This idea of “pain versus suffering” comes up in my weekly birth class.
There’s a difference. This often comes up around discussions of pain medication and birth. Honestly, there’s no one right way to do all that– it depends on the situation and the mom. I do like how the birth educator points out that there’s a difference between pain and suffering and while we can experience pain, we can prevent suffering (be it through comfort positions, laboring in the shower, having narcotics, or the epidural, etc).
This gets me to thinking about pain versus suffering in other life contexts. I am curious and wonder if there’s something culturally pervasive that encourages us to make martyrs of ourselves.
For example, pregnancy has offered some funny sensations. Some of which are truly par for the course (like trouble breathing because your lungs are pushed up so far and compressed). But some pregnancy pains have brought me suffering that isn’t necessary. I’ve had some low back pain (probably sciatic) and at first I thought, well, I just need to deal with it. It sucked though. I could barely move and it prevented me from the summer walks I love so much with Lucy and thwarted my ability to sit and work and do chores around the house. I mentioned this to one of the OBs at my practice and she recommended Physical Therapy.
I took her advice and a week later signed up for PT. Luckily, it’s covered by my insurance and the copay is relatively low. I realize that not everyone has the same resources, but if you have access and the resources, why the hell not? Since going to PT twice a week, I’m so much more mobile and not suffering nearly as much! We do some exercises and the therapist does some “manual work” (read: message) that feels so good. I later mentioned some rib pain that again, I thought I just had to deal with it and of course, they are able to message that part of my body and release some of that tension.
This instance I think is teaching me that while we’re going to experience pain, suffering is always necessary. Sometimes I feel the urge to be a martyr and sacrifice my well-being, and for what? (I don’t really know- not inconveniencing people? But that doesn’t make much sense either as I write it out) .
Another example of forgoing unnecessary suffering is my decision to treat my depression with medicine. I’m NOT saying that this is the solution for everyone, just like how epidurals arent for everyone. But for me, it’s released me from unnecessary suffering. When I’m experiencing a depressive episode, I’m in this weird spiral and I feel as if there’s no solution and that I’m so alone in my experiences. Last summer I was feeling some kind of way, and when I’ve opened up to my spouse and friends about my feelings, it became clear that the medicine I was on wasn’t working and I found a psychiatrist and we found a medicine that works really well for me (and I love it because Lucy the dog and I are on the same drug LOL). I think I bring up this other example too to highlight that despite whatever stigma for seeking treatment, we don’t always need to be martyrs and suffer unnecessarily. It’s not good for anyone really and seeking interventions aren’t burdening anyone!
Thanks for reading this musing that’s come up in my brain hole while on maternity leave (and being so pregnant- I’m writing this as the baby is punching me from my insides :))
Let me know if this resonates with you!
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big preacher and believer of “self-care” and creating space for oneself. Do I always practice what I preach? Kinda… In my tarot reading with Amy Kuretsky yesterday though, this message came up that it’s okay for me to prioritize myself for a minute. I so intellectually know this and I know that it came up in the cards for a reason and that there’s some shame and guilt around it for me. Well played, Universe– you got me.
As I’m transitioning to human mother, my role on this planet is shifting and while I will absolutely show up for my babe, I want to remember that it’s cool to ask for help and create space for myself. (Afterall, my kick-butt MIL just retired and has offered her child care services) But damn the guilt! I even feel weird about dropping my dog off at my in laws this week (per my partner’s suggestion) so I can do what I do. Lucy the dog loves having me at home and when I go out, I feel so bad for leaving her. Letting my in laws relieve me of Lucy care these past few days has allowed me to venture out and get into my flow.
Do I still feel a little guilty for living my best life? Hell yes? While I’m tempted to judge it, I’m going to try to get curious about it and notice it– no judgement. But for real, who the hell am I to get to do whatever the fek I want while my husband works and what not (ok ok, just going to notice- and get curious– thanks to my coach Nicole Jackson Miller for the reminder that when feelings come up that it’s cool to notice without judgement and get curious)
(Admittedly, I think I may be feeling a certain way because of codepency stuff– it can be damn addicting to feel needed by my dog and family– yet we know rationally that we show up as our best selves for our people when we ourselves are cared for. No judgement- just observing these patterns and practicing challenging them)
Here’s some evidence I’ve gathered that allowing support and help has been really awesome:
Wednesday (after dropping off Lucy at my in Laws)
I felt so in flow when I was writing, uncovered some really necessary truths that are getting me closer to healing and being a better partner. A lot of good shit happened.
I suppose ( needed to write some evidence and reflect why accepting help and sinking into space for yourself is so good– and we can be aware of the guilt or feelings and get curious about it. After these 2.5 days, I’m feeling more myself and doing things I haven’t done in ages (like writing and healing some shit).
Sometimes it’s about practicing what I preach 🙂
Somehow, I feel that there is a paralell between allowing space and support in your life AS WELL AS in business 😉
Thanks for reading. Let me know if any of this resonates with you!
When I started entrepreneur-ing in 2017, I emerged as “Meg K the VA”. This was a great place for me to start. As I have experimented (hello 3 in human design), I’ve totally changed the way in which I support my people. I started as a traditional catch-all, give me things to do to fill these 10 hours VA. I needed to start somewhere and this was such a great way to dip my toes into the online biz space.
I’ve since evolved from VA to VA agency to content writer and now I don’t really do any of these things! Right now, I’m loving supporting my people with consulting, hiring, creating systems, and helping visionaries set up their businesses in order to be supported in a way that’s unique to their needs. Is there a word for “who” I am now? Idk. And, I may continue to evolve in what I offer and how I support the people. Entrepreneurship is one big experiment! And we all have permission to play and explore and evolve!
So nah, I’m not a VA anymore. Hence shifting to “Meg K and Co”! Who are “and Co”? For right now, it’s the people I hire to help me with my personal and professional development and the people I support!
And all the love to the VAs and implementors out there! You are so needed! I’ve just realized that’s not my genius! For the moment, I’m here to help the visionaries set up their businesses to get the right support and to set up the right implementors/VAs/whomever for success!
So it’s still me- Meg K is still who she was before! (so third person lol) I just don’t have the cute rhyming/assonance anymore in the name 🙂
– I offer intensives to troubleshoot and audit current systems so that I can recommend ones that will work best for each business and their unique needs (this can sometimes include setting up systems like Dubsado as well). I have found that business owners need to be in the driver’s seat for this and I can translate their needs into the framework of something like Dubsado/Stripe/etc.
– I offer intensives to help business owners identify not only what (as far as systems go) but WHO needs to be supporting them in their business. We co create Roles and Responsibilities as well as Job Descriptions so that my clients can get the correct support. We also talk through other barriers to being supported that might pop up. This is for my people who have perhaps tried hiring a VA before and it just didn’t work out (which is OK, this happens– often times there’s some foundational work that just needs to be done first).
– I offer done for you hiring services. I typically offer this once I have done an intensive with a client IF we’ve identified that this is something that they need. This includes Roles and Responsibilities documents and Job Descriptions (if we haven’t created them already), posting the jobs, managing all of the applications, presenting the information to my client in an easy to digest way, consulting, interview questions, as well as support and leading the interviews. The final say and ownership always goes to the client though 😉 And I’m there to support!
How have you evolved since the beginning of your entrepreneurship? What lights you up now?
I get it. You’re busy and you feel like you have no space to breathe, let alone get anything done. You talk to your biz friends about it and they suggest getting a VA and you see posts on facebook groups asking for VA recommendations. This can be such a tempting solution– just have someone on your team to pass off the tasks that you just don’t know what to do.
Here’s one scenario: Once you hire someone who seems nice and competent, you realize you are spending a lot of time answering questions and you get to a point where it just feels easier to do certain tasks yourself instead of passing them off and explaining them. And if you’re not reaching your retainer hours for a VA, you feel like you’re wasting money. Uhg.
Here’s another scenario: You have clear expectations and roles and responsibilities. You have SOPs in place and a dedicated few weeks for onboarding your support person. You have the space carved out to answer questions that come up and your new person pretty seamlessly integrates with your team.
I have people come to me inquiring about my instensives– which are all about getting a business set up with the necessary systems and processes or prioritizing necessary projects. These create space and advising for business owners to get everything they’re thinking out in the open and then make decisions about what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and how to delegate these things– for example. I’ve found that often systems and such are not one size fits all and it’s so helpful for the CEO to make decisions and to have someone like me translate what that can look like from a systems perspective and WHO can help them.
After an intensive, I can then make recommendations of who to hire and what services I can offer. I usually don’t work for more than 90 days inside someone’s business. I’m not an implementor– and I’ve helped my people find the right ones! After an intensive, I’ve offered hiring manager for hire services as well as short term project management (usually around SOPs) and advising.
I’ve discovered after talking to many CEOs that some people just want to make that quick hire and forgo an intensive AND forgo a careful screening and hiring process. I’ve heard “Wait, you’re telling me you want to talk to me on the phone and then not necessarily work with me ongoing? Why not just hire a VA?” That’s a great question! A quick hire (and forgoing an intensive/getting things set up) can totally work for some– and I don’t recommend it for everybody.
– You know what you need/ you have some systems and SOPs in place
– You have your client process mapped out and have your system in place (like Dubsado for example) for onboarding, you have your methods for collecting money and accounting processes down. This doesn’t need to be perfect but you have made these decisions.
– If you haven’t made these decisions about processes and systems, you are OK with someone else figuring it out and you not having a say (if you truly want to quickly pass it off)
– You hire someone who can lead and tell you “no” and tell you what they need
– You don’t feel comfortable asking for what you need or you don’t know what you need- any hire needs training or if you’re getting a VA/implementor, they need to be explicitly told what to do in your business
– You don’t have your systems and processes down– like your client onboarding, your contract systems/CRM (think Dubsado or others)
– You still want to have your hand in the decision making about baseline processes/procedures in your business yet you’re desperate to just “hand it off”. Nothing is more frustrating than handing a project off and then having it not be right– but people can’t read your mind. If you don’t mind having it done a certain way, then great!
– You’re not ready for people to make decisions on your behalf or haven’t taught them how to make decisions on your behalf. You also don’t want to field a bunch of questions.
(What can happen too is that you hemmorage money for retainer hours that you don’t use or for support that is more expensive than what you actually need)
In my experience, the hiring process, though it can seem long and overly thorough, can really pay off (of course, along with processes in place and a mindset of being able to delegate and trust others).
These are my observations from what I’ve seen in my own business and in others’. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
Codependency is a hot topic right now online in our space.
I have long considered myself an expert at codependency because I am an expert codependent. Often I feel like I’m a “recovered” codependent but I realize that it takes constant practice and checking of myself to make sure I’m not taking responsibility for others’ feelings. Though through years of therapy, I’ve gotten pretty good at this. It’s been a necessity for many reasons in my personal life. Of course, these codependency coping strategies are important in business as well.
Recently I’ve seen posts about codependent work relationships- especially in the coach/mentor-mentee realm. But this part of codependency is more about wanting to be needed and fix everything– instead of empowering the mentee to learn how to problem solve on their own without the coach/mentor eventually. It’s so easy for me to throw shade– of COURSE, coaches should WANT their charges to be able to grow and problem solve without them!
But here’s my realization: I’m guilty of this, too! I’ve had this satisfaction for being needed to put out fires for my clients. Of course, some roles are in business are necessary to put out the fires and it’s not necessarily an unhealthy thing. For me though, it’s not how I work best. I need space and to work in short-term bursts to teach my clients the systems and help them find the right people so that their businesses can in fact run WITHOUT me.
For me, it’s recognizing that this wanting to be needed and to “rescue” is a pattern of my long engrained codepency. I’ve often thought that it was merely my wanting to take responsibility for others’ feelings– and I’m realizing that another part of it (in my own brain hole) is the desire to be needed. Recognizing this (without judgement- well, trying to recognize without judgement) and calling it what it is feels oddly fine. It’s another aspect of codependency that I’ll practice grappling with! I think that’s what made it a little sad for me to step away for maternity leave– these businesses I’ve been working with are running so well withOUT me! But that was the point of my work– setting up my people for success to run without me 🙂
Does this resonate with you? Are there aspects of codependency that are recently coming to your awareness? Join the conversation on Instagram.
PS If you’re looking for a resource to deal with codependency, Codependent No More my Melanie Beatty really helped me in the beginning. (This is mainly aimed at people in relationships with people who abuse substances- this can be a huge source of codependent behavior)
It has been literal months since I’ve created static content.
I’m 37 weeks and 3 days pregnant.
I’m on leave now– and I miss writing and creating content.
With the help of my coaches and healing etc, I’m realizing that
– I’m allowed to talk.
– Showing up as my crazy ass self is very “on brand” for me- (this is literally why people have hired me- I yelled at one of my clients on the street because I recognized him from the ‘gram and consequently, we worked together for a few months!)
– I was so afraid of not being polished, perfect, or subscribing to the prescriptive/”correct” way of showing up for my brand and business
It turns out I have a lot to say and fuck it, I’m going to show up and say it. I love writing (and talking) and I’m going to use this space to reflect on the past year of entrepreneurship and show up. So for now, no more worrying about “how will I optimize the SEO of this in blog form” or worrying about curated the perfect accompanying photo. I’m just going to be– I’m allowed.
Perhaps we could coin this my “maternity leave diaries” or whatever– but here goes nothing! I’m excited to show up– and in doing so, I’m more aligned with my core value of “safety” (which is really about vulnerability and authenticity). So I’m gonna channel my inner Brene Brown and you know, choose that courage or comfort or whatever.
How are you choosing to show up? What’s been holding you back?
Instagram stories is such a wonderful, quick, and easy way to show up on Instagram! So much of building a brand and generating sales is establishing trust with your community! Whether you’re doing Behind the Scenes, showing your brilliant personality, sharing your offerings, or giving your audience a peek into your day– stories are the way to go! I personally get WAY more engagement on my stories than even my static instagram posts.
I’ve written more about how to get your content flowing more easily here.
Okay so back to Instagram Stories! I’ve compiled a little list of my favorite accounts to follow for their stories. If you want to be entertained, or just educated and inspired on how to story, check out these following accounts!
I have more more camera-ready days than others, but I try to show up at least every day!
Kelsey owns a design, branding, and marketing agency– her branding is so unique and impactful. She’s also my BFF and I love her work. I love her BTS when she shares her design processes!
This woman is amazing. She is building a business using her intuition and magic and teaching other women to cultivate a life and business they are obsessed with! She does stories almost every day and burns shit and pulls cards and I’m here for it!
I met Lucrecer at Alt Summit and she shows up in the best way on her stories! I first saw her doing instagram stories about these barbies in shadow boxes at the Seguaro Palms and I knew I needed to make friends with her. Sillyness and entertainment aside, she talks about real shit too and I love watching her.
I also met Cyndie at Alt Summit when she did an amazing presentation about how women need to speak up and ask for things! I was so embarrassed because I admitted to her (and a room full of people) that I didn’t speak up when the baristas gave me real milk instead of dairy free milk. I asked for it, but they still gave me dairy. Cyndie drove home the point that women need to speak up when she said, “See people! This woman [me] is willing to risk shitting her pants from consuming diary instead of speaking up and asking for the right milk in her coffee!”. I almost died but I was just excited that Cyndie noticed me LOL Anyway, her stories have so much valuable content! Def follow her!
Lots of politics and momming and I’m here for it. If you’re white and new to the theories of social justice, she’s a great one to follow. She’s real and vulnerable and yet still entertaining!
Erin is the founder of Shiny Bitches and she is simply put, the shiniest of the shiniest bitches. She talks about the things woo and mindset, and her kids are cute AF.
Tyler is the ultimate instagram influencer and I DMed him once and I almost died when he DMed me back. He shows up so consistently and knows all things about monetizing instagram. And he’s friends with Liz White so bonus. And we shop at the same target in Chicago. I told him that via DM, too.
Tell me your fave accounts to follow for the instagram stories! I’m here for it!!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links from which I make a portion of the profits from the sale. I promise I’m only linking resources I’ve used and adore <3
Perfectionism comes up so much in life and in business– and luckily there are so many perfectionism resources out there! I’m not an expert or a therapist, yet I want to share with you some resources that have helped me. This topic is very layered and nuanced and there’s a lot of unpacking and discovering of old stories etc that come with tackling the big P. Admittedly, the resources I have gathered come from white, affluent women and I would love to read and learn more from other points of view. I hope these resources are of service and help you on your journey!
––This Podcast with Kelsey Kerslake of Pinegateroad and Liz White, Business Woo Wonderful Human Witch Extraordinaire. Liz talks about her journey and shifts in business to create an intuitive business! What stuck with me so much is what she says about “B work” and getting it the eff out there!
–– All things Brené Brown, honey. My friend Rachel from Daring Studios turned me onto her book, The Gifts of Imperfection. Dr. Brown talks a lot from personal experience and her shame research. She provides helpful guide posts throughout the book.
–– and this Podcast featuring Dr. Brown about being afraid and doing the thing anyway on the How to Human Podcast.
–– Anything that influencer and disrupter Ashley Beaudin produces– specifically #theimperfectwoman movement she hosts every so often! Ashley works to normalize imperfect and it is such a great movement to be a part of!
–– And I feel that everyone recommends Jen Sincero’s writings but here it is anyway! You are a Badass is a great intro book into ego, or as she lovingly calls it, the Big Snooze or B.S. The Big Snooze tries to keep us at status quo and can often prevent us from taking action– which is something I have struggled with in battling perfectionism!
I know these resources barely touch the surface of beating perfectionism. I’m so curious to know what else is out there! Tell me in the comments your fave books and podcasts about this!
So often, I feel the first thing people pass off to VAs or others is their marketing content. While I believe that many aspects of marketing should be handed off, the actual or original marketing content may need to come from you! This is the case if haven’t really found anyone who “gets it” when it comes to your tone or you’re building your brand and the ideas really need to come from your brain. But Oh my gah, it can be hard to get the space to write your own marketing content! (If this is the case, we should talk because you can get that space by tightening up other things in your biz and I love cracking the code). Anyway, here are my tips on how to get yourself into the flow of marketing yourself, specifically with blogging and instagram!
I’m writing my own content right now from the 5th floor of Soho house Chicago– on a Sunday. Normally I’m all for the boundaries and not working on the weekend– but I love writing my stuff when I don’t feel like I’m drowning! And, I’m heading out of town this week so shifting some of the fun stuff for today! While I write my original copy, I do hand off some aspects of the marketing process (might be for another blog post more in depth- but essentially I pass off the editing, uploading, some photo curating, posting, scheduling to my team 🙂 )
Yep. This. Go ahead and get your B work out there– don’t wait for A plus. You have so much to offer the world and perfectionism can hinder so many of us (raising my hand as I’m a recovering perfectionist myself!) If you have a typo? Big effing deal. Once you find it, you fix it. (I write about my favorite resources for beating perfectionism here!)
If you blog or write newsletters, take snippets of those and use them for your captions/editorial calendar on Instagram! It makes it SO.MUCH.EASIER than just trying to write captions in a vacuum. Of course, you can align your content with your sales goals and your offerings, but so much of the great content is giving value and advice to your audience– and that, my friend, can come from your blog posts and newsletters! You can make up to 10 (or whatever number) short form instagram posts from that! You bet your butt that’s what I’m doing on my Instagram feed!
It took me forever to take this advice because I was drowning in client work and didn’t even have the space in my brain to create my marketing content. After my business matured a bit and I got clearer about my brand, who I support, and how I show up, I am blowin’ up with the content ideas. And now that my business has solid systems and processes and I have team supporting me, I have the space to get inspired, outline, and write my content! I do have help with editing and uploading and such, but it feels so good to create the shit out of my blog posts when I’m feeling “in flow”. And when I’m there, I write and write and write using outlines that I’ve drafted, new ideas, and ideas I’ve been sitting on for a minute. I especially love writing and brainstorming at the airport for whatever reason. So instead of trying to blog once a week or whatever, I blog as much as I can or feel like when I have the time and space! And then my team can batch upload and I’m not the bottleneck– they have plenty o’ content to work with! (And often times when I write one blog post, I end up having enough content for multiple! This post has spawned at least 2 other blog posts!)
If you’re not so comfortable writing, get your ideas out, outline as much as you can, and get help either with editing or even doing the writing. If you’re comfortable enough writing and you love it, just do it! And when I say “get in flow” when you’re batching, remember that you don’t have to feel perfect about it. If you are the least bit inspired or feel like it, just do it!
I know this is easier for some than others, but Stories is such a great and easy way to get your stuff out there! Show people your BTS (behind the scenes)! Tell your babes about what you’re offering and how you are transforming your clients! If lifestyle stuff is in alignment with your brand, show your people what you’re up to– be it traveling, going on your walks, whatever!
Again, done is better than perfect here, people. If you’re hair is curled and your makeup is on point, do a story. If you are in your leggings and no makeup but you feel compelled to do a baby sales pitch on insta stories, do it! Stories are the most efficient way for me to share with my audience what I’m up to and what I’m offering. My sales copy on my website takes a little longer as I am a bit meticulous with that! So stories is how I’m booking those introduction calls! Worst case scenario, your story is up for 24 hours. Want to follow some kick ass stories for inspiration? Get the 411 on my fave insta stories accounts here!
This is a little more about engagement, but I love following certain hashtags on instagram and liking those photos and following some of those accounts. But mostly, I love following hashtags because instagram recommends other hashtags when you do that! Ones that can still be in alignment with your target audience! So if you’re feeling stuck on the hashtags, follow some of your favorites and see what happens!
If you’re in a weird or transitional feeling place and not feeling super inspired to write marketing content, evergreen the shit out of your old content! Meaning, do instagram posts about older blogs, or idk, you can even re-write other posts and recycle other prompts! Everyone loves a #FridayIntroduction every so often! And make some #tipTuesday posts from your blog posts or random tip ideas in your brain hole. Did you appear on someone’s podcast– write about it on an insta post– here’s an example of when I did that! And this is EASY to hand off if you’re in the thick of other stuff. No matter what, you gotta show up for your audience and keep them warm! Consistency over everything, baby. Want more ideas? I have a whole ‘nother post about it!
Wow. That was a long one! I outlined this when I was in flow flow fire after a retreat in Boulder and I’m loving writing it all out. So in summary, friends, write when you feel like it, your shit doesn’t need to be perfect but you need to be present and consistent for your community. And when you have space in your life, the marketing content will flow!
If you’re like “what does space even look or feel like!?”, we should talk! You can get to that spaciousness in your business! Click here to schedule a chat!
There are practically a billion amazing marketing tools out there– many that I don’t even know about. And I could go on forever about all the social media schedulers and such– instead of doing that, here are my top top favorite softwares for mostly the instagram realm. If your target audience is on Instagram or you just love it like I do, read on! My favorites include ones that help you do outreach, facilitate an impeccable visual feed, and can help increase your web traffic.
What it is: A tool for Authentic Community Growth on Instagram + more
Who it’s for: You know your target audience and you want to find them and engage with them on instagram. I’ve hopped into a training with Puno, the founder of people map, and it’s amazing how you can target new leads, AND keep track of who you have reached out to when you integrate with CRMs like Streak! If you’re an influencer or a kick ass biz owner ready for new connections and leads, People Map is a must! This is a non sketchy and still organic way to build community and engagement!
What it is: An Instagram scheduler for the serious blogger babes + influencers
Who it’s for: If you are a blogger and want to link your posts to your external URLS, it works so nicely with Linkin (like Link Tree, but Linkin shows your feed and the pictures are links to the External URLS!) If you are looking for an easy way to get people to your blog or other sites, I LOVE the feature of linking a URL to the post and how it just populates on Linkin! This is also a great tool for brands with multiple accounts!
What it is: An Instagram scheduler like none other
Who it’s for: You are obsessed with how your feed appears on the grid and love to play around with it. It’s so fun and easy to upload your pictures, plan out how you want the grid to look, and plug in your content from there! I love a good editorial calendar when you plan out what to post on which day, and I love being flexible with my editorial content based on how it looks with my precisely curated and arranged photos! I myself use planoly exclusively as my scheduler (most of my content is just my blog and instagram) and I haven’t found another platform that does the grid like this!
What it is: A Pinterest (and instagram) Scheduling App and more!
Who it’s for: You want to rock pinterest! You have content on your site and want to drive traffic over there! Maybe you were a BoardBooster person (which sadly, no longer exists) and you want an easy way to schedule your pins! While I love Pinterest, I am not the authority on Pinterest. But I can point you to someone who is– my biz bae Kelsey at Pinegateroad. She educates on how to seriously increase your traction on Pinterest and her agency implements this for business owners and influencers who have amazing content and need that traffic, honey.
What are your absolute favorites for instagram marketing and engagement?!? Things are changing so quickly and I wanna know what you think! I feel like there is more magic out there that I just don’t even know about yet!