I am a mother.
And I’m a small business owner.
There are days when I manage my creative projects like a U.N. Ambassador while making sack lunches and folding laundry — as if I had six arms and spoke five languages.
And then there are days when the kids are late to school, I work in my pajamas, and I wonder if I will ever write anything that makes sense ever again.
At my core, I wish I was more like Daenerys Targaryen.
She remains calm at all times, even when her dragons are kidnapped. She is confident and knows what her purpose is and doesn’t seem to doubt she can fulfill that purpose.
And she always looks amazing.
But deep down I wonder if I’m more like Cersei Lannister.
Do I play my children like they’re puppets of power? Do I love what my heart wants to love, no matter the consequences? Do I destroy anything and anyone that won’t let me have my way?
I’ve read many articles about how you can have it all, or you can’t have it all; that running a business is like raising a family, or maybe having kids will drive the nail into the coffin of your career. There are tips to succeed as a woman in business and tips on what every woman can learn from men.
Well guess what. I don’t want to be successful like a man. I don’t even want to be successful as a woman. I want to be successful in the purpose that is given to me, which can’t be compared to anyone else, man or woman.
One of the most poisonous habits I’ve carried over from mothering into business leadership is that of comparing myself — successes, failures, opportunities, whathaveyou — to other people in our industry.
Why can’t we do what they’re doing? is the same poisonous discontentment as Why can’t my kid behave like her kid? and will kill the creative momentum of my team as much as motherhood jealousies stole my joy as a mom for a season.
In the recent weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, I woke up to the reality of my own strengths, and instead of lamenting All The Things I’m not good at, I started to make a plan for how to fill those gaps.
I’m learning how to be me.
Finally resting in my purpose and not taking on someone else’s purpose was the best gift I gave myself and my team this Mother’s Day.
I encourage you, whether you’re a man, woman, mother, father, employee, business owner, student or [fill in the blank], know your gifting, your calling, your purpose — and follow that.