It was 11:58pm last Tuesday night. I was at my desk.
Let me stop right here and say that normally at 11:58pm, I’ve been fast asleep for at least 3 hours. Early to bed, late to rise sums up my entire philosophy on live. Sleep is my co-pilot. All you need is sleep.
And now, back to 11:58pm last Tuesday night. My head was in my hands. I was kind of crying and kind of freaking out at my poor husband, because he is supposed to be able to fix everything that I can’t fix. That’s why I married him.
There was a security issue with my client’s website that had taken her site down the night before a big program launch and I needed to fix it all by morning. Not because she was telling me to, but because I didn’t want her to wake up to this mess. I didn’t want her to feel the stress that I was feeling in that moment.
In that very moment I thought, am I in the right place?
Did I seriously leave the corporate world where—even though someone else owned my soul during working hours—I could show up, serve my 8 hours and go home, for this?
Did I seriously want to care so much about my work that it made me feel a little sick?
Did I seriously want to lose sleep over my work?
These are some heavy questions to ponder if you’re thinking of starting your own business, or freelancing or pretty much any variation of striking it out on your own.
What. The. F. Am I doing?
I thought about it and I decided that I’m doing the work to live the dream.
I decided that I would rather care passionately about the people I serve than sit at my desk waiting for the clock to strike 5.
I decided I would rather feel stressed out over my dreams than annoyed with someone else’s.
I decided the I was going to do the work to build my empire.
I was listening to the Lively show on my commute to teach in Orlando. Jess had Hal Elrod, author of the Miracle Morning, on her blogcast. It was super inspirational and I recommend taking a listen right after you finish reading this.
I had a huge a-ha moment in listening to this.
Hal said something along the lines of,
It’s not about your success, it’s about who you become in the process.
I have been so caught up with doing more, working harder and getting where I want to be professionally and financially, that I’ve hardly taken time to notice the woman I’ve become int he process.
4 years ago I had one two skills, posting on Facebook and putting my legs behind my head.
Ok, that’s not entirely true, I was also really great at starting blogs only to have them drop of the face of the internet 6 months later.
In all seriousness, I had never opened a design program. I had never created a brand strategy. And the thought of running my own business was not even up for consideration, because that seemed way too unstable. I wanted the health insurance, the 401k, the stability of knowing that every two weeks there would be $1300 in my checking account.
I have no regrets about that mindset.
That mindset is why I stayed at a job where I was overworked and underpaid. Fear of losing that job is what drove me to learn how to design, to learn to write strategy and to learn to manage more work than any one person should really ever have to manage.
In staying at that job, I learned all of the skills I needed to do what I do today.
Because of that job, I met the woman who showed me just how capable I was.
Because of that job, I met one of the women who is a driving force behind my business.
4 years ago, I had no idea how driven I was.
4 years ago, I had no idea how creative I was.
4 years ago, I had no idea what I was capable of.
But now I know.
I’m sitting here on a Friday at 11am in a coffee shop—because I’ve created a life that allows for me to work from wherever I want to work
I’m teaching a yoga class in an hour—because I’ve created a life that allows for me to do work I’m passionate about.
I’m going to lunch with two women who helped me get to where I am today — because I’ve created a life where I can make time for the people who matter.
I may work longer hours than I really want to work and I may not (yet) have as much financial freedom as I’d like. But I created this life.
Every Friday from now on, I will be celebrating the woman I’ve become.
I actually prefer loose-leaf paper over notebooks.
Huge sheets of loose-leaf paper let me plan and draw and write unrestricted. It feels so expansive, like there’s all the room in the world for my creativity.
I’ve been a serial blogger for nearly a decade. I blogged about marketing, about local culture and events, about yoga. I founded my company where I blog about branding. But I haven’t had a space to blog about Laura.
A year ago I set out to create a space for myself to say what I wanted. I got carried away with what I was obsessed with at the moment —my yoga therapy training— and I managed to box myself into a yoga therapy blog.
Since I was seeking freedom to write about what I wanted, that space quickly lost it’s appeal.
For 10 years I avoided using my name in any of my branding. I thought, no one cares who I am; I need to tell them about what I do. Every blog I’ve ever written has ended up being about what I do.
But the Laura Dos Santos Show changes all of that!
My name. My life. No lines.
First order of business — reminiscing on my amazing weekend before heading into Manic Monday.
This woman turned 30 yesterday.
For 5 years Erica has been by my side helping me cause trouble and helping me get out of it. She is my biggest cheerleader and my weekly reality check. If I were a wealthier woman, we would have gone to Paris or Bali to celebrate her 30th birthday, but I’m not (yet).
So the Ritz-Carlton had to suffice. We can’t complain.
Everything is fancier in a place where a single glass of champagne costs $17.
We would have been perfectly content having best friends’ day all day and every day, but there are other people who love her, so I had to share. I was convinced that she knew about her surprise birthday dinner, because what kind of best friend isn’t on to you?
She knew something was up. But she was still surprised.
It’s been so long since I’ve spent an entire day just enjoying life. I think I’ll do it again soon, but probably sans $17 glass of champagne.