Standing at my kitchen worktop at 7am this morning in my pjs making enchiladas and icing a birthday cake gave me what appears to have become very rare head space. Personally the last six months have been tough to walk through and I found myself feeling very grateful to my family, friends and colleagues for all the help, support, encouragement, cakes, meals and glasses of wine that have made the time easier.
Making enchiladas is a very simple task (hence the free head space!) but is reasonably time consuming when you’re making enough to feed a handful of teenagers at a birthday celebration, but it does require a number of different stages and processes. There is much that goes on before the dish actually gets to the table in all its bubbling, spicy, aromatic glory, which seems very similar to how things work in business.
As a director of a small local business it can seem that others around you have got it all sorted. That they have found ‘the thing’ that makes their business work almost autonomously and the money roll in while they enjoy lunches in the sunshine looking fresh and glamorous without even a hint of buttercream in their hair. It strikes me though that this is almost certainly not true (if it is for you, please tell me your secret!) and, a bit like my enchiladas, there has always been a process that is largely unseen and usually underestimated before the final reveal. I recently read another small business owner’s blog that encouraged us to ‘give in, not give up’ (thank you Claire Mitchell from ‘The Girls Mean Business’) which recognised that we all have seasons in our lives and sometimes we just need to give ourselves a bit of a break. The further thought then occurred that we could interpret ‘give in’ to mean that we should be literally giving inwards - to ourselves, in obvious ways such as healthy food and sleep, but also in ways that we who are driven to achieve may find more difficult such as kindness, rest, time with family and friends, reading that book that has been sitting by your bed for weeks.
It is these more neglected things that actually remind us who we really are and give hope and inspiration the space they need to rise in us again, which in turn fuels our business. If, like me, you’ve been through the mill a bit, remember that in order to give out without giving up, you also need to give in, shamelessly and without apology!
So, on this sunny day at the office, we are going to take our meeting outside into the midst of the glorious Kent countryside we are so fortunate to be located in and let the sun shine on us as we chat about future plans and developments and then I am going home to enjoy the company of good friends and celebrate the day my son arrived in our family with, hopefully, a tasty dinner!