Welcome back to the show. You’re listening to Live Free Creative podcast. I’m your host Miranda Anderson. And this is Episode 145: Quit, Pause, Pivot, Progress. I think it’s going to be a good one.
I am excited to share with you I’m recording live today from the bathroom of a really cute hotel in Austin, Texas. I’ve been here for a super fun girls trip weekend. Brought to us in part by vaccinations. And I decided to stay an extra day.
Last night I was getting prepared to record and thought, I’m just really tired. So I’m going to sleep. Wake up refreshed, record the episode.
And I woke up this morning at 6:30 AM to the sound of jackhammering at a construction site, right over the fence from the edge of the hotel. And it’s been about three hours and they have not let up. So I had to make the decision. Am I going to just put it off completely and wait until I get home to my office? Or am I going to try?
And it turns out if I go behind the layers of the hotel room, the bathroom door and a fill a little corner of the bathroom with pillows, I think that we’re going to be okay. And I get to stay ahead on the show.
Hurray for hilarious solutions.
Magical Adventure Moment
I want to start off the episode today with a quick, magical adventure moment.
Two days ago as part of our girls trip, my three really good friends here in Austin and I went down to Lady Bird Lake in the middle of downtown Austin, got on some paddle boards, and paddled off into the Lake.
Lady Bird Lake is a really cool situation, right in downtown Austin. It splits the city in half. There’s beautiful bridges that cross for trains, for pedestrians, and for cars. The edges of the lake are covered in these massive aquatic trees. I don’t know what type they are, but they’re growing directly out of the water with their roots and tangled a perfect place for tiny families of turtles to climb up and sun.
The branches dip low into the water and it feels like you’re paddling along in a secret other world. This alternative space. A block away on either side of the river is the hustle and bustle and movement and people and traffic.
And to be honest, this day on the lake was a bit of a traffic jam. On the lake itself, it was beautiful, little bit overcast, warm, dry weather. Hundreds of people were out kayaking, paddle boarding, floating, jamming out. I saw toddlers hanging off the front of their moms boards. There were people with pups in little life vests.
It felt like a celebration of being outside, like a celebration of being able to be together again. A celebration of the spring time. Paddling along, jamming out to a little bit of tunes coming from my iPhone, looking around at some of my favorite people in one of my favorite places felt like a prayer. It was childlike. It was fun for fun sake. It was exploring in a place that I know well already.
And for some of my friends, they had never been paddleboarding on the lake, even though they live nearby. A good reminder that there are so many fun ways to explore and adventure right where we live. There’s opportunities to see with new eyes, the cities and the spaces that we call home. With a little bit of magic, you can get out and explore something new.
I want to challenge you with this magical adventure moment this week to make a short list of things in your area, in your city, in your neighborhood, or in your state that you know people come in from other places to explore or that you haven’t yet explored.
I want to challenge you to be a tourist in your own town to discover something new that will connect you even more deeply to where you live right now.
Main Topic: Quit, Pause, Pivot, Progress
I am so excited to share some thoughts today about the idea of quit, pause, pivot, and progress.
I had someone send me a message a couple months ago on Instagram and asked how do you decide when to quit something or how to quit gracefully. I think I had mentioned something in my business that I had been doing, decided it wasn’t working, and so I shut it down and moved on to something different.
And the question started to make me think about how I do make that decision, not only in business, but also in life. When do you know if it’s time to quit or if it’s just fear talking and you should push through.
There’s a lot of messaging in the world about the idea that quitting is a weak thing to do or that the people who really succeed are simply the ones who never quit.
But I think there’s lots of times when quitting is not negative, when quitting actually gets you closer to your ultimate priorities and goals. I also think that there’s times when pausing for a little while, like don’t quit, but slow down or take a break, when that’s the choice that gets you closer to your ultimate outcome.
There’s definitely times, especially I think this last year is a good example of times, when not quitting, but changing direction a little bit, enables you to better capture all of the opportunities that you hope for.
And there are definitely times when you feel like quitting, but pushing through and making slow, steady progress is going to help you achieve your ultimate ideals.
Even as I’m explaining these four different scenarios, one thing that I noticed that I think is really important to be clear on from the get-go is that, in order to make a decision about whether you should quit, pause, pivot, or progress, you need to have a pretty clear idea of what your ultimate goal is.
This doesn’t have to be a goal that you achieve, like a checkbox. It can simply be a value or a principle that you want to stay aligned with as you live your life. So not something that you just hit one time. For example, an idea of a principle is that maybe your goal in your family, one of your ultimate goals in your family, is to maintain a really close connection.
So connection isn’t something that you just do one time, it’s something that you live daily that you can check back into that you can say, I think we could feel more connected or we’re feeling pretty disconnected. How do we get back more on track to feeling really connected in our relationship?
That idea of what it is that you’re hoping for in your life or business or a relationship, or really anything, having an idea of what it is you’re hoping for and why will be a real clear indicating factor as you’re making the decision of quit, pause, pivot, or progress.
So let’s just start there as a baseline. I want to start with the first decision to quit. One of the questions that I like to ask myself when I’m deciding whether or not to quit something is, am I giving up or am I moving on?
We’re taught, I think often that, like I mentioned, that quitting is a negative thing. And maybe if you’re giving up where you really would benefit from continuing to push through and progress (we’ll talk about that in a minute), then maybe you are doing yourself a disservice.
But quitting in order to move on, in order to move forward, is positive.
It opens you up to new opportunities. It creates space for things that otherwise you wouldn’t have space for.
So I want to share an example of a) a time that I quit that I think was giving up and b) a time that I quit that I think was moving on.
And I just have to mention too, as I share this whole episode, these things are super, super subjective.
These are all really personal decisions and other people’s opinions or ideas about the decisions that you make, whether to quit, pause, pivot, or progress, really don’t matter. And I know that’s hard. I know it’s hard. The more convicted you are of your own choice, the easier it will be to deal with other people’s ideas about what you do.
So just going back to that base, that having a pretty clear understanding of your motivation and your ultimate goals and principles and values, will be really helpful along the way.
So a time that I quit, the first thing that comes to mind a time that I quit, that I wish I would have continued. At the time, I didn’t wish I would have continued. That’s why I quit. It was when I decided to stop playing the violin.
Now I was a teenager. I had played the violin from the time I was very young. I was quite good at it and I never really truly loved it for its own sake. I liked things about it, but the older I got, the more I fought it.
And I think that I fought playing out of just a general, maybe teenage, angst of I wanted to spend my time doing other things. I didn’t want to practice every day. I was tired of it. I went through a couple different teachers that I didn’t like their teaching styles, looking back I’m sure that it was all me.
It was just me being at 12, 13, 14 year old that was annoying and a little bit angsty. And there was a year my mom had always told us that we would play an instrument. All of us played an instrument. We would play an instrument until we were 18. That was kind of the family goal. And the year that I quit, my mom was really busy with some other projects.
My oldest brother was graduating from high school. She was really involved with some things going on with that. And so, because I was definitely old enough to continue doing it on my own, practicing on my own, going to my lessons.
These were things that I totally could have done, but because my mom was occupied elsewhere, I decided I’m going to drop the ball here. And I quit. It was fully on me and she just didn’t have the extra energy to continue to push it.
Within a couple of years, I regretted having quit. I wished that I would’ve continued, but by that time I was deeply invested in other hobbies and activities that I really liked. And it felt like starting again would kind of be backsliding. I hadn’t progressed. I would’ve missed a couple of years. All of the people that I had played with would be so much further ahead.
Still to this day, every once in a while, when I’m at my mom’s house, I’ll pick up the violin and I can play pieces of the very last song that I played when I was 12 or 13. There’s such beauty and richness in playing an instrument and playing one well, and I know I learned a lot of additional things through even just the eight to 10 years that I played violin.
It was an easy thing at that time, at that age, to decide to quit because it was hard, because I was a little bit feisty, I guess I wanted to do things on my own terms.
Another reason why I think about this quitting as giving up was because the benefit that I gave up was far greater than the benefit I received from quitting. I would have been better off in the short-term and the long-term if I had put in the hard work and the dedication to continue to play.
The self-motivation that it would have required, a little bit of discipline. It’s hard to learn an instrument. It’s hard to stay focused. It’s hard to work hard at doing things that don’t come naturally, especially the higher level you get to, the trickier it is.
I wanted everything to feel easy. I didn’t want to work hard. I didn’t want to put in the extra time. I didn’t want to not be good automatically. And quitting was giving up.
I think one of the ways that you can judge whether quitting is giving up or moving forward is: is the benefit of quitting going to outweigh what you lose. And in this case, this personal example, the benefit of staying far outweighed the benefit of stopping.
Would it have been hard? Yes, it would have been. It would have required focus and energy and attention and stretching myself. And I was unwilling at that point to do that. And if I had, I definitely would have benefited in a lot of ways.
When you think about things in your life that feel like you want to stop, you want to quit. Do you want to stop or quit because it’s hard, because it just feels tricky and difficult? And you’re maybe a little bit afraid of putting in the effort? Or is it simply something that you don’t want to do anymore?
Do you feel relief at the idea of stopping? Or do you feel a little bit of a pit in your stomach that you know that you could do it and that it would be better for you to continue, but you have to push through some of the challenge and overcome a little bit of the fear?
I want to share an example of when I quit something that was overwhelmingly a positive experience. It was moving on. It wasn’t giving up. I ran an Etsy shop doing custom women’s clothing for about seven or eight years; costumes and gowns. I did wedding gowns, all sorts of custom sewing and I started to take custom sewing projects outside of Etsy as well.
I was just sewing every day for about 10 years. I was sewing every single day for myself, for my family, for other people, for clients. And while I loved it and I was good at it, I started to feel like it was taking so much of my time.
The margin, as far as my pricing wasn’t there. So the actual hours I was spending, weren’t paying off financially the way that I thought that they should. And when I looked ahead, I sort of stumbled into it, but I never set out to be a fashion designer. I never set out to run a custom clothing shop.
I simply was following the path of least resistance of doing something and then having someone mention it and then a lot of email requests and things would just come in. This was in the early days of blogging when people really spent a lot of time on blogs on websites themselves because social media didn’t exist yet.
And so I would share about something I had made on my blog and then immediately receive a bunch of requests for something similar. I was working about four months out. So if someone sent me a request for something, I could turn it around because I had this wait list. I could turn it around in about three to four months.
It was a pretty intense time. And I remember, this is early 2013, I remember one day thinking I don’t want to do this anymore. And immediately felt relief. Like my whole body felt light at the idea of stopping, of just closing down shop.
Now at that time, I hadn’t yet pivoted my blog into a business. My blog was a hobby and I was getting sewing jobs through it, but I hadn’t yet worked on sponsorships on my blog. Like the idea of my blog becoming a business wasn’t yet solid in my mind. And I was working part-time as a nurse and I wanted to have another baby.
Every single part of my plate was as full as it could be. And I wanted to do other things, but I didn’t have the space, the time, the emotional and energetic capacity to do anything else because I had filled it all up.
And I recognized that the piece that I wasn’t benefiting from, or that was preventing me from doing things that I really wanted to do, was this custom sewing business.
Now it was, although it wasn’t financially the margins that I would hope for. It was a great secondary income. Dave was in law school. I was working part-time, but it was this huge supplementary piece. And I really love sewing, but I recognized that I don’t love sewing all hours of night for other people.
I love it as a hobby, but, but turning it into a business, really sort of accidentally turning it into a business, was something that I didn’t set out to do. I wasn’t planning on it, it just sort of happened and recognizing that quitting or stopping that whole section of my life, just saying I’m not taking any more custom sewing or orders again, ever felt like massive progress.
It felt like taking back control of my time, of my energy, of my effort, of my priorities. And it didn’t in any way feel like giving up. I didn’t think, Oh, this is hard, but I could do it and it will benefit me more by continuing. I felt like, Oh goodness, it’s actually almost harder to stop because it’s sort of just happening and that quitting my custom sewing business felt like massive movement forward.
It felt like getting back on track for the things that I really wanted to be doing in my life and in my business.
So I think these two examples are really interesting, sort of juxtapositions of a time when I quit when it would have been aligned with my personal values of progression and hard work and developing talent and increasing skill. And I quit because of fear and because of maybe a little bit of laziness, to be honest.
Or a time when I quit and felt relief. And it almost would have been easier to continue. And quitting was a challenge. Quitting was the hard thing. Quitting was the thing that didn’t seem obvious.
I want you to just think about if there’s anything in your life right now that quitting would feel like progress, that deciding to stop something that you’ve been doing, even if you’ve been doing it for a long time, that feels like relief.
Not relief because it’s hard and you don’t like doing hard things, but relief because it’s heading you in a direction that isn’t where you want to be going. It doesn’t align with your true compass and your true internal values and goals for your life or for your family.
As kind of a recap for quitting. I want to just share a couple of things I found in a life hacker article that feel really helpful.
So it’s a good idea to quit if you’re consistently experiencing more frustration than reward. So all experiences are going to have the good and bad. But if one experience continually feels more bad than good. You’re more frustrated. You’re more worn out. You’re more annoyed than the benefit that it gives you. Maybe it’s a good idea to quit.
Another one is that you can’t envision a possible solution in continuing this way. You’re stuck with something that isn’t going to change. And so the only way out is for you to make the change.
Maybe spending time on this thing that you want to quit keeps you from more rewarding endeavors. This is what the quitting my sewing business did for me. I was spending so much time and energy and effort on it, where there were other things that I wanted to do that it was squeezing out all of my time. And so quitting created the space for the things that I really wanted to do.
And I like this idea, at the end of this article, it mentions toss a coin. I think this is such an interesting idea. I know that this is true with decision-making when people have a hard time making decisions. If you toss a coin, you assign heads to one thing, and tails to another thing, and you toss a coin.
But you know, before that coin lands, what you want to do, like your gut knows. And if it lands on the one that you prefer, then you’re relieved and happy. And if it lands on the opposite, then you immediately think, Oh shoot, I actually want the other one.
Whether it’s quitting or staying quitting or continuing, you probably know, deep down, what is the most beneficial, intuitive choice for you. So allow yourself the chance to just flip a coin and think which is better and let your intuition answer.
Okay, I want to move on to number two, which is the pause. I’ve talked a lot about pausing in a few different episodes on the show, the power of the pause. And I’ll tell you two different times where a pause has been really significant for me in my life.
I think that I’ve mentioned these in other shows, so maybe they’ll be familiar to you. And sometimes that’s nice to hear a little repetition in stories, explaining things different ways.
So one of the first thing that comes to mind really clearly was when, I’m going to go back to my blogging life, I had been blogging for about six or seven solid years, several times a week. It was not a business. It was a hobby. It was a journal. It was just part of what I did in my everyday life.
And when we decided to have a third child, this is around the same time that I quit my sewing business, that we decided to change jobs, change cities, built a house move across the country. I knew that I needed to adjust some things in my lifestyle.
And one of the things that needed to stop for a while was my blog. I had I written consistently three to five days a week for seven years. And at this time decided that I was going to pause. This was scary because it was something that was just part of the rhythm of my life. And I didn’t want to quit.
This wasn’t a decision to say I’m never blogging again. This was, I need to take a break from this in order to do other things for a while. And I think during the year I decided to take a year off. So I took a year off of blogging. I think I wrote maybe two or three different blog posts that year just for fun, when I wanted to, when there was something that I wanted to share.
But I didn’t go to the blog weekly. I wasn’t recording everything that I was doing with my family and sharing different craft ideas and all of the things. I just let it stay in the back burner, slid it to the back of the stove and just let it simmer on low.
And one of the things that I expected was that it would sort of fizzle out completely that all of the people who had been coming to my blog for years might just disappear because there wasn’t anything new to see.
I was wholly unprepared when I decided to pick it back up again, 12 months later, that my readership, the people who were coming regularly to read on the blog was still there. That the numbers in how many page views and how many visitors had barely taken a dip here.
I had been putting so much effort into regular journaling, practicing, sharing, thinking that the community that I was building would only exist with that amount of effort and time. And after taking a year off, I realized that the community was there, that they were still there.
And very few, I mean, all of the detrimental effects of the pause that I expected didn’t happen. It was an incredible exercise in how the world will continue to turn and good things are still waiting on the other side of the break that you need, that all the opportunity didn’t just disappear.
And in fact, it was after that year long pause that I came back to my blog with some more clear definition, with some more clear ideas about what I wanted to do with this blog community and how I wanted to share it was at that point that I formed an LLC and decided to turn my blog into my business and stop working as a nurse.
I had already stopped my sewing business and decided this was something that I really wanted to invest time and energy into in an attentional way. And the pause made that possible. The pause is what enabled me to get that clarity, stepping away made it so I wasn’t running on autopilot anymore. And when I came back, I came back with a lot more specific control in a positive way.
We often think that pausing means quitting and it doesn’t. Pausing is so powerful. It gives you space to breath and can just pour a new life into the things that you love, but that you need to take a little break from. It’s part of life.
I have a podcast episode about the heart beating, how it pumps, pumps, and then it pauses to refill. And in our society, in our modern culture, we think that we have to pump and pump and pump and pump. But guess what, if you don’t pause to refill, there’s nothing to pump. There’s nothing to push. There’s nothing to share.
Pausing is so important and it’s just really reassuring to recognize that a pause doesn’t mean quitting a pause doesn’t mean you backslide all the way. It means that you actually move forward in a more beneficial way.
The other experience that I want to share, that is more specific to life than business, is an enforced pause. It was an enforced pause that I had after I had a miscarriage between my first and second child.
After the miscarriage, which was a really one of the hardest things that I’ve been through, a really tragic and sad and disappointing experience, just heartbreaking, my doctor recommended that I wait for at least six months before I try to have another baby.
And I recognized pretty soon into that waiting period, into this pause on my family planning and my family building, that that was the first time really since I had been married that I wasn’t thinking regularly about the timeline of growing our family.
From the time I got married, Dave and I knew that we wanted to wait a few years before we had babies, but we were consciously thinking about that timeline about waiting about when would be right, when did we want to? And then when we decided, after a few years we wanted to get pregnant and we got pregnant and had a baby.
And as soon as Milo was born, I thought, okay, when should we have another one? What feels right? What’s the right timing? I have this sort of ever-going thread in the back of my mind about family planning, about adding to our family, about getting pregnant and having a baby. And when, when, when.
And having the doctor say to stop thinking about it, and to the question of whether to add to our family, the answer for at least those six months was no.
And it was such a relief. I feel like for the first time in my family life, as a young mom, I was able to be wholly present with my family, my son, my husband, enjoying us, just the three of us and how fun that was and how wonderful it was and not thinking about what came next, but simply being in the moment.
That’s the power of pause. Being able to be present with what is in your life without the continual push of what comes next. A pause can be really helpful.
I want you to just consider how this applies to you right now in your life. Are there things that you want to do, but you need to just take a break from them for a little while. These can be little things, it can be things like, maybe you’re doing renovations and you feel like you need a couple of months off.
Or maybe it’s some sort of a hobby or work project that you spend a lot of time and energy on that it’s burning you out and you need to just take a break and taking a break doesn’t mean stopping, taking a break means giving yourself the space to reenergize whatever it is that you really want to be doing.
A pause. I just believe so wholly in the power of pausing and creating that space for intention.
An example from our life, right this second is that we decided to take the summer off of piano lessons. My kids have all been playing piano since they were six. So Milo has been playing for six years. Plum just started last year. We have been doing weekly piano lessons, daily practice.
We love it. They don’t love it all the time.
But I think from my violin experience, I’m like, we’re going to do this. And they do love it sometimes.
But with the summer and virtual practices, we’ve been doing virtual lessons for the last year. I just let our teacher know we just need to take three months off. We’ll be back in September when the school starts again. And when we can be back on a regular routine and it just feels like relief.
It feels like relief to not be quitting, not be giving up because I think there is such a benefit for all of us in continuing, and there is such benefit right now in pausing. So think about something in your life that deserves a pause, that feels like relief, that feels like power to take a little break.
The next section I want to talk about, or the next idea is the pivot. We’ve heard a lot about the pivot this last year, especially, right? What do you do when the thing you’re doing isn’t working, but you want to continue doing something like it. You know, how do you choose which piece to continue with? I think that the pivot is a continual forward progression, but it’s just taking the angle a little bit differently, just adjusting the angle so that where you end up in the long-term is going to be very far from where you would have, but it’s not a one 80 right now.
It’s just a sh it’s a short. Hop. What are the things that are really working? What are the things that aren’t and going more all in on? What is, I think that one of the pieces that I love about the idea of pivot is to, rather than adding more things to your life, a pivot for me, feels like. Really simplifying and zoning in on the things that are working well as the most important pieces.
So I’m going to share an example from life and an example from business, and hopefully you can S you know, get the idea of pivoting from these examples. First, starting with a life pivot, an example. I often talk about our minimalism challenge. Our one year no buying challenge as a family pivot. It was when we really got clear on some of our key priorities as a family and started to redefine and clarify our family culture.
If you have been following along for a while, and you’re familiar with, with my family and with my business, uh, you know, that one of our mantras as a family is less stuff, more adventure. That’s something we, I didn’t go into our year. Challenge with that idea in mind, that is the mantra that sort of emerged.
As we were making new choices, we were making choices that more fully aligned with some of our personal values, choices that aligned with the idea of gratitude of patients, of abundance, of not needing everything right now, but enjoying what we have right now before. Always looking for more, less stuff, more adventure emerged as a family culture that didn’t, I don’t know that you would have recognized that before in our family life, it was something that was definitely underlying, but it took really focusing in on a few things that mattered a lot.
In order to get more clear on what we wanted to spend our time, energy and money on as a family. So the pivot for us was going from living. What felt like a pretty normal, I mean, normal, such a terrible word, but a pretty, uh, you know, medium socioeconomic class suburban. Uh, consumer lifestyle where we loved spending time outside and going on adventures.
And we also spent a lot of time and energy on adding decor on continually trying to keep up with what we saw on social media and with other people’s ideas. And, and. Uh, lifestyles and we were pushing hard for making lots of money and being able to spend lots of money and, uh, having all of the shiny new things to saying which pieces of this feel the most valuable to us and zoning in on the experiences zoning in on intentionally.
Making choices that felt like long lasting, more intentional, more impactful choices, rather than spreading ourselves thin on everything. And that small shift away from a mindless consumerism into a thoughtful consumerism, a thoughtful, intentional. Minimalism, rather than always thinking more is better or more is more the small shift into maybe more isn’t always better.
Maybe less is more. Maybe we believe in less as more. That pivot fundamentally changed the culture of our family that influenced our decision to take a job that didn’t have the earning potential, but had the hours at home that we hoped for. When we moved to Virginia, Dave, we, you know, we essentially gave up on big law on.
Becoming partner and making a ton of money working until midnight every night in order to make a solid living, getting off work at five and coming home and having dinner with the family and spending weekends going on bike rides and going camping rather than being at the office. I had a really clear choice between time or money and.
Because of getting clear on our personal family values, making the choice for time, moving to Virginia, where we decided that rather than what would have been a very typical choice of moving up, like, you know, moving from a house into a little bit bigger, a little bit nicer, little bit newer house instead, moving.
You know, downsizing, which felt like progress to us that more wasn’t always progress that sometimes less is progress. Sometimes, sometimes choosing less and downsizing is progress. That was. A decision wholly influenced by this idea of getting a little more clear on our family ideals and principles and goals, and making sure that the choices that we were making as a family aligned with those and the choices that we’ve made subsequently of, you know, living in a smaller house of redecorating or redesigning it to fit our family.
Uh, experiences that we hope for getting our backyard chickens, which just so silly, but so fun growing a garden of spending time, outdoors of making sure that we lived close enough to walk to school and, uh, enjoy the, the time we get to spend outside. That was, uh, a family personal life pivot that I can look back and say, Oh, that is the point at which we started making choices that more.
That were more clearly defined versus just general general choices. It was similar timing when my business pivoted and the big pivot in my business was going from. Again, just getting clear on my values and then starting to make very defined choices that aligned with my values. I had been working at this point as a blogger, uh, where most of my revenue came from sponsored blog posts.
And I loved working with companies. I love the creativity that goes along with it and really like. The storytelling that happens when you’re using products and sharing about products that you really do love and use. And I was really picky about the companies that I worked with. And so much of my work revolved around telling people about all the things that they should buy.
That’s what influencer work is. That is what it is, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But I knew that my personal value was more that. People were good without buying all this stuff. And I wanted to help them feel that I want it to be not another voice saying here’s all the things you need to be happy, but rather a voice saying you already have the things you need to be happy.
Let me help you focus on those and feel what that feels like. And so this year of not shopping, our minimalism challenge also was a pivot for my business where for that whole year, I couldn’t work with sponsored, uh, with companies doing sponsored blog posts because it directly. Contradicted what our family, uh, experiment was.
And so I slowly had to figure out, well, if this isn’t my business, like, you know, a business has been blogging. So if this isn’t how I make money in my business anymore, what is the new way to create a stream of revenue for this small business that feels more aligned with what I really hope for. And this is where I.
Was able to write my book and spend time doing that, where I was sharing ideas and principles that would be beneficial for people. Uh, from the book I developed, my course, that’s open twice a year. It’s open in the spring and in the fall it will open up again, uh, in August for registration live free from clutter.
It’s a five week course where we work through. Decluttering your home heart and head your schedule, your mindset, as well as your belongings in your home. It’s really fun. I’ve been able to work with hundreds of women over the last couple of years, and that course directly came from this alignment of decisions and values.
It was a business pivot, you know, five years ago. I never. Would have expected that I would be doing online education and it’s something that I love and I’m good at. And it is such a solid choice. It makes so much sense, but it just wasn’t on my radar. Another piece that has come through this pivot is. My retreats hosting.
I’ve hosted in person events for years and years, I started teaching sewing classes way back in like 2012. Maybe I have done Indigo workshops all over the country since 2014. And I now host retreats. I have a live free creative camp, which is my work retreat writing retreat. A really incredible transformational time for a women to come spend deep work sessions, getting their important creative projects done.
And I also am so excited about summer camp, which is it’s the first time we’re doing summer camp this year. It’s going to be an Idaho, the end of July. And there’s just a handful of spots left for camping. I would love if you’ve lived nearby driving distance or you want to fly in and a rental little trailer or something to come spend a weekend with us in the outdoors, in the company of women, with yoga and incredible food and floating on the river and connecting to yourself and connecting to nature and making friends it’s going to be incredible.
That space, providing space for women to take a break from their regular lives, to come together, to have an outdoor adventure, to feel connected to each other and to themselves, that is less stuff, more adventure. That is an embodiment. It’s a retreat that embodies this, these principles that have been so beneficial in my life and an opportunity to give that experience.
The wholly enriching experience of reconnecting to yourself and to nature with other women that is a direct pivot in my business. I mean, from teaching sewing classes to hosting an outdoor summer camp, because I decided to align more fully with my personal values. So I think for me, a pivot in personal life or in business looks like not adding more, but choosing what are the things that.
Matter most and really getting clear on those and redefining them and zoning in on them. And also of course, during COVID we saw how important it was to make sure that what you’re offering is accessible to people. So, you know, whether that’s. Pivoting to offering online shopping where you were only an in-person boutique before, or whether it’s pivoting to, uh, within your own family saying, you know, I really love to cook and I really love to make all these different dynamic meals, but my kids are a little bit picky.
And so I’m going to pivot into a little bit more. Minimal meals where they’re involved and maybe I’m not making elaborate dinners every night, but I also am going to be making more simple things that I know my kids will eat and that we can enjoy together and take the stress out. And those just small shifts where you’re taking the things that work well and really digging in on those.
That’s what it feels like to pivot to me. So hopefully you can think of some different aspects of your life, where a small shift will make a big, positive impact. As just a last note on pivot, I think that our instinct is to cover all of our bases. Our instinct is to do a little bit of everything so that we don’t miss out on anything.
And in my experience, when we make choices and the more clearly defined we get. The better off we are. I have this really weird memory of learning about impact in a math class. It must’ve been in high school or something where the teacher was talking about the difference in pressure that is put in the ground by a high heel versus a flat that when you.
Really focus, the same amount of weight or the same amount of pressure in a small area. That impact is so much greater. And you know, I am a multifaceted, multi hobby. Multi-use. Desire se I love doing a little bit of everything and I’ve learned in life and in business, the more I focus, the better off I tend to be.
I think we can do a little bit of everything, but we don’t have to, we don’t have to do everything. And especially for the things that matter most, making sure that they receive the majority of our time, energy and resources is going to be really beneficial.
Okay. The last one is progress. This is maybe a weird word for this, but basically what I mean here is that you just keep plugging away at the thing that you maybe feel like you might want to quit or pause or pivot when really the most beneficial thing you can do is just continue to progress.
Continue to put one foot in front of the other. This would be the type of thing that if you quit, it would be because of fear. It would be because of, uh, Feeling overwhelmed, you know, that what you really want is at the end of this road, but it just feels long and it feels scary and it feels hard. And it’s going to benefit you immensely to continue, or the type of things that you love the process.
But you just, you wonder if it’s worth it, like based on external ideas or values. A good example of this would be this podcast that you’re listening to right now, we’re on episode 145 for almost three years. Every week I share. A little discussion, some ideas, some inspiration about living an adventurous, creative, intentional life, and on paper.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense. As far as my business itself, this podcast doesn’t make money. A little bit. I have a great group of really wonderful Patrion members who pay $6 a month, the cost of a burrito to hang out with me in a book club every month. And it’s a fantastic book club online. The digital meetings are, are really enriching.
I have some coaching clients that I work with because of the podcast. And I really love those. I actually have a few spaces available right now. People could use some one-on-one creative mentorship. You can check that out at patreon.com/livefreecreative. I’ve done a couple little sponsorships here or there.
And as a whole, this podcast really, it takes the majority, probably the majority of my business time weekly and brings in the smallest amount of my business revenue weekly yet. I love it. I love doing it. I love sharing. I love chatting with you. I love. Hearing about the way that these ideas and thoughts and examples impact you, inspire you and help you feel a little more clear on your own personal decisions and the life that you want to lead.
It isn’t something that I can look at and say, Oh, for sure, this is going to be massively beneficial in the long run, but it does feel like a little. Burst of inspiration and love every week. It’s something that I enjoy and I continue to do, even though it doesn’t have this giant financial reward and maybe at some point it will continue to grow and I’ll have more sponsorship opportunities and there’ll be other ways to, to use the podcast.
But in the meantime I’m doing it because it feels like. Per progress. It feels like the process that I want in my life. I think anyone who’s ever. Exercised regularly or, uh, lived, you know, eating a nutritious meal plan or just really trained to live a more healthy lifestyle, getting lots of sleep, those sorts of things.
There are things that you do over and over and over again, and they aren’t, they don’t really have a checkbox. They don’t really have an end of the road, some things in our lives. We just do over and over again because of the benefit to us in the present moment. There isn’t some big reward at the end. The reward happens day after day, week after week, because we are living the life that we want to live.
And sometimes it’s easier to think about. Giving our time and energy for those things that do have some sort of payoff that they have a box to check. They have an award to win so much of our lives. I mean, all of our lives, all of our lives are experienced in the moment in the present. And while it’s fantastic to do the things that are climbing the ladder to get to the top of somewhere.
Make sure that you still give energy and effort into the things that you want to do every day or that even if the days that you don’t want to do them, that they benefit you every day, those step after step after step, that feel like love that feel like progress. As I’ve been sharing in this episode, I hope that you’ve had some ideas that have come to mind from your own life about something that.
It may be time to quit some things in your life that you are ready to pause for a little while, knowing that you can pick them back up when the time is right. But that you’ll benefit from the break. Some things that a pivot feels like a good, a good focus, getting a little more clear zoning in just making those small adjustments so that you’re more fully aligned with your principles and values.
And some of those things that. You can just do day after day because they benefit you right now. Not because you’re awaiting a big reward in the end, but because day after day, you’re living the life that you want to live.
I want to thank you for listening in to this episode. I want to thank all of the pillows that I have around me for padding the echo in the bathroom enough that I could record it and not have it be too terrible of sound quality.
I want to thank the construction workers outside for being so diligent in doing their jobs, that they wake up at the crack of dawn to get the things jackhammered out that they need to jackhammer.
I appreciate you being here and I hope that something in this episode has given you something to think about in a new way, offered a little bit of different perspective or some clarity.
And as always, I want to invite you to share the podcast. Take a screenshot, put it on social media, text it to a friend or family member. If you haven’t yet left a rating or review on iTunes, those are really beneficial. They’re really fun to read. I super appreciate them. And it’s a great way for other people to discover the show.
If you want to come hang out at the coolest summer camp around, please look up, livefreecreative.co/summer-camp. Grab yourself a spot, bring a tent. It’s going to be an amazing time. And like I said, there’s just a handful of spots left. So bring a couple friends. Camp together. Join us along the banks of the Bear River in Southern Idaho. I cannot wait.
And for those of you who could use a little bit of space and time and care to work on a writing project or to catch up on your family scrapbooks, or to simply just have a few days of silence to journal and read, look up, livefreecreative.co/camp. I have camp spots are filling up for the Fall. It’s in Waitsfield, Vermont at an incredible Bed & Breakfast during the peak of the foliage, it’s going to be dreamy.
I would love to have you there at either one of my upcoming retreats, investing in yourself is so important and these retreats are an incredible time to help reconnect, get clear, create some space for yourself this year.
I will chat with you next time friends have a great one. Bye-bye.