As a new mother, I looked to the usual suspects to teach me everything I needed to learn about being a parent.
You know the ones.
The books, the websites, and other parents who had babies long before I did.
There were recommended schedules for feeding and sleeping. Formulas for ensuring that your baby “developed properly”, and not to mention all the gadgets that promise to turn your baby into a genius when they grow up.
I absolutely enthralled by all of this new information.
Soaking it all up like a sponge.
Theory Meets Reality
But my baby? She wasn’t on board with all of these schedules or age-appropriate developmental milestone goals, and she had her own plans.
Especially around sleeping.
See, I had read that by month 4 she should be sleeping a certain amount of time for her naps and learning to fall asleep by herself.
The result of trying to follow someone else’s recommended formula for success?
Lots of crying, frustration, and confusion for everyone in the house. (The dog even took to peeing on the carpet when the baby cried, which just added to the fun!)
Then I Got The Best Advice Ever
It was so simple, and something that resonated deeply for me:
“You can’t force a baby to sleep. You can only make the conditions conducive to sleep.”
The day I really “got” this bit of wisdom, our baby took a relaxed nap and I felt like a champion because I wasn’t the one who “made it happen”. She did.
Ever since, we’ve been on a great sleep schedule (both parents and baby!) and we’re following a way more natural rhythm. Neither of us fights naps or sleep, and everyone is feeling more rested and in tune.
So what does the right environment look like? There’s the obvious like not pumping your baby full of caffeine (directly or indirectly if you’re breastfeeding)… And then lulling her to sleep with a walk in the carrier has been great, too!
How This Applies In Business
I could change a few of the words above and replace them with business “formulas and strategies”… “Programs to make you a better business owner”…
And what schedule your business should be on based on how old your business is.
You’ve read the blogs, the books, and watched the webinars that show you how to make six figures in four months, or seven figures in the next year.
All of these things may have worked for someone else… and just like with baby books and advice websites (and even other parents!) – what worked for one baby may not work for another.
What worked for one business may not work for another.
We’re all unique human beings, creating unique businesses. (Or at least, your business better be
– it’ll be way more fulfilling that way!)
Don’t Force It
So ironically I’m giving you advice here… But my advice for you today is to feel into your business (or baby!) and what it needs.
If there’s a particular idea that you “picked up” somewhere else and that hasn’t felt right, you’ve got my full on permission to let it go.
If your business isn’t following the “schedules” that other business owners have followed (whether it’s in list growth, revenue, fame, clients, or anything else!)… It’s totally normal!
Resisting the differences of your business will only lead to tears, frustration, and ahem… lack of sleep.
So stay in your lane, focus on your amazing original and most motivating ideas, and trust that you know what’s best for your offspring.
Then create the environment for your business to thrive: the right people on your team, the right systems in place, and most importantly the proper communication with clients…
Your business, just like a baby, is an entity of its own. It has a life of its own, and it will grow and expand in different ways than you might have original anticipated.
That’s a good thing!
Here’s to the unfolding of your unique business path, and may you rest well at night knowing that you’re doing it your way, and you can’t do it wrong. (Just like parenting, right?!)