Balance or Perfection???

Have you ever thought to yourself “imagine if I just had a little more time?” From here we start to daydream about everything that we can possibly achieve if only there were a few more hours in the day or if we had special people in our lives who found the ultimate joy in cooking, cleaning, washing and completing all of the necessary paperwork that comes with every day living. Pffffft, I do not have that person who lives to do any of these things! Does this person even exist?

Do you ever have one of those dreams that really do seem like reality. You know those dreams where you do have time, you are in your dream role in life, you have found your purpose, your passion and you are living the dream (also probably with perfect hair and lip gloss on) only to wake up and realize……Geeze Louise…yep it was just a dream…..Bugger! And your mascara is smudged and you have panda eyes…..

So what is it that you do???  At first it may be a bit disappointing but then you start to get excited and although you understand that it was really just a dream you decide to ask Dr Google or even perhaps scroll through Facebook..(yikes) for the ultimate answer!

After all this is our life and we should be able to follow our passion and our dreams, I mean there are thousands of people doing just that so why not us!

WHY NOT US? WHY NOT YOU? Sorry to scream it out in capitals….but why not??? What is the answer to any of this if you know that at the end of the day you just don’t have time to do any of it?

Well, I want to share with you my take on it. I can really only speak for myself because I’m not an expert on the matter, I can only tell you what I have found personally.

So my story goes like this. I decided this year that my life would be different because I gave this year a word. A word that I would think about every day and study the meaning of and to really start to engage with. My word for this year is “balance”

I chose this word because time and balance has always been a struggle for me and for years and years I have wanted more time and I wanted the result to be one of complete balance.

Did I have time for me? NO Did I have time to take a breath? NO Did I feel a bit sorry for myself? NO Well actually yes I did feel a bit sorry for myself because I wanted to know why other people had got this balance thing right! It wasn’t as though I was crying in foetal position on the ground, I just felt a bit deflated that I was soooo time poor.

Then something happened, it all came to me after all of these years. I could just scream because I was chasing “balance” for so long until I came to the realization that there is no such thing!!! Yep, that’s the reality people, there is no..such…thing…as…balance…..

If I go out for a sneaky half strength latte, I lose and hour or so on my book work. If I zip out to a networking event, I lose the evening with my family…and so on and so on and so on. What’s really hilarious about all of this is that, now I don’t look for balance and I have found ME time because I no longer have any expectations of the “lost balance”.

As for living the dream, following the passion and finding your purpose…..we delay all of these things because we are looking for balance, but we are also looking for perfection. As the ultimate control freak (which is possibly the best type of cool freak there is by the way) I would strive for the ultimate perfection and have trouble moving forward. After all, if it’s not perfect it would be ridiculous to move forward…wouldn’t it?

Why do you think this is? Is this you? No…stop for a minute and just think about it. Do you make a million excuses as to why you can’t??? You can’t start a business, take the dance lessons, art lessons, do the garden…you can’t make a moment to just be with YOU?

OH…I can already hear you through my computer screen saying…..”but I really don’t have time”, ” I really need to have a better set up” ……blah blah blah…what  I am hearing is myself  because I have been right at this very place.

When I was looking for perfection, I was really running from the fear. If I don’t get it right, what will people think? What if I fail? What if I do it wrong? what what what what what if???

Well…I’m here to tell you people that the word perfection has lost me too these days! At least what I thought the definition of perfection was to me.

If you fall over, you get back up..you did it as a child you can do it now. After all you’re stronger and tougher and for goodness sake, the only one standing in your way is YOU. If there is a problem, YOU are the solution, no one else…just YOU!

I have decided NOT to chase perfection….I have decided that there is no one else in the world like me so I don’t actually wish to be anyone else. I don’t need to be any of the perfect people I see on the internet that appear to have the perfect life.

I feel so freaking connected to my passion and my purpose that nothing can stand in my way. My old definition of perfection has changed because now I am living my dream because I no longer have the fears about what will go wrong.  I do know that if I hit a bump or something isn’t right that I will remember the experience and move on better than I did before. This is the absolute best way to nail it…by having a little stumble and learning the better way to tackle it.

So what’s in it for you? EVERYTHING…….

I’m thanking my lucky stars (no perhaps the stars are not lucky because maybe I am just taking charge) that I am understanding that when you give up one thing to do another it’s okay and when you just go for it…get in there and tackle that soul deep desire that wakes you in the night…before trying to find “perfection” you can celebrate that you have made it this far. You can celebrate that you are magnificent. And no, saying this doesn’t mean you’re up yourself, it means that you just feel bloody satisfied that you are living your passion and that you have taken the first brave steps to continue the walk into a life where you have purpose…not balance and not perfection but true self magnificence. Actually while we’re being completely honest….by taking a good long hard look at who you are “honestly” you should also add “breathtaking”, “astounding” and “proud”…proud of yourself for seeing yourself for who you really are.

Now go, go out there and stop looking for so much balance and stop looking for perfection. These things can only hold you back and consolidate the fear of doing what you were born to do.

Be freaking fabulous and don’t hold back….share your stories with me. I want to hear ALL of it, every single bit. This is only the beginning……

Getting the fit right

After surviving my first blog, here I am back again to continue where I left off a little over a week ago!

I would be absolutely thrilled if I could tell you that I didn’t care what anyone thought of the words I am putting on these pages, but to tell you the truth, it really does matter! And because it matters, I was overwhelmed, relieved and freaking floored to say the least when I read all of your comments….so thank you!

Before this blog starts to sound as though I am accepting an academy award, I will shoot from the hip to share my thoughts on fitting in…making the grade and just being myself.

To get an idea of where I am going with this I would like to paint you a picture.

I grew up in the suburbs and considered myself as the in between type of person. You know….not super cool, not overly nerdy….just in between.

As an adult, I would consider this was probably a good place to be. There’s very little expectation in regards to being “hot” or incredibly intellectual and to be completely honest, I wasn’t either of these things!

Now I am an adult, I have two adult children (geeze….could I really be old enough for adult children) and I am absolutely busting to continue with my new exciting business and I am also bloody proud of the herbal medicine business I sold last year……Yay, go me!

As anyone who has been in business before knows, with business comes networking and with networking comes meeting a number of people who could potentially contribute to fulfilling your business goals. When you’re networking you really only have one chance to make an impression, so how are you going to do it?

Well when starting a business, you need to plan, you need to know who your target market is and you need to market, network, network better and be seen, be heard and be interesting enough so that those around you want to know more about you and your business. You have to learn how to sell your business within one meeting! If you’re starting a business because someone else wants you to, forget it. Either have the passion and overwhelming desire, or work with very little satisfaction or reward. If you don’t believe in it, you will only be able to hide this for so long.

Build it an they will come“…are you kidding??? Build it, show the world that it is absolutely the answer to their needs, be honest (dishonesty will bite you in the bum so don’t risk it) and let them know exactly what “they” will get out of it. After all, if you’re asking someone to trust you, it has to be 100% worthwhile for those who choose to invest. If it’s not, don’t expect any return business.

First impressions are the key, at least this is what I have always been told. “Time to fit the mold”, you have to wear the power suit or you won’t be taken seriously, What label are you wearing…is it designer?”

Really? I mean…really??? Is this really where it’s at?

I completely understand that various careers call for various dress codes. When we run workshops, we are quite specific in regards to what our attendees wear. They are working with horses and therefore safety is always our priority.

In regards to what they wear, the brand, the look, whether or not they look cool, wealthy, goth, hipster on anything else that I’m not cool enough to know about….this doesn’t matter at all. Our horses couldn’t care less and neither do I.

So here I am, Sue Martin, the in betweener. Two years ago when started planning how to network for my new business I attended a business breakfast. We were house sitting at the time (this is another looooong story) and I had only a bag of clothes as everything else was in storage. Well, because we’re being honest….I also didn’t and still don’t own stilleto’s or a power suit, so does it really matter that I only had a bag of clothes, probably not!

I polished my horsey work boots and I slipped on my blue jeans, teamed it up with my black cowl neck jumper and my horse vest. I attended to my hair and did my best to attend to any anxiety that might creep up due to the fact that I was at a business breakfast without a power suit.

This was my time to share my vision for my new business and for goodness sake, of course not everyone would be in designer clothes and business suits…

As I parked my car and made my way to the function, I entered the room and yep you guessed it. I entered the room to a large group of gorgeous business women ALL in power suits and stiletto’s. I mean, can you picture what I am describing to you? Tell me, can you imagine walking into a room of sassy women where you’re the odd one out?

After feeling unusually hot (in the temperature sense) and a little like I was an alien visiting from Venus (because apparently men are from Mars) I took a few deep breaths, marched forward and realized that, “I am me” and my business is all about being authentic to yourself, being a leader, being resilient and communicating with others… I very quickly got over it can report that I had a fabulous time mixing it up with other business women. Best of all, numerous women took the time to meet me and tell me that they wished they had worn the clothes they were comfortable in.

I am proud to tell you that I have since attended business network functions after slipping on my blue jeans, snazzy shoes and a crisp shirt. I am not just an in betweener, I am very comfortable in my own skin, my own shoes and while I do care what people think (don’t lie, we all do to a point) I am proud to be sharing my business with my horses (who are the teachers) and to be sharing the truth about who we really are to all who attend our property. After all, our horses are incapable of being dishonest, so there’s no other way we could possibly do it.

As for me, I wear very little to no make up, I don’t do dresses (probably because they don’t match my boots) and apart from my family and my work, I absolutely flip out at the thought of hanging out with my horses and chooks!

So am I the average business women (or shall I bring up that trendy word again…entrepreneur) absolutely not.

Am I proud of the individual and possibly unusual (especially to town folk) lady that I am….bloody oath!

All that really matters to me is that I am who I am….Cowboy boots and all! I have a deep drive in my soul to share with others what my horses have taught me. Whether you are in business or not, I don’t believe that there is any feeling better than knowing that you can be a leader…a leader that can truly lead based on acceptance, communication and trust rather than dominance.

For me, I believe that we can all do it, every single one of us. All we need is to know is that “we can“.

For me, fitting in was to understand that boots, jeans, horses, chooks and following my deepest, heart felt desires to allow others to find their purpose, is absolutely okay.  It’s about being honest about who you are and not being ashamed of it……..Why would we be ashamed……our individuality rocks.

This is me fitting in and I think it’s bloody awesome!

 

 

Who am I?

So today I have decided that it is the right day to start my blog page.

For quite some time I have thought to myself “who on earth would want to read what I am writing”….I mean really, who am I?

And then I thought, well, I guess I am just the same as everyone else and maybe this is what other people want to be reminded of. Not the “perfect” stuff that we all try to portray in the world of social media, but the REAL life thoughts that we all have.

So lets start at the beginning and let me tell you who I am.

My name is Sue Martin and most people know me as the herb lady because I am an Animal Naturopath and I work predominantly with horses and dogs. I founded Natural Equine & Canine Health a successful herbal medicine business that I sold last year after 14 years and while I still treat animals, I have found myself starting a new business again. More about that later.

Most people still know me as the herb lady, and a number of people tell me that I am lucky because I have had my own business and because I am starting another one. There seems to often be the misconception that when you have your own business that you are rich, you are able to have lots of days off and you make all of the rules. Really?

It’s true, I do make up lots of the rules however as any business owner (or as most people call themselves these days entrepreneurs) know, when you own your own business the buck stops with you…literally.

You tend to work longer hours and you make most of the decisions yourself because you need to claim responsibility not only for the most profitable times but also the times when there seems to be very little profit.

When I started my first business, there was not a single soul who would book an appointment with me to see their horse. In fact, it seemed a little crazy to be formulating herbs for various problems when owners smiled and said…”wow that sounds really good” and didn’t purchase herbs or book an appointment. Let me tell you, this time felt like an eternity!

At this stage, I felt as though perhaps my qualifications weren’t enough, so every time I felt as though what I had learnt wasn’t enough (or that I wasn’t enough…and  lets face it, we all have these thoughts) I did another course and researched further.

Thinking that perhaps I needed to do more, I lectured a number of subjects for several years and then promoted my business and treated animals across Australia, the UK and Europe. I constantly met people (who were usually women), who would tell me how they wish they could have a job that they loved and that made them happy. They also said to me that they were unable to have such a job, just because they couldn’t! Yep, that’s right, they just couldn’t…..just because!

Aaaaagggghhhhhh…..are you serious…..Why can’t you?

I can honestly say that I love my job, I loved my last business and I love the business I have just started. But lets get real here.

  • I have worked ridiculously long hours.
  • I worked for years with NO holidays
  • I have found myself many many many times plagued with self doubt
  • I have constantly thrown myself out of my comfort zone, only to prove to myself that I CAN DO IT!
  • And I was not a scholar at school, I was just the average high school girl battling hormones and fitting in just as most other girls were.

I would have to say that I am pretty much like other normal people.

So how did I find myself here?

I have worked hard at something that I am passionate about…blah blah blah!

I know that this is something that you have probably heard before, but really, hear me out.  If there is something that keeps you up at night, that seems to penetrate your very soul and that you know beyond a shadow of doubt that you should be sharing ……do the work, do the structuring, do the planning, more planning and then a little more planning and…go for it! Just go for it!

My new business is called Evolve with Equines. I really wanted to share with everyone how communication, team building, trust, resilience and leadership can help you in life as well as in business.

Being a woman…our programs are for Women “Evolving Women” and we also work with groups such as business and teams. It was an easy decision to go with something that I have experienced so much in life already…that is, being a woman and also owning a business…….oops being an entrepreneur!

The catch with the new business is that I am not the teacher explaining how to build communication skills etc. For this we use the horses, yes the horses. They are the teachers, not me.

I love this aspect of our program because the horse cannot lie and will always be 100% honest and doesn’t care about your social status. The horse doesn’t even care how many likes you have had on Facebook or how many followers…..

Lying is a strange thing. When someone says they don’t lie, I know they are lying. I think that lying is a safety mechanism that we all need or at least thinking of it as a safety mechanism makes it sound much better.

Working with teachers (horses) who don’t lie and who tell you what you’re feeling “immediately” takes guts. Horses don’t bottle up their feelings and think about whether they should tell you that you’re second guessing yourself next week, they tell you NOW…they tell you in that instant moment.

This is where the next steps into the new business begin again….doing the footwork and letting people know who I am and what my purpose is.

My purpose is to share the highlights of what I have learned along the way as well as my many many mistakes. I want my horses to bring to light everything that has stopped you from doing what you have always wanted to do.

Scared of being out of your comfort zone? Fantastic, be scared and then jump head first into that zone of the unknown.  Turn your anxiety into adrenaline and breathe that enormous sigh of relief when you realize that YOU CAN DO IT! And don’t worry, our horses will tell you how awesome you are in a language that you will clearly understand. There is absolutely no doubt about that.

So, there it is. The very first of my blogs!

Please bear with me throughout this process of blogging. I will learn as I make my way through and I will share the REAL things that are going on.

If you’re looking for a blog highlighting my manicured life, nails and photos of me skipping over green paddocks, kissing horses and reaching for the many rainbows and pots of gold that adorn our property…this blog may bore you.

If you want to hear about animals I have treated, the building of our new business and the unforgettable moments during our Equine Assisted Learning sessions….as well as a few ugly, unfortunate but also normal life lessons I have had, then maybe this is for you.

Anyway, I will do my best to keep up the blogging……join me next time and let me know what you think,

Sue xo