Entrepreneurship: Growing A Business


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

I wrapped up the “Working For Yourself the First Year” series of posts in January. But, after a lot of requests, I’m bringing the series back. Now it’s going to be an occasional Entrepreneurship series, around particular topics.

Entrepreneurship: Growing A Business | A Practical Wedding

Maddie recently coined a term for me, during a particularly hard day of work. The term is “Professional Puberty, TM MADDIE” (don’t try to steal it from her!). It’s when your business (or professional life) is growing so fast that as she put it, “Your relationships keep changing in confusing and sometimes sleazy ways, and you outgrow things so quickly you can hardly keep up.” But there is a plus side. She told me, “Maybe you’ll get the APW equivalent of boobs?”

Oh, I’m waiting.

Which is to say, a year ago, when I was first starting to work full time for myself, if you’d asked me about growing a business, I would have told you that my dream was to grow APW to be huge and awesome and take over the world. Which is still my dream, obviously. But now I know that growing a business fast causes a lot of weeping, and less money/ fancy office space/ slow motion romps through a field than you frankly deserve. Or naps. Remember when I started working for myself full time, and wished for more naps? The no naps thing is totally bullshit.

In the first two months of this year, APW grew so fast I could hardly see straight, I made a loop of the whole US by train to promote my book, and just for fun I started writing regular columns for The Huffington Post and Etsy. Underachiever, me. Nap needer. Let’s discuss what I learned.

Entrepreneurship: Growing A Business | A Practical Wedding

The Ducky Looks Calm (But You Can’t See Under The Water)

Growing a business seems like magic, when you’re watching someone else do it. And heck, maybe it is effortless magic for some people (but if so, I hate those people). For those of us that are mere mortals though, you’re just seeing the surface without seeing our legs paddling like crazy under the water. You’re seeing two posts a day go up, easy peasy. What you’re not seeing are the endless staff meetings where we try to shape APW content in the way we personally find compelling. You’re not seeing the hours laboring over QuickBooks, making sure the budgets and the books line up. You’re not seeing the phone calls with my lawyer hashing out contracts. And you’re definitely not seeing me as a weepy mess at the end of a rough day, trying to figure out what decision is the right one, how I’m going to balance my work load, and what new projects I should take on or not take on. Nope, you’re just seeing a thoughtful and amusing little ducky, gliding across the internet pond.

Sometimes Your Job Is Not What You Think It Is (Let Go)

A few months ago (before I hired her for Ask Team Practical) I had a conversation with Liz about women small business owners. She said something that’s stuck with me, “Have you read those articles about female entrepreneurs? And how they’re never as successful as possible because they write themselves into a corner where they’re needed for every aspect of their business and they can’t hire people or delegate or grow?” This is the truth, y’all, and figuring out how to delegate is really hard. It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re so damn special, that everything you do can only be done by you. But you guys? THIS IS FALSE. Your books don’t feel “all sad” if they’re not done by you, and that’s just for starters.

Women are statistically more likely to start small organic kitchen table businesses (I mean, I still run a kitchen table business, this post was written on the kitchen table). And I’ve chatted about why not taking outside investment and then having to grow like you’re on steroids is a great thing. But when we start our businesses, we tend to have our hand in everything. And for our businesses to grow, we have to let go of some of those bits, and fast.

The profoundly interesting thing is that often we learn that what we think our job was, is actually not our job at all. With APW, I originally thought my job was to write almost every post and respond to almost every comment.  I was wrong. It turns out my job was about facilitating interesting conversations that were not being had other places. And I’m increasingly figuring out that my real mission is to get people to improve their lives offline (passionate online community is great, but my real goal is to inspire people to change their offline communities).

I can’t do it all anymore, and I’ve had to wrap my head around the fact that growing isn’t a bad thing. Now I get to do things like write a book, and go on a book tour, and publish amazing writing from other ladies. And oh yeah, employ a great staff, which has turned into one of the great joys of my life. (My dream is to have full time staff members. And an office. And more naps. SHUSH about how I can have the first two but not the last one.) Not doing it all? Such a blessing. And my current job? Totally better than what I thought my job was (though I miss responding to every comment).

Growth Takes Work (And Has To Be Managed)

We had a blockbuster few months in January and February. The site grew like a weed in ways that were truly mind boggling. A lot more of you found us in the past few months (and we’re super glad you’re here). How did that happen, you ask? Magic, maybe? (Because I’ve watched other people’s sites grow, and I was pretty sure magic was at work.)

Alas, no. The way the site grew is that I got myself out of my comfort zone and spent a month traveling the country and writing about it. It was one of the most profoundly exhausting things I’ve ever done. (I’ve been home for a month, and I literally am close to caught up only as of today.) But holy hell, did it cause the business to grow. By which I mean to say, success is almost never magic. It’s almost always bone-tiring hard work. But the good thing is? If you can find something you love, it still actually feels like work (don’t let anyone lie to you about that), but it’s work you really want to do. It’s work that makes you happy to get up in the morning. And what else can you really wish for?

Everything Changes, All The Time

But more than anything, what I’ve learned from growing a very public business is a profound life lesson: Everything changes, all the time. The thing is, APW is always changing because as a staff we’re changing and growing, and we’re trying to reflect our life experience in our work. There are weeks where we roll out new series and new content, and everything is exciting and sparkly. But then there are weeks where we’re not intending to make changes, and yet, things are still changing.

The funny part of this lesson for me has been that people don’t always love change. The least helpful piece of “constructive” feedback I’ve ever received (but also the funniest) is when right after my wedding someone told me (to help me “improve the site”) that they found my site “Less engaging, now that I was no longer writing about planning my wedding.” Which of course made me wonder if they were suggesting that I get a divorce and start all over again (which admittedly, would be a new trajectory for the site). And the thing is, I also miss the spunk and vigor of tiny APW back when I was planning my wedding. But, I would be sad if we’d stayed in that place (or if I still wrote about my wedding every week, ick). And I also love writing Reclaiming Wife, and having Liz talk about weddings, and Maddie talk about her marriage, and our new team of interns making jokes and taking over the world. In fact, I’d argue that I like it more. Besides, unlike life, when a blog changes the old stuff is still safely stored away in the archives.

So here is to growth: terrifying terrifying growth. And also naps. How can I get one?

PS. Maddie told me that some of you guys were going to think this post was smoke signals and ask me what was next. It’s totally not smoke signals, sorry to not be all sneaky like that. It’s just me writing about what I’ve learned in the last two months. So, relax!

Photos: Out-takes from the last few months by Hart & Sol West. Me in NOLA about to EAT! And getting my hair done before I left for the tour.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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  • Tegan

    I think the world needs more duck metaphors. Thank you APW. :-P

    • Carbon Girl

      Yes, ducks should be the official metaphor of APW! How many times have getting “your ducks in a row” been alluded to? And now this fabulous duck metaphor!

      • carrie

        The boss at my organization got us all rubber duckies last year before our big meeting thanks to this metaphor. Also, I get “just keep swimming” stuck in my head from Finding Nemo thanks to this metaphor.

        • ambi

          At lunch today, the guy sitting at the table beside me was on his cell phone and kept saying “I just need to get my ducks in a row.” I realized later that I’d been assuming that he was having a conversation about getting engaged.

          • meg

            HA.

  • Sarah P

    YAY for growing a business posts! Your working for yourself posts became some of my very favourites on the site so I’m really looking forward to whatever little snippets you continue to give us. Not only are these posts incredibly interesting but OH SO INSPIRING.

  • http://elissarphotography.com Elissa

    I’m so glad that you’ve decided to bring this back!! It’s actually one of my favorite bits about APW (besides vintage weddings), maybe because I relate to it so much. Thank you thank you!

  • Parsley

    “If you can find something you love, it still actually feels like work (don’t let anyone lie to you about that), but it’s work you really want to do.”

    This totally hit home for me, as I had at some point totally bought into the whole, if you’re doing what you love it won’t feel like work thing. And the truth is that I love what I do and it is WORK! And some part of me, I think, hangs on to the idea that this means that something is wrong, somehow. Good to have this idea brought out into the light, examined, and set aside.

    Thank you!

  • http://www.3upadventures.com Beth

    I love the second picture of you. It’s so full of life.

    Here’s to APW continuing to grow and evolve. Because if it didn’t, it’d be like all those other wedding blogs, right?

    P.S. Even though you can’t respond to every comment anymore Meg, you really add to the conversation. Your presence was missed in January when you were on the road and around these comment parts less often. :-)

    • meg

      :)

      • Sheryl

        Also! Although you’re no longer trying to make it your job to respond to every comment, it seems like you’ve been more involved in the discussions going on in the comments lately than you were pre-book tour. Which is super awesome.

        • meg

          Mmmm. I don’t know if that’s true, actually. I mean DIRECTLY pre-book tour? Yes, obviously. I was packing and nailing down sponsorship and getting a book out the door, and those periods happen to everyone and are not indicative of an overall trend. Overall? Not sure that’s true. I’m pretty involved when I write a post (always) but I’ve backed off feeling like I HAVE to be involved when I didn’t. It can eat my whole day, and mean that I can’t produce new work, and that’s not a trade off that’s always worth it (as much as I’d like time for everything all the time).

  • http://www.KatesShortandSweets.com Kate

    *Thank you* for drawing back the veil over the hard, behind-the-scenes, ins-n-outs of small businesses. Because you’re right, it does look like magic from where I sit, and knowing that it’s NOT magic makes it all the more inspiring and accessible.

  • Jennifer

    I’m glad to see there will still be posts about this end of things! I don’t really have any intention of ever starting my own business, but I think these topics are still helpful to discuss for those of us who hope or plan to remain employees on someone else’s payroll. The “Sometimes Your Job Is Not What You Think It Is (Let Go)” section really resonated with me, for instance. I’m getting ready for an upcoming maternity leave, which obviously means all sorts of delegation and letting go of things that I haven’t trusted anyone else to do — or, I’m ashamed to admit, in many cases, things I’ve held on to because it seemed like less work to do it myself than to help someone else learn how to do, or because if I did it all from soup to nuts instead of sharing, no one could question my process as long as the outcome was good. (I was somewhat aware of all of this before, but the upcoming leave is forcing me to actually do something about it.)

    What I’m starting to realize – and this post helped me clarify in my own mind – is that by clinging to so many things that could conceivably be delegated, I’ve really crowded out the more interesting parts of my job that have the most growth potential, and I’m starting to get excited about rebuilding my job when I return from leave, and allowing more room for growth for myself *and* my staff and colleagues.

    • DKR

      That section of her post really resonated with me too, for similar reasons. I was one of those students when, having group projects, tended to did the whole thing so it got done. As a result, learning to delegate was tough for me as a young military officer, since I wanted to do it all myself. But I couldn’t do it all myself, not really, so I learned how to understand what my people’s strengths were, and delegate accordingly. That in and of itself was growth – not easy, but worth it and doable.

      Congrats on the little one you’re expecting – I wish you and your family all the best.

  • http://www.asafemooring.blogspot.com Kirsty {a safe mooring}

    You brought this back especially for me, didn’t you? Don’t lie. I know you did.

    One of these days I will figure out something to do at my kitchen table other than eating gigantic quantities of cheese and blogging about dogs wearing stupid outfits. ONE OF THESE DAYS.

    • meg

      For you. I’ve been watching your Pinterest. You’re on your way.

      • http://www.asafemooring.blogspot.com Kirsty {a safe mooring}

        <3

    • http://bunniesnbeagles.blogspot.com Ms. Bunny

      Even if you do find something else to do at your kitchen table, I hope you never stop eating gigantic quantities of cheese and blogging about dogs at it. I mean, a life is not worth living if there aren’t massive amounts of cheese and cute dogs in it.

      • http://www.3upadventures.com Beth

        AMEN. Cheese and cute dogs are some of the best things in life. That reminds me. I need more cheese.

  • Katie

    So glad you’re continuing this conversation with an Entrepreneurship series. I’m hoping to launch a business this year and your feedback and insight has been very helpful and inspirational. Thank you!!
    p.s. Um, can we talk about your fab hair in that second photo? Gorgeous. Ok, now I’m done.

    • meg

      Well, I’m at the hair salon, after my fancy blowout, so YEAH ;)

  • Shelly

    I attend a church in my community that began a few years ago as a tiny network of people. It has grown so much in the past few years that we are trying to figure out ways to accommodate all the growth. The pastor spoke recently about his experience of “the grief of growth”. He realized that the church wasn’t just a handful of people setting up folding chairs anymore, but was suddenly a staff! and lots of babies who need a nursery! and a second service! It’s all good stuff, but it can also be hard work, and a bit sad when a good thing changes. Even when it’s an even better thing.

    Wishing you lots of even better things ahead + naps.

    • meg

      “the grief of growth.” BAM. Now that’s a sermon I wanna hear.

  • carrie

    “And I’m increasingly figuring out that my real mission is to get people to improve their lives offline (passionate online community is great, but my real goal is to inspire people to change their offline communities).”

    You’re doing it right.

  • Lana

    If you’re looking for a hint of the old APW, I could drop some WIC rage on the idea of a “day-after photo shoot” that the knot was kind enough to introduce me to yesterday. (Seriously?) But I digress.

    Personally, I think APW is doing a fantastic job. You make good, thoughtful changes and embrace all the bits of life (pretty and not so much), which has helped at least me online and offline (so your goal is complete, you can go take a nap now). You’re little legs may be paddling like crazy, but you do it with grace and humor and humanity, which is more than most of us can say. :)

    • meg

      HAHAHA. RAGE. Or we could talk about “Hunger Games Themed Weddings.” Which, COME AGAIN?

      • carrie

        The Bride Who Was on Fire and Had to Kill Her Groom to Win the Wedding.

        Who can’t get behind that?!

        • meg

          I mean, when you put it that way… I’M IN.

      • http://landlockedlove.blogspot.com Kelly

        I saw the Hunger Games themed wedding the other day and COULD NOT BELIEVE IT.

        • meg

          The Kn*t sent out a PR email to all of us in January suggesting it as one of the Big Wedding Trends for 2012. To quote APW Editor Kate, “I’d like to know what book they were reading when they thought they were reading The Hunger Games.”

        • Hazel

          Thank you APW for introducing me to this… Priceless. And hilarious.

          • http://weskislow.com meghan

            Ok. I had to google “hunger games themed wedding” to find it and seriously. WUT.

        • Laura

          Wait. Wait. This is a thing? That actually exists?

          That’s so bad, it may be crossing the line into awesome.

      • http://www.lucyguest.com youlovelucy

        “Hunger Games Themed Wedding”

        1. I wish I had not ignored my “FLEE THIS PLACE IMMEDIATELY” instinct when I saw that photo shoot yesterday.

        2. A friend and I had an hour long discussion (while putting together invites) of how it was totally unrealistic to the actual personality of the characters, which included a new rundown of what should have been included. Since Katniss would take one look at “heart shaped arrows” and exited, stage left.

        We also decided that she would obviously be an APW reader, and her first post would be “I’m marrying a man who tried to murder me, and that’s okay.”

        • LifeSheWrote

          Hahahaha – The thought of Katniss’ first APW post and that title just made me spit my water on my desk. Thank you for that.

        • kathleen

          this is the funniest thing i’ve read all day. oh my god. katniss’ APW posts! (still laughing)

  • http://www.essential-images.com Essential Kate

    “But the good thing is? If you can find something you love, it still actually feels like work (don’t let anyone lie to you about that), but it’s work you really want to do. It’s work that makes you happy to get up in the morning. And what else can you really wish for?”

    THIS! Thanks so much for being out there every day charging ahead for all of us with “baby” businesses to nurture. You’re showing us what Can Be Done.

    And? those folks who say Women Are Afraid of Success??? I would just refer them to APW. Way to go, Meg! (now go take a nap!)

  • http://weehermione.blogspot.com Hayley

    Thank you for these! I really enjoy them.

  • http://www.myhonestanswer.com/ my honest answer

    Another voice to add to the chorus of ‘I’m glad you’re still writing about this’. I love this series, and really look forward to the updates. I’m so glad all your hard work is paying off, you have worked so hard for every success.

  • http://www.lucyguest.com youlovelucy

    “My dream is to have full time staff members. And an office. And more naps. SHUSH about how I can have the first two but not the last one.”

    You can totally have all three! I believe all offices should have designated nap areas. Sadly, I seem to be alone in this sentiment at my office.

    • meg

      Mmmmmm!

    • Jenn’s Mom

      I actually worked in an office with both a men’s and women’s quiet rooms (ie. nap rooms) a long time ago. It was a wonderful concept!

    • http://www.Actsofbeauty.co.uk ActsofBeauty

      The way to have more naps is just to lie down and have a nap. Trust me. You do know they increase productivity? If you needed a professional sounding excuse that is.
      MUST NAP!!! We’re counting on you to set a good example ;)

  • LifeSheWrote

    I just sent this to a friend who’s also in the “Professional Puberty, TM MADDIE” stage of a largely-internet-based business. So many gems in here!

    Especially this: “It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re so damn special, that everything you do can only be done by you. But you guys? THIS IS FALSE. Your books don’t feel “all sad” if they’re not done by you, and that’s just for starters.”

    And this: “If you can find something you love, it still actually feels like work (don’t let anyone lie to you about that), but it’s work you really want to do. It’s work that makes you happy to get up in the morning. And what else can you really wish for?”

    I so love reading your words, Meg – do all that healthy delegation and whatnot but keep writing to us!

  • http://www.little-white-dress.com Alexandra

    Amazing! Your timing is impeccable. I’ve been working a boring bookkeeping desk job for my grandfather by day and moonlighting as a sustainable bridal designer. Yesterday my grandfather offered to pay my salary and help set up the business so I can jump in head first to get this thing going full force. You have great words of wisdom and I will definitely be going through the archives and looking forward to your next posts!

    • Anne

      How exciting Alexandra! What a wonderfully supportive grandfather. Keep us posted about your business!

  • http://www.sarahhoppes.com Sarah

    These posts are most assuredly my favorite part of APW. I love hearing from you, and from the many other people who are part of the community, about entrepreneurship and all it entails. I’m currently working to grow two very different businesses at once, and I find this segment so inspiring. I just want to shout THANK YOU as loud as I possibly can!

    I’m so happy to see hard work paying off, and to see such honest, engaging writing about the process, the growth, the need to let go of some things, and the extreme desire for more naps.

    PS-The explanation of business that seem to grow by magic might by my all-time favorite business (and duck) metaphor ever, which is saying a lot.

  • Elly

    These posts are great! So glad you’re going to continue writing them.

  • http://www.roguebride.com Rogue Bride

    I just had to refer a potential new client over to another writer because my little one-woman-writing business is over-booked! I’ve hit a wall where I either need to accept that THIS is my yearly income for now until I raise my rates, or I need to figure out how to expand. I don’t know how to expand, because the service I’m selling is me – my writing, my thought process, my SEO and marketing know-how. But, as you said, you can’t expand with the mindset that you are the be-all and end-all special snowflake. Ok, that’s not exactly what you said, but close enough. I bet photographers and other artists get in the same pickle. What’s a girl to do?

    • meg

      You hire people you trust, and you train them. Then they make you better.

    • Anne

      Rogue Bride — If you haven’t read the “E-Myth” you might find some useful ideas about how to turn your business into an organization that can run itself without you.

      I’m also the owner of a service business (I’m an educational therapist). I raised my rates by 20% last September. I kept 90% of my clients, and the referrals keep coming. For the first time ever, I have a waiting list, and I’m making a much better salary. Now that I’m earning more, I’m less stressed, I can volunteer one morning a week at a local school, and I’ve taken on a new client on a sliding scale rate. All good stuff!

      I was really scared to increase my rates, but I’m really happy that I did. I have a wonderful mentor who pushes me to take my business seriously by charging competitively.

  • Purple

    Probably an inappropriate comment, but: Who cuts your hair?? it is gorgeous (and I live in your area)!

    • meg

      Wes Pine at Sammy Oliver. The SF book launch post, where this picture came from, had a whole thing about him. Great stylist, BRILLANT colorist.

  • http://www.embracerelease.com aly

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m in the very beginning of the genesis of my own home-based biz and I sometimes get discouraged when I look around and see a sea of thoughtful, amusing duckies. It helps to know there’s a whole lot of hustling going on down under.

    That said, I wouldn’t be reading APW if all it talked about was weddings, yours or not. Weddings are fun and meaningful and all but they’re really just milestones. I like how APW talks about them differently than every one else but what I really love is how APW follows up about all the miles thereafter.

    • meg

      I think we can agree that a whole blog about my wedding would be VERY BORING. Especially almost three years after the fact ;) And don’t worry, sometimes the duckies are putting their heads under the water and crying a little, even. Then they pop back up.

      • Class of 1980

        Meg, if you were still writing about your wedding three years later, I’d be e-mailing you frowny faces!

        Also, “change” is one of the first things I too learned in having a business. Nothing ever stays the same.

        Also, the more you put yourself out there, the more success. There is no short cut around that.

        • http://www.lucyguest.com youlovelucy

          I really want it to be true that if you’re displeased with something then you literally send people (or customer support centers, or business, etc) emails that include nothing but a frowny face. No explanation. Because I find that hilarious and awesome.

  • ambi

    So, I’ve nevery really paid much attention to these posts because, well, I’m a government attorney with absolutely no desire to start my own business. BUT, reading this today, I was struck by how much of your advice applies to me, and not just to my work life. Maybe it is the beautiful spring weather or the fact that I am finally feeling better after a nasty cold, but today I have just been charged with this energy that makes me want to DO STUFF. Make changes, be better. I feel like your post isn’t so much about businesses, but about making things happen in your life.

    Also, and I really hesitate to say this because I don’t want it to induce any guilt or anything like that, but we REALLY love your comments. They make a huge difference.

    • Marina

      I want to ditto this. I am not at all interested in starting/running a business but I adore this series and am so glad it’s back. Meg, the thoughtful way you talk about your decisions and how much work you put into it is constantly inspiring. I may not start a business but I can put that same energy into growing my career anyway…

  • http://www.koruwedding.com Koru Kate {Koru Wedding}

    Count me in as very happy this series is back. & I hope you get a nap soon!

  • Anne

    Meg,

    Thank you so much for this post and sparking this conversation.

    I love Maddie’s metaphor about professional puberty! Yes, this is exactly what I’ve been feeling!

    I’ve taken your advice about building real-life community. A colleague recently asked me to present at career day at a local girls’ high school. My first reaction was “Who me? I’ve been in business less than two years? What can I share?”

    But I thought about how meaningful your candid writing on business has been to me, and I decided to go for it! Next week, I’ll be speaking to a hundred young women on why women have wonderful entrepreneurial skills and why running a business can help women circumnavigate glass ceilings. Thank you!

    • meg

      YES! (I wish someone would ask me to speak to High School girls on this. I love High School girls more than almost anything.)

  • abby_wan_kenobi

    So I didn’t get to reading The Internets until late today (note to self, hire 2 engineers. related, stop working 13-hr days). Luckily, the late browsing meant I read this after my daily dose of NPR which totally relates to this post. There was a short interview with Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx and the youngest member of Forbes’ recent Billionaire List. The (paraphrased) quote that stuck with me was about delegating and hiring people to do the work that isn’t in your wheelhouse, “As soon as you can afford to, hire your weaknesses.”

    What good advice. For the record she was kind of talking about hiring a “professional” CEO for her company, but it seems like advice that could be applied to any business of any size. Hate selling yourself? Hire someone to do your marketing. Not a finance expert? Hire a damn accountant. Success!! Yay!!

    Thanks for keeping us in the entrepreneurial loop, Meg. It makes me so happy :)

  • http://www.lovemydress.net Annabel – Love My Dress Wedding Blog

    Oh my word, you have absolutely no idea how this has come at JUST the right time in my life. I am practically crying tears knowing someone knows and feels exactly what I’m going through right now!

    I write about my experiences {joys/struggles blah blah} of entrepreneurship on my own wedding blog and have just taken on my first Intern and now have part-time admin support. Yet I’m still fannying on clutching on to much of that admin because I think I have to do it myself. What a fool! I need to get the hell on and delegate right now and shake off this funk of thinking I am the only one who can do things or that everyone will frown upon me if I stop personally sending out all my invoices. And manually creating them in Excel. And sending them out late because I never have enough time. ARGGH!

    Thank you for for giving me that virtual vote of confidence and kick up the ass to stop procrastinating and start doing.

    This really is the best blog post I think I’ve ever read and I’m going to pass this on to all my female entrepreneurial friends. I made a similar duck/paddling furiously beneath the surface analogy in a post I shared on the Any Other Woman website for International Womens Day, people really have no idea what goes on behind the scenes and how exhausting it can be working for yourself and trying to manage a small but successful/growing business. And with 2 kids to care for two it can at times be nothing short of exhausting!

    I’m going to bed now.

    It’s 3am.

    And I’ve {surprise!} been up non-delegating!

    I think after reading this and taking action as a result, I might actually be able to say ‘hello bedtime before 2am, I love you!’ HOORAH!!! ;)

    Great post, great timing, just ruddy great all-round :)

    Thanks a million,

    Annabel xXx

  • http://www.lovemydress.net Annabel – Love My Dress Wedding Blog

    ps – when are you coming to the UK???????

    • meg

      Aw. I sneak over more often than one would expect. Once a year it seems, these days.

      • http://loveaudrey-loveaudrey.blogspot.com/ Loveaudrey

        I’d like to echo Annabel’s comment, this is in excellent post. I agree fully with everything you’ve said. I really hope my boss takes all your advice on board and lets go of some of her enormous workload ;)

        Franky

        {Annabel’s intern and admin assistant}

  • AWB

    As I sit here working away when my peers are relaxing in front of the TV, after a day of tears ups and downs and you know, the usuals of running a business. Thank. you. Foer always articulating what i want to, in so many better words.

  • Blimunda

    Meg, thanks for this. I loved to read about changes and how they’re not always welcome at first. The problem with me is that I am very open to some changes, but I’m really not prepared to accept that they will bring other changes I did not plan or want. Still, I have learned that sometimes life works better for you if you just let it happen :)
    (now I have to take back all the rubber ducks I gave my nephew…)
    Hugs to you all

  • http://www.marriedwithkittens.blogspot.com MWK

    Like everyone else, I really appreciate this post. As someone who started reading way back in 2009 (you know, way back when I commented with my real name and commented more regularly), and who finds herself wowed by all the change (but THRILLED, let’s be clear about this), it is nice to know that even the ducks have their Liv Tyler/Empire Records NOTHING IS FINE moments going on under all the awesome. Except minus the speed and plus the fact that everything IS fine after you stop freaking out. Aaaaand I totally am not making any sense.

  • Radiantly

    My comment regards the nap. My office had a “Zen room” for napping and quiet time. We had about 80 staff (this was a small biz and then it was acquired later but we kept the Zen room even though it was threatened to be turned into a personal office many times). We had the ability to black out the window to the hallway so you had privacy. Everyone knew not to ever knock on the door if the “in use” sign was up because people napped in there. It was encouraged. Even the CEO knew that naps help with productivity. I treasured that room!! I now am in a corporate office and no more Zen room. Every office should have one!!

  • Christy

    When I finally get the courage to start my own business or business and non-profit combined, but still am not ready to sign the legal documents needed to do so, I will spend hours reading all your posts again and again about starting your own business and just hoping I can soak up all the wisdom you have shared so amazingly with us all! Growing up, I never thought I would have the desire to start a business, but now I do. Thanks for keeping it real. And my GOD, would I love a life/job/business where regular naps were the rule and not the exception! Long live the nap.