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  • The Pressure is On

we all feel it to some degree. With the exception of babies, every human being experiences PRESSURE to some degree. Pressure to perform, pressure to get things done, pressure to be who other people are expecting you to be…. the list could continue for miles and miles. “Pressure” is a weird feeling to explain because it’s not exactly the same feeling as “stress”. Pressure can be a very positive thing sometimes but when I think of “Pressure”… I think of time, deadlines, expectations, and falling behind. As a small business owner, I feel pressure constantly.

So many people say to Michael and me “You’re living the dream!”  And I would have to agree that they’re right. We are VERY thankful for this season of life that we get to work together and build a business side by side. However, “The Dream” doesn’t come to people on a cloud of butterflies and cupcakes…. getting to where we are today has actually been extremely hard in some seasons. As a business owner, I have experienced a certain level of “pressure” since DAY ONE.  It started in college when I created my first website and got a Facebook Fanpage. I was putting myself out there and I was showing the world that they could count on me to produce really pretty stuff. Then, I started gaining a following (more pressure)…. and THEN, I started raising prices because there was a demand for my services (even more pressure). Eventually I started teaching other people how to do what I did. I started portraying myself as an educator in the industry and literally, the PRESSURE was ON. Prices kept rising and the business kept growing….. and as prices were rising, my level of “pressure” grew as well.  Move along a few years, we decide that it’s time for Michael to join the business. You would think that that would relieve some pressure since I wasn’t doing this alone …. and it did, but it also elevated the necessity of success! This is ALL we have now. There is no backup income.

There are some days when it’s less intense and then there are other days when it’s just downright annoying and overwhelming. Somewhere along the line, I started learning that when I’m feeling pressure, that means that I’m moving forward.  Over the years I’ve learned to appreciate the pressure instead of running from it and I’ve taught myself to recognize when I’m allowing the pressure to stress me out.  There has to be a balance. The pressures of running a business is what keeps them operating… we have to find the fine line of allowing that pressure to move us and not stress us. Stress will stop you in your tracks, pressure amplifies the need to get stuff done! I’ll admit that there are MANY days when I wake up and think “wouldn’t it be nice to not be responsible for the success of anything?”.  Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to wake up, go to the office, get home at 5:30 and never think about work until I arrived in the office the next morning at 9am.  I imagine having a boss who worried about the company’s growth so that I wouldn’t have to. My job would be simply that, MY JOB. I would have one role and I would just do that role over and over again without ever having to feel PRESSURE.  Some days that seems like the ideal situation….. And then I realize that I wasn’t created to be in a role like that. I wouldn’t thrive there. I was created to be a business owner because as much as I don’t always love the pressure, I can handle it.

As I continue to work on talks for multiple conferences, book weddings, edit, answer emails in a timely manner and blog daily, I’m reminded that the pressure I feel is a good thing. It’s pushing me forward and when it seems like it’s too much to handle and turns to stress, that’s a tell-tale sign that I need to take a day off and start again the next day. :) Someone once told me that running their own business was one of the hardest things they have ever done and I can see how that statement would be true. I agree that keeping this business alive and growing is a hard task…. but it’s also a very rewarding one and I’m thankful for it. So today I’m letting the “pressure” push me forward instead of stall and stress me and for all of the business owners out there who are reading this, I hope you do the same. :) Happy Thursday everyone!

 

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