Updated: Aug 22
Leaning into New Challenges One Layer At a Time
Building a business is like landscaping. In landscaping, you dig up layers of dirt, remove the rubble and old material, plane the surface for an even foundation, and start to rebuild. Progress is messy. And more often than not, progress doesn't LOOK like progress. It looks like a disaster in the making!
I'm finding it's the same in business. The systems, workflows, services options, clients I serve and how I serve them have shifted and morphed over the past 3 years. I went into 2022 on the brink of growth. Now 8 months in, the behind-the-scenes looks nothing like it did in January. It's looking pretty messy in the background. BUT, progress is being made, and that's an incredible feeling!
A Backyard Re-boot
For the past seven months we have watched our old deck, pool interior, dirt and fancy desert rocks be dug up, relocated, shoveled and jackhammered.
For the better part of a year (so far), our backyard has been in a constant state of demolition. Piles of dirt, rubble, equipment, and rocks are EVERYWHERE.
For a good portion of that time, our front driveway was hedged in by a massive pile of "fresh dirt" and another giant pile of the rubble. Honestly, I can hardly believe how our beautiful dirt pile didn't attract every feline in the East Valley. It was seriously the nicest cat outhouse I've ever seen. (here kitty, kitty 🐈)
When monsoon season struck, our duo piles of mud made for a makeshift pond in front of our driveway. To say my husband "enjoyed" siphoning and sweeping all that water out of the way is an understatement.
Very slowly our backyard has been demolished. Decorative rocks the size of small islands have been removed, save one. One lone boulder the size of Texas keeps getting "missed." It is currently housed on a patch of torn up putting green turf, a monument to the dated backyard design of old.
My contractor keeps promising to put it in our pool so we have an island to remember him by. 🤣🏝️
For months we've anticipated our new glistening pool, refreshing and blue, as sweat runs in rivers down our backs in 114 degree Arizona heat.
By middle of July we were ready to fill the pool, fresh with new pebble tech inside. For 3 days we watched as our diving depth pool slooooooowly fill with water. On what we thought was the last night, we slowed the water down so it wouldn't flood the pool while we slept. Turned out it still needed another 24 hours to fill. Did I say 24 more hours? ⏱️ Why yes, yes I did.
That final final night (the real one this time) we made a bet on when the pool would be filled enough to turn off the water. My husband guessed between Midnight and 1 a.m. and to seal the deal, graciously volunteered to stay up and watch the rising water line. Since he stayed up late, I didn't grumble when I lost the bet (I've learned to pick my battles.)
A few days later our contractor came over to get the pool equipment set up. Turns out we still needed a little more water in the pool. "No problem," I said. "I'll be home all afternoon and can turn the water off when needed."
Three hours later I picked up the kids from school. We drove straight to their bi-annual dentist appointments, making it there 30 minutes early (mom win!). After the dentist, we stopped to pick up dinner. As I walked in the door at 5 p.m. I heard the water running.
I raced to the backyard and saw my beautiful pool filled literally to the brim. I only narrowly avoided a flooding disaster! But I could confidently say the pool was finally full. 🤣
Looking at my almost-flooded backyard, the giant boulder that stubbornly remains, and the carefully cut travertine tiles waiting to be laid, I realized: this is a metaphor for my life right now.
For the past three years I've been building my business. Each year, a new layer of dirt is lifted. My services and processes are refined a little further. Each season brings new clients, new challenges, and new refinement - mostly refinement of my character and ability to set stronger boundaries.
Over the past seven months, while my backyard has been uprooted and slowly rebuilt, my business has been blossoming. I've hired team members. I've refined services over and over again. I've deepened relationships with cherished clients, doing work that brings me joy.
Outside, the uneven foundation is smoothing out, and gorgeous, natural, travertine has been set. Inside, my team is slowly growing. Systems and processes are being laid in order to provide a smooth client experience in the future. Workflows are being created so this business can move from a one-woman-show to an incredible team with more capacity, support, and creativity than ever before.
Outside, the deep green plants can be seen amidst the rubble that still needs to be cleared away. Inside, moments of laughter with clients-turned-friends remind me the work I do is valuable, and the relationships I'm nourishing are life-giving, even when I don't have my act together all the time.
The pool is filled just to the brim - a promise of refreshing swims to come, and a reminder that my workload and life are filled with goodness and blessing. I have just enough, keeping me from the overflow overwhelm brings.
Both the backyard and my business have a long way to go. We are in the messy middle. But honestly, there's nowhere I'd rather be. Soaking in the beauty of those budding plants, laughing over boulders and pool water. Finding friends in unlikely places, serving my community with words, encouragement, and a fresh perspective.
This is where life is. And life is good.