Last week, I wrote about assessing where boundaries in our nonprofit work help and hurt.
The joke is on me because it made me reassess a lot of my work of late!
A little over one year ago, paperwork for Banyan Nonprofit Strategy, LLC was filed, and after years and years of dreaming about it, my little entrepreneurial baby officially came into being.
Since that time, I’ve experienced big highs, certainly tackled my share of new-business-owner challenges, and have done a whole lot of learning. Beyond just the excitement/overwhelm/fear/adventure that comes with leaving a full-time job to start a business, we were all of course collectively going through a pandemic, intense social upheaval, and an election; and, to top it off, there has been some pretty significant (and at times difficult) personal stuff going on in my life, too.
Last week, after writing and sharing that blog on boundaries, I took stock of what I have built over the past year, and the plans and dreams I have for where I want this business to go. I have been feeling excited and grateful – I am starting to see that much of the work I’ve put in is building on itself and helping me to gain momentum. I have wonderful clients who I love working with and have gotten to witness some amazing “a-ha” moments over the past 11 months that are resulting in growth and sustainability for their organization. This is exactly why I launched this business, so those moments have been especially fulfilling. I have big plans for what this fall will bring for Banyan, with some exciting new offers to come for organizations who are looking for different kinds of support than what I’ve offered thus far.
But I also took some time to assess my own boundaries in this work.
And what I found is that… my body and mind are telling me it is time for a period to recharge.
What does that mean exactly?
It means that, after a year plus of planning, brainstorming, and focusing each day (and night… and weekend!) to do the most I possibly can for this business, I’m simply going to give myself permission to let off the gas a little bit. My focus on providing clients the best possible experience and the most impactful support I can remains at the forefront of what I do. And am I open to meeting with potential new clients who may need support? Of course!
But now through August, you will see fewer blogs and less of me on social media. My biweekly email may be a bit leaner than before (and – gasp! – may not even happen if I am feeling extra rebellious). And coffee chats & partner presentation sessions are going on hold until the summer wraps up.
This summer, I’m committing to focusing on the here and now. This means soaking up the moments with loved ones I haven’t seen since pre-COVID, traveling to see friends get married after many cancellations and reschedules, and easing back into a world that, for the past year and a half, hasn’t fully existed for any of us. I’m going to read books, bake, and probably watch more than my fair share of crappy TV. I’m going to focus on re-filling my “non-Banyan” cup back up after all that the last year and a half has brought on.
Is this potentially a risky move, to tap on the brakes when things feel like they are starting to gain momentum? Maybe. Am I privileged to be able to make this decision? Absolutely. But I keep coming back to the idea that I went on this adventure to build a life that I loved, that fulfilled me, and that provided the nonprofits I worked with excellent advice, support, and partnership to grow their organizations. And for right now, to stay true to that mission means focusing on and enjoying my WHOLE life – even if that means slower growth for Banyan.
So, Banyan crew, my challenge to you is this: how can you offer this same permission to yourself, your team, and the community you serve? We are, collectively as a society and individually, coming off a difficult, intense period unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before, which may just mean that we all need our own moments to recharge. The smartest thing we all can do? To listen and honor that.
Let me know how you plan to recharge and regroup this summer in the comments – I would love to hear!
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