I’m absolutely thrilled to be launching a new series of blogs celebrating female entrepreneurs who are simply thriving. It’s my aim to bring you a varied range of stories featuring women who are living life on their own terms and shunning the idea that life has to take a back seat when you run your own business. Although these women will share their tips and advice, I hope this blog series also inspires you to do things your way – to carve your own path.
What does it mean to be a Simply Thriving Entrepreneur?
Simply Thriving Entrepreneurs are primarily those who are in control of their work-life balance – their business doesn’t dictate their schedule. They love what they do, but also have time every day when they are not in work mode. The pace at which they are going is sustainable in the long term, and they’ve got strategies in place to avoid burn out. These women have space in their life – it’s not all one big rush from that first Monday morning coffee to that Friday evening gin; there’s freedom and time in their calendars to do things that bring them joy. They look ahead with excitement and calm, rather than fear and sheer exhaustion at the thought of treading water for yet another week.
A Simply Thriving Entrepreneur aims to choose purposefully what they want their life to look like and takes action to intentionally create the life they dream of.
Who is the first Simply Thriving Entrepreneur?
The first Simply Thriving Entrepreneur is someone you’ll already be familiar with, and who is known for her commitment to living a simpler life. Yes, the first interview is with ME!
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do
A little about me…I’m a beach lover, an introvert (INFJ), quietly courageous, liver of life on my terms, book collector, very amateur clarinettist, seeker of mini adventures, tea obsessed, house plant mother, happiest outside near water, personal development junkie, supportive friend, analytical thinker, sometimes an overthinker, prosecco drinker, a casual swearer, an empath, and a simplicity advocate.
I’m a coach for women who quit the 9-5 to find more freedom and flexibility but their blossoming business has left them feeling more overwhelmed and exhausted than ever. If it feels like your business has taken over your whole life, you can’t remember the last time you spent a whole guilt-free day without panicking about the emails in your bursting inbox, and a holiday feels totally out of the question… I can help you to simplify your life and business so that you feel like you’re thriving rather than just surviving. Choosing intentionally what we fill our lives with is a huge passion of mine, and I love helping women to explore what they really want from their life and work – and then, of course, making a plan of action so those hopes and dreams become more and more real every day.
How do you plan your day/week?
Google calendar – I’m flipping obsessed! It’s flexible, I can access wherever I am, if I lose my phone I can still access it (unlike a paper diary, once it’s gone it’s gone!), I can colour code it to ensure balance across my week, and I can easily input recurring events. I strongly believe that you need a planning system that is pretty much completely failsafe before you can start working on other areas of your life – it’s the foundation for pretty much everything!
Honestly I could go on forever about how I plan my week so I’ll write a separate blog on that one day. I basically plan my fun and social items into my calendar first, followed by self-care and exercise. Then I make sure all work with a deadline has enough hours booked in. I also look at my ongoing to do list and book in anything time-bound. If there are any gaping spaces in my week at that point I’ll look at my to do list and plan in some of the tasks that are “nice to haves”. This all sounds very rigid but if I’m asked to do some more work or invited to a social thing, I can very easily switch things around if I want to – flexibility is hugely important to me.
What does success look like to you?
Success to me has very little to do with finances – although I’m very aware of that being a privilege. We intentionally bought a house that doesn’t stretch me or my partner to our full earning capacity, because living and experiencing life is much more important to us. Success is spending quality time and having meaningful conversation with family and friends, as well as being available to support them. It is taking time to notice the small details in life, and having adventures near and far. It is also spending time on the beach and generally being outdoors as much as possible; feeling physically and mentally healthy is of course key to all of this.
What does self-care mean to you and how is that reflected in your life?
To me, self-care primarily means putting myself first over my work and other responsibilities. This sounds very selfish to some, but I’ve been in a place when work came first and health and wellness came last – it’s a fast-track way to stress, resentment and poor overall functioning. Life’s not going to work out the way you want it to if you don’t listen to what your body and mind need every day. Self-care therefore means boundaries, it means saying no, and it means prioritisation. Tuning out comparison by knowing what you value and sticking to that.
Looking back, is there anything you would you change about your first year working for yourself?
I had a total “lack” mentality and believed that work could dry up at any moment so I had to take every piece of work I was offered, even if it didn’t really suit me. If I was to change anything, it would be the belief that if I said no to anything, the client would go and find someone else. Having now worked on these beliefs and changed my ways of working, I have now learnt that having boundaries is totally ok and most clients respect them – if they don’t that’s their problem not yours and they can find someone else to work with who has different ways of working.
What boundaries do you have in place regarding your work/life balance?
- I never work weekends because my partner works away during the week so the weekend is our protected time together.
- If I’m tired, I sleep in! I’m a night owl generally so I don’t worry about sleeping until 8 or 9 on a weekday – my body tells me what it needs if I listen.
- If I’ve booked a gym class or set time aside for swimming or the gym, I honour that commitment. I used to cancel it if I had a lot of work on, but that rarely happens now.
- I try to have a non-phone day at least once a week (easier said than done!).
- I make sure there’s always some time off booked into the calendar ahead of time as I find it helps my motivation. I am always uncontactable by clients during this time and treat it as a digital detox – otherwise it’s not a holiday!
What’s the best and worst thing about working for yourself?
Best – the flexibility (if you give yourself that permission!)
Worst – I find the financial side of it tricky… from keeping on top of recording expenses, to dealing with the feast-famine cycle
Please can you share a top tip for an overwhelmed entrepreneur
Work out what it is you want your life to look like, and start working towards that.
The aim is certainly not to change your life overnight, but make sure there are things in your planner/calendar that help you head in the direction you’re aiming for. Start cutting back on things that are taking you in the wrong direction. Little by little you’ll begin to see a new life emerge that you’ve designed and built intentionally.
Where can we find you online?
I’m usually to be found hanging out on Instagram: www.instagram.com/thesimplicitystrategist. You can also find me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/juliadaviescoaching) and Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/juliadaviescoaching). There’s more info about who I am and what I do here on my own website if you fancy a browse (www.juliadaviescoaching.com).
If you’d like to be a part of my Simply Thriving Entrepreneurs series, or there’s someone you’d love to see featured, please do get in touch – I’d love to hear from you!