If you’re anything like my business partner Katey and myself, this month has been all about establishing goals, setting intentions, and making plans for 2017. Every year, we create a mantra — words to live by and guide our actions both personally and professionally. This year’s mantra is as follows:
Waste less. Share more. Live our why.
We come back to these words every time we have a decision to make, pursue a new project, or feel like we might be veering off course. It’s so important to know our “why” so that we make sure everything we do is in alignment with our values and ideals.
When I think back on Summer 2016, I will have lots of reasons to smile. I’ll remember how quickly it flew by, how hot it was, and how busy yet idle I felt, but mostly I will smile. So far, this has been the summer of…
In August of 2014, Katey and I joined forces to form Music Therapy Connections, LLC. Little did we know that less than 2 years later, we’d be standing in front of 200 business owners, the governor of Illinois, and television cameras as nominees for our Chamber of Commerce’s “New and Emerging” Small Business Owners of the Year award.
Nothing can prepare you for motherhood, and the way it completely overhauls life as you know it. But they should tell you that nothing can prepare you for a second child, no matter how experienced you think you are. And “they” didn’t tell me, so I’m telling you just in case you find yourself in that place down the road.
After Mia was born and we brought her home from the hospital, I was ready to get back to real life. None of this hazy newborn hibernation for us, no sir! Of course we took it easy and mostly stayed home those first few weeks, but I had a very active almost-two-year-old and a business getting ready to undergo a huge transition.
So I was thrilled that things pretty much went my way in the early months. The hormones didn’t hit me nearly as hard as they had after Parker’s birth, and I felt like myself pretty quickly. Breastfeeding was a total breeze. Mia was a sweet and adaptable baby.
I was getting a bit more sleep this time, too, and even found plenty of time to work (mostly in the wee morning hours after nursing Mia back to sleep). I figured out how to survive and keep two tiny children alive by myself for entire days at a time. I took the summer “off” as a “maternity leave” — and while I didn’t see clients or students, I put in more hours than I can count on the business and my own personal projects. I didn’t miss a single week of my podcast. Sure, I hadn’t had a full night of uninterrupted sleep since before Mia was born, but I wasn’t going to let my exhaustion get in the way of productivity.
It was all working beautifully, until it wasn’t. All of those things I had been sweeping under the rug — lack of sleep, wacky hormones, absence of time to myself — hit me like a ton of bricks in December. I remember having an anxiety attack on a Tuesday afternoon, shortly before it was time to go to work. I was standing in the middle of the family room, holding Mia, feeling completely paralyzed about how I was going to get through the rest of the day, let alone the coming weeks and months. I honestly had no idea.
Last week we did something we’ve never done before: we sent an email to all of our class participants asking for their feedback in the form of a short survey. The results have been eye-opening (in a good way).
I’ll admit, it’s a little scary reaching out and asking people for their honest and anonymous opinions on the work we do. We pour our hearts into creating and implementing each class, but we know they are far from perfect. There’s always room for improvement, and we wanted to take the guesswork out of making them even better for our families.
Last week, I shared Part 3 of this series, in which I’m giving you the full scoop on how I went from having a full-time day job and a small private practice on the side (headquartered in my car) to now co-owning a thriving business with a facility of our own and a team of 7.
In Part 3, I described what it was like working for myself full-time, experiencing burnout, bringing on an independent contractor, and adding a baby to the mix.
Part 4 picks up at the end of my first year of motherhood, and takes you through creating a business partnership, moving my practice out of my house, growing the business while growing a second baby, taking a huge leap into our own facility, and continuing to hustle with an infant and toddler at home.
You can read all four parts of my story, along with key takeaways and action items, over on Listen & Learn Plus, where you’ll also find a vast collection of over 200 songs (mp3, lead sheet, and instrumental track), videos, tutorials, and visual aides, plus ALL new releases from Listen & Learn Music.