When I returned from my summer blogging hiatus last year, I shared a post about how I was learning how to do less while achieving the same results. It was a hard lesson taught to me during the pandemic because that’s what the stress and tension will do to just about anyone. So many of us pulled back on what we were either capable of or just not interested in doing during COVID. It’s been a great lesson and one that I’ve continued to learn as the year has gone on and the demands of my life and work have continued to become more intense.
I’ve been dealing with the harsh reality of my schedule over the past few months. I received a message from a reader who told me they missed my old posts that weren’t about clients and capsules and wished for my dedicated posts about how to wear certain things or posts on how to style pieces multiple ways. Well, sure, sometimes I miss those posts too. It was nice to have that level of free time to devote to separate dedicated posts exclusively for my blog. In this post that you are reading right now, I didn’t know what the topic was going to be until Sunday night because I didn’t have any time last week to think about what I was going to write about. Last week was a blur and this past weekend, I had three meetings on Saturday and caught up with work all day Sunday.
I love blogging, and writing is like oxygen for me, but blogging doesn’t keep the lights on for my business. It has never been my intention to become a full-time blogger and my blog is simply a free resource that makes a little extra revenue, and sometimes channels new clients. At the end of the day, the amount of time I spend blogging cannot be equal to or more than the time I spend on client work because it’s my clients who do keep the lights on and make it possible for me to have a blog in the first place. As client work grows the amount of time spent blogging must shrink unless someone can magically carve out more hours in a workday. I’ve tried, you can’t.
To be clear, I’m not giving up blogging and I will be posting at least once a week. What I am giving up is the demand that I blog twice a week, at least for now. Twice a week is a reality I cannot sustain right now. I need to alleviate one less layer of pressure. Should divine inspiration strike or I have time, one week I might publish a second blog post, but, I make no promises. This is the best I can do. I’m not going away and I’m not giving up this outlet that brings me joy, gives me a space to write or allows me to connect with you.
No Problem Can Be Solved From The Consciousness That Created It
Last week, I added another member to my team, my sister, Beth. It happened quite by accident. She and I were texting and I mentioned how crazy things had been with work and she offered to help with anything she might be able to do. I could immediately think of a ton of ways she could get involved. Despite having recently upped Rachel’s hours as my assistant, we both continued to remain overloaded, and often the smaller tasks that are easy to back burner, like data entry, started to pile up. Despite my sister not having any training or background in fashion or meaningful interest in what I do, I knew if Beth could successfully raise three exceptional kids, she sure as heck could track and keep our data up to date.
By expanding and bringing new team members into the fold, I’ve also opened myself up to objectivity from others which has been incredibly helpful and eye-opening. When I bring in a new team member I not only address my company’s pain points and hopefully solve them, I allow someone else to bring their expertise and strengths to the table. Case in point, on Saturday, while Beth, Rachel, and I were having a meeting and I was taking Beth through some processes, she called out where we were keeping a file and said, because she’s my sister, “that’s dumb! You’re wasting time, we should keep the files there instead.” Up until this year, I’ve been operating my business by myself since 2002, it was my consciousness alone that has created everything about my business. I didn’t think I would value the level of objectivity I have received by expanding as much as I have. Just because I am the boss does not mean I don’t learn from those who report to me.
Objectivity with Your Wardrobe and Style: The Consciousness That Created The Problem Is Not Going to Solve It
One of the greatest gifts to the human race, Albert Einstein, was a delightfully playful and quirky man who agreed with me that socks are unnecessary and that a shoe should be sufficient enough to hold a foot. I hear that and agree, Alby E. He also said, “the consciousness that created the problem is not going to solve it,” which is up there with one of my favorite quotes of all time,” I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, but often mistaken for Voltaire.
Speaking of quotes I love, one of my favorite sayings, when someone is doing something they think is productive but isn’t, is to say they are “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.” It just makes me laugh and is so visually descriptive. Talk about a trivial task. It’s somewhat similar to Einstein’s quote in that if you use the same consciousness to solve a problem that was used to create the problem, you’re going to basically spin in circles and is about as productive as rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
I thought about Einstein’s quote when reading a post from an absolutely lovely member of my Facebook Group posted about all the stress a recent closet edit was causing her. She spoke about what sounded like a lot of overthinking that was filled with seemingly good insights and ‘aha’ moments that seemed helpful but didn’t appear like they’d be all that useful in the long run. Despite all her hard, exhausting work, she was still left with a lot of questions and few answers. Her post was meant as a vent session which was very much supported by the other group members and her frustrations were understandable considering the time she invested and how little her efforts produced in the end.
I’m sure it didn’t make her feel better that I told her I could get her wardrobe whipped into shape in no time but, of course, I could because what this member was trying to use was the same consciousness to solve her closet issue as the one that created her problem in the first place. There was no way she wasn’t going to be stuck in the same place she started when she was done.
Your Best Thinking Got You Here
Isn’t this what we all do in one form or another in at least one situation in our lives and then wonder why we can’t fix it? Not to make this group member feel worse, but my guess is that she will never think her way out of this problem. Clients call me all the time and assume there is no possible way I can fix their style problems because, to them, they’ve already tried everything and, surely they must the unfixable lost cause. They’ve turned over every rock, tried every possibility, shopped every store, attempted every style system, and taken every quiz. What they didn’t consider is they would be able to move mountains if they just changed their consciousness and brought in an objective perspective. Instead, what they thought was productive was just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
If you research how the brain goes about making decisions, which I did because I’m a nerd with Google, according to the theories of some researchers, memory and past experience is a big factor that plays into how humans solve problems. It was hypothesized that individual memories are stored as separate traces in the hippocampus region of the brain, and a crucial brain mechanism that loops out of the hippocampus allows the brain to retrieve those memory traces and connect them to other relevant past events.
When the hippocampus retrieves a memory, it recirculates the activation back into the hippocampus, triggering the retrieval of other related memories. The study shed insight into the underlying mechanisms of episodic memory and how it is used to help make new insights and solve problems, which can also prove why our thinking alone is not always the best way to get ourselves out of our own pickles.
This is not a suggestion that you now have to go and hire the fanciest, most expensive expert on the planet to solve your struggles, whatever they may be. It also doesn’t mean that you will never solve your own dilemmas by yourself. Have you ever stared at a problem too long and had someone with fresh eyes come in and see the solution immediately, or gotten a good night’s sleep and woken up and seen the answer to your issue clear as day? I can’t tell you how many things I have solved in the shower. The next time you get stuck or are convinced you have exhausted every solution, instead of going back at it again the same way you’ve tried to solve it before, stop and consider that maybe you’ve just been looking at it the wrong way and try another approach or get an objective opinion. Speaking from personal experience, it’s made a huge difference for me.
As I continue to bring you blogs and commit to maintaining the same level of value in the content I provide, I thank you for providing me graciousness and space as I feel my way through this year which continues to be one of the most gloriously challenging years that I wouldn’t trade. Growing both personally and professionally at a breakneck pace has challenged and brought me tremendous joy and extreme satisfaction about what I do. In all things, I remain committed to excellence. So it is with the hope that you understand I would rather do less and do it well than spread myself thin and not give you my best.
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It astounds me that so many people are expected to provide their time and expertise for free on the internet. It’s completely reasonable that you need to to spend your available time on your paid work. A lot of blogs I’ve followed have reduced their frequency or stopped blogging, presumably when they come to the same realisation. I’ll still enjoy your weekly posts, and I for one love reading about your client capsules!
Thank you Bonnie. I think it can be hard for people to realize how long things can take to accomplish and so a seemingly simple request winds up being a big ask. I always say, it takes a lot of work for something to look effortless. I also have a habit of sacrificing my own time/energy/wellbeing for the good of the whole quite often, so as you can probably imagine, I’ve been running myself ragged for quite a while and this decision did not come easy. But this past week the writing was just on the wall. I truly appreciate the exact level of kindness and understanding from you I was hoping for.
The week we went into lockdown in 2020, I wasn’t sure I’d have a business at all by the end of the pandemic. The fact that I am pulling back the amount I blog because business has grown so big is miraculous. That is a blessing you definitely don’t take for granted. Thank you again. ❤️
You do what you need to do, to maintain your sanity and your standards. I enjoy reading your blog. I find a lot of value in your client capsules, as well as your other content. Engineering brain = I appreciate that you have informed (me) of your intention to post 1x/week. (It’s a weird thing – I swear when the expectations have been adjusted, grace is easier to give. Especially to myself – for example: Expectation is get up early on Saturday and make a big breakfast. Reality: sleep in Saturday, beat myself up all day. Where as changing the expectation to : Saturday, do whatever you feel like, leads to waking up early & big breakfast, or sleeping in late and having cereal, but no guilt either way. I digress…) Thank you for sharing your gift and talent with the world, in the form of personalized & paid wardrobe help AND more generic/universal help. You are appreciated. I appreciate you. I’m so happy for you that your business is expanding and thriving 🙂
This is so timely for me, as I’m thinking of cutting back a bit too.
And those quotes just totally speak to me. I even thought it was so when I was a practicing dentist. I didn’t want another dental consultant team to come to figure out how to run my practice, I wanted someone with a fresh set of eyes. That’s when you figure out new and innovative ways.
I was told once that we are too busy and don’t take the time to just sit and think. That could be what is missing in creating new ideas.
I think how you presented this is exactly what I try to say many days. We can’t expect to change our style if we are always buying the same type of clothes and such!!!
Have a fabulous week,
Your fashion knowledge, insight, professionalism, common sense, and writing style are some of the big points of why I have remained in your loop for several years. I’ve learned so much. I so enjoy the community of people you have gathered around your blog and FB group.
Hurrah for having such business growth!! Hurrah for hiring staff!! Hurrah for taking care of hubby’s health and yours while running a thriving business!!
Thank you for letting us know that life is full for you!