Being overly independent (a lesson from my divorce)

Sep 10, 2021

It’s been 8 years since my divorce.

I remember that one of my biggest fears during that time was:
“Can I make it on my own as a business owner?”

I started my business in 1999 and got married in 2001. While I was married my business contributed to our household income AND we still relied quite a bit on my (ex) husbands salary as well. If I was having a rough month in the business it didn’t really matter that much “Oh well, we have my husband’s income so we are good.” 

Up to the point of my divorce, I never had to rely solely on my business to support my family. To pay the bills. To take care of me and the girls.

And keeping it real – that was the scariest part of my divorce. Would my business be able to support us? Or will I have to go find a job? (Would I have to put on pantyhose and go to an office! GASP! 😉

I am proud to say that 8 years later – my business has been the sole provider for my family. Our sole source of income.

So… Have I ‘made it on my own’ as a business owner? Yes and no.

One of my biggest lessons in the past 8 years has been learning how to ask for – and receive – support.

And let me tell you, this does NOT come easily to me! I am a very independent woman by nature. There’s a part of me that hates asking for help…  my beliefs of “I should be able to do it myself” or “I don’t want to be a burden on someone else” are pretty deeply ingrained.

But it became pretty obvious post-divorce that there was no way I could do it myself. Be a mom to 2 young girls (they were only 5 & 7 when we split) AND run a business? Phew! I’m tired thinking about it even now.

  • I had to learn how to ask for more support in my business – to stop trying to do it all and let my team take on more responsibility (which they were happy to do!)
  • I had to learn how to ask for more support as a mom – to help drive the kids to school, pick them up, stay with them when I would travel or when they were driving me nutty and I needed a break
  • I had to learn how to ask for more support for ME – to be there when things were tough, to lend a hand, to be a sounding board for my problems

Strangely enough… the key to ‘succeeding on my own’ was realizing that I couldn’t do it all on my own.

I’m curious – how easy is it for you to ask for help?

Is it something that comes naturally? Or are you like me and really struggle to ask for help?

PS – This is a poem I wrote a few years ago that is so reflective of this journey. It was part of an exercise where I was writing to my ideal client, but in reality I was writing it for me. Perhaps it will strike a chord with you.

I see you powerful woman. You move mountains. You make shit happen.

I also see the burden you carry. The one you believe is yours to carry alone.

IT’S NOT.
You’ve proven yourself capable. You can do it. You’ve done it. You’ve earned it.

It’s time now for you to let go. To receive. To open yourself up to what your soul is aching for.

To be seen – not for what you do but for who you are. For your heart and not just your hustle.

GREAT MISSIONS REQUIRE A GREAT DEAL OF SUPPORT.
You are being called, and now is the time.

All you need to do is ask.

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