Hey guys it's Anthony (Britt's hubby)! It's been some time since I last guest posted but that's going to change in the upcoming weeks as I will be jumpstarting our Blogging Tips section.
You may have read Britt's post when she quit her job to blog full-time and you may have read mine also. Well, it's been a little over a year since I wrote that post. Looking back, it's probably one of the fastest, most rewarding years of my life. It's truly incredible how fast time flies when you're doing something you love and enjoy.
One of my favorite quotes: “Do what you love and you will never have a problem with Monday” I've never dreaded a Monday since working for myself- Mondays are a day we're motivated to be better and do more, and there are some Mondays we sleep in because Sunday night we worked until 4am- we're literally on our own schedule and now I couldn't imagine it any other way.
That's not to stay that all 365+ days have been true bliss… there were ups and downs, along with various challenges.
This is what I learned after a year of working with my wife:
Define and Assign Tasks
We both worked on the blog from the beginning and each had our typical responsibilities… I was the web/photography/video and she was outfits/writing/events. It was very simple in the beginning and worked quite well. There was no issue.
But as we started to grow and once I was working full-time on the blog, the workload increased as well as the number of responsibilities. We didn't realize it at the time and both of us were either trying to do the same thing simultaneously or neither of us got the task done thinking the other person was going to take care of it.
We finally decided after a few frustrated moments, we needed to list all the tasks/responsibilities that were involved in running this blog and define who is in charge of what.
A clear definition of duties between the both of us.
That way if Britt forgot to do something… it would totally be her fault. J/K (but seriously lol)
We started using the app Wunderlist list to write down tasks and we can leave notes to each other within each task, being mobile is hugely important for us so we rarely ever use paper or notepads to write anything down. We need to be able to access what's going on from anywhere and it's a way for us to check in without having to ask each other the status of the task. We just check our app.
It's funny how that one day made everything going forward so much easier because we knew who was in charge of what and we were able to be more productive while also being on the same page.
Make time for alone time
I would question anyone who has ever said they never get annoyed with their spouse. Don't get me wrong, I love my wife and I couldn't imagine life without her. But when you live with someone, have a family, etc. there are going to be times when you get annoyed at each other…it's inevitable.
Now imagine also working with them…seeing each other everyday, all day. There's a higher probability and frequency of just annoying the crap out of each other. It happens lol
We learned rather quickly, that we needed to make time for our individual alone time.
Whether I went to a coffee shop to work alone for a few hours or she went out and had lunch with friends. There was that time of being apart and recharging ourselves. It was extremely important for our personal and work relationship.
Speaking of relationships, that leads me to my next lesson:
Learn how to turn it off
The blog and our personal life are very intertwined. The things we do, food we eat, and the places we travel are shared with you guys via social media and the blog. It's not a typical 8-5 job, it's ongoing.
A majority of our conversations typically revolve around the blog… How can we make it better? What does our audience want to see? What type of value can we offer?
We are very passionate about what we do and wouldn't have it any other way, but sometimes that tends to overtake what's going on within our personal lives. It doesn't leave room to be in the moment.
As we started to travel more, I wanted to photograph and film everything. I got so carried away that I didn't really take the time to enjoy what I was actually seeing or doing. But I enjoy filming, I love making videos so just finding a good balance is important.
I had to learn how to turn it off and enjoy the moment in front of me.
I had to teach myself to first step back and really be in the moment and feel the experience for the first time. Seeing things through a camera lens is quite different than from the naked eye. Now we both take time to see something before we film.
We also don't document our date nights, Britt sometimes takes an outfit photo before we leave but dinner and whatever we do after is just us- and we don't talk work!
There will always be work.
There will always be emails, there will always be new ideas to implement, there will always be content to shoot…the list goes on.
You could always be doing more and there are times when Britt and I feel like we haven't done enough.
Being self-employed, you want your business to succeed and I love the quote that says “Entrepreneurs are the crazy people who work 100 hours a week so they don't have to work 40 hours a week for someone else” That's always described our mindset.
We worked a ton to get to the point we're at now. So naturally, completing more work should equal more success right? But that mindset also leaves little room for the important things…such as spending time together watching a movie or going out to dinner with friends. Things we didn't do much of when we first started the blog.
We wanted to figure out, how do we more productive while also having more personal time for ourselves? We outsource.
We hired a full-time assistant, videographer, have our meals delivered via Postmates or Blue Apron and hired a housekeeper for cleaning and laundry to give us more time to be creative and not feel like we have to do everything ourselves. Nothing about our lives are typical and we learned outsourcing daily tasks leaves us more time to be creative and spend time together without work. Once we started outsourcing tasks we were much more productive in the areas that were the true game changers.
No matter how much work is on our plate, I can say we put each other and Jadyn before any of it. I couldn't say that when we were at our other jobs.
Every time I'm at Jadyn's school events in the middle of the day, I always feel so grateful I didn't have to ask someone for time off or use “sick time”, I choose my schedule each day and we haven't missed any of the events at her school because of it. A few months back, Jadyn stayed home from school because of a fever and she was laying between the both of us while we watched a movie all in our PJs. She said, “Wait, is this what you guys do when I go to school? Watch movies??” LOL yeah right, but if we need to take a day and to just hang with her because she's not feeling well then we do. It's those moments that motivate and remind us to not take for granted the life we have because of working for ourselves.
I love the quote from Seth Godin, “Instead of wondering when your next vacation will be, set up a life you don't need to escape from” and pursuing our passion has allowed that life for both Britt and I.
I am always facing new challenges and learning from the lessons they provide. Hopefully from my experiences, you too can identify the lessons in your life and continue to learn and grow. And if there's areas in your life you've been wanting to change- start now! Life is too short to not be living your best life.