t paying into employment insurance, I wasn’t taking part. Because of this, I felt like the odd one out among other new moms who were taking their one year away from work. When I told some people in my life my plan to go back after just a few weeks I’d get the head-tilted “Aww Caroline” as if to say “that’s so sad you don’t have the luxury to focus on just your baby”. It made me feel even worse about thinking about such a possibility!
I had full expectations of living off a shoestring for a year, but then a switch went off. Or, rather, I gave birth three weeks early.
With no time to finalize a lot of things I went into labour weeks earlier than anticipated. On the coldest day of the year. And then my baby had jaundice, and we traveled to and from the hospital for four days before being admitted for three nights. And then, the day we finally arrived home from our second stay at the hospital our house welcomed us with open arms…or should I say a huge leak from roof to basement (damn ice dams!). So then my husband, my four-year-old and my newborn were displaced for three more days because the insurance told us it wasn’t safe to live there as they cleaned things up.
Wow, those first two weeks of my baby son’s life were incredibly stressful. But I handled it like a champ. No (official) breakdowns. And the outcome was positive. I’m mom to a beautiful, healthy baby boy and I’m loving my new hardwood floors (thank you, insurance).
My point in telling you this is that I realized then, after planning for a maternity leave so I could have time to focus on being a mom to two, that I could handle so much more than I had given myself credit for.
And so, I gave myself permission to refocus on my business while also focusing on my children. Yes, it can be done and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I took on my two biggest clients and then, one by one, let more business in. But, not just any business, work that made me feel motivated, energized, and happy. The beauty of entrepreneurship is we have a choice as to who we work with. By only working with people that resonated with me I became more ambitious. I listened to my gut more. I paid attention to my worth and charged accordingly. I learned how to delegate. I learned how to be a smart business woman and a smart mom.
As we close 2015, I’m so very proud to say I have matched what I made while working in traditional employment and am projected to double that next year! Woot! I’m sharing this because it’s important to know as an entrepreneur. I sure appreciated learning that the so-called impossible was possible from others as I have grown. Becoming more mindful of what I want and need has helped me along the way. Realizing the term “it all” means using all of your resources at hand (yes, it’s ok to find childcare or house cleaners and business contractors).
But, wait, I was missing something in 2015.
All the planning I did for my “maternity” leave and I never once properly planned for my business. I didn’t do goal setting last year. But 2016 goal setting is a big priority this year. As I look back at all I achieved, I wonder what else I could have achieved had I laid out my goals and desires. This year I’m doing just that. I’m revisiting what I didn’t achieve, why I didn’t achieve them, and a plan for achieving them in 2016.
I’m on a mission to focus on my ambitions this year. Not only what I want to do but why I want to do them and how I want to feel when I do them.
I created a goal planner for myself that will make me unstoppable next year. Unstoppable, you say? Yes, because it gets you in the right mindset to be unstoppable. It’s also very simple. Something we could all use this time of year.
After I created this for myself, I thought it was something I needed to share. If I could have my best business year yet after giving birth to my second while still being a very present parent, anyone could. Not only that, let’s backtrack a bit, if I could begin my business period, anyone else can, too. These are the steps I have used the entire time I have grown as an entrepreneur and will continue to use.
Sign up below to download. I’m excited for you to find your ambition and achieve your dreams in 2016! Let’s go on an ambition mission! Click below to download!