I never intended to work. I didn’t want my own business.
After all, I was finally going to have a chance to see what it was like to be home more and how the other side was with raising my children. At the time, my husband was traveling so much for his work that we agreed it was best for the family.
As it turns out, I was pulled into a “temp” work-at-home situation for a local business that ended up being much more time-consuming. I was certainly trading my time and talent for low pay and in return experiencing stress that was affecting my family and me.
I didn’t return home to work more or have work stress.
I came home to grow closer to my family and be free of distraction so that our home life became more grounded and consistent.
Instead, just four months after I left my work at a local Museum (which I have to add was the best five years of my professional life working for someone else), I found myself being asked to sit down to listen as my husband shared an idea with me.
So you’re in the know, my husband is a true ideas guy. He is an awesome man and full of creativity. Seriously. He can conjure up new ideas and businesses every single day. It really is amazing how his Ideation strength works when it’s on fire.
Back to the couch.
He sits me down in January 2014 and says, “Betsy. Please don’t say anything until I’m finished speaking.”
(Okay, I’m thinking. I’ll try, I say. I’m thinking: Did someone get ill? Did we win the lottery? Are we getting a new dog? What??!!)
“Betsy, I think you have talent you’re not using. I know you want to be home with the kids, but since they’re at school for a few hours, what if you served people with an online business. It might be a way for you to stay plugged in to helping people and with your public speaking, you could even do videos.”
[Insert big pause.]
“What exactly do you mean?” I asked.
He went on to explain that there are many thriving businesses online where people serve others with a product or service. By running it online, it allows you to reach anyone in the world and manage your time.
Makes sense, right?
I was getting a little excited, because my blueprint was to avoid doing anything more than 10-15 hours per week MAX to ensure that my focus was on my marriage and children. I didn’t want my own business though. That would mean I was working crazy hard and I felt called to be with the boys. How would I manage the house (that had never had the loving touch of my being present? How would I find people I could help? What in the world???
Yet, my husband was clearly the messenger (and he has been a few other times in our life, so why should this be any different?).
It was really uncomfortable at first. I wasn’t ready and I didn’t really want it, or maybe I was just terrified.
The joke was on me during that couch conversation where it all began. Within 48 hours, I was enrolled in an online business school to help me learn how to build and market my online business, I was working to develop a product where I could integrate my beliefs and professional expertise, and I was off to the races.
Okay. Well, not exactly.
So, I freaked out a little bit. Okay, a lot. What if I didn’t know what I was doing? What if people asked me to do something I didn’t know how to do? I’m not smart enough (felt that before?) How about this one: I am not qualified (why do we women think this??!).
Hello fear. How’s it going you sneaking little soul killer.
Instead of going completely gung-ho, I played it safe.
Betsy Harvey Inc. was born.
At first, I wanted to test my ideas a bit. My usual Ready, Fire, Aim, in business was Ready…Ready…Ready…Ready…no…I can’t do this – OR – Ready, Ready, Aim, Aim, Aim………. I also had a great excuse: Coming out with a personal branding course that aligned with my belief that everyone has a unique Divine purpose was going to take a long time. I couldn’t launch without being 100% prepared. Truth: It would take time, but delaying until perfection was also a nice excuse maker and convenient form of procrastination that fueled my fear.
Here was another one: What if my courseware didn’t work? Yikes.
To keep me in a place of safety – a comfort zone – I stepped out a teeny tiny bit and worked with pro-bono clients to help them unlock their Divine purpose. I launched myBrand Project, my proprietary course about unlocking your talents, strengths, and passions and helped them integrate them with the right professional and personal environment. In some client scenarios, we went further into personal branding and treated their discoveries like a product going to market. It was the easy route: marketing and communications to help serve people and how they tell their story.
It was new, it was exciting, and it was an honor bigger than I could have dreamed of having. I got to learn everything about people’s lives – their dreams, hopes, fears, heartbreaks, road blocks, habits, and more. The best part, and the part I am continuously humbled by, is the thrill of watching people step into their confidence, make a significant change, and get on fire about who they are what they are called to do.
To think this started with a couch conversation with my husband still blows my mind.
Then it became a real business: a business ready to serve and help. This year– 2015 –has truly rocked my soul to a place of utter humility as I sit in a state of gratitude to be invited into my client’s beautiful and ever-changing lives.
I am grateful for each person, each step of the journey, and for what will come.
Like anything that’s great, there’s always time for growth. In my case, especially with an online and private client business, the options for growth are endless.
Case and point: it’s time to grow. Something significant is about to change in my business and I felt like you all needed to be the ones who knew first. I have had an awakening that has made me realize that I haven’t given my 100% YES to this business in the way that I believe I’ve been called to serve. In other words, I need to get ALL-IN like I ask my clients.
No more engraved invitations. No more fear as a crutch. No more excuses.
The writing on the wall for this shift in my business is like a giant, beautiful graffiti that you can’t stop looking at, because it’s so different from what you expected. Sometimes this change has been softly spoken to me and written gently on my heart, but it has also been like a coach’s megaphone blaring in my ear and disrupting my sleep patterns.
Like so many of us, I have conveniently chosen to ignore said “writing” over the past year and a half.
Why? It’s this simple:
It’s easier to say no and just go with what’s more comfortable – both personally and culturally. Then there are these obvious concerns: Human fear of rejection, criticism, feeling unequipped, appearing zealous or kooky, or that I think I know more or am more than anyone else.
It’s time to press forward, step into this new opportunity, and be awesome at it, come what may. I am equipped. I am going to do this.
Next week, I will announce some significant changes to my business and share it with you openly. While I am still fighting off being hesitant, I know that I have to do this. By saying yes to this change, I will be able to serve others more authentically and connect with you on a more meaningful level.
Yes. I never wanted to do this business initially. Think about this though: Maybe it was never my choice?
Until next week, I will leave you with this.
Whatever is holding you back, don’t let it. It will fester and bug you. It will eat you up when you weigh the pros and cons. Plus, you don’t know how much time you have!
Sometimes what is written on our hearts is simply the Holy Spirit saying the old Nike adage:
Just. Do. It.
See you next week. Now, get out there and just do it already.