How to Stay Motivated: Tips from Joyce Longfield, Founder of Chixi
As a woman, a mom and a solo business owner of Chixi, Joyce Longfield knows very well the highs (and lows) that can arise when running a business amidst living her everyday life. Here are a few insights on how Joyce stays motivated as well as some helpful tips to women, moms, and single parents alike can apply to their own lives to help them stay focused and crush their own goals whether personal or professional.
As a woman, a mom and a business owner, how do you stay motivated?
Oh man, this is such a loaded question! For any parent, there is no greater motivation than providing for our children. As any parent knows, we will work as hard as we need to in order to provide proper health care, food, clothing and education for our kids.
For a while now, I believe there has been equally shared financial responsibility for both fathers and mothers, but once upon a time, the male was viewed as the breadwinner of the family. It was the father’s career that set the example for the life the children would (and should) aspire to live on their own one day.
Fortunately, there has recently been a shift in the sense that both parents are now viewed as a role model for their children. Unfortunately though, like many changes to the female roles, this point of view is not widely accepted. I personally have encountered individuals who have (in my opinion) an outdated way of thinking in the sense that by being a business owner, I am essentially damaging my relationship with my daughter because I am not home with her full time.
Luckily, I have many supporters who believe what I am doing is setting a good example for Sienna to go after her dreams, achieve her goals and how to live an independent life. However it’s not easy to ignore the guilt I innately experience being away from her. (That’s a mother’s love for you!)
During these times, I stay strong by actively reminding myself that if I don’t keep pushing through no matter how good or bad things seem to be, all of the time spent away from her would be in vain and let’s be real, that would just really upset me even more, so I am left with no other choice than to hunker down and push through until I have achieved my goal. Throwing in the towel and giving up is the easy way out, and that is not the example I want to set for Sienna.
Do you have any specific tips that help keep you motivated in certain aspects of your life (i.e. health and wellness, relationships, work, Chixi, etc.) or is there one sole motivational tip that you apply to all aspects of your life that helps you to stay focused on your goals?
Confession: It is so easy for me to throw myself into my work, which is exactly what I did for the first six years of my consulting career. I worked so much, I never took time for myself. During this time, I worked out, but it was more of a method to reduce stress than to give back to myself and my health. I wasn’t even really enjoying my workouts, I was just going through the motions. I tried to have more of a personal life by combining my professional business trips to include family if at all possible, but even when I was spending time with family, I was still working a lot. Since launching Chixi while simultaneously reducing my consulting, I am happy to report that a lot of this has changed.
After cutting down on my consulting work and shifting my focus more towards Chixi, I was able to control more aspects of my life and thereby my time with Sienna. During the work week, I do just that, I work work and I work hard, but when I am with Sienna on the weekends, I am with her 100% and we are inseparable. When we take holidays or trips away, I still try and combine work when I can for economic reasons, but now I make it a point to plan days around work so we can spend actual vacation days together with Sienna while fully being away from my work.
What I realized most is that I need to be more selfish with my time in order to do what I love and that is to be with Sienna. There are so many things that can steal your time: work, people, which is why it’s so crucial to learn how to say no, guilt-free. Remember, taking time for yourself is not selfish.
When it comes to achieving goals, I strongly believe you have to manifest it to make it happen. Now this concept may sound very “woo-woo” and “out there” to some people, and to be honest, this practice may not be for you, but I believe if you have a goal, whether large or small, you need to actively see yourself achieving that goal and never, ever lose sight of that vision.
The moment you stop believing in that outcome, you stop believing in yourself. I focus on my outcome and believe in myself and my capabilities every single day in order to successfully achieve my overall goals for myself, my business and my life.
Some people may think this sounds arrogant, but it’s not arrogance, but rather it’s confidence in myself knowing I will never give up. I know I am not a superhero by any means, (wouldn’t that be cool). Instead, I am very realistic when it comes to what I can and cannot do and when I need to call upon some outside resources for help, I do just that. Failure doesn’t scare me because I don’t view failure as failure. Instead, I look at what some people call failure as another opportunity to try again…and again…and maybe even again until I get it just right and succeed.
What advice to you have to other women business owners, or just women in general, that helps you stay motivated as a working mom and business owner yourself?
When I was consulting, I worked with both small and large companies ranging from small start-ups to large corporations. Unfortunately, of the companies being managed by women, none of them continued to grow and thrive into successful ventures. Now that’s not saying a female owned company cannot strive and succeed because there are countless ones that have, but what I found interesting is that the companies that did go on to grow all had a team of partners or a male partner. I thought this was very interesting and wasn’t exactly sure if it was because we were still coming out of an era where women were raised to be dependent and rely on others.
Irregardless, there is absolutely no shame in needing a partner in business or in life, whether they are male or female. At times, it may even be the smarter thing to do, especially if you are on the brink of quitting and giving up. (Note: Don’t do it, don’t ever quit and give up. You can do this!)
If you come to the realization that you are not capable of managing your business or company all on your own, that’s a huge feat right there! It’s better to know your weaknesses, acknowledge them and pivot into making a plan of attack on how you can better manage those weaknesses ultimately turning them into a strength.
If I had to give advice to another woman business owner, or any business owner for that matter, it’s to admit you are human and you will have weaknesses, which doesn’t make you inherently weak. Instead, view those areas of weakness as an opportunity to turn them into a strength.
Turning a weakness into a strength is your best bet to success as long as you don’t let your ego get in the way. A slice of humble pie (topped with a spoonful of Chixi of course) can do us all a bit of good every now and then!