Today is a day of gift giving and receiving for many people around the world who celebrate the Christmas holiday. We take the time to buy our friends and family gifts, wrap them with great care, and take immense joy in the way faces light up with the discovery of our new treasures. As I thought about writing a Career Girl post for Christmas Day, I thought about the many gifts in my own life. Of course, the gifts of my husband, my friends and family, my colleagues, my health, and all the usual suspects on your thanks giving laundry list.
There’s one more set of gifts, though, that have only recently become apparent to me – the gifts of entrepreneurship. At the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I’ll admit this whole process felt a bit painful, but as we approach the end of the year of Career Girl’s launch, I’m thankful for these amazing gifts of entrepreneurship.
- “Sure I can.” I spent far too many days and nights in my life as a workaholic office junkie saying, “Oh, I can’t, I need to stay late” or “I’m still at the office. Go without me.” Having flexibility to work when I want (even though I’m probably working more than I was before) gives me the option to say “Sure I can” whenever I want to go somewhere or do something. When Marcy Farrey and I felt sluggish on a Friday afternoon, we said “Let’s go have an indulgent late lunch at Lou Malnatis.” “Sure we can!”
- Family time. I left my hometown when I was 17 and never looked back. Even while I lived in Minneapolis, I only made the drive home every few months, and even then just for a day or two. After all, I had to get back to work. This holiday season, my brother commented to me that my family has probably seen me more this year than any of the last 10. Totally true because I probably go back the same amount, but this time for more days at a time. After all, I can write just as easily from my mother’s kitchen table as I can from my office.
- You find out who your friends are. This might seem like more of a curse than a blessing because it implies there are people who aren’t your friends in this process. That’s true, but more so than anything in that realm, I’ve discovered quickly who the most supportive people are in my life – some of whom have surprised me. Finding out some friends from high school or college loved loved loved loved what I was doing rekindled important relationships I didn’t realize I missed.
- Crazy isn’t crazy when someone’s crazy with you. The greatest gift I’ve received through this entrepreneurial journey is in my amazing partner and trusted sidekick Marcy Farrey. It’s crazy enough to start a business yourself, but when someone else loves it enough to join you in the madness, it somehow means it’s not all as crazy as you thought it was. Maybe, just maybe, it’s a gift in itself! Her willingness to take the journey with me is incredible all by itself!
So even if you think your job is nuts, your choices are a little wacky, or some other version of “OMG” we all go through at times, take time this Christmas (no matter your denomination) to look for the gifts in your life.