As Entrepreneurs, As Writers, As Mothers: What's "Enough"?

As entrepreneurs, as writers, as mothers, what's enough?One of my girls had an accident this weekend. Though it was terrifying at the time, it ended up being relatively minor. Now I can claim a parenting merit badge my mom never earned: held my daughter as she got stitched up. It was an accident, yes, but it could have been prevented. I could have had my hands on the kids instead of sitting inch beyond an arm’s length away. I could have said “no, honey a five year old isn’t big enough to carry her one year old sister yet.”

But I didn’t.

And we ended up at the emergent care center, covered in blood - and sidewalk chalk and dirt from what was supposed to be a typical Saturday spent in a yard just awakening to spring.

We’re so proud of our girl for healing so quickly and handling it all so well. And I’m pleased to report that I’ve emerged from shame’s shadows. Truthfully, the horrible guilt dissipated within twenty-four hours. (Likely that’s because much of the swelling did too).

No longer blinded by self-recrimination, I can simply hold my little one tight, overcome with gratitude and rendered speechless by how precious she is to me.

Yes, gravity won in that split second, but I forgive myself.

I’ve decide that I am mother enough for my daughter - even if I’m woefully and beautifully imperfect.

 So that’s the question: how do you know what “enough” is? And how do you peacefully maintain that state of “enoughness” when you find it?

This isn’t just a question for moms with accident-prone kids - it’s a question for everyone trying to balance priorities and keep the whole enterprise from teetering into disaster.

As I understand it, the secret to contentment and enoughness - especially when it comes to motherhood and entrepreneurship and maintaining a writing practice - is in finding balance.

Balance Isn’t About 50/50. It’s About Enoughness.

Balance isn't about 50/50, it's about enoughnessI know balance triggers people (“balance is a myth!” and “balance is BS!”), but I wish we could reclaim it. Balance is essential - but we don’t often realize that until it fails and someone ends up in the ER.

The iconic Scales of Justice have brainwashed us into perceiving balance as a 50/50 or nothing proposition, but why do we trust a blindfolded statue with something so fundamental to our happiness and success?

Balance is not about giving half our effort to work and half to play. It certainly isn’t about giving half our time to business and half family (unless that’s really the right mix for you).

 As I understand it, balance is a much more rewarding, complex equation. It requires heart math I could never do in my head.

Balance is about reaching the end of each day saying "I am enough."

You may have told your partner you had too much work to do to come to bed on time. You may have blown off a writing deadline because you needed to play outside until sunset. OK. Try again tomorrow.

The essence of balance isn’t in recreating the same pie chart every day. Each portion of your life may not always get its precise allotment of resources.

Balance is about knowing what slices of pie you need to serve, and what slices you need to save. You're in balance when you can honor your commitments and ensure everyone (including you!) is getting enough.

When Everything Gets the Perfect Amount of Attention

When Everything Gets the Perfect AmountIf I over-mother I start to drive myself - and my children - crazy. Most likely trying to overcompensate for something that has nothing to do with parenting, I hover and hug until we all get stressed and fatigued by a mama who is trying too hard.

And if I push mothering off to the side, whatever I focus on instead - like client tasks and writing deadlines - it never gets my best work.

When everything gets the perfect amount of attention, everyone feels like they’ve been seen and supported. I go to bed full of gratitude, sure that I’ve been of service and certain that I have access to the help I need.

I won’t presume to give you advice on how to do the heart math about how much time to spend with your babies or your novel or your lover, but I know something about how to decide how much attention to offer to the different kinds of writing you do for your business.

How to Prioritize Your Business Writing Commitments

Foundational Website Content, Email Marketing, the Book Project, Blogging, and Social Media: How Much Attention Does Each Deserve?

How to Prioritize Your Business Writing Commitments: Foundational Content, Email Marketing, the Book Project, Blogging, and Social MediaEveryone's business writing pie is going to be divided differently. You'll determine how to spend your writing time and resources depending on how well you've established your business's story, your individual goals, and the size and responsiveness of your audience.

I've ranked the six writing tasks below by their general importance to your visibility and sales.

Remember, the goal is a sense of balance and “enoughness”! You. Don’t. Need. To. Do. It. All.

To prioritize your writing commitments, just make educated choices based on where you are now and where you want to be six months or a year from now.

  1. The website copy that clearly expresses who you are, what you offer, and who you serve
  2. The opt-in offer (eg. a special report or a “mini course” you deliver over email) that proves your expertise and acts as the first step in the clients' buying journey
  3. The weekly or at least bi-monthly messages to your email list
  4. The book project that gives you an opportunity to explore and expand your theories and stories
  5. The regular blog posts that boost your visibility and prove your credibility to the first-time website visitor who wants to know your work is current and your business is vibrant (stick guest posting and article writing into this category too)
  6. The social media posts that remind your community about the great things you do

Reorder the list based on your own personal pie. Here are a few additional ideas to help you set your writing priorities:

#1: your website copy is a non-negotiable top priority. If people spend a minute reading your site and say “Looks great…. but what do you do?” then you're wasting your time on items 2 through 6.

#2: your opt in offer is often put on the back burner, but if you want to build an email list (something you need if you expect your online efforts to make money), you need this sooner rather than later.

#3: your ongoing email marketing is the essential follow up to your opt-in offer. The people who open your emails are most likely to buy from you, so treat these individuals like the valued community members they are. (Keep in mind you can often combine this with your commitment to blogging!)

#4: a book project may not even make the list (which is totally fine!). But if it does , you can never expect to get it done if it’s less important than blogging and Facebook.

#5: blogging is great - but it’s also completely overrated if you’re focusing on weekly posts or guest posts rather than a homepage that invites people to dive deeper and crystal clear services page that gets them to pull out the credit card.

And #6... We’ve come of age as social media users and finally realize that “likes” aren’t anything more than a number. Use your social media reach as a tool to bring people back to the writing that matters - the web content that reveals your Sovereign Story.

Again: the goal is balance and enoughness. You don't need to do every item on this list and you don't need to apportion your writing resources in the same way every day.  

But, as I promise to neither over-mother nor shortchange my kids on the love and attention they need, please promise me you won't lavish your attention on the writing tasks that don't matter at the expense of the projects that tell the core story of your business.

Not sure what to put first when it comes to writing for your business? Let’s set up a free 15 minute conversation to assess where you are and decide how to best invest your writing energy.