I’m an open book when it comes to how my beautiful baby girl came into this world, but it is still something that not many people know. You see, my daughter is commonly referred to as our little science experiment that went amazingly right! In other words, she is an IVF baby.
After years of trying, ups and downs, specialists, treatments, giving up and trying again, we were finally successful with IVF. While our journey was not as tortuous as some, it certainly took some strength and resiliency to get through.
And I got to thinking the other day about how this journey ultimately led to my business journey. You see, if you ask anyone that knows me why I got into business, they will probably tell you it was to be able to stay home with my kids. And that is very true.
I went through so much to get my baby girl, the last thing I wanted to do was have someone else take care of her the majority of the time. But, we also went through all our savings in our quest so I had to do something.
After having her, I realised I could pretty much do whatever I set my mind to. If I got through that, surely I could figure out how to use my 20 years corporate experience to stay home AND earn money.
While I sometimes feel like I stumbled into the world of being a Virtual Assistant, it was the persistence and determination I had learned through my previous battles that allowed it to grow and become successful, even through the miraculous and surprising appearance of my little natural wonder of a son.
So, how does going through an infertility battle relate to business? Well, I learnt a lot…
The importance of failure
Thankfully, we did not have as many set backs as a lot of people out there, but there were still a few ‘failed attempts’. However, each failure led us to learn something else about why this wasn’t working and each failure ultimately led to success.
It is the same in business, failure is not an end. It is simply something to learn from to create your ultimate success. Sure, you may need to try a different approach, but keep going and you will get there.
To look after myself
The whole journey takes a bit of a toll not only on your mental health and the emotional ups and downs, but your physical health takes a beating too. You get sluggish and fatigued with random aches and pains all on top of being bloated, bruised and just plain battered. If you don’t take care of yourself, you simply cannot function.
Going for daily walks, eating well and resting properly all become vital for both my physical health and the hormonal roller coaster I was on. As business owners, we can fall victim to working ourselves into the ground. We forget to exercise, we don’t have time to eat well and rest? We don’t even know what that is.
But, we need to remember that ignoring these elements will eventually lead to exhaustion, burnout and potential illness. So, take care of yourselves!
How to tap in to my inner strength
Infertility is not easy! The constant cycle of hope and then failed attempts. Being met with doctors, clinics, invasive tests, daily injections, procedures, all the time feeling like something is wrong with you. Then you get there, you’ve been through it all only to find out… it didn’t work.
If I can deal with all that, nothing can stop me. Just kidding, I get setbacks and sometimes find it hard to cope, but on those days, I remember the tricks I learnt on the road to motherhood. Things like taking time out, journaling and just being kind to myself. I learnt to review, reframe and reset, to focus on the positive while having realistic expectations. All of these little things have helped to build my resilience and keep me going during those moments when you just want to throw it all in.
Have a dream? Go for it!
My sister has a Pandora bracelet and every single one of ‘her babies’ are represented on it. My daughters charm? It’s a Disney quote “A dream is a wish your heart makes”. While I’m not a massive fan of Cinderella (the feminist in me has some questions), I am a massive Disney fan and this quote could not be a more perfect representation for my daughter. I never really realised until I had her that when your heart really wants something, you will stop at nothing to get it.
We often have goals in business, but it is the ultimate vision – the dream – that keeps us going. Maybe that dream is, like me, to be able to spend as much time with your kids as possible without losing yourself completely to motherhood and to help other Mums do the same.
For others the dream is flexibility, financial freedom, making an impact on the world. Whatever your dream, go for it! Let your heart make that wish, turn it into a dream and put your all into making it happen. You just might find that it is everything you ever wanted.