Life has its moments where it shifts – sometimes these are planned shifts, and sometimes there are things that can bring you to this point as well. Health issues, burnout, and overwhelm are a few things that can shift your priorities and shift your goals in big ways. Here I am 5 years in on a 10-year plan. What is working? What is next?
Over the last few months, I have been noticing that my own work patterns and workloads were shifting but I was at my own limits. As we all have come to realize, at the end of a pandemic especially that feels like it isn’t ending, burnout is a real thing – despite you taking all the steps to prevent it. I’m here to tell you, it is okay. You can take these moments and really step back and prioritize. Are you in alignment with your work? Do you have your clients positioned to support you?
A Coach and CEO I have been following since my moves to the self-employment (and eventually to freelance) space is in the middle of a huge shift herself. She is currently shifting into a major rebrand, refocusing, and stepping into her empowerment. Lori‘s shift is 10 years in the making. As she said on a live announcement in her Facebook Group, she closed not just a chapter – but the book… the series. She has ended her podcast that I have loved since I started – she is opening up a new Facebook Group to have a clean slate. Though her focus is coaching health practitioners and coaches, I saw her as an entrepreneur I could relate to. So I have been following her journey since. With her recent shifts, they have brought to my attention where I am in my journey.
The Journey to this point – reflections
One thing that she said stood out for me when I started 5 years ago to lead a path to self-employment -she said to envision the next 10 years. When you envision it, what do you see? But more importantly, what do you feel?
When I think back to my vision, I saw a dream home (not a mansion, but something that is mortgage free), near water, with family and friends being around my little family and me. My kids would be almost 10 and 20 by this point, living their lives – my husband hopefully finding work more of passion than of need for money and I am settled in my business with a team that supports my vision of serving others and helping them achieve their dreams. I saw my journey starting out as a mortgage agent and virtual assistant – how far I have come and the things I have learned in the last few years.
What I missed in this vision, which I didn’t factor in, was the type of work I would be doing. I still didn’t have a 100% clear envisionment of my goals and dreams then. I just saw a place of safety – a place of comfort and knowing that we didn’t have to worry about things. Life would find a way.
Halfway through my own 10-year vision – there have been some major shifts happening and I’m realizing now, that this is only my manifestation of this original vision. Now I’m working on the hows and what I will be doing to accomplish this vision.
5 years in, what is next to get to my 10-year vision?
So recently, in my client work, I have realized that I’m entering a different phase professionally – finally realizing that I’m working out of alignment a little bit. As an OBM, we are all the things to a business owner – one thing we are not are the implementors. We are the integrators. We take the teams and systems and ensure that they deliver on the vision of the client (business owner).
Recently it has come to my attention that I am not doing this same piece for my own business. I have been trying to straddle the line between implementor (virtual assistant work) and an integrator (online business management work) but it isn’t working anymore. I’m used to being the one that just ‘figured it out’ and though it worked, did it work to the full vision, and how much stress/worry did that cause that didn’t need to happen? As an online business manager, one of our key roles is that of project management and team management – I was ignoring both by trying to be both when I have evolved from that.
So with that, I started to review my clients and the work I did. Who was I helping and who was I doing the work for that I shouldn’t be anymore. Once I looked at things through that lens, I started to rehome clients who I wasn’t best serving – who I was still VA-ing for, versus aiding as an OBM. I will miss working with those clients, but I needed to shake my safety net a little to really come to realize where I’m at professionally. Where I’m helping most, and where I am needed more.
Smaller take away when looking at the next 5 years of my 10-year plan
What also came to light for me in this reflection was that I am mentally and spiritually exhausted. I wasn’t listening to my own boundaries. Pushing hard to please everyone that I was at the bottom of this list. I am in burnout. This included all of the personal things that invaded my professional space (homeschooling, worrying about the mental health of my children and husband as we were in lockdowns, etc) and how it also affected my work hours and time blocking.
There was no time for me or my own goal setting, particularly in the last two years. Now, please note, I’m so grateful that I had this ability to work from home – be there for my children and still be able to work at my business through this all. It has helped change me as a person, a business owner, and a mother/wife in positive ways. It also has shown me that I have 20 years of work habits that I need to unlearn.
I once read a social media post (might have been a quote) that said “Being busy isn’t the badge of honour it should be – being intentional and honouring your boundaries and health should be your focus”. I didn’t completely understand that until now.
As a business owner, I always prided myself in learning and shifting every step of the way, but I was focusing on the wrong things – I needed to shift and learn how to better be an OBM, not the individual tasks every day. I need to learn about better delegation, trust my team (or my client’s team), and really allow them to shine as it would help me to do the same. This is progress with my clients I have maintained as well.
So, I have realized all this – what is next?
Like the business owners I try to help, I have had to take a step back and re-assess what I need to get me to my 10-year vision of the home we always wanted. The work I always wanted to do so that our family has what they need.
We as a family are making a move (a large one) to the east coast from our home province of Ontario. We have bought the house in my vision for a price point that allows us to not have mortgage payments any further – we still have to work hard for a while yet, but we have achieved one piece of my vision now. Near the water – which is also something I dreamed of – allows me the ability to rest, reset and be the better service provider OBM that I need to be for my clients.
This move will also give us back some time – this will allow me to clean my slate for the next 5 years. Where I start to build the team I need under me, so I can serve my clients in more ways as well as give opportunities to others similar to what I have. Help others to start the career or business of their dreams while serving others.
It is also allowing me to create better boundaries on the work I do – the time I give and the things I love to do.
Currently, for Q2, I am reviewing my systems, income opportunities, and client work so that when I am offline in July – my business and my clients are left in a strong position. That is what they need me for – and that is what I need to make this next phase (5-years) achieve my final vision.
Accountability – one of the themes of this blog going forward
So as I move through the next few weeks in my planning, my goal is to share this journey alongside the tips and tricks I learn and integrate going forward. This only helps you as you are on your journey but it enables me to be accountable for following my vision moving forward. To manifest the best life I can. All while staying aligned and true to who I am as a person and an entrepreneur.
Are you on a journey such as this or if you are taking time to review and reflect on what you have done – where you are in your vision and if you have considered a 10-year vision too? Let me know in the comments below.
I look forward to seeing what is next over these next 5 years take me, my business, and my family – for an adventure is in my near future. I embrace it and am looking forward to seeing who I become because of it.
Just remember – a quote I saw recently and shared is so true:
See you on the other side of the screen,
Cassandra Comeau is a web designer and systems/tech expert who supports digital entrepreneurs, course creators, and coaches. My focus is to help them create their online presence with a focus on sharing their story and services/products, all while making sure your tech tools and systems are supporting you on the journey. Since 2019, I have worked with several businesses through direct 1:1 work and through agency support to help them reach their dreams while creating more time for them to focus on their zone of genius and being able to ensure an opportunity to get offline to spend time with those they care about.
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