Rewind to two months ago
Ant and I are at a café near the Swish office having a Very Serious Conversation.
I’m very tired (<<understatement).
On the surface, this has been a really ‘successful’ year for me, but dig slightly deeper and you’ll see it’s been a really hard year (<<understatement).
What started as me coming back to Swish in a part-time-ish role quickly morphed into me being there in a much more than full-time role. When the business you own needs all hands on deck for an extended period of time, boundaries do tend to fly out the window.
So the nutshell of what I’m very seriously telling Ant is:
“It’s not good for our family for both of us to be working in the business (more than) full-time. This year there have been far too many late nights, early mornings and “going to mum and dad’s place on the weekends so they can look after the kids while we both try to catch up on work.” And don’t even start me on the stress. It’s not like we’re running a start-up here. This is a business that’s eight years old.”
For the better part of this year I’ve been managing my stress levels quite well given the lack of sleep and the fact that I’m struggling to stay on top of all things household oriented. But buffering our staff and our kids from Ant’s stress levels over the last six months? Well that’s tipped me over the edge. Anxiety and depression are back in my life and the slippery slope beckons .
So in the middle of our conversation, when a frustrated Ant says “Kel, that’s all well and good but what’s the solution?”, I’m ready. Knowing this is not the time for vague desires, I’d revisited Steve’s excruciating interview with Penelope. So I know exactly what I want my days to look like and I know exactly what’s going to give me those days.
“Right now, I’m doing a very average job of managing our household. And Jaden’s not even full-time with school at the moment. Next year when he is, it’s in the best interests of our family for me to have a role that can be done during school hours. That will mean outside of school hours, I can take care of the house, keep on top of household admin and in general, just be there more for the kids. This will also allow me to be a better support to you .
As for all those late nights/early mornings I’m having at the moment, if I’m going to be getting up at 4.30am or staying up till 11pm, I want it to be because I’m writing, not desperately trying to catch up on work.
Since our current setup makes it impossible for me to set any kind of boundaries with regard to the hours I am working for Swish, the only solution I can see is for me to find a part-time role away from Swish. So if anything appropriate comes up, I just want you to know I’ll be putting my hand up.”
Rewind to two and a half years ago
I’m on a plane to Sydney to interview for the newly created Flying Solo Editor role. When I first saw the position advertised, I read it, thought wistfully “gee, this sounds like it was written exactly for me,” and then left it at that because I knew I didn’t have the necessary space in my life to do the role.
But I just couldn’t stop thinking about it and in the end, I took that as a sign I should just go for it and see what happened.
Essentially, I wanted an interview more than anything else. I wanted to put myself in front of the Flying Solo crew and (hopefully) make an impression because even if I didn’t get the Editor role, I thought something else might crop up in the future.
So I got the interview and thankfully, (because the timing was really wrong) I didn’t get the job.
But my main mission was accomplished – I got to meet Sam, Robert and Peter and establish they were awesome people I’d love to work with if the opportunity should ever arise.
Fast forward to a month ago
Sam and I are both at the Problogger conference and after reconnecting on Facebook late last year, I’m keen to catch up with her and have a good chat. And chat we do – several times over the course of the two days.
During one of these chats Sam casually mentions the Flying Solo Editor role is about to become vacant again and they are looking at a few options for it. Might I be interested in being one of those options?
It takes every ounce of self-control to stop my jaw dropping to the floor.
The next night I workshop my excitement with my friend Bron.
Am I only excited by the role because I’m flattered to be thought of for it? No. Well yes, Iam flattered, but no, that’s not the only reason I’m excited.
Is it actually as great a fit for me and my family as I think it is? Yes. In fact it’s a littletoo perfect. I’m kind of freaking out.
Fast forward to today
Long story short, as of January 2015 I will be the new Editor at Flying Solo.
I will get to work with and learn from people I hugely admire. I will get to serve a cohort (solopreneurs/microbusinesses) I’m hugely passionate about.
The fact that it’s not a full-time role means I can structure my working week to look after my family and house at the level I aspire to.
What’s the moral of this story?
One, if something excites you and you can’t stop thinking about it then pay attention. That’s the Universe trying to tell you something.
Two, know where you want to go. I said it here and I’ll say it again now: this is ridiculously powerful.
I don’t want to be selling the dream here, but it really has been my experience that every time I’ve sat down and identified ‘where’ I want to go, and ‘what’ life will look like when I get there … things have happened to help me get there.