When I spoke at last week's Startup Princess retreat, I opened by telling all the other women business owners that I have recently joined their ranks.
I've left "Corporate America" to go out on own. For almost the last 20 years I worked 24/7. My friends and family barely knew me. There simply wasn't time to build relationships, or even take care of the relationships that were dearest to me.
While it seems I now have sacrificed sleeping (I asked the women business owners at the retreat how they sleep at night, not having a steady pay check and sometimes wondering where their next client or sale will be).....but I have gained something even more valuable....time.
My sister is big on birthdays. She says you must always celebrate someone's birthday on that day. She's especially conscientious of single friends who may not have plans. There is nothing worse than your mother calling up and asking you what you are doing for your birthday, and having to say you have no plans.
I recently celebrated two birthdays with dear friends. I made a point to make them feel special. An added bonus was that I felt special, too. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was......
If you want to have a good friend, be a good friend.
So when one of my friends blurted out that she was having sex for the first time in six years, I was positively giddy. I was so happy for her, that I went home and wrote her a cheer. I spent a ridiculous amount of time writing and rehearsing the cheer. I never would have done that in my former business life. But it was worth it to see the look on her face as I performed her cheer and threatened to record it and put it up on Youtube.
And today I went to the funeral for one of my best friend's mother who passed away unexpectedly.
All I will say on this matter is - at weddings you find out who your acquaintances are. At funerals, you find out who your friends are.
I've been very blessed that business is coming my way. But I want to tell all the women and men who own their own businesses, that I have a new found respect for them. But I hope that they will also enjoy any flexibility and extra time to focus on what's most important.
I'd love to hear from you as well. Any other new business owners out there? How's it going for you? Want to do lunch, like, at a real restaurant, not your desk? (How cool is that)