The word "quit" isn't one I have always associated with. I consider myself to be an achiever. I accomplish. I win.
But when I recently facilitated a panel of women business owners, I asked them a very powerful and vulnerable question..."What is your 'I quit' story? What have you quit in your life - whether it was a job, doing things a certain way, your mindset or a relationship?"
That conversation got me thinking about how many times in my life I have actually quit. I reflected for hours and realized I have quit hundreds of times. I found myself journaling about my own entrepreneurial journey and how I got to be the woman, business owner and mother I am today.
You see, I became an entrepreneur BECAUSE I became a mom. In my mind, it was the easiest way to “balance” work and home. So, after ten years working for amazing organizations like American Red Cross, Warner Bros., and Florida International University, I took the plunge and opened my marketing firm.
Chispa Marketing, Inc. was born several months after my second son. Before I knew it, I was the mother of a two-year-old and six-month-old, working 80 hours a week working some of the most thrilling brands, including the country’s largest college, the state’s largest real estate firm, and one of the world’s largest wine festivals. It was exhausting. But I kept plowing through. This was the definition of balance, right? Within six years, I had five employees, several contractors, a beautiful office, and I was on my way to surpassing a million dollars in revenue.
And then it hit me.
What was all of this even for?
I had started a business in search of work/life balance. There was a lot of work, but no life. Literally. On this ludicrous journey, I gained 20 pounds, wasn’t present for my children, and took out all the stress out on my then husband.
Was this the definition of balance? This was the balance everyone spoke about, right?
In 2012, I made major shifts to the business. I made bold, courageous decisions that were not only tough, but they would be some of the most important decisions I would ever make in my life. I restructured Chispa Marketing to work around my life’s priorities so my life’s priorities would never revolve around the business. That’s right. Me first. Family next. Business follows.
I made my employees contractors and took good care of them during the transition. I weeded out the clients that really didn’t value our work but I had taken on just to pay the bills. Most importantly, I moved my offices to my home and now get to work in my pajamas whenever I feel like it.
During what I would consider one of the most tumultuous times of my career, I learned some of the most valuable life lessons.
· Success, just like people, comes in different shapes and sizes. I had to stop what I call “comparisonitis” – comparing myself to others and worrying of what other people were doing or even live up to the standards of how someone else defined success.
· By releasing the guilt of being a working mom, I literally freed myself. I no longer worry about my team while with my family and don’t stress about how the kids are doing when I am not around.
· That’s because I drink a bottle of perspective every morning for breakfast. I choose to focus on what’s great about my life. I choose to be grateful and unwrap my gifts. I choose joy.
When I took that step back and realized all these powerful lessons I had learned, I chose to combine all my experiences, expertise and passions into a new company, which I called Luly B, Inc. I immediately knew the name of my movement, which was also the title of the Amazon best-seller that I released in 2013. Balance is Bull$h!t. Plain and simple.
I combined my passion for helping and teaching with my love for speaking, marketing, and business to create and develop some of the most exciting projects in my career! I released my book (Balance is Bull$h!t: How Being a Mom, Wife and Entrepreneur Taught Me that Balance is a Myth), launched an audio program (Balance is Bull$h!t: 7 Steps to Boycotting Balance & Living Life on Your Terms) and speak on stages all across the country, empowering thousands of women and impacting organizations including Procter & Gamble, Macy’s, UPS, and Dell.
I also provide consulting services to extraordinary women entrepreneurs and help them build a business around their lifestyle and family priorities. In my BOOST community, we work on everything from mindset and marketing to operations and business development. I also host an annual women’s empowerment event called SPARK with Luly B. that brings together hundreds of awesome women to learn, celebrate, and connect in a way that’s not very common in a typical conference or seminar setting.
And as I look back on my journey and speak to women all around South Florida and the country, I realize we are definitely more alike than we are different. We all need that person that puts it all in perspective. That person that reminds us how truly awesome we are. That person that pushes us that much harder to play bigger, be more present, and unwrap the gifts we’ve been given and share them with the world. And I hope that through my vulnerability, humor and willingness to impact, I can do that for years to come.
Today, I honor the many times I have quit. Because I am the powerhouse, the beaming light, the unstoppable force I am because I have quit!