Holding hands

Friday, September 2, 2011

Defining Success

As I sit at the kitchen table drinking warm ginger tea at dusk on a summer cool, New England evening, the question of how I define success as a mompreneur is tumbling in my head.

I find myself thinking that I would definitely be drinking coffee were it morning. Earlier today I had an epiphany that I don’t like being told that coffee’s not good for me! I gather myself around my coffee in the morning and take pleasure in the deliciousness of the dark, locally-roasted fresh-ground beans brewing their scent into the kitchen. Yup! Today I stopped “shoulding” on my coffee and decided to simply enjoy it without apology - a good metaphor, don’t you think?

My cup of Bali or Ethiopian anchors and inspires me as I plan the business of my day - listening inside to what I require to move my business forward and feel fulfilled at the end of the day. The answers come as I sip.

As a mompreneur, I can now put all the energy I want into the entrepreneur part without having to work around my three kids - now grown. But it wasn’t always like this and it’s the MOM part of mompreneur where I measure my success.

Back when they were younger, I was single and self-employed. I don’t even think the word mompreneur existed. Mostly, I felt overwhelmed and exhausted trying to survive each day, be a good mom and make money in a way that was both flexible and satisfying. Looking back, I would give anything to have known how to get the support I so desperately needed so I could have been calmer and more present with my kids and been able to enjoy them the way I wanted. At the time, I saw no alternative to being superwoman. This left me stressed out and physically compromised.

As my kids got older, I began to understand the impact my stress was having on them and knew I needed to change. With support, I became more emotionally present, and began to take better care of myself. I realized I didn’t have to do it all. These changes were key to the amazing relationships I have with my children and the creation of a business that allows me live my passion by helping families enjoy peace and harmony at home. At the core of my success is knowing that connection matters more than perfection.

So how do I define success? I look into the face of each of my children: The sweet dancing eyes of my oldest daughter who reclaimed her life from drugs 5 years ago and now lives with gusto, laughter and love; The deep turquoise pools of courage and determination in my middle one to boldly live the full beauty and expression of who he is; and the copper reflection, in my youngest son, of the brilliance, longing and possibility of a dancing physicist.

When I look at them...I see success.