When I was in my early twenties I traveled a lot for work. While I was traveling, I listened to get-out-of-debt guru Dave Ramsey’s radio show almost every day. I was attracted to this show because his way of living is different.
He likes to call people weird. He likes to celebrate not having debt. He likes to play a clip of people chopping up credit cards in weird ways like with a chainsaw or a blender. I don’t recommend using your Vitamix for this, but the idea is crazy. And inspirational.
I so wanted to live what he said every day:
“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” – Dave Ramsey
I wanted to live like no one else I knew. I wanted to work for myself. I wanted to be home with my kids. I wanted to be a teacher (in a lot of different ways.)
I knew these desires weren’t my own. These were the things I was supposed to do with my life. God gave me the gifts of words and thinking and teaching. He gave me a drive to do life a little weird even if it meant some loneliness, some hard decisions, some hard losses and seemingly impossible hurdles to overcome.
I haven’t had a credit card in nearly 10 years. But I did go out and do what Dave said not to do. Really what God said not to do. I became a servant to my interests and bought things we didn’t need.
You Have to Commit to Living Differently
Dave was right. When you start living like everyone else, you get miserable fast. It’s no fun to have a dream to do something big with your life that seems impossible to overcome. But God has a way of using our ashes to bring beauty.
If my husband and I hadn’t made stupid mistakes with our money, we probably wouldn’t be any different than we were then. We probably wouldn’t have taken a leap of faith to start businesses of our own. We would still probably be hiding behind payments and desks.
But mistakes and debt are not what my post is about. My post is about living differently and why we sometimes have to do hard things like get up early, stay up late, stay in when we want to go out with friends to build a dream.
So in order to overcome those dumb things, we have to think differently and do differently. And that takes a commitment. It’s kind of like our diet and exercise. If you want to make them a reality, you have to do them.
Don’t Let the Whine Stop You
If you want to be a runner, you have to go buy the shoes and get out the door. Getting started is easy, but keeping that commitment every day is hard. A lot of people say to write your goal on your calendar. Make an appointment with yourself. But if you’re like me, you probably see that as something to skirt around.
But let me tell you something. If you want an at-home business to flourish, you have to honor that appointment. If you want an exercise habit, you have to honor the need to do it.
I recently started exercising regularly again. I bought an app on my Apple TV to do my 30-minute workouts at home. My kids complained and whined that I took over the living room for 30 minutes each day at first.
But now they ask me if I’m going to exercise. And most days around 4 p.m., I do. It’s my time to do something. I show them that it’s important for Mama to be healthy and active even when they whine.
And that’s an important lesson. You’re going to want to whine and complain about not wanting to do the work on your business. You’re going to get whines from your kids, your friends and possibly your spouse. But if you set aside time to work on your business, you need to honor it. Or it’s going to stay a dream.
Keeping Your Role in Perspective
Now, let me warn you against one thing with this attitude as a mother and a wife. Your business is important, but your family does come first. It’s your job to recognize when something is a whine and when something is a legitimate need.
My exercise rule with the kids is “You can be in the room as long as you don’t fight or bother me for a non-emergency.” What is an emergency? Hair on fire or blood are our family definitions.
Also, when you’re working, you cannot expect very small children to entertain themselves for long periods of time while you work.
I’m not saying I never put a movie on or used Netflix as a babysitter, but I tried to be very intentional about my time with my child and husband when I was building my business.
You also can’t let your work get in the way of your marriage. Working every night after the kids are in bed is unreasonable and unfair to your husband. He needs your time and presence.
I tried to find a balance of a couple nights a week or I just got up early. My hubby never gets up early, so this worked for us. My child also didn’t get up early, so I worked around that.
I rarely stayed up late to work because I knew I needed to get up early. I’m a morning person so this worked for me.
Recognize the Lessons You’re Teaching
Another note on when to work is to recognize your need for sleep. You’re not going to serve your family or your business well with sleep deprivation. So, don’t think you can cheat yourself out of sleep.
Your business idea is going to take time to build. It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s not going to happen on coffee fumes. Sure, it can. But is that the life and the lesson you want to teach your children or your husband?
You also want to take care of yourself. I told you in my welcome post that I had an exercise habit in the midst of building my at-home marketing business. I did and the most successful time of my business was when I started making time for exercise.
I went 2-3 days a week to a bootcamp and ran 2-3 times a week. The bootcamp was an hour and the runs were less than 30 minutes. I tried to devote 3 hours a week to my exercise. I cherished my time to sweat and loved it when I was able to run a complete two miles without stopping. It gave me time to clear my head and to brainstorm.
Your family needs you to be healthy. They need for you to take time to exercise and eat right. You’re setting the example for them and as the heart of the home, you set the tone.
Take Time for Your Home
I know there are only so many hours in a day and that keeping a nice home is tough.
However, a home is the heart of your family. It’s a place of refuge and regeneration.
But it doesn’t require perfection. You live here! However, your home needs care space on your calendar.
There are two roads to take here. You can set up a cleaning routine or you can hire some help. Hiring someone does give you the freedom to start with a clean slate. However, you have to keep up with the day-to-day tasks (dishes, laundry, sweeping, wiping counters, making beds, etc.).
I did have someone come in every other week because I was working full-time and building a business. You may not be able to afford this, so I recommend getting a cleaning schedule and following it. My personal favorite is Flylady. If you don’t have a plan for your home, it will get out of control.
Take Time for Your Faith
If you are going to do something great, you can’t do it alone. I know I can’t. I need support and a strength that is not my own. I need strength to be nice to my family that’s not my own on a sometimes minute-by-minute basis.
If you don’t take time for your faith, you will be depleted quickly. Launching a business is a risky heart move. You may not feel like it is, but you’re putting a lot of you on the line. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to be spread thin.
But that doesn’t excuse taking time to pray and study the word of God. The word of God is life-giving and His promises to walk beside us and help us are what we need to cling to when life gets hard. If we don’t make time to be reminded of those promises and to seek truth and direction from our Creator, we might as well pack up shop.
I built the dream of my business on prayer. I asked God to guide me every step of the way. I asked Him to put the right people in my life. And the times I tried to do it all myself, I hit shut doors and obstacles. I spent time running in circles. And when I got to the end of myself, God put me back on the right track.
So, please make time for your faith. You’re going to need it.
You Can Do This!
If you are ready to start your business, you can do this. It’s going to be hard, but it’s going to be rewarding. You will struggle. You will want to quit. You will get so busy you don’t think you can breathe. But you can do this!
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