On The Value Of Making A Mess, In Business and In Life

I wrote about the process of moving a few weeks ago, so here is an update: This week I’m a 33 year old sharing a guest room with two dogs and a cat and living out of a suitcase in her parent’s house. I’m in the middle of 14 days without furniture at either house (POD shipping is nice but slow) and I haven’t even had a chance to unpack my boxes yet.

On top of that, I’ve spent the last two weeks saying goodbye to all of my friends and favorite places in my favorite city. I packed up my entire house. I drove 1100 miles with the aforementioned pets over three days. The Pennsylvania Turnpike with an angry 16 pound cat is a new circle of hell – don’t do it.

Change sucks, but it teaches you things.

While the last few weeks has been a big cluster of stress and anxiety, I found myself amazed at how it also helped me rediscover the community I had around me that I often take for granted.

My favorite restaurant gave me my favorite salmon recipe to take with me. My upstairs neighbors had me over for dinner and made a giant Italian rice casserole for me to eat when my entire kitchen was in boxes for four days before my furniture got packed up. They even delivered it with disposable plates and napkins! I collected countless hugs and good wishes from people I came into contact with regularly but never really considered friends. Once I’m settled into my new house, I’m going to make a better effort at appreciating the people and things in my new community from the start.

So why am I talking about this on a business blog?

Just like you can forget about how awesome the life you’ve quietly built is, you can also forget about how amazing the little business you’ve silently sweated over for years is. My business is the little business that could. I’ve had no outside investment. I work from home. I’ve done my share of cold pitching and being ignored.

Now that I can pay my bills with my business, the time spent doing mindless things like packing enabled me to think about how I could grow it using my stable client base. While I envisioned my new office space in my new house, I also casually envisioned business changes that I could make to shake things up in a productive way. Making a total mess of my life temporarily shook me out of my rut and routine in a productive way.

What would you change about your business if you were willing to embrace potentially messy change?

Do you have new things you would try if you were willing to try something completely out of your comfort zone? What big ideas do you have that would help things grow your business rather than maintain the status quo?

Burnout is real when you run your own business and sometimes the act of doing something different can be incredibly freeing – even if it’s stressful at first. Everyone running a business (especially a small business) is constantly in superhero mode and it can be so hard to give yourself permission to dream big and try something new.

As a little hidden bonus for making it to the end of this long and reflective blog (and if you want help trying something new this Autumn season) mention this blog post in your inquiry email for 15% off your work estimate from me!

No Comments

Leave a Reply