Stepping Away | Why Taking a Step Back Equals Two Steps Forward Ep 1
Taking a step back is imperative_ to regroup with yourself, with your new life situation, with your family, like you said on your holidays, right? It's, it's just so, so, so important. So doing nothing often lets you do more.
Hi and welcome to a new episode of the Mom Bosses Abroad podcast. We are starting with great energy and enthusiasm and just very, very grateful and thankful to be back in the recording studio for season three. And we are sort of shifting a little bit towards going back to how we started these very intimate, one-on-one conversations between Desiree and myself. And this episode is a little bit into that direction of what happens when we step away from our business. When we take a break. We are coming back from summer holidays and just going into what are the dynamics that happen when we feel that it's time that we consciously have to step away from our business. Not because we necessarily choose to but because we might have to and so we are just having this conversation and opening up the discussion on what does that look like. And what are the possible insights and clarity that might come from taking a break and taking a pause. So, welcome everyone, so happy to be here! Hi Des!
Hey, it's so good to be back in the recording studio. I've missed my microphone. I've missed my headphone. I've upgraded my headphones to an actual proper adult headphone my little is not sharing anymore with me. So it's really good to be back for a new season and like you said, what I'm super excited about is not only having amazing guests, but really going back and talking to you and having our conversations.
And it's funny the way it happened, and it brings us back to when we talked what we did over the summer, about the time when my little baby was born. And we both said ‘Wait, stop that, stop. Let's save this conversation for an episode.’ That was really fun, wasn't it? So yeah, that's kind of what we wanted to talk about because like you said, sometimes whatever life throws us especially as a mom, living away from home, building your business while you have little ones around you, we are faced with situations that are not necessarily planned. Some are, some are not and we need to sometimes then take a little bit of a step back to the business whether it is focusing on our family a little bit more for a given reason, or whether it's something we actually choose to because we need clarity. Maybe we've need time to figure out the next best step in our business like strategy-wise or flow-wise. So there's several reasons and we thought it was quite interesting because we actually both went through that, didn't we? And we both did it at separate times. But together
Yeah, there was a slight overlap, but it was also a little bit like one behind the other so to speak, right that it was in parallel, not exactly at the same time, but around like similar timeframes. And what you just said now, it's so, so true. And I also feel that even if there is not necessarily a compelling reason to take a break, be it because it's something that we are consciously choosing to or something that life is throwing at us, it's it also goes hand in hand with this whole concept where we, as mompreneurs, again, we have a lot of passion that drives our lives and our decisions. We are passionate about our families, about our kids, about showing up for them. But we're also passionate about our business, about the gifts that we're sharing with others, right, and how we're growing and scaling.
However, just like everything, and to use a very particular example, just like we have a computer or a phone, they cannot be ‘on’ the whole time. At some point we do turn them off, at some point we do have to make updates, at some point we need to recharge them. And if we believe that we are powered just by motivation and drive and passion alone, and that we're going to withstand anything and everything, that we're just going to be like the Energizer Bunny_ just going and going and going and going and going. However, that is not the case because we have a physical body that needs rest that needs to eat, it needs to stay hydrated, that also needs to take a break. And it's good. It's good to do that. Bit of reset for a few weeks or even just for a day or even just for a few hours. You know taking a break and stepping away from the business has a lot of benefits.
And aren't we lucky? I mean, isn't that amazing? That we are mompreneurs we are in charge of our own business. We have the power to do so. I mean, imagine if you are in a corporate job. We can’t just step away, it can be quite hard to call and say ‘sorry, I need a day to refocus. Can I take a week to just step away because I feel like spending more time with my kids and going to the playground every day?’ Our boss would be like ‘No, goodbye.’ But yeah, so aren't we lucky that we get to make these decisions? I mean, in a lot of cases is yes. We also may make these decisions knowing well the more we put in the more we get out and the less we put in the less we get out. But in any case, we have the power to say you know, ‘I'm I need this, I need this break for a while.’
Yeah, it is a very privileged position to be in. I mean, it's something that doesn't escape my awareness to know like wow, what a great luxury it is to be able to exactly as you say, when you feel the need and that there's really no one that is going to criticize you or punish you for doing so. And, it's one of those things that because it is a great privilege, it comes with great responsibility to know like ‘Okay, how can I do this in the best way possible that it is responsible not only to the business and to my family, but also to me right and to my clients?’
Exactly. So one of the examples that I recently had and if you have been listening to us for a while you know that I gave birth to little baby girl. Already nine months ago, so she is already nine months old. But it was a time that was, I think, very important to reflect on a business level because that is a time where I consciously took time away from my business and that I had planned because you know right about when the baby's gonna be born right, not the exact day but you kind of know. So there was an opportunity for me to say ‘Okay, I had preparation time also I consciously said I am going to take time off so I can enjoy all the baby cuddles. bonding time, you know,’
It’s such a magical time really is.
I know, and it's also knowing
It goes so quickly.
I know. But also I had my parents, or you know, I wanted to spend time with the family. I just wanted that. But I also knew and I had an opportunity to prepare for that a little bit. So here are some of the things I've done, because I decided as well I'm not just going to step away and let my business be. I did want to have it run in the background, even when I am not around right. So here's a few points that I did: I content batched newsletters, although I didn’t content batched for social media, and here's the reason why. Because if I do something for social media, I do also want to be around to engage. So I tried to schedule a few things, but I was not there to engage because I was taking a little bit of a break so I was like, ‘Okay, let me take a break from social media too, because then otherwise, what's the point?’ But I did content for newsletters because I still wanted to be there for the community that I have built over the several years for, you know, I really still wanted to be there and give my advice and share great information and keep everyone a little bit up to date. So I did that. I also a few months before hired a wonderful VA who has been so great. So we've had a couple of months before the birth for training, and she got to know me, she knows how I tick, how I work. So she has played a big part for me being able to step away from my business. And I was also then really, really happy that a portion of my business is indeed in network marketing. So that means hello residual income because even if you decide not to show up so regularly, your income still comes because I have managed to build a solid foundation of members of loyal people in my community. And so that is one of the big perks of that side of my business. And as you all know, I'm a huge huge fan. of automation. And we have done several episodes already on automation, but I rely heavily on systems.
The reason why this podcast exists is thanks to your automation skills and mastery. So I have to say it works like clockwork.
Ah, thanks but I love it and it gives me that time to then really be present but also the peace of mind knowing that, hey, things are gonna continue running. You know, people can still sign up to things that I have to offer, they can still enroll in some digital courses that I have. They can still sign up, become a member with Young Living and joine me in my network marketing world. So it's beautiful. Definitely has room for improvement and there's so much more I want to do. But I was happy to be able to prepare for that moment and really take a couple of weeks just to be there with my baby and get all the cuddles in there that I could
And when you feel that you have all your bases covered in that way, right that you feel that the like big chunks of things that require those little tasks to make sure this goes out in time and this is set up this way for this day. already taken care of through the automations and putting in the legwork of batch content and batch creation then it's so much easier to actually yeah, have that mental reset and disconnect and know that that everything is going to go as scheduled and to plan.
So yeah, but also our podcast was still running. We were still airing episodes each week. We still had newsletters for our podcast for Mom Bosses Abroad coming out each week. But that also came back to edit episodes beforehand, right. And we had, again, our wonderful VA who we share and many and many places that helped us to just get things going as if we were in it even though when we physically weren't at that point. So it's another really beautiful thing and the point is you don't have to do it alone. It's not all on you. And it's so beautiful to surround yourself with help with a tribe, with a business bestie, who you know has your back when you need the help and support and to give me the opportunity. So also, thanks to you so much for allowing me that space and for picking up my pieces that would usually be on my plates, thank you for doing that so you don't have to do it alone. And I thank you for the bottom of my heart for allowing me that space in that moment.
Of course. I mean, that's also one of the beauties of being in a space where you work with other moms and you have a network of other fellow mompreneurs that are in the same journey. Maybe a few steps ahead or a few steps behind but because there is that common thread of knowing what it is like from day-to-day basis type of approach, everyone’s so understanding_ there's no explanations needed, you know, it's like, children didn't have a nap today. And you know what that means, right? You just automatically know what that means. And then you're not, I guess, questioning or resenting it or whatever. So the feeling of being a community and feeling understood and seen and heard, is what really gives us also that motivation to not only step away without guilt, right? Because we don't need to do it and feel bad about it. We're doing it to feel good about it. But it also gives us that sense of wow, you know, somebody else is holding space for me in the meantime and it's fine because at some point for whatever other reasons somebody else might need it and then you can also step in if you are in the position to do so and you will do it gladly. Is that reciprocal energy and that reciprocal way of working where it's towards a common goal. When you rise I rise; when you shine I shine. It doesn't have to be at the same time. So I absolutely love that space of working with fellow mompreneurs who can feel understood, as I said, and who can feel that they can make decisions without feeling judged.
So in my case, we were traveling during the summer. It was school holidays. Also my husband hadn't had proper holidays in like, I don't know, three plus years. And so, it was about freeing up that space to spend it with them and with extended family because as mom bosses abroad, our family is not really where we are based. They’re elsewhere. And so, you know, fostering that connection with family members and the kids really spending time with their relatives is also so important. Like it's part of everything right? It's part of creating that great solid childhood for them to feel that they belong to a unit. So what we experienced as mompreneurs working collectively together, in that we belong we feel that unity, our children get it from spending time with family and connecting with loved ones. And so I knew that that space was very, very important to foster and so it took me into a space where I had to put things on hold not because I was needing to take a break necessarily. But it was more just to allow this unfolding of family relations to come together and for us to create great memories along the way. My take on going on holiday with the family and knowing the main why of why we were doing it was the reconnection, the creating memories, that solid sense of belonging to my kids.
And it allowed me to come to terms with certain other doubts and fears that might have been in the back of my head as I was stepping into an imposed sort of break because I was ready to go on. But I knew that I was going to be dealing with jetlag and changing time zones and doing all these things. So as I was already knowing that it was going to be shaky ground trying to keep things as they were, one important thing that I did make sure to do was to give myself grace from doing everything perfectly. So, I was not completely off. But I knew that whatever I was going to do was probably not going to be the way you do when you are in your space right in your own office space. Like everything is there right? You have your microphone, your computer, everything's ready and you're just working a little bit with just a phone sometimes. And that's about it. So, to give myself grace to do it imperfectly. was really great. It gave me that freedom to come in and not necessarily say ‘Oh, I'm not going to show up on social media at all. But if I do, I'm going to do it imperfectly. If I if I post something, I'm going to do it from a place that I felt called into it.’ And it felt like it was the right thing to do and I stepped into that energy. And another thing that happened during the holidays, my husband had a race, he was doing a half Ironman and he had been heavily training for it for the past two years.
So amazing I was following that journey.
Yeah and that was already an adventure in and of itself for a lot of reasons but suffice to say that it was that it was simply great and we it was really one of those things that ticked all the boxes like he got to feel fulfilled, the kids got to watch the culmination of all his trainings. And for me it was also about it you know, saying ‘yeah, it's not always all about you all the time. It's sometimes it's about someone else?’ And as mompreneurs and business owners, there's a lot of focus on the me, me, me in how can I make myself more productive? How can I show up better? How can I do this? How can I take this training, buy this course, right? It's like, ‘how can I have all this input so the output is what I want.’
But when you shift that a little bit and you say, ‘hey, it's not about me anymore, like this break is about supporting others, enjoying myself in that supporting role’, it actually can be quite fun. And one thing that that happened for example, we all got COVID. Forty eight hours after we landed and that was a bit of a challenge. And again, it's how you step into your mom role without any questions and I didn't know to this day if I had it or not because I stopped testing myself after a while. But I just knew that my family needed me. They all had COVID and I needed to be there for them. And when you are intentional in that space, when you're intentional in saying, ‘hey, you know what, the spotlight is not on me, it's on my loved ones,’ you can come in from a place of true delight.
Not that I was happy that everybody was sick. What I'm trying to say is that I was showing up the way I needed to because it was what was required of me in that moment and in that particular sense, I did so gladly because I knew that it was about helping everybody get through it so we could enjoy the holidays, that my husband could finish his race and we could all go on to do more fun things. And that's where I guess you get that strength to say ‘it's fine’. You know, we went through it. Now I tell it as a story. And that's about it. And another thing that I got as an insight was that sometimes we make promises in a version of ourselves that considers scenarios in a very specific type of way. And then you are already in that new space. So for example, I was on holiday and then all of a sudden I had committed to doing a workshop in the middle of the holidays. So I was contacted with a reminder saying like, ‘Hey, are we on for this day at this time?’ And I'm like, when did I agree to that? And I had agreed to that as a previous version of myself that possibly hadn't envisioned all that could happen during this trip. And so as I was like, my old previous version was like ‘yeah, totally. I can do it. It's like an hour. You know, it's like an hour. Yeah. My husband can look after the kids for an hour’ and that was it.
But I hadn't counted on the fact that we were holidaying with friends. So many other things for me to play in that moment. And it was like, ‘uh oh’, but no, I mean, it was it was a bit of a panic realizing that I had forgotten, not so much the actual showing up because I do have the support of my spouse. So again, having a support system, having a team, a business bestie, but also knowing that you have a spouse that also has your back is amazing because you can you can go into a situation where you forget right or you weren't really fully thinking about the whole situation
Yeah, also because let's say our spouses, right, they're in corporate jobs. And when they're off though they're off, okay? Yeah, of course they'll connect to emails and they still get regular calls. So I guess they're also never really off, off, off, but at least they can relax a little bit more. Whereas as an entrepreneur, you're kind of never really off. Same as motherhood. Or never off like,
It’s as if we sleep with our eyes open, right?
Right. And when the weekend rolls around, it's kind of like, oh, relax, but as a mom, you still get up in the morning, you still have all of your things you need to do as a mom for your kids. It's not like you really have any off time right? So same with a business never felt the same
But I do like to say that one thing that was very, very wonderful to experience during this break and being on holidays was that I did manage to give myself a bit of an unplugging, like a total unplugging and saying like, ‘I don't know, I don't need to know.’ Like, I don't need to make any major decisions. And something very magical and special happened. I'm not going to go into the full story. But what I want to highlight is that in those moments where you're not really seeking anything in particular, you're not having an agenda or a goal or like you're on a mission, waking up and we're like, ‘my day ahead looks like this. This is what I'm gonna get accomplished.’ And you put it all into the future, facing ahead saying like, ‘Okay, I'm going in that direction.’ When you step out of that and you have that little break, and you say, well, there's really no direction, there's really no aim. There's really no agenda. There's really nothing. Very amazing moments of clarity can come in, and you just get this really wonderful sense of, of knowing what lights you up, just for the sake of like, yeah, and I call those moments of real clarity. And it's when you least expecting it, you're just going in a very receptive mode like not even receptive. Sometimes it's just neutral. Sometimes it's like, there's nothing right. It's just, yes, there's nothing we're just going to see some scenery or just kind of go for a walk. Like, I don't know, where, for how for how, what am I going to see? But I'm just going to go for a walk and then and that's how it came to me. In that moment, I had this really amazing moment of clarity of something that I wanted to do, and it wasn't even related to the business. It was just something that I wanted to do for the sake of the light and enjoyment. And when we allow ourselves to experience those moments of clarity, I can tell you, I came back and it's one of the highlights of this trip, having felt it because now I'm able to recognize it. If it shows up in other ways moving forward, I'm able to say like, ‘oh, this is from my heart.’ And I just share this with everyone because doing a business is about yes, reaching your goals and dreams that you have. A lot of them are about reaching certain milestones or certain income goals that that we want to reach, but sometimes it's not about that, right? It's not about something that is tangible, is just about that pure delight in your heart of what sparks you and makes you feel like ‘wow, this has all been so worth it.’ Just to experience a moment like this.
Yeah. Exactly. I also felt like I there was moments where I was like floating above my body, kind of, you know, viewing myself and realizing like the things, looking at the things I was doing, and like you said, these moments of clarity and direction come and that came to me in those weeks where I was really taking a step back, and it gave me a clear direction of where I want to go after I go back in again as much as you're able to with a newborn baby, but I was like, ‘wow, this is really what I want to do. This is where my passion lies.’ And sometimes we're so busy. We're so busy, busy, busy doing the every day things and you know, collaborating with so many people, you forget that you don't know where you want to go and the more you think you do, but do you really? So those moments really enable you to see that path in front of you. And for my case, I actually I shifted a little bit. I was like you know what, I think I want to start doing more of this and a bit of less of that. And that was also a beautiful realization because now again, I just had a baby. Sometimes having like a baby on the other hand, like you don't know what life's gonna be like, but the second one is kind of similar because having one child is one thing, having two kids is another and I underestimated the situation a little bit because my first baby was very easy to handle. I was like, ‘Oh yeah, so you know it's gonna be fine,’ but having two is a different ballgame. So there's further shifts I needed to make, but I couldn't have done that without clarity. I would have just fumbled my way across just trying to keep my head above the water. So take a step. Back is imperative to regroup with yourself with your new life situation with your family, like you said on your holidays, right? It's just so, so, so important. So doing nothing often lets you do more on the other side. And it's a lot of people don't want to take a break. They feel like they will lose out on so many things. But we both disagree on that because we can gain so many more things. We can you know, so many factors can just improve. And that's why I think these are really great experiences we have both made this year. And we also know we have each other's back. And that's a beautiful thing that we know we can do it and we're not alone.
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