Last week, I shared a bit more about my work-from-home journey, and how fulfilling it has been for me to pursue a passion, earn extra income for my family, and stay at home with my kids (you all know how much of a homebody I am anyway!)
I love my current job and honestly can’t picture myself doing anything differently at this point in my life.
HOWEVER, over the past 10+ year of working from home and running my own business, there have been times when I’ve struggled with feeling like I need and want MORE — more success, more influence, more income, more clients, more advertisers, more readers, more subscribers, more followers, more comments, more resources, more tools, more posts, more pictures, more videos, more, more, more!
It’s human nature, I suppose — however, I am beyond-thankful I was eventually able to see past the “always wanting more” phase of running my business in time to realize that I really love NOT having “more” of many of the things I rattled off above.
I love that I have a fiercely loyal (but not overly-huge) group of readers.
You all are amazing!
I know so many of you by name (or by email address), I have regular conversations with hundreds of you via email and Facebook, I am able to respond to almost all your comments and questions personally, and I’ve even met many of you in real life (a few of which are actually really great friends to me now!)
I actually almost enjoy when someone pops in just to criticize or be negative because so many of you rally to my defense before I even have a chance to comment back.
You have been such a great community of support, encouragement, and wisdom for me over the years — you have offered endless parenting support, fabulous product recommendations, so many great laughs, and you’ve been constant “cheerleaders” for Dave and for myself, as we raise our children, renovate our home, and strive to simplify our lives!
Believe it or not, I actually get emails from readers who have met and befriended other readers based on comment threads started on my Facebook page or in blog comments. It’s SO fun — and something that probably wouldn’t be possible if I had millions of readers.
I love that I thoroughly enjoy what I do instead of stressing over continual growth.
There are many people in this world who simply work for a paycheck — and I completely respect that. However, this knowledge helps me to appreciate the fact that both Dave and I are SO fortunate to earn an income doing something we actually enjoy doing.
Granted, we could both most likely make quite a bit MORE money doing another type of job; but as many of you know, enjoying what you do everyday is worth quite a bit — more than money can buy, that’s for sure!
If I were obsessed with more growth, I know I would eventually burn out (especially at this point in my life with 3 young children and being pregnant). Instead, I can enjoy the writing process, share some (hopefully) helpful tips and ideas, earn an income, and continue living and enjoying the rest of my life as well.
I love that I can spend minimal time and effort working.
In the beginning, I put in countless hours upon hours getting my business and website up and running. They were long tiring days, weeks, months, and even years — but I am definitely enjoying the “fruits” of all that labor now.
Yes, I could keep putting in more and more and more time, but I truly love that I can spend a minimal amount of time and effort to keep my blog and my business humming along in “maintenance mode” (as I call it).
Eventually, there may be a time when I want to put more work and effort into building a fancier, bigger, better web presence, offering more materials, selling products, and getting more involved with social media… but not now!
I love that I have great relationships with advertisers and sponsors.
Obviously more income is always appealing (I can’t lie!). However, I’m so grateful I have always been very selective with the different companies, products, advertisers, and sponsors I’ve chosen to work with over the years.
I have built great partnerships and done repeat business with the same companies over and over and over again — which should say something for my own character and the integrity of these businesses.
I have turned down tens of thousands of dollars, fabulous products and prizes, amazing (free) vacation opportunities, book contracts, and more — simply because I didn’t feel confident or comfortable promoting that brand or working with that company. This was REALLY hard to do at times, but I believe that by sticking to my gut and not always wanting “more”, I have been able to build great relationships with the companies I do work with — and hopefully gain more respect from all of you as well.
I love that I have made a difference in so many lives – even without being “more”.
It is deeply humbling, gratifying, and even overwhelming to open my email to an inbox full of stories, thoughts, insights, (and a lot of questions!) from people I’ve never met before.
The majority of these emails share stories about how one of my blog posts, or something I shared on Facebook, impacted them, changed them for the better, helped them overcome an obstacle in their life, improved their home, benefited their family, helped someone they knew, etc. etc.
And then there are ALLLLLLLL the questions — don’t worry, I really love your questions! 🙂
Most of these emails start out by saying, “I know you have such a full schedule and probably won’t have even time to read or respond to this… but I consider you knowledgeable on ____________ and am wondering if you could help me with my problem…”
The readers are usually shocked beyond shocked when I respond (normally within 24 hours) and thrilled to have an outsider’s perspective on their issues.
I’m sure my advice is not always helpful, but so often, I know most people just want someone to listen… preferably someone who they don’t see every day or know “in real life”. I am their person to vent to, to bounce ideas off of, to tell their exciting pregnancy news when they are only 5 weeks along and can’t tell anyone else, and to share their sorrow when they can’t cry to anyone else.
To think that my not-overly-huge blog, without all the fancy resources, bells, and whistles could be helpful to so many others is the daily dose of motivation I need to keep writing day after day.
Sometimes, I feel like I can’t even put my thoughts and feelings for my blog into words — and then other days (like today) I can gush on and on for 1400+ words!
I’m sure there will always be times when I consider what it would be like to have or be “more”, but I also know I don’t NEED “more” to make a difference.
So I guess I should thank all of YOU for making the past several years so enjoyable for me. Thanks so much for all your comments, emails, and words of affirmation and encouragement. I might not be known anywhere outside of my family, friends, and my little blogging community, but I’m OK with that!
I’d also like to encourage those of you who have ever thought of starting a business, starting a charity or nonprofit organization, or starting any sort of community organization to take action!
I would have NEVER dreamed that 10 years after starting my little organizing business I would be working from home with baby #4 on the way, interacting with fellow simple-living-enthusiasts from all over the world — but wow! — it’s sure been a fun journey!
You might not think your own thoughts or ideas could really amount to anything, but you never know whose life you could touch or how you might make a difference!
And for those of you who have absolutely ZERO desire to “start” anything or be/have “more” of anything, please don’t underestimate the power you have to make a difference within your family, friends, neighbors, and community.
Even something as simple as a kind word, a well-time meal, an encouraging email or card, or a listening ear could make a huge difference in someone’s life.
You don’t always need more to make a difference!