Thriving Solo by Georgia Nixon
I’m Georgia. Let me start by saying that at 16 months, my daughter has just now started sleeping through the night. For 70 weeks in a row, I have been on a 24-hour non-stop clock with sleep intervals ranging from luxurious 4 hours to just 45 minutes (Thanks, molars!) As a single mom by choice and a solo business owner, everything falls to me. I am an expert in efficiency, productivity, relaxation, and grace. I’m also a recovering perfectionist and co-dependent. These are my universally applicable rules to thriving, regardless of how your life is built. If I can thrive and grow under these Herculean labors, you can thrive and grow under yours as well.
Don’t miss the keyword here: thriving.
You can’t have it “all” but you can have everything you need and desire. No excuses, either. Excuses are simply opportunities to discover solutions.*
If you do not know what life you envision for yourself, then you will always be trying to live someone else’s life. What’s worse, you will be miserable and unsuccessful because you’ll be trying to live a life you don’t even actually want or desire. It won’t be your definition of success, therefore, you will never actually be successful.
Programming, upbringing, society, and media all try to tell us what life we should be living. Ignore them. Sit alone and be real about what it is you truly want.
Write down your perfect day. How do you wake up? What color are your sheets? Explore and define your perfect day, all the way to how you go to sleep for the night.
Know Your Priorities
Determine your priorities. Revisit them every time you doubt yourself.
Currently in our industry peers are building huge online businesses super fast. I want this. But I don’t want it at the expense of losing a single moment with my young daughter outside of 9-5 Monday-Friday. I also don’t want it at the expense of my health. (Nothing will slow a business’s growth trajectory like an owner who can’t function due to sleep deprivation. Sleep was essential to my survival.) Family time and health are my top priorities. Other business-building moms I know are happy to sacrifice the moments now for a different future later. Neither of us is doing it wrong; we simply have different priorities.
Again, know your priorities and their hierarchy. When you have self-doubt, revisit them. If you are out of alignment, you’ll feel relieved as you correct the course. This removes all guilt.
Still feel guilt? Re-evaluate your priorities and go back to #1 and re-evaluate whose life you are trying to live.
Embrace Life’s Seasonality
We are always in a particular season or chapter of life. We cannot always be growing. Being stagnant isn’t necessarily a bad thing either — we only label it as stagnant when we feel the pain of being ready to move onward, right?
Fully embrace the place you are right now. As the saying goes, “Be Here Now.”
If it’s painful, acknowledge the pain. Give some gratitude. You are going to make that pain mean something incredible later.
Are you enjoying abundance from all your hard work? Yes? Then really dive into relishing in the abundance! Do a Scrooge McDuck dive into your treasure of abundance. Don’t miss out on it because you’re looking for the next thing already.
Be gracious and gentle with yourself regardless of what season you are currently experiencing. It’s just for now, not forever. This is true for both the blessings and the challenges
Go to Bed Early
Get your sleep. You can’t be your best self if you don’t sleep. Your hormones will be off. Your brain won’t be as efficient. Your face, body, and skin will show the world how you mistreat it night after night.
You know who else goes to bed early? Olympic Athletes. Billionaires. Navy SEALS. Apple CEOs. Millionaires. And now, you.
Oh, and don’t sleep on your stomach. Respect your body more than that and research healthier ways to support and position your body as it rests.
Always Do Your Skincare Routine
You are in the beauty business. Doing your skincare routine is a part of your job. No matter how you feel or how tired you are, always do your skincare. Always.
It does not have to be fancy on those nights where you can barely function. Cleanse and moisturize and go to sleep. Sometimes that’s all the mental and emotional energy you have. I get it. But do it!
Pro tip: Your nightly skincare can be done anytime in the evening. It doesn’t have to be right before bed! So do it when you first get home, or right after dinner but before Netflix, or as your bedtime routine...but, again, do it regardless of how you feel.
Outsource Everything Imaginable
“It takes a village” doesn’t just pertain to children. You need and deserve the support, too. Revisit the priorities list and then explore whether any tasks or errands can be outsourced. The more you outsource, the more time you have for your top priorities.
Moms of young babies know you get three options during naptime: sleep, clean, or shower. You can’t do all three. Most of the time you can only pick one and then get halfway through another.
The bigger your life becomes with business and family & basic adult life, the more asking for help becomes vital to your sanity, your relationships, and your business’s health. Businesses are built on teams, not individuals. Running your life/business/home is no different.
Things to consider outsourcing when you are accustomed to bootstrapping:
- Grocery Shopping (I’m even about to hire an assistant to compile the orders for me because that also takes time)
- Administrative tasks like customer relationship management, inventory, content posting
- House cleaning
- Handyman services- I have a company on retainer for only $40/month. So far having their service has saved me $500 in service repair calls. They even change my light bulbs I need ladders to reach. It makes my home more inviting, safer and keeps the property in good condition.
- Errands like Amazon returns, Nespresso drop-offs, Target pickups
- Meal prep or pre-made meals
- Gift purchasing management - no more forgotten birthdays!
Doubtful you can afford such luxury? Ask neighbors or friends if they struggle, too. Nanny shares are commonplace in parent communities. These same families are now starting to share personal assistants and home managers, allowing them to attract better help and pay better wages at a reduced rate to themselves.
Talk about helping the economy! You create jobs, at better wages, and increase your time for revenue generation or recreation.
Be Gentle with Yourself
This is the lesson I learned from the now-defunct Young Widows Bulletin Board: Be gentle with yourself. We are so incredibly swift to judge or berate ourselves for even the smallest errors or shortcomings. Instead, I challenge you to love and encourage yourself as you would your best friend or a small child.
Yes, you are a grown-up but you are still learning and growing as a human. You deserve to give yourself some grace for falling every so often. Gasp! You are not a perfect creature. Gasp! You fail and fall short at times. Hooray! You get up, lick your wounds, and try again.
Be gentle with yourself. Remember it’s ok to do something nice for yourself. It is okay to feel proud of yourself. It is also okay to be embarrassed. It is ok to come in last; at least you started at all. Commit to never speaking poorly of yourself, to yourself. You are simply a human, learning to make it through your current adventure. What fun would it be if you were perfect anyway?
*Don’t believe me? Think your situation is too unique? I welcome you to email or DM me and I will personally respond.