Handling the Hard Parts of Owning a Business

Don’t get me wrong for even one second.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE what I do. In fact, I wrote a whole post about it recently on our Leaders Blog.    I sincerely believe I have the best/coolest/most rewarding job on the face of the planet.  And really, who could argue with this cuteness? Music Class With Katey

But that’s where the conversation usually ends with most people who also think they have the “best/coolest/most rewarding job”.  Most business owners I know won’t openly divulge the icky, not-so-fun parts of what they do, which is terribly unfair.  Business ownership is often put on a tall, shiny pedestal without so much as a mention of how that pedestal was built, how it stays standing and polished, and what it takes to stay there living the perceived awesome entrepreneurial life.

Want the honest to goodness truth??  It takes a lot of hard work and grit. We are talking serious determination. Long hours. Unpaid work. Tons of trial AND error. Revisions like you wouldn’t believe. And so on and so on…

There are things I have dealt with as a business owner that I never thought I would encounter in my life, let alone before I was 30.  I have had to learn so many things outside my general scope of knowledge and way outside comfort zone (website building anyone).  I am challenged and encounter something new nearly every day.  I have had to learn to rely on other people in my life who love me (especially my incredibly supportive husband, amazing family, and outstanding business partner, thank you all!!) and learn to accept help… which is really hard for me.  I have had to accept that there are serious growing pains that come with trying to grow my business that also seriously affect my personal budget.  I have had to learn that there are very few things I have complete control of and that I have to trust the people and processes I am surrounded by.  I have had to have some serious moments and really tough conversations with people.  I have had to put on my big girl pants and become a real boss in both my personal and professional life.

Yes, those are the some of the hard parts and I don’t anticipate them to just going away.  Every day that I am a business owner, I fully expect to be challenged.  I understand, acknowledge, and accept that some days are going to be really rough and more often than not there is nothing I can do to change those things that occur.

The one thing I can control is my response. How I cope. How I react. How I handle myself in stressful situations. And how I learn and grow along the way.Running for the Win

Today, was tough. I felt anxious and upset when I was walking through my front door.  My first instinct was to curl up in a ball and cry. My second was to run. So, I ran.  I employed a couple of my favorite self-care strategies and went for it. I listened to a podcast that I knew would be motivating and a pushed myself to run faster!   When I got home, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and like I could move forward with what I needed to get done.

Getting to the point: There will be hard days, tough situations, and challenging moments. I handle them with lots of support from my friends and family, engaging in serious self-care strategies that work for me, taking time for reflection and rest, and acknowledging that all of the hard work I have put in has helped build something incredible that will simply keep growing every day because I love what I do.

2016: Simplify, Streamline, Self-Care (part 3)

STOP!!!!  Stop what you are doing right now!

Take a deep breath. 

2015-10-02 18.00.07

How did that feel?  Pretty great, right? Take another one. A slow, deep breath.  Remind yourself to simply breathe and take a second to step away from everything.

Close your eyes and take another deep breath.

 You’ve got this. 

When I feel myself starting to tense up and my shoulders slowly creeping toward my ears, I remind myself to stop, take a moment. Breathe. Remember, to breathe.

Previously, I’ve talked A LOT about self care in a series called “Love Yourself”.  However, it’s soooo important that I’m going to rehash it now.

Take at least a little time out of every single day to…you guessed it…

stop-sign

Do something (literally ANYTHING) for yourself.

We get so consumed in the tasks we “have” to do every day that we simply forget to take care of ourselves.  We forget that in order to care for our families, help other people, or be successful at work, that we first have to take care of our selves.  We have to make sure our proverbially batteries recharge at some point so they don’t shut down and power off entirely.

Self-Care can be ANYTHING!!!

It can be anything that helps you to recharge, unwind, relax, find yourself, or however you like to look at it. It just has to be something for YOU! No one else. JUST YOU!

Can it help someone along the way… sure, maybe. But, it has to help you!

How do I self-care: Jogging, baths, reading, cooking (when I WANT TO), playing piano (for fun), wine, drawing, watching Netflix with my husband, writing, going to the dog park (with the dog), taking pictures, organizing my closet, writing a blog post, shopping for home decor, taking a nap, calling my sister, yoga/pilates, coffee dates, meditating, coloring, massages, traveling, etc.

I want to know…

How do YOU self-care?

LOVE Yourself Financially & Value Your Services

Working in a client-centered field, my primary concern is generally the well being and satisfaction of the individuals I work with.  I want to make sure that their needs are met, that they are happy with the services they receive, and that they will continue to return in the future.    I try to be reasonable, fair, and understanding in all of our dealings, taking into account the human side of my work.  At the end of the day though, I have to remember that I am running a business and that I have to take care of myself and my needs.  I have to take care of myself financially so that I can continue to keep my doors open and provide the same level of services my clients are used to receiving.

L&L group pic

I have to remind myself:

This is not only my passion, but my profession, my company, my livelihood.

When figuring out how much I’m going to charge my clients, how much I want to pay my employees, how much I’m willing to pay in rent, I have to take a moment for reflection.

What is my bottom line?  What do I need to be paid? Am I making a profit? Do I want to be able to take a vacation this year? How many hours am I willing to work to make this happen?  What work can someone else do?  How many hours am I actually working and what am I getting paid for?

After asking that crucial series of questions, I can start to develop my rates and policies.   I start to value myself and my services more and feel more justified in all of my practices.  It is easy to get caught up in worrying what everyone else thinks and lose track of what is important to you.

STOP!  Take a second a value yourself! YOU are a leader, a professional, and a critical part of your clients’ lives.  You cannot do what is best for them if you aren’t doing the best for yourself.

If valuing yourself and your services more means raising rates, charging for missed lessons, hiring an employee to take on part of your load, paying yourself more, or anything else, DO IT!  Do what it takes to make your work work for you.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 8.00.10 PM

 

 

Celebrating 2 Years in Buisness

It’s hard to believe that we are celebrating 2 years in business today!  My how time flies and things change.  For a recap of year 1 you can check out this post!

Year 2 has seen a few changes as well! In the past year I have:

I am thrilled going into this 3rd year!  There are so many awesome projects in the works!  There are going to be a couple changes happening, but I promise they will all be AMAZING!!!

Stay tuned for all the latest happenings and subscribe to the newsletter to get free resources and content delivered straight to your inbox!!

The Traveling Music Therapist – Apps I LOVE part 2

When I posted about the apps I love to use on the road, there are a few of my absolute favorite that I forgot!  Here are a few bonus apps to round out the bunch I listed yesterday!   Enjoy!

1. On Song – A wonderful app for downloading, organizing, and creating lyric and chords sheets that you can always have on hand digitally.

2.  Music Notes – I have an account with musicnotes.com where I download the majority of music for my students.  What’s nice about the app is that once you purchase the song, you also have a digital copy available that can be transposed into most any key!  You can also add any of the notes you need, highlight specific words, notes, or parts, and easily flip between pages.

3.  Wordpress – Because my website it done through wordpress, I love having the app handy.  This way I can write blog posts from Starbucks, my car, or hotel room (at conferences or on vacation) without having to lug my computer along!   I can also make several edits to my pages as needed.

4. Dropbox – for sharing & keeping files

Other apps that have been suggested to me that you may want to check out on your own: 

  • Dragon Dictation 
  • Super Duper Data Tracker
  • Expensify
  • DocScan – Mobile scanner for iPad

Do you have other favorite apps?