Don't Let Your Flowers Die

My Flowers Died

While you were so busy focusing on your business and pushing your life aside, your flowers died. We have all heard the cliché saying: stop and smell the roses. This saying suggests that you need to take time in life to slow down and enjoy all that life has to offer. There was a time in my business where I sacrificed time with friends and family because I had a client’s wedding or event, could not afford to join in on the festivities or truly did not have the time. When I first started my business, I was working a corporate job during the day and working on my business in the evening. In my mind, I had to put every free minute and every extra dollar into my business. I was not totally wrong in that thought process but it quickly became unhealthy and sometimes depressing. As a business owner, the journey is already a lonely walk so to further isolate yourself can do more harm than good. 

In the beginning, I didn’t think anything of missing Mother’s Day or not celebrating my sorority sister’s birthday. But, I came to realize that those experiences truly enrich your life and make it easier for you to go back to working long hours. Although people said that they understood, they become less understanding when you are not around for those special moments time after time. Do not get me wrong, there are absolutely times when you will have to sacrifice where you spend your money and your time, but you have to have balance. Over the past weekend, I celebrated my mother’s birthday with her for the first time in years. I would always send her a card but never made my way to her city to celebrate with her. As I stated above, there were multiple reasons why but you only get one mother and birthdays are a blessing. After not talking to my father for a month (for no particular reason except that I was busy), I finally called his last words to me were to appreciate the time that you have with family while you have it. One of the benefits of being a full time entrepreneur is making your own schedule. I now have very few reasons on why I cannot participate in a celebration. I am so much more grateful for the opportunity to say that I am not going to work today because I am with my family, take a weekend off to go to the beach with friends or care for a friend who is ill. 

As a business owner or industry leader, your friends and family may never fully understand why you make the sacrifices that you do. They only see that you missed a chance to celebrate them or celebrate with them. This is where your tough skin is necessary. Stick to your guns about the decisions you make and do not allow anyone to make you feel guilty about the times when you must make sacrifices. When you finally get to the point where you can take a weeklong trip with them, purchase the best birthday gift or just come and spend time doing nothing, they will understand, appreciate and respect your sacrifices. The key to this life is balance. Relationships are like flowers in that you have to nurture them, give them love and spend time tending to them. If you are not nurturing your relationships with quality time, loving the people in your life or investing in your relationships, you will may see them wither. You will always have to make sacrifices if you want to be successful but while your business is thriving, don’t let your flowers die.