What are you most grateful for in 2021? As we wrap up a year and head into a new one, I always like to take time to reflect upon what I’ve learned over the course of the year.
In this episode, I get personal as I share a few of my own reflections about this year and what (and who) I am most grateful for.
You’ll also get a glimpse into learning lessons that I encountered that helped me realize that it’s okay to relinquish control sometimes.
Download the Episode 85 Transcript
Welcome to the Scale Your Way podcast episode number 85.
You’re listening to the Scale Your Way podcast, where we share simple, proven strategies just for done for you service based companies. Here, you’ll learn how to scale your business on your own terms so that you can have more time money, create a bigger impact and a better life. I’m your host, Nicole Jackson Miller. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
Hello, my friends. Welcome back to the show. I’m going to be sharing with you more of a personal episode today because every November I like to talk about what I’m grateful for. Do some reflection. And I invite you to take some time to do the same. You know, the days pass by so quickly sometimes that it’s nice to just pause for a moment and reflect and express some gratitude.
And what was interesting is that as I was preparing for this episode, I was like, OK, well, what am I grateful for? What am I grateful for? And I kept reflecting on like the different stories, and I knew in my heart that the experiences that I had this year I was tremendously grateful for. So I guess that’s one thing.
But then it also came back to what I was grateful for last year, which was the incredible people in my life and how this year moved very slowly and also very quickly for me. As some of you may know I had a baby in March of this year, and it felt like for the first three months of his life, three to four months of his life, it was just almost like five years. I felt like time moved so slowly, and it’s probably because I was awake way too many hours during the day.
And then once he was like three to four months, it started speeding up. And I would say the last month or two, it’s gone by pretty quickly. So when I look back at the experiences, I will say that having a child was like nothing I could have ever imagined. It has been incredibly difficult and hard and also wonderful and incredible and amazing, and it has challenged me in so many ways.
So many of you may know I started my business, my original business as a project manager. So, you know, I like to plan. I like to know what’s happening. I like to. I have the ability to go with the flow, but I also like to have things planned so that when I’m in the moment, I it almost gives me a little bit more flexibility to be able to have things planned so I can, like really just let go and enjoy.
And I will say that many of the plans that I made for this year went completely out the window to a degree. And the biggest, I guess this is probably more of a lesson that I learned was that I I think what made it what I mean, there were parts of it that were difficult because I was like hanging on to control so much. And what I had to realize this year is really to let go of control and be OK with that. And I always knew that I like to plan and I always knew that I liked to be in control. But I think having you know any time, I think you have a major life change which having a kid is one of those times.
But I think that there’s definitely other major life changes. It almost amplifies everything. And that’s exactly what happened for me. Like, it was totally amplified the fact that like I had a plan or I read this book and, you know, things needed to go this way. And what I realize now is that I was doing something that I had never done before. And so there was a huge learning curve and also there was this surrendering that needed to happen.
And so, you know, I’m wondering if any of you can relate to this and it doesn’t necessarily have to be with having having a baby. It could be with so many other things as well. But the more I tried to control, the more I like unhappy I was, and I didn’t even realize I was doing it at the time. And I think there were a few moments. There was one book that I had that talked about like sleeping and babies. And, you know, I had had some friends who had really great success with this book and it just wasn’t working for me. And then I would find myself if, like my baby wasn’t sleeping on that schedule exactly that was like, Oh my gosh, something’s wrong. I need to fix this. What’s happening?” And it just like, stressed me out so much. And I remember talking to a few other mom friends and they were like, “Yeah, you know, sometimes those books work and sometimes they don’t. And sometimes you’re just not going to know.” And I’m like, “What do you mean? I’m not going to know.” I have to know, right?
I mean, this comes up a lot in business, too, where it’s like, you’re in it, right? Especially growing a team, right? And you know that in order to have the team succeed, then you need to let them do their job and you have a way. That you want it to work out and there’s going to be times where things are not going to go according to plan. And I think the more we can just relax into that and almost surrender into the unknown of everything, including, you know, delegating inside of our businesses and trusting team to do their job, the better it is right where we’re able to actually think better on our feet.
And that’s what happened for me a lot, and I would say that I’ve probably done that the most over the course of I mean, it was it took me a while like it took me several months. And I’m I’m sure also because I wasn’t sleeping as much, right? I couldn’t think as clearly, but I’ve noticed as I’ve let go and surrendered a bit more inside of my family life. It’s really just allowed me to be a better mom, a better human, a better wife, a better a better person.
And so, you know, as I look towards 2022, I think about, OK, how am I? How can I bring some of those lessons into my 2022 when it comes to family, when it comes to business, when it comes to, you know, certain goals that I have. And I realize that in order to actually meet some of the the visions that I have for myself, it does really require a lot of unknown.
And if you are here and growing a business, I talk about the concept of spiraling up and how in order to get to the next level, we need to address certain challenges in our business and we need to make decisions and then we need to take action. And then we are going to hit the next spiral right? And we have to look back at our experiences to see what happened, to be able to inform the next move, right? And so there’s so much unknown that goes into that. It can feel it can feel really scary.
Going back to what I’m grateful for, I and I’m pretty sure this was the same thing last year as well, but I I realized how important my support system was, and I am someone who I have a community of people. I have really, really good friendships. I would say that I am more like I have less friends with deeper connections versus more friends with not so deep connections.
And I just found connection with so many people. And really, I function usually quite independently and it’s like, OK, well, if people can help me, they can. But if not, like, I’ll just do it myself. I reached my max several times this year where I just could not do it myself and where I had to ask for help. And I also and I see this too, which was really interesting. It’s like, you know, ask for what you need. And because I was so new to being a mom and and just taking on experiences that I have never faced before, I didn’t even know what I needed.
I even know like what to ask for, and I had a few friends reach out and just like, say, “Hey, you know, checking in, how are you doing? Can I get you anything? Do you need anything?” And I had, I mean, clients, friends, business friends, family just jump in to help me. And I am so, so, so tremendously grateful for that because I wouldn’t have been able to do it alone. And being able to be vulnerable enough to show people not just my best, but also I wouldn’t even call it my worst. But it what felt like my worst and what it really was was me. Being so vulnerable and raw is what allowed me to be able to ultimately get the help that I needed.
And 2021 definitely pushed me past what I thought I could handle multiple times. And it also brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined. And I think it’s really interesting because one thing that I’ve learned to embrace over the course of the past few years and I think this originally came up for me when Kyle, my husband, was hiking the Appalachian Trail back in 2019. I think this whole idea of being able to hold multiple feelings so like I can feel sad and joyful, I can feel exhausted and and also like hopeful.
And so that was just an interesting lesson that I learned that year and this year again, just really. Really amplified that. And there were so many times, you know, we joke around about like wanting to burn your business down, right? I don’t know if if you if you’ve been a listener of the podcast, I’ve definitely had podcast episodes on this. And if you’re a client or you know me, right, it’s like we talk about like, I want to burn it all down and and I’m like, I’ll bring the fire extinguisher and you know, we’ll we can figure this out.
And there were so many times I was just like, I tap out, like, I tap out. I can’t do this. Like, Nope, somebody else. Somebody else needs to sub in, right? But. And while I say, like, there were people who came and kind of subbed in for me, right, there were people who helped me inside of my business and continued to make sure my clients were supported. There were people who came in and helped me watch my son while I was able to like rest and catch a few minutes of sleep so that I could think a little bit more clearly and function. You know, I had to come back into the game and I’m glad I did, because now it’s just everything is so much better and I’m really like, it really is true that I do believe that like half of life is just super, super challenging and really, really messy. And the other half is just wonderful. And you have to embrace the suck in order to really be able to experience the joy.
And at least that’s the experience that I’m having. I’m just kind of sharing as I’m going through this now. And since I always did really operate kind of as a solo person, I never really leaned into the experience of having like a community in a village and people who really took care of each other. I did. I mean, I have a great family, I have great friends.
But again, I think it was more me feeling vulnerable, like expressing vulnerability to be able to ask for, like what I truly needed, even when I didn’t know what it was. And also to have the people around me that were able to say, like, “Hey, how are you doing? What do you need?” Or like, make some suggestions was just super, super powerful. So I’m really grateful. I’m really, really grateful for the experiences that I’ve had this year and then also for the people who were there along the way. And even in, sometimes it didn’t even have to be in a huge way, right? It could just be a comment in like my messages or something or a text message.
And sometimes it was, you know, I had people bringing us food and and helping out in that way. And it just made such a difference. And ultimately, it’s making me a better person because I’m realizing how important that is and and it’s helping me be a better support person to others who might be going through challenging experiences regardless of what what they are.
So that is my past, my reflection for today, and I am super grateful that you are here and listening and I’m grateful for you. I never could have imagined that when I started this podcast that I would have so many people who are reaching out and sharing with me that the content is super helpful. Sometimes it feels like I’m just talking to myself here, and I know, I know that you are listening. But right now in my room, I have a microphone and my dog sitting here, so please reach out to me. You can reach out to me on Instagram, @NicoleJacksonMiller is my handle.
And let me know what would be helpful to you. How can I support you? And if you want to share with me what you’re grateful for this year, I would love to hear you know about maybe a lesson that you’ve learned and then also one thing that you are grateful for. All right, everyone. I hope you have a great rest of your week and I will see you next time.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you are ready to stop settling for being a done for you service provider and really fully step into the role of agency owner and CEO and lead a team that you love that just delivers excellent client results, then you have to check out my new program called AGENCY, which is specifically designed to remove you from at least 50 percent of client delivery in 12 months or less, so that you can have the time in the space to be able to run your business and, you know, to take a tech free vacation, too. That’s always nice, right? So if you’re interested in learning more, head over to NicoleJacksonMiller.com/apply.
You can learn more about the program. If it looks like a good fit, then apply and we will send you before our call, we’ll send you a free business assessment that will really explain more about the framework that we use to remove you from client delivery, and it’ll give you an assessment that you can take to really show where you are now and where you’re going. We’ve had so many people get a lot of insight just from taking that assessment, so I can’t wait for you to check it out.