The other day I was lying in bed, talking to my husband after a long, bleary day with the kids. I’d holed myself up in the office for most of the weekend to finish my taxes, kids yelling and jumping around right outside the door. Right now, February, I’m in the middle of launch season, my biggest program is shipping out, I’ve got two more products in the works, and also—we’re in the middle of moving as a family, and the kids are switching schools in a couple of days.
Basically, you know how the story goes: there’s a lot going on.
There’s always a lot going on.
I said to my husband, “This might sound crazy, but I think I’m going to try to switch my night routine and figure out a new sleep pattern.”
I’ve been working on getting better at sleep (I’ve been an anxious, insomniac kind of person for WAY too long and I have slowly but surely made huge headway over the years).
“Do you think it’s nuts to try to do this right now?”
We both busted out laughing. We laughed so hard we couldn’t stop.
Of course it’s nuts to do this right now. It’s always nuts. But that’s the thing: it’s always going to be nuts.
There’s never going to be a time in our lives when the kids are peacefully playing contentedly for hours (at least not predictably), when everything in the house is working just right, when the groceries are miraculously purchased and fresh and ready, when the dishes are always done, and when everything in the business is running seamlessly. It’s a nice thought, but reality is different. There are always going to be snotty noses, missed trains, new repairs to do on the house, and groceries that need purchasing. As long as we have humans that are living, we’re going to have food needs, bathroom needs, and sleep needs. As long as we’re working on a business that’s never been done before, especially in a world that’s constantly changing, we’re going to need to be resilient, responsive, and adjust in real time.
“I guess it’s insane to try to do one more thing,” I said, “But also, when is it really going to be a better time?”
Do your best, with what you have, with where you are.
Yes, it would be ideal if I had an extra $30k in my business budget to spend on Facebook Ads, or another $50k I could spend on press and getting the word out. It would also be pretty great if commutes no longer existed and we could shift school schedules to match work schedules even by just a hair. I could list a hundred things that might make my current reality easier or simpler—and yes, there’s a lot I could still hire out. But for now, we’ve got what we’ve got—and we can choose to do the best with what we have, or we can avoid doing the work.
There aren’t perfect circumstances.
Plus, I’ve been around the business circuit for a little while now, “hiring” doesn’t really solve a ton of problems, it just changes the things you’re working on and where your focus goes.
That is, there is always more work to be done.
It seems impossible to have a day when I am all of the things: exercised, showered, clean, well-dressed, well-fed, organized, on top of my stuff, well-slept, completely free of snotty germs, and with extra hours to do all the work that I want to do—never mind see friends at night. There’s just too much going on, so I pick and choose on a daily basis what I’ll focus on and what I’ll drop. Some days, a lot of days if I’m being honest, I wear the same thing I wore yesterday—I just change my undies and splash water on my face. Who really needs to shower every day, I mean—come on now.
It’s also okay to lower your standards, too. Remember that 80% of completion is still a whole heck of a lot that you’re able to get done. If you can’t pull off a 500 person conference right now, but you can do a 50-person meetup, do that instead. If the idea of writing a book seems daunting, but you’re able to stick to a weekly-ish schedule with blog posts, do that instead.
The important thing is not to let the mythical ideal of perfect circumstances allow you to avoid doing something with what you have.
You can just go for it, with what you have, and where you are, today.