I so appreciate the little peek behind the curtain into the women around us. Every time I am reminded: Be gentle with yourself, you are a living thing. Allow me to introduce you to Lizette. We met a few years ago when I attended one of the business breakfasts Lizette had arranged for the Nomads Solopreneur Society. The gatherings she has organized have led to some truly wonderful introductions and to this day, I benefit from those relationships.
Right now this lady is walking through some rather large shifts. Italy's countryside is calling and they have responded with a great big Yes! They are chasing slow. And soon, you will be able to visit their self-sustaining farmhouse! You can find out more on Lizette's Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIN.
I was born and raised on the East Rand, Gauteng and had a relatively typical conservative Afrikaans upbringing. Being the youngest of three children and the only daughter it wasn’t always easy having your voice and opinion heard. It instilled within me from a young age a fighting spirit for independence, identity and recognition though. My passion for recognition and independence continue through my entrepreneurial network where it’s my personal mission to connect solopreneurs and have them know that they are seen, supported and valued for who they are not only for what they do.
There are so many obvious moments to choose from, however the biggest one in recent years was when my employer at the time, had us take part in a team leadership assessment about two years ago when I was working part-time while still running the Nomads & Co. network as a side hustle. I took a strengths-finder test. The idea was that the results would list each team member’s top 5 strengths to see how compatible and well-rounded our team was. I was shocked when I saw my results. A single piece of paper suddenly confronted me with 14 years of work experience where I was constantly told and reinforced by the world and people around me, that I was ‘too much’ or ‘too little’ of something. All my perceived weaknesses were mapped out on a piece of paper as strengths!?! Working through the results with a coach I soon realized… wait a minute, all these years in unhappy employment, it’s not them. IT IS ME! I do not fit the mould and that’s ok. It might seem strange to think that a piece of paper with some test results could give me the permission I needed to appreciate all those intrinsic characteristics that make me uniquely me. However it hasn’t been a smooth sailing since then, that societal reinforcements are so deeply intrenched within us, that it takes a daily reset and has been a continuous journey towards working with being ok with who I am and that there is a place in the world for me and the type of person I am and want to be. But most likely though. not in the conventional workplace or 9-5 set-up. My strengths just needed to be better harnessed and those once upon a time perceived weakness I now consider my superpowers. They allow me to do amazing work and both a professional and personal environment. It’s been a game changer for me.
DO travel twice as much, read three times more, start cooking better food, don’t sweat the small stuff, pay closer attention to your health. BE: it’s ok to stand up for yourself and your values and don’t let anyone tell you, you are ‘too much’ of anything. You are beautiful they way you are and you don’t have to be perfect at anything or everything! You will have everything you wished for in a partner and daughter but you are going to make some BIG mistakes…start learning that mistakes are part of life and learn to forgive yourself early on. You are more than what you do! Don’t chase so hard , take time to enjoy life more.
Coffee is my love language and having my first cup at 6am in the morning helps me not only to gets started but grounds me in the moment of having a new day with new opportunities
Time-off: For the last two years I have given myself permission to stop working at 4pm. From Friday I start easing into the weekend and also, I don’t work on weekends anymore, seriously life is too short. I spent 12 years at school, 12 more years to study for 2 degrees, 2 more years starting a brick and mortar business that lead me to work until 2am in the mornings so I feel like I’ve paid my dues. I am always aiming to perfect the 20-24-hour work week. One day I will!
Daily expectations: Something I recently started doing is giving myself permission to complete only 1 task, at most 2, per day on my to-do list (big or small, personal or work). This ‘done’ task is enough to qualify my day as being a successful and productive. I suffer from anxiety and too many moving parts can cause overwhelm and spiral which can actually render an entire week unproductive. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So, I asked myself, how do I take off the pressure and also WHO is creating the pressure? I am actually getting more things done this way.
Things that center me:
20 minutes power naps in the day! Seriously, who said I can’t and they have become my secret weapon to re-energise me.
Time in the kitchen cooking with my family. There is always music and dancing involved in the practice too.
Laughter destresses me big time. I am a big fan of stand-up and sketch comedy and I spend WAY TOO MUCH time on YOUTUBE watching American Late Night talk shows. This is maybe more a guilty pleasure than a healthy destressing practice.
The land where lemons grow by Helena Attlee
Fiction: ‘Silk’ by Alessandro Baricco & ‘Shadow of the Wind’ by Carlos Ruiz Zaffon
Non-Fiction: ‘How Proust can change your life’ by Alain de Botton & ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert