Ok friends, let’s talk business.
Because to be honest, I’ve been mom’ing hard on this blog. But I had promised I would keep it real in terms of business too. So, here we go.
Ten months later … perhaps a few of you are curious to know how my business is faring from the other side of the world. Well, I’m happy to share that the business is alive and well, and I’ve learned a few things along the way about how to do this from so far away.
For starters, let’s start with the fact that after reviewing our 2018 financials, Her Corner Inc. had its best year ever last year, while I was on the other side of the world for half of that time.
So … either:
- We laid a really good foundation before I left,
- I have a no-kidding ridiculously amazing business partner, or
- We got lucky
Let’s just say, I’m going to go with number two, and also recognize number one, and thank my lucky stars for number three.
But let me also be transparent.
For the first 4 months, I was in the dumps. OMG was I down and bummed out. But that’s how I felt about everything: my move here, my kids, my marriage, and my business. I had left everything I knew behind, and I sucked at sorting it all out.
Thank GOD I had Kimby (my business partner) and team that kind of allowed me to coast through that time. Or as my friends here in New Zealand have taught me to say and think: “She’ll be right.” The business was all right, thank goodness.
Slowly but surely, as the summer came around and my life here fell into place, so did the business (and my role again!) While it was different, we adjusted to the crazy time difference (I get up at 4:45AM just to try to catch up to the East Coast afternoons!) And I also quietly tested new services (e.g. virtual models) and my number of private coaching clients swelled because women business owners still wanted to break down their businesses and think through how to grow them.
I purposefully didn’t go after any business here in New Zealand, not only because I didn’t have a visa that permitted me to do so, but also because I wanted to stay focused on our work in the US. From time to time I have volunteered my time with local businesses to help them think through growth strategies, which I have very much enjoyed doing, but it wasn’t and isn’t my objective to expand Her Corner in New Zealand – we have enough work where we are!
And luckily while I was here, Her Corner continued to get featured in and get good press (for example, the Philadelphia Business Magazine in their roundup of the top Accelerator and Incubator programs in the city. We’re still the only ones exclusively focused on helping women only!)
And while Kimby is still a little grumpy with me for being so far away, she knows I’m coming home soon, and we will finally be on the same time zone as we map out our path forward beyond 2019.
Of course, now that I’m on the back side of our year abroad, all of a sudden everyone wants to talk about Fall plans. Almost as though they weren’t sure I’d actually come back, but now they are and they’re hoping to lock in dates, speaking engagements and plans.
At the end of the day, this is what I’ve learned. The engine of business never stops. In the US, business is 24 / 7 and the culture is built around working, what you do for a living, and how much you can achieve. And for a long time I used to think that this culture was my issue. I was all in; I worked all the time, I was always trying to keep up with the pace. If only, I thought, I lived somewhere where business wasn’t so much a huge part of my life.
But in fact, what I really learned was that my response to the business engine was the real problem, not where I lived. Business and the machine that powers it will never slow down, and that’s ok. I love business and I love that so many people are working to make the world a better place. But I personally needed to sort out how to build a better and healthier life in order to respond to it and live in and with it as best I could. I’ve been working on doing that, by building new and healthier habits while also still working hard. It’s been a transition, as has everything else about my life this year.
For those of you for whom this post just doesn’t cut it, who are seriously considering running your business from somewhere else in the world, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat one-on-one about business and what happens when you leave it behind and move away.