Hi, I am Annie and I am a recovering workaholic. There are more than a few people that will tell you I have spent most of my career as an entrepreneur saying you just need to work harder and longer if you want to be successful. Don’t get me wrong- I still believe in the hustle- I have just found a smarter way to do it. However, it took me a long time to get where I am today.
Just eight years ago I was lying on the floor in a pile of dizzy vertigo. This was my first bout with Meniere’s disease. For the next few months, I visited the ER many times and was unable to drive by myself safely. I never knew when vertigo would strike. After very little success with conventional medicine, I headed to an acupuncturist who stuck a needle in my head and told me I needed to learn to say no and relax. I heard her but didn’t do much about it. At the time I was in the beginning stages of opening my massage therapy school and there was no time to relax. Acupuncture allowed me to get control of the Meniere’s and I pushed forward, ignoring the warning sign my body was giving me.
Deep down I knew that something needed to change but I didn’t know how. Working long hours was all I knew how to do and I paid little attention to what I was doing in those hours. Additionally, with the added cultural pressures put on women to Do It All, I was just doing for the sake of doing. My partner at the time (now my husband- which is a real testament to his patience) was supportive but tired of playing second fiddle to my business. On more than one occasion he reminded me that I wasn’t his employee to boss around. Ok, wake up call number two.
I wanted a full, rich of life of experiences and I wasn’t getting it working 80 hours a week. Sacrificing my relationship and my health was not the way to make those memories.
Thinking back on the acupuncturist’s words, I dove deep into the pursuit of mental health and wellness. I was already a massage therapy educator with a solid background in how to teach others to relax- I just didn’t know how to get it for myself. I also knew there was a better way to run my business and I needed to learn it.
I found all the answers I needed in one word: Systems. Building business systems and personal habits was the key to creating space in my life and being able to breathe deeply and relax. I realized it was time to rethink work. It was time to rethink the hustle. I love working hard but I could do it in a smarter way, in less time and with more impact. Who knew??
My business grew and flourished and I felt amazing! I had time to get my Masters in Functional Medicine- something I had wanted to do but simply couldn’t find the space to pursue. I took a vacation (What? Me? ON VACATION?) and married that guy who stuck with me through everything.
We need to rethink work. We need to redesign our days to enjoy every single precious moment because guess what, we can’t get them back! There is this myth that business ownership requires massive sacrifice and stress. I lived that myth for a long, long time.
I have learned a lot and now I want to share it with you. There is a better way. A simpler way. Don’t get me wrong, it still takes work and sometimes it can be hard. But knowing what to work on effectively is the key. However, the first key is YOU. Your health, your wellness. If you don’t work, the business doesn’t work. Healthy habits and intentional hustle is what it is all about.