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Sometimes business owners get into a swirl and a spin. There are many decisions to be made. Many lives that could be impacted by those decisions. In this episode, Julie shares a story about being in that overwhelmed space, and how her key employee said one sentence that helped pull Julie out of it. In this reflective podcast, Julie also shares how important these statements are to being a leader of leaders.
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Hey there, you’re listening to They Don’t Teach This in Business School, a podcast about lessons learned on the business owner journey that only experience can teach. I’m Julie Bee, and I’m really glad you’re here today with me.
Before I get into today’s episode, I’m so excited to share this news about my forthcoming book, The Business Owner’s Guide to Burnout. Being published by the same group that published Traction, it will be available for pre-order in later 2023. So stay tuned for updates!
Have you ever had someone put you right-side up? Maybe you were going through a stressful time in your life. Maybe you were experiencing burnout. Maybe you had too many decisions to make and were suffering from decision fatigue. If you’re anything like me as a business owner, you can probably relate to all of those statements.
In many of those situations, we, as business owners, are pretty good at getting ourselves back to square, back to level. Regulating ourselves, showing resilience, and reprioritizing our work to reframe what needs reframed.
But every once in a while, we aren’t. We can get stuck. In those times, it’s a huge blessing to have someone who helps put us “right-side up.” I have someone like that on my team at work.
Her name is Eileen.
Eileen has this amazing ability to, when I get in a spin about something at work, put me right side up. Here’s a quick story.
A few months ago, I was just twisted up about a big decision. Well, there were several big decisions to make about my book. I was swimming in options and opportunities, and there were just too many things. Too many options to consider. Too many opinions to hear. It had gotten to the point where I was so frustrated, I almost stopped working on my book, The Business Owner’s Guide to Burnout. For several days, maybe even a couple of weeks, I expressed some of this frustration to Eileen.
And then one day, we were talking on Slack about something entirely unrelated to this frustration. We were talking about an image of me on social media that, for some reason when I posted it, had posted upside down. I just didn’t have the desire or the time to fix it. Eileen took it, fixed it, and then said to me, “I had to turn you right side up.”
Hey there, I’m Julie Bee, and you’re listening to They Don’t Teach This in Business School. Today’s episode is about being set right side up, and specifically the people in our lives who do that.
I just shared a story about how Eileen, my key employee, said, “I had to turn you right side up,” in a conversation about a fairly ordinary task. But that comment hit me at a time and place when it became about so much more than a social media post.
I saved that comment in Slack, and I’ve thought a great deal about it since them. Have you ever talked with someone about something unrelated to whatever you’re struggling with, and they say something that just strikes you as capital T TRUTH? And even though you’re not talking specifically about your VIPs – your very important problems or very important possibilities – what that person says suddenly applies to all of the things you have on your plate?
That’s what happened to me in that moment. I thought to myself, “That’s the most literal and figuratively accurate statement someone has said to me in a while.”
Eileen has no idea I’m recording this episode, or what it’s about, so first off – Thank you, Eileen, for always being there to put me right-side up.
But what does this have to do with you and me, the business owners, the leader of leaders in our companies?
First – pay attention to the words people say. I’m not someone who’s always looking for deeper meaning in every word or every conversation – that would be exhausting! But, there are times my closest people have said things to me that stopped me in my tracks, in a good way. That set me right side up.
When they say it, for them, it’s a statement about a specific experience that often has nothing to do with the bigger struggles you’re dealing with. For me, and probably for you, too, though – you’ll feel it on a deeper level. You’ll have an aha moment.
My best advice is to SAVE THOSE WORDS somewhere. Think about them, come back to them, let them stew a bit, and then appreciate them. Think about and write down how those words helped you in other situations.
Secondly, thank the person once you’ve had a chance to experience their words in a broader context. Let them know how profound or moving their words were to YOU. I guarantee you they have no idea because again, for them, they were most likely troubleshooting a problem or situation in one moment of time that has passed. They may not even remember saying the words to you.
And Third – just be grateful. You and I, we are on this business ownership journey together. It’s tough being a leader of leaders sometimes. It can be lonely at the top. I cannot express the depths of gratitude I have for my support system. I often journal about them. Nothing big, just one sentence of, “I’m grateful for so and so because they, or when they [ and then I fill in the blank about what I’m grateful for, about that person, in that moment].”
Part of being a leader of leaders is recognizing when other people lead you. When other people set you right side up. It’s important to note these moments. Because yes, even leaders who lead other people need to be led. An awesome leader has the confidence to lead, and also has the humility to know when they need to be led. That’s actually what makes you an AWESOME leader.
Most leaders have those people in their lives who can set them right-side up when they need it. As a leader of leaders, it’s very important for us to be aware of this and recognize it. It makes leadership and business ownership just a little easier.
I’m Julie Bee, and They Don’t Teach THIS in Business School
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