On July 20th 2016 I was given the green light to move from the planning stage of the NEA scheme to the trading one. It’s the 16th of January (my original due date, and the birthday of Nick Valensi from the Strokes), which is 4 days away from the 6 months mark. Notwithstanding the wrinkles and never-sleeping-a-wink look, I am left wondering where so many weeks of my life have gone. I mean, the registration for next year’s party conference is open now. Madness. It feels like yesterday that we opened the bubbly to celebrate my first business investment in the All-Bar-One at Birmingham New Street station the Saturday afternoon before CPC16.
So, as my eligibility as a life partner diminishes by the day, here are 6 things that are keeping the little amount of sanity left in such a frenetic time of my life (did I mention that I’m also graduating? Yes?), in no particular order.
Blessed is She
With their incredible range of support including daily devotions with relatable stories, workshops, pretty pictures and phone wallpapers, prayer journals for Advent and Lent and the amazing brunches (and a bit of social media friendliness thrown in the midst) they are one of the few things left between me and spiritual death. I’m looking forward to hosting a brunch in the Spring.
A weekly appointment with laugh and sass from two women who’ve decided not to give a dang about life as we think it should be because that’s how everyone else seems to be living. As I try to #embracemessy while everyone else looks perfect, it’s comforting to have someone else who is more successful at life than you are (Sam used to give me jobs…) validating your desire not to care. It’s easy to think that you are just putting on a Contrary Joe mask out of envy and realising you could never match that level.
A new publication for Christian women run by people who aren’t shy about facing issues that affect the modern woman rather than presenting a view of being a Christian that is set on unrealistic expectations and just leaves people feeling lost and not sure how to navigate being in the world but not of the world, especially hard if you’ve lived a normal life before finding the faith. Their team is also really supportive if you reach out to them so kudos.
Grit and Virtue, Fearfully Fashioned and Women in Leadership Network
These three ministries for Christian women are too similar to want to write 3 separate descriptions (I’m too lazy for that), but are too irreplaceable for me to want to make a decision to only feature one…
They first two are separate online ministries for the modern woman; the first is strictly related to business and the other more generally about personal development. Their emails and articles speak to a lot of issues I face as a new business woman, and the workshops I’ve done with FF have been really helpful on a practical level. While there is a lot of hot air in the world of advice and coaching, these two are sound enough to have the attention of the second most cynical person I know (the first being my mother).
The third is fairly similar except that they are based at HTB, a real life friend is involved in organising and I’m now recognisable to some on the rest of the team after attending most of their events. While there is value in online ministries, there is also something irreplaceable about face to face interactions, especially for an old introvert like me, and their speakers are always excellent, with really good topics.
Okay, this is top cheesy but as much as online interactions in groups for women going through the same thing are valuable, and most of my friends don’t have businesses so they often don’t understand the ins and outs of it as much as a stranger at a networking brunch does, there is nothing more valuable than having someone who cares about me and believes in me when I don’t believe in myself (read always). They also offer you a chance to stop thinking about yourself all the time because as much as they are willing to be a shoulder for you to cry on when something happens they also come with their own set of problems and needs. Or just really silly and random conversations. It sounds really weird to credit some of the craziest people I know (<3) with keeping me sane but stranger things have happened at sea.
The entrepreneurial journey is a rollercoaster of emotion, too much caffeine and absolutely having no idea whatsoever what you’re doing. It’s probably true of every walk of life, just that I haven’t taken that and also it’s somewhat socially acceptable to complain about adulting as an entrepreneur because what we do is thought of as cool. Have you had any experience with these things before? What is it that keeps you sane instead? I’d love to know 🙂