November 28, 2012

Rachel Strella

My New Year Starts Now

By Rachel

This past year has been a little busy. Among them starting a mastermind group, and working through client turnover, it’s sometimes difficult to establish a rhythm, let alone set aside time to reflect on where I am and where I want to go, rebranding the business, launching my new product,.

I admit to being a stubborn perfectionist – someone who refuses to quit – even when all signs indicate that I should give up or to take a break. I also admit to not knowing what to do with myself when all the ‘work’ is done.  If it’s actually ‘done,’ I find a way to revise it or create even more work.

At a regular visit to my doctor, I discovered a few health issues. Don’t worry – nothing major, but enough to make me realize that I sacrifice a lot of ‘me’ (and my husband, for that matter) for the business.  And, as many small business owners do, I keep on pushing.

Hard work is my talent – in fact, it’s what I consider to be my only natural talent. Hard work is what got me from working a dead-end job to having a profitable business. But, hard work is also my vice. When there is nothing else left to do, I work. When work is done, I work. I keep going that extra hour on a project thinking this will make it better, when I know that sometimes it’s actually making it worse.

Having struggled with balance many times before, I know that if I want to make a change in my life, I have to take action. Not on Monday, not on January 1, not when ‘this-that-or- the-other-thing’ is finished… but right now.

And so it begins. I plan to eat better, sleep more, exercise more, and pay more attention to my body.  It’s easier said than done – this I know – but I realize it MUST happen in order for me to continue to do what I do well, which is ‘work.’  Now there’s an interesting statement. In order to work more, I have to work less. Sounds funny, but it’s becoming clear to me now. And this is why balance is so important. No matter what, we are still human beings. We were not made to be machines, in any capacity. Why I think/thought being a machine was something that was expected of me, I’ll never know.

As many are preparing for the holidays – with spiced cocktails, chocolate chip cookies, and maxed-out credit cards – my New Year is beginning now.  My New Year begins with taking care of myself – first and foremost – and making myself a priority. My ‘work’ will now be taking care of me… so I can take care of work!

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6 comments on “My New Year Starts Now”

  1. That's called working smarter, not necessarily harder - a good lesson most of us have to relearn, over and over again. You go, girl!

  2. Great post Rachel - thanks for being so open and sharing your story. I am sure many can relate and suffer similar problems. Love your work less to work more theory. As Kathy said it is about working smarter and I am doing the same. Letting go of the perfection paralysis, getting things finished and building a team are key to this for me. Also saying no and not feeling a need to 'people please'. i have had a huge year too of really working on my niche (social media strategy, training and coaching) and enlisting help for things I don; want to do or shouldn't be doing. I LOVE writing and have a few books, plus programs underway, but the key is completion, not perfection. I have met some great people this year and you are one of them! Put yourself first and take some time out when needed. you inspired me to put myself first the other day actually. I was going to get straight into work, but decided to take my dog to the beach and start an hour later... So glad to have you in my network. x

    1. Hey Jo,

      It's healing to me to share my life openly. I am glad others appreciate hearing my rants! 😉

      Believe it or not - I am not an analysis/paralysis type! Rather, I am a perfectionist who takes action! Yup, I don't fit the mold. I get 'er done, but it's got to be good. Very good.

      The 'people pleasing' side is also one that I've struggled with over the years, but have gotten much better at setting boundaries. Jeffrey Gitomer says in his book, "The Little Red Book of Selling," In order for you to be the BEST you can be for others, first you must be BEST for yourself." That hit home for me and even inspired this blog.

      Thank you for also becoming such a vital part of my community. We've never met and you're about as far away as one can get, but I feel like I know you. That's the power of social media and I love it!


  3. Rachel,
    Truer words were never spoken. We, women in particular, tend to push ourselves, ignore ourselves and the signs our bodies are sending and work- just a little more, another hour, or in my case, one more donor visit - just a bit more and we are finished. Truly, we are never finished, there is ALWAYS work to be done and the work will always be there; but we may not be.

    So glad the health issues are not serious, but super happy that they woke you up, so to speak and you clearly see what you have to do to be happy and healthy.

    You are the best and by taking care of yourself yu will stay that way.

    And BTW, you do not rant!!!!

    1. Jeanne,
      What you say about women is spot on. I was just telling Liz this yesterday! Women tend to put ourselves last! I remember reading a book from the same author who wrote the "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" series. This book was geared toward those of us in business. His message was simple, "your inbox will never be empty." And it's true. We keep pushing on... but there will always be emails, always be paperwork, always be more that needs done.

      Thanks for reading and for taking the time to respond. I enjoy having you as part of my FB gang!


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