A Look Behind The Scenes of tools for better

If you've come across my blog, website, or social media channels before, then you know I'm all about crisis-proofing. And by that I mean taking your business from crisis-prone to crisis-proof with better self-care. I used to be a big believer in "work is work and schnapps is schnapps", as the old German saying goes - meaning that work and life are to be kept separate. Except that this doesn't fly for most entrepreneurs, especially solopreneurs. 

 

Most entrepreneurs {including me} live and breathe their business. It's built on their values and beliefs, and separating it from their personal life is just not an option. Enter crisis-proofing. Better boundaries, more mindfulness, and stellar self-care make us stronger and our businesses benefit in turn. Being able to handle everything your clients {and life} throw at you and keep your business going strong? YES, PLEASE! That's what it's all about.

 

I'd love to take you behind the scenes of my business, and show you how I walk the walk. You in? Swell. Let's have a look at the last few weeks, when my husband and I  sold a house, bought a house, and moved our lives and business without losing our sanity. 

We bought our old house in late October 2008, about 5 minutes before the market crashed world-wide. Within a few weeks of moving in, our house was worth about $30,000 less than before. Moving to Canada in our late 30s, we did not have time to absorb a loss like that easily {yup, I was thinking about retirement already}, so we decided to suck it up and keep the house. Not that there was anything wrong with the house itself; the only problem was, that it was a half duplex - and let's just say that duplex-living is not for us. But, alas, we felt stuck and having taken such a hit on our investment, we hung in there, miserably.

 

Despite what our gut was telling us, it seemed like the sensible thing to do: keep the house, pay it off, and then retire. Until one day in late September, I looked at my husband and he knew right away we were about to have "a talk". And talk we did. About what our quality of life is worth to us. About what is more important in life: living super comfortably, or living in peace. And saying it out loud? Did not leave any room for doubt: our quality of life and living in peace are more important than money. 

 

We knew that selling our old house and buying another - free-standing - house, would increase our quality of life instantly and considerably, giving us more of the strength we need to deal with our businesses and our lives. So we did. Within a two-week period we bought a house, put our house on the market, and accepted an offer on it. I'll spare you the details of it and how it all felt like it was "meant to be"; the bottom line is that after a whirlwind two weeks we found ourselves with three weeks left to pack up our lives and two businesses, and move. 

 

{Do you need a stay-sane-when-moving-your-business checklist? I've compiled one for you from first hand experience. It works. Sign up below to download it! This list is not about the technical details of moving and the address changes - you can find a business relocation checklist for your province or state by googling it. My checklist is about staying sane while moving your business.}

Here's what went on behind the scenes in the three weeks leading up to our move, and during the week after our move:

 

3 weeks before moving

We started our we-need-to-pack-up-and-move-two-businesses marathon with... taking three days off and spending {Canadian} Thanksgiving in a place with no cell service. Was my first thought to cancel the trip and get a head start on packing? You bet it was. Why did we go anyway? Because we knew what was coming towards us for the next three weeks, and we needed to relax and recharge BEFORE starting, so we would not collapse halfway through. {<--- crisis-proofing moment #1}

 

While we didn't have cell service, I did have access to WiFi and I did something incredibly stupid. I logged into my Google account on a public computer, and in an effort to keep my saved passwords safe, I accidentally deleted all 324 saved passwords. It was a moment worthy of an epic meltdown, once I realized what I had done. And I did start to crumble a bit {just ask my husband}, but then I took a deep breath and told myself that I know most of the passwords, that I can save them again, and that I can reset all those I don't remember. I also told myself that this is an opportunity to change my passwords, which I admittedly don't do very often. And guess what? It's been 4 weeks and I have been dealing with each password as I need it, no meltdown required. {<--- switching perspective; crisis-proofing moment #2}

 

When we got home from our Thanksgiving getaway we received word from our realtor that subjects were removed from the pending sale of our old house, and the SOLD sign went up. After we celebrated, I got to work. First up was setting my self-care mantra for the coming weeks: this too shall pass. I knew there would be many times in the following weeks where I would be prone to losing my sh*t; stressful situations like moving can make you feel like a temporary situation could become permanent, and to remind yourself that it won't, will allow you to move forward. {<--- setting a mantra; crisis-proofing moment #3}

 

Next up was setting my goals for the next four weeks. I looked at my commitments and workload, and prioritized. Then I said "no" to a whole lot of things. Setting those expectations for myself and my clients took a lot of pressure off my plate. {<--- setting expectations; crisis-proofing moment #4}

 

2 weeks before moving

As part of setting goals and mapping out the month I made sure to include at least one task I was really excited about, every day. I have a list of to-do's I'm super excited about {yes, I have a list. I can never think of anything I'm excited about without a list.} and checking something off that list was a win-win. I asked myself every day: which of those tasks will make a difference in my business right now? Asking myself that question brought me fully into the present moment, and I was able to de-stress and concentrate on something I love doing. {<--- mindful monotasking; crisis-proofing moment #5}

 

Two weeks before moving was also the time when I realized I couldn't get it all done by myself, while still running my business. So I started thinking about outsourcing. I made a list of everything that needed to be done, in my business and for the move. Then I looked at how much it would cost to pay someone for it, and how much money I could earn during that time if I kept working. I outsourced as much as I could, and then took on one extra project to outsource some more. {<--- knowing what to outsource to whom needs to be part of your business emergency plan; crisis-proofing moment #6}

 

My husband and I committed to check in with each other every day to see whether we're still on track, or if we need to adjust. Yes, we both had a plan and goals for our businesses and the move, but things change. People get sick, clients change their minds, you realize you have nothing under control... the list goes on. Checking in with each other {and ourselves} every day was a great way to avoid unnecessary meltdowns.

 

We also took another day off, about a week and a half before moving, and spent the day in Kelowna at Awe Day as well as welcoming a Syrian refugee family to Canada. I wrote about it here. {talk about perspective!}

 

1 week before moving

Once we signed all the paperwork and lived as renters in our old house for the last week, it really felt like crunch time. There were lots of last minute "oh crap, why did I not think of that" moments, as well as mild panic attacks, but I had planned for that. Seriously.

Chances are that if you're reading this you have one or the other move under your belt, or you've taken on a big project that needed to be done in a short amount of time. You know as well as I do, that things change all the time and that there's always something really obvious we don't think of until it's right in our face or even too late. That's life. So I planned for the "oh crap" moments and the slight feelings of panic. I added extra time for meltdowns, because there are always meltdowns at crunch time. 

 

{Crisis-proofing your business does not mean that you'll never have a meltdown again - it means that you realize there are times in life and business when you have to be comfortable with the chaos, and you know how to deal with situations like those and reign it back in. 

Want a moving check list that will keep you sane while you move your life and business? Sign up below!}

week after moving

The #1 mistake I made during past moves, was to only plan up until moving day. But alas, the chaos does not subside on moving day - it tends to wash over you like a tidal wave, carrying everything you put on hold with it, and then some. Because all the things you promised for the day after moving day? That's on top of your regular workload waiting for you. 

 

This time, I gave myself a week after moving to unpack, set up my office, return emails and phone calls, and get back into my regular schedule. What a game changer. Being aware of how this would go otherwise and the stress it could cause? Crisis-proofing moment #7 {aka mindful awareness}.

 

what's next?

We're settled into our new house, and some semblance of normal has returned {I'm a fan of that}. This whole experience was a great way to put my new program, tools for better - crisis-proof your business, through the wringer. I've been practising what I preach for years, but extraordinary situations like selling and buying a house and moving while running a business are still a challenge. 

 

And now? Onwards and upwards in the wonderful world of crisis-proofing.