It's Okay If...

It's really hard to see yourself. In a leadership role, when the leadership roles that you have looked up to, you can't relate to. And even the ones I thought I could relate to because of my body image have gone and changed their body, which just leads me even more down the path. Oh, I have to look a certain way to be successful. Hey, friends, and welcome to the Girl Means Business podcast, I'm your host, Kendra Smalls, a photographer and educator on a mission to help you find your passion, power and purpose through entrepreneurship.

 

So let's jump right into today's episode, because this girl means business. Hey, guys. Welcome to another week on the Grill Means Business podcast. All right, guys, this week is a very honest conversation. I want to have with you, because when I started this podcast and when I talk about the purpose behind this podcast, one of the main things I talk about is I want it to be very real.

 

I want it to be very honest. And I want it to feel like you're just chatting with your best friend. And I want you to know that through this podcast, I want you to understand that things aren't always perfect. You know, I listen to a lot of podcasts and I'm not going to say anything bad about any of the other podcasts. I'm not going to call out names in this episode, but I do see a lot of things that I want to do differently here.

 

I see a lot of the pretty polished. I see a lot of look how shiny and pretty this looks from the outside. I see a lot of beating around the bush about struggles they've had. I see a lot of. Let's talk about the struggles, but not really talk about the struggles. Let's just talk about them in a very surface level way so that you still think everything in my business is shiny and pretty, because right now everything looks shiny and pretty and especially with everything we're going through right now.

 

I want you to know that not everything is shiny and pretty. And the reality is, I'm struggling. I'm struggling a lot. I'm struggling with this new normal that we find ourselves in. I'm struggling with feeling overwhelmed and anxious and depressed. I'm struggling with the fact that I don't feel like I ever get a break because it's 24/7 with my kids here and things I need to be doing or should be doing or feel like I should be doing or school work that they're having to complete.

 

And the pressure of all the other people out there on Facebook and Instagram showing off how fabulous homeschooling is and how their kids are doing all these amazing projects. And the poster go up about how if you're not doing something with this time, then that's on you. And I get it. I get that we're all just doing the best that we can do and more power to those of you that are doing those things. But I'm telling you right now, there's a lot of you listening.

 

And I know I'm speaking from experience here for myself. It's tough and we're struggling and mentally I'm struggling. And so today I wanted to create this episode. As a letter to you, but also to myself and I do this a lot and my friends will tell. Tell me this all the time, they'll say, Kindra, go listen to your own podcast. Go back and listen to your own advice because it's easy for me to dish it out.

 

It's not so easy for me to take it. And today, this is an episode I'm gonna go back and listen to again because I need to hear the things I'm going to say today. Just as much as I think someone else needs to hear them. So while selfishly I'm creating this episode for me, I'm hoping that someone out there listening can relate and get something out of it. And maybe, just maybe, it will help your day be a little bit brighter.

 

So I'm calling this episode. It's OK if I last night I couldn't sleep and I was laying in bed and I had all of these things running through my head and a lot of times when I can't sleep. The best thing for me to do is just to get up and do something about it. So I came into the office and I sat down and I made a to do list of things I wanted to get done today. And one of them was this episode.

 

And I mapped out some of the things that were in my head. And what was in my head was it's okay if this and it's okay if this happens. And that's why this topic or this episode today is titled It's Okay If because I want to go through about seven different things that again, I'm telling myself these things, it's okay if these things happen. It's okay if these things occur in your life or your business. And so that's what I'm going to go through today, is my list that I wrote down and just kind of talk about it again, just honest conversation, as if you were sitting right here in front of me with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or whatever you want to have in your cup with you today, because it didn't matter what time it is having to have a drink.

 

It's fine. It's it's quarantine drinking. It's really allowed. I promise. I going give you permission for that. Okay.

 

So the first thing I wrote down. It's okay if you don't know what you're doing. Because we. None of us know what we're doing. None of us know what we're doing. Whether it's in business, in life and parenting and relationships, there is no book that tells you what to do. And this was a huge misnomer, a huge misunderstanding I had when I went in to parenthood. When I went into entrepreneurship, when I went into my marriage and I was looking to everybody else to tell me how to do it.

 

I was looking at social media. I was looking at Pinterest. I was looking at television. I was looking at magazines. And the problem with doing all of that is that it gives you this false sense that everybody else knows what they're doing and all those parenting magazines and parenting blogs. Yes. People are giving you their opinions. They are giving you their advice. And it's probably good advice, but they don't know what they're doing either. They're trying to figure it out just as much as we are.

 

And they may be a little further ahead than us. And that's great. But there are no rules. And so if you're sitting at home right now and you're thinking, I'm starting a business or I'm trying to build a business, but I don't know what I'm doing and I feel like I should know what I'm doing. You don't have to know that. You don't have to feel like you know what you're doing. It's just walking into a room blindly and hoping that it works.

 

And yes, there are obviously things that you could do and you can go through all of the episodes as podcasts or listen to other podcasts or go online and purchase courses and read books and watch webinars. And they're all going to give you great tips and advice. But there is nothing that is going to walk you through step by step what to expect in your life, in your business. There's nothing because their journey is not your journey. And it's taken me a lot to realize this.

 

And I still have to remind myself of this. When there are days that I sit down, I think I should be able to be further along. I should be able to be doing more.

 

I should know what I need to do and I don't. And that's okay. And just being able to say it's okay if I don't know what I'm doing right now because I'll figure it out. So it's okay to say you don't know what you're doing. It's also okay to say that you aren't super strategic in what you're doing. And this is one that has really hit me recently is that I am not an organized person by nature. I'm just not.

 

You can come look at my desktop or my computer. You can look at my Asthana boards. You can look at my phone. You can look at my house and you'll know I'm not organized. It's just I love the idea of it. In fact, yesterday one of the things they did to just help clear my head for a few minutes is I went out to the garage and we have a refrigerator in our garage, which is where we keep all of our like, drinks and waters and sodas and all.

 

You know, Lacroix is in any adult drinks is out there just so it doesn't clutter our inside fridge. And I went out there, I was like, you know, we have all of these cases of waters and drinks that we've purchased ahead of time and we've kind of stocked up on some things. I'm like, I'm just going to undo them all and put them in the fridge and make them look really pretty. And so I did I took like 20 minutes and I cleaned out that fridge and I reorganized.

 

I have like a whole shelf, a bottle water and a whole shelf, a sparkling waters and a whole shelf of sodas. And it feels it feels really good. And it's a simple little thing. And that's not something I guarantee you. It will not stay that way as much as I would love for it to stay that way. It's not going to just because I know myself and I know that when things get busy again, I'm not going to take the time to take every water bottle out of the plastic and put it on a shelf.

 

I'm just going to throw the whole thing in there and pull him out as we go. So that's just not my nature to want to be organized. And when it comes to my business, there are so many times I feel like I'm failing because I'm not strategic, because I'm not organized, because I don't have this five year plan, because I like to see what happens and roll with the punches. And I've said this on here before, that that's just kind of how I am.

 

I'm very fly by the seat of my pants and I'm having to learn that it's okay to be that way, that even though all of the how to books and all of the websites and all of the things we'll tell you have a plan, schedule things out in advance. And yes, I do schedule things out in advance to some degree, but I'm not going to do it to the point that I have my entire life and my day and my month and my week and my business scheduled out for months at a time.

 

It's just not going to happen. And I know that about myself. And I'm able to to work with that. I'm able to run a successful business. I'm able to keep my family sane. Mostly I'm able to keep my household running without having every moment be planned, without having every moment be some kind of strategic move to get my business moving forward. I'm just doing the best that I can right now. And that's okay. It's okay if I'm just doing the best that I can right now.

 

And I want to say that one more time, because they think that out of everything on my list and this is going to be the biggest one, and that is it's okay if you're just doing the best that you can do. If the best that you can do is you got out of bed this morning and you took a shower and your kids are still alive, then you're doing great. If the best that you can do is that you are able to get one day more on your schedule, that's great.

 

If the best that you can do is that you are able to finish out an entire program that you've been working on or a product you've been designing or you're creating something new in your business, that's wonderful. We're all capable of doing the best that we can. And our our best are not going to look the same. You know, I have so many girlfriends I see on social media right now, and some of them are killing it at this home-schooling thing.

 

But maybe their house is a disaster. And there are some of them who are just geniuses when it comes to pivoting their business and doing amazing things to create income right now. But maybe their kids and their family and their household or their health are falling behind or the ones who are doing three workouts a day at home. But yet maybe their business is failing. It just we don't know. We don't know what other people have going on. And so the comparison thing, we've got to stop that.

 

And again, I'm saying this just for myself as much as for anybody else. Right now, we're spending so much time on the Internet, we're spending so much time on social media. And there's so many posts of people saying, look what I'm doing at home and look how I'm making this work and look what I'm accomplishing here. They can be really easy to think that you're not doing enough, but it's okay to just be doing the best that you can do what ever that looks like.

 

And maybe the best that you can do is turn off the Instagram and Facebook and just focus on you. Just do the best that you can do. Q My next one I wrote down was It's okay if you're doing this to make. Money.

 

You know, I just had an episode recently where we talked about this and the fact that right now people are struggling financially and with a lot of businesses that are unable to function, they have to find another way to make money or they will not come out of this. Okay. You know, I'm in a lot of Facebook groups and I see a lot of the posts from photographers and florists and hairdressers that are talking about how they may not come out of this, that they can't find a way to make money from home because they can't go out and shoot sessions now.

 

They can't work on people's hair. They can't create that whatever it is that they create. And so they're having to pivot their business. And in this time, it can feel opportunistic to say, I want to make money off of X, Y or Z, because we all have to feed our families. We all have to put a roof over our heads. We all have to do what we have to do to survive in this time. And if that means that you are creating a new business or you're pivoting the business you already have in order to make money.

 

Don't feel bad about that. It's okay if you're doing something to make money right now. You know, we all are having to step outside of our comfort zones. And that's one of the silver linings I'm seeing in all this is it's really been interesting to watch the news at night and see how different businesses are getting creative with how they can make money right now and whether that is having a pie through, which is like a drive-through where you get to pick up pies or if it is creating something online that people need creating a service that can help somebody right now, whatever it might be.

 

It's okay to charge for that. I'm not saying go out and charge thousands of dollars for a course on how to create freezer meals for families, make it affordable, but make it so that you are earning money. It's okay to do that, guys. We have to be able to make money. And if there's anybody that is telling you otherwise or making you feel guilty for that, then you need to block that from your life right now, which is really easy to do when you don't see them in person, just saying you can click, unfollow, you can click to block somebody or you can just tell them I have to do what's best for my family and I can't listen to you right now.

 

So it's okay if you're doing this to make money. So number four on my list I think I'm on four is a really big one for me. And I have recently realized that this is one of the biggest blocks. And when I say recently, I mean, like yesterday, I have realized that this is one of the biggest blocks of my business right now, and that is that it's okay. If you don't look perfect, it's okay. To not be a size 2, it's OK to not have perfect hair or a perfect smile or perfect skin or perfect clothes or a perfect house.

 

It's okay to not look perfect. I have strughold for so long with my weight. I have struggled for so long with my appearance and my confidence in my appearance and my competence in my own skin. And when I got into the entrepreneur space and when I started having success, when I started putting myself out there more and I started comparing myself to the other big names and the boss babe world. And I'm I'm not going to say who they are, but you can probably guess who they are right about now.

 

When you start looking at the heavy hitters in this world of female entrepreneurs, most of them are going to be thin and beautiful and have this gorgeous house and this gorgeous studio.

 

They shoot it all the time and it can be really intimidating. And I didn't understand just how much it gotten to me until recently when I started looking at what was keeping me from doing things, what's keeping me from putting myself on social media more, what's keeping me from creating video content, what's keeping me from doing webinars and virtual workshops. And the biggest thing that was keeping me from doing that was how I look. I didn't see myself in those people's shoes because when I looked at those people, all I saw was beautiful.

 

My version of beautiful. And I don't see that in myself and. Sorry. Give me a second. It took me a little while to realize that that's OK, that it's okay if I don't look perfect. It's okay if I don't look like I have it altogether because I don't I'm not comfortable in my skin right now. And I'm not going to be like those other women on social media who are wearing cute little jeans and tops right now.

 

I'm gonna be in my sweatshirt and I'm gonna be in my cozy pants. I'm gonna be in my house shoes with no makeup on and my hair up.

 

And what occurred to me yesterday when I had this sort of aha moment was that somebody out there listening to this. Somebody out there watching my Instagram feed, watching my Facebook post. They're gonna see their cell themselves in me because I had that happen with somebody else. There's a another female entreprenuer, who is a well-known author and speaker and an amazing woman that I follow on Instagram. And when I first saw her book in the stores, my first thought was, she's not super thin and not in a bad way.

 

She's beautiful, absolutely beautiful. But she's not the typical skinny, beautiful, perfect hair, big white smile flaunting on the cover of a book. She's not that person. And I saw for the first time myself in that cover of that book. And she'll be the first to tell you. I've seen her Instagram stories about it. She had a panic attack basically over the idea that she did not look the way she thought she should look on the cover of a book.

 

And that's exactly how I feel. It's really hard to see yourself in a leadership role when the leadership roles that you have looked up to, you can't relate to. And even the ones I thought I could relate to because of my body image have gone and changed their body, which just leads me even more down the path of, oh, I have to look a certain way to be successful. And that's just not true. But it's it's taking me a long time.

 

And I'm not there. I'm not there. I'm telling you right now. This is not me saying I'm there. It's me saying I have finally realized that this is a block that I have. It's me finally admitting that I don't feel comfortable enough in my skin to think I can be successful. Which sounds ridiculous when you say it out loud, but it's 1000 percent how I feel. It's hard for me to look out at the landscape of all of the women who have gone before me and find someone that I can relate to physically.

 

And so just being able to say it's okay if I don't look a certain way I can still find success is something that I'm gonna have to put in the books as something I'm working on. And I'll keep you posted. I'll let you know how it's going. But for now, I'm just telling you, this is my letter to myself of how I need to improve, how I need to get better and how I need to get better is to internalize the fact that it's okay if I don't look a certain way.

 

It's okay if I don't feel like I look like everybody else I see in the female entrepreneur space because I don't want to be like everybody else in the female entreprenuer space. I want to be different. And that doesn't mean I don't to be healthy. And don't see fit and I don't want to lose a little weight. I do. But I don't want to feel like I have to look a certain way. And so that is something I'm going to be working on and I'm going to remind myself every single day whether I put on my mirror over there, I put on my desktop somewhere where I put this line.

 

It's okay if I don't feel like I look perfect.

 

Which kind of Segways into the next thing I wrote down, which was it's OK if other things don't look perfect. It's the same idea that when you go on social media and you see all these people posting about what they're doing right now, they're posting videos from their kitchen that's clean and beautiful and has so much sunlight coming in or they're posting photos of these amazing activities they're doing with their kids or they're posting photos of their oh, I just woke up and I'm still laying in bed.

 

And yet their hair and their makeup is perfect. It's okay if things don't look perfect. You know, this is one of my biggest pet peeves with just social media and everything in general is I get so tired of people saying I want to share the real and the raw and the not so shiny with you. And yet everything they share is shiny, even they're not so shiny. Looks shiny when they post their workouts or their post-workout selfie. They have that perfect glow in their hands, all perfectly up in a messy bond or in a cute little hat.

 

And I'm sorry, that's just not reality. And maybe that's their reality. But it's not the reality for most of us. Or when they post a picture of the healthy meal, they're cooking for their family and their kids. I'll happily sitting around the table eating dinner. That is not reality for most of us. And it's OK if your reality doesn't look like what you see on social media. It's okay if things don't look perfect. You know, I've spent the last three days not doing anything in my business because I could not get myself to come into the office and work.

 

I was not in the right headspace. I just wasn't I. I just I could not make myself do anything. And even my kids, like we would go outside. We had one or two days of sunshine, the few days of sunshine that we've had. And so I was like, let's go outside. And I wanted so badly to go out there and be active and play with them. And there were times I just couldn't do it. And I it kept me from putting anything on social media because I didn't have my issue together.

 

I didn't have it together. I could not. I could not compete with all of the moms out there posting photos of their kids, creating these elaborate chalk art things in their driveway. I couldn't compete with the parents who are posting all of the homeschool success that they were having. I couldn't compete in my mind with all the other greatness I was seeing on social media. My house was a mess. Piles of laundry. The kids rooms were a disaster.

 

We haven't gone out of our pajamas in a couple of days. I'm not making healthy meals. I'm not making healthy choices. I'm snacking like crazy. My hair has not been or has not seen a hair dryer or a straightener in days. My face has not felt make up in weeks probably, and I did not feel like that my life was perfect enough to put out on social media. And so I've used that excuse as an excuse to not get things done.

 

But I'm telling myself that it's okay if things don't look perfect. It's okay if I post a video and there are dishes in the sink behind me. It's OK if I post a picture of my kids coloring on an Amazon box with right of wrapping paper scraps and random art supplies on the floor all around them, mixed in with dog hair and other things on the floor. I haven't cleaned up yet. It's OK because that's my reality. And while some people want to see the shiny and they can relate to that, that's great.

 

But there's a lot of people out there listening. And it might be you who is listening to this and thinking, yeah, my house is a mess too. And it would be kind of nice to see somebody else share that. And so this is me giving all of us permission to say it's okay if things don't look perfect. The next thing I put down, I've got two more. One is it's OK if you take your time.

 

I had a really hard time with this one with my photography business, and I'm struggling with this right now in the grow means business business. And that is that I am an impatient person. I want things to happen and I want them to happen quickly. When I set my mind to something, I want it right now. And so when I started my photography business and it took me seven years to get it to a place where it is booming and successful and sustainable and allows our family to do things that we couldn't do before.

 

Seven years is a long time. You know, when I started my photography business, I thought when I have my daughter, I want to be home. When I had my first, I was like, I want to make this a business that allows me to quit my job and stay home and enjoy my time with her. And guys, I wasn't able to quit my job until she was in kindergarten. And while part of that broke my heart because it meant that I missed out on that window of time to spend with her at home before school started.

 

I could not read myself into the ground trying to get my business to move any faster and work a full time job and build a house and have a child and get pregnant with a second child. I couldn't do it and I wasn't going to compromise my health or my mental health to do that. And so I had to take into account that it's okay if things take time. It's OK for your business to not grow right now. It's okay if your business idea has taken you five years instead of one year, or maybe it's taking you three years instead of three months.

 

There is no rule on what the timeline is for growing a business. You know, I hear this a lot with artists, you know, singers. They talk about how as soon as they write their song hits the radio, everyone's a huge success. They your overnight success. When the reality is they have been working, their rear ends off for years to get to that point. And all we see is the success point. And then what happens from there?

 

And so when you look at all of these other business owners online and you see the success they're having, you're seeing the part of the iceberg that's out of the water. You're not seeing all the stuff that went into it underneath to get there. You're not seeing the years of work they put in. You're not seeing the empty rooms they spoke to. You're not seeing the times they posted on social media. And nobody saw it because nobody knew who they were.

 

And that's where I find myself sometimes in my business. You know, I see success in my photography business, and it's at a place where I'm really happy with with with what's happening there. And when I started this when I started the podcast, I started the Grauman's business site. I expected my success to happen overnight because of what I had built in my photography business. And when that didn't happen, I got discouraged and I got frustrated and I felt like I was not doing something I should be doing.

 

But the reality is, this is a whole new business. It's a baby business and it's going to take time. And I just have to keep showing up. So even if I record this episode and I put it out there and nobody listens to it, I'm gonna keep recording these episodes. I'm going to keep putting him out there and I'm going to keep creating content. I'm going to keep posting on social media. I mean, I keep doing the things I want to do, even if nobody listens.

 

Because at some point someone's going to listen. And at some point, somebody is going to get value from this. And so if you are finding yourself in your business and you're thinking it's just not working. It's just not moving at the speed, I want it to move. Take a moment and tell yourself it's OK if this takes time. It's okay if only one person sees it. It's OK if only three people buy it. When I put it online and said the 330 or 300 I wanted, it's okay if your business takes time.

 

All good things take time to grow. And the last one, which kind of ties into this is it's OK if you fail. It's OK if something doesn't go the way that you had planned. It's OK if you have a goal and you don't achieve it. If you go back and listen to one of my January episodes about goal setting, I set a goal that I wanted to create and launch a course by March of this year. And we're into March.

 

We're into April. Sorry, I'm off my months. We're the April. And that chorus is no closer to being done than it was two months ago, because I'm just not ready. I'm not there yet. And can I call that a failure? Probably. I didn't meet my goal. But does that mean I'm giving up on that idea? Not at all. You know, I have goals for how many downloads each episode of this podcast get and when I don't reach that goal.

 

It's frustrating. And it's so easy to feel like it's a failure and it's so easy to want to say I quit. But I'm going to keep pushing through because even though I haven't met that goal, that doesn't mean I'm a failure. And even if an idea that you have falls flat, it may not be the idea was a failure. Maybe it was the way it was presented. Maybe it was the way that you worded your advertisments. Maybe it was the way that you put it out into the world.

 

Just because something fails, just because something doesn't work the way you think it should. Doesn't mean that it is a complete and total failure. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Figure out how to take what you've already done and make it better. It's okay to fail as long as you get back up again. It's only OK to fail if you use it as an opportunity to learn something. You know, I look at the subscription service.

 

I started back in the fall that in all regards to be considered a failure. But I'm not going to give up on that idea. Because I think it's a great idea. But I'm going to repackage it. I'm gonna revamp it. I've been taking time to look at it and really figure out, is this what my audience needs or is it what I think they need? I'm looking at it as a chance to learn something. I'm looking at it as a chance to try something new.

 

And I'm looking at it as a chance to start fresh again and figure out how to do it correctly this time. So don't look at your failures as just this is a failure and that's it. I'm done. Look at it as this one didn't work out the way I want it to. So what can I do differently next time? It's okay if you fail. I guarantee you every single business owner out there in the world can tell you they have had a failure or multiple failures at some point in their business.

 

I would challenge you to find me one business owner who has not experienced failure. And if you can, there's a good chance they're lying to you because there is no failure. If you're not taking risk and you have to take risks in your business, right now is the perfect time to do that. Find a way to pivot your business and take a risk and try something new and see if it works. And if it doesn't work, then figure out how you can turn it into something that does or figure out how you can learn from it.

 

But it's okay if you fail. All right, guys, so I know this might sound like me just kind of rambling and I apologize for that if it does, but I needed to get this out of my head because like I said multiple times, this was just as much for me as it is for any of you listening. Everything I wrote down this list are things that I'm telling myself right now. I'm telling myself that it's OK to not know what I'm doing.

 

It's OK if I'm not organized or strategic. It's OK if I'm doing this to make money. It's okay if I don't look perfect and it's okay if other things in my life don't look perfect. It's OK if I take my time and it's OK if I fail. And so if any of those are something that you need to tell yourself, write it on a sticky note and put on your mirror. You know, write it in a journal, write it somewhere, put it into writing, because that's the best way to make something come to life.

 

In my opinion, to put it on paper. Somehow, some way, make a point to remind yourself that it's okay if and then fill in your blank. You know, I've got seven blanks and I'm gonna be working on these. And that's my promise to you, is that I'm not just putting this out there and saying I'm putting out there and I'm done. I'm not near done. These are all things that I have to work on for myself and for my business and for getting better as a person and getting better as a business owner.

 

And so whatever your blank is, keep working on it. And if you're ready to share that with the world and put it out there, because let me tell you, it's easy for me to record this right now. It's not as easy for me to hit publish on it. But I'm going to do it because I want to be held accountable. I want you all to know that these are things I'm working on. And so go over to the Girl Means Business Facebook group.

 

I'm going to link it in the show notes. If you're not a member of that group, go join. And let's talk about what is it? Is your blank? What is it that you're saying? It's OK if. What do you need accountability on? Let's help each other out. Let's help and make sure that everybody's working on something and getting better and feeling good. Because it's really easy to not feel good right now. And I know I have had days I'm having days where I don't feel good, but I want to feel better and I want to do better and I want to be better.

 

All right, guys, thank you so much for listening this week. Thank you for letting me ramble. Thank you for letting me have a place where I can open up and share my thoughts and ideas. Feel free to head over to the Facebook group and share your thoughts and ideas. And I hope you have a wonderful week. I will see you back here next week. Same time. Same place.

 

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