Accountability and Getting Shit Done

I have an accountability group on Facebook. Well, I say a group; it’s really just me and my friend Jill. We did have a couple more members, but one wasn’t on Facebook much, and the other had the audacity to go and have a baby, and even though I am a fan of accountability and efficiency, I think hassling the mother of a newborn about why she hasn’t done stuff is a little harsh.

The accountability group is great because one of the drawbacks of working on your own is that there is no one to notice or care how productive (or otherwise) you’re being. I don’t have a problem with getting on with my core business activities, like actual editing, because I have clients and I will not let them down. But making sure all the other stuff gets done, the training, the marketing, the admin – the stuff that nobody but me is counting on – that’s a little trickier.

So, every Monday (or thereabouts – one of the problems I have with freelance life is that I used to use my meeting schedule to keep track of what day it was, and now I never have a clue), Jill and I post our to-do lists in the group and encourage each other to do the things on it. That’s pretty much it – I’m sure there are much more effective and rigorous ways in which proper accountability groups should operate, but if we were better at being rigorous, maybe we wouldn’t need the accountability group – but since we’ve been doing this I’ve found it a whole lot easier to actually do the things I want to do.

It might seem silly – there’s only the two of us, and we live in different countries so it’s not like we can physically check that the other is doing what they’re supposed to – but it really does help me to put my goals out there, even if ‘out there’ is only to one other person. Seeing them written down, knowing someone else will know if I don’t achieve them, gives me that little bit of a push I need to make sure shit gets done. They’re very often not particularly big or important or even work-related things (Jill laughs at how often ‘Make granola’ is on my list), but that’s not the point. The point is to get into that mindset: decide what to do, tell someone you’re doing it, then just bloody do it.

It also forces me to think more carefully about the tasks on my list. I can have ‘Maybe look into training’ on my paper list for literally months, but I try to be more specific for the group (SMART targets, if we’re going to go all management-speak about it). So I have to break it down into chunks, and those chunks are much more manageable than that bigger, vaguer task: “Look into training” becomes “Today, look at the SfEP website to see what courses are available,” and “Tomorrow, decide on which course I should do” and “The next day, sign up and pay for course”, and before I know it I’ve actually started some training. And then I get to air how ridiculously proud of myself I am to someone who won’t think I’m pathetic. Or at least if she does, she would never tell me so, because she’s very lovely.

So, if you struggle with your motivation and the general daily struggle that is Getting Shit Done, I’d definitely recommend trying to find or create an accountability group. We may work on our own, but we don’t have to do everything alone.

And look, Jill, another thing ticked off this week’s list 😊

I Stopped Going On Social Media Before Lunch And Guess What Happened.

I Went On Buzzfeed Instead And Learned How To Write Amazing Titles For My Posts.

Not really. OK, maybe a bit really, but that’s honestly not the point of this post.

My love–hate relationship with social media is well documented. Mostly it’s love, but I can’t deny it takes up a hell of a lot of time I could probably use more productively. I usually start my day with social media. I check in on my personal friends and family on Facebook while I’m having my breakfast. Then I start looking at Twitter while I’m brushing my teeth, and depending on how active my US Tweetmates have been overnight, that can continue after I’ve dropped the kids off at school. Then I check in on my work-related Facebook groups. And then, finally, I start work.

I enjoy this routine, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the healthiest thing. When I’ve been on a difficult deadline, I often forego those a.m. checks and dive straight in to editing, and I have to admit I seem much more productive when I do – not only do I have more time available to me, I seem to get more work done in that time, meaning I also get chances to do all those things that so often fall by the wayside, such as housework, life admin, and occasionally having conversations with my children that aren’t me just yelling at them to put their shoes on.

And as much as I love social media, I can’t deny that it doesn’t always affect my mood for the better. No matter how efficient you are with lists and filters, you can’t escape the odd bit of real-life news, and so much of it is often enraging. And the sheer amount of information that fills my timeline takes an enormous amount of energy to process. Social media makes me feel happy, entertained and supported, but it can also make me feel angry and tired.

Last week, I had quite a lot of work to do, and also a few family commitments. I needed to get stuff done, and have enough energy left to really enjoy my downtime. So, a challenge: how will I feel, and how productive will I be, if I stay off social media every morning for a week? Absolutely no Facebook or Twitter before the clock strikes 12. For any reason. The thought of it made me shake a little. Which is probably exactly why I needed to do it.

Monday

OK, so not a great start, as the actual first thing I do is pick up my Kindle, see I have Facebook notifications, and immediately go to check them. I’m in the middle of reading a post I’ve been tagged in (an edibuddy sharing my sweary dictionary), when I remember that I’m supposed to be staying off until lunchtime. I immediately put it down and go to wake the children.

I manage to leave the house a whole two minutes earlier than normal. Go me.

Coming back from the school run and resisting the temptation of my usual routine is hard, but I the mild panic over how much work I have to do this week is a good motivator. I have a really productive morning and felt great.

But it’s slightly shameful how excited I am to log on after lunch. And how easily distracted I am once those browser tabs are open. Safe to say the afternoon is not quite as productive as the morning. Oh well. It’s still only the first day, right?

Tuesday

Oh, it’s a struggle today. I’m very tired, having stayed up late wrapping birthday presents for my elder daughter. So I don’t really want to start work until I’ve woken up a little more, and the urge to faff about a bit until my brain is ready is very strong. But we’re going out for birthday tea after school, so I have less time than normal today, so I don’t really have time to wait to be ready. I do a little bit of internet banking instead, and I promise myself if I have a good morning and get to the end of the task I’m in the middle of, I can have a nice curl up on the couch with Twitter at lunchtime.

I find myself distracted anyway. I usually blame social media for distracting me, but perhaps it’s also true that some days I am just too tired to focus properly. However, without social media, when my mind wanders, I’m forced to make it wander towards things like changing my energy supplier, which I really need to do if I don’t want my bills to jump up by £30 a month, so I suppose it’s a win.

Wednesday

Today I have a gap between dropping the kids off at school and my hair appointment, so instead of going somewhere to get a coffee and look at Twitter, I go swimming, which I haven’t done in months. So that feels good. Then I go to the library to work, and even though they do have wi-fi, for some reason I am less easily distracted when I’m there. By the time I get home I’m strangely not really bothered about “catching up” with Twitter, so I have a quick check in and get back to work. Although when I log on again later in the evening, I spend far too long blankly looking at Tweets about Love Island (I don’t even watch it) and go to bed far too late.

Thursday

I slip up today. Probably because I’m so tired after last night’s Twitter fail. I get a twitter notification on my phone and immediately go to check it. Oops. I practically throw my phone across the room and start work. At 11.47, I’m waiting for PerfectIt to do its thing, and I saw a notification earlier from my accountability buddy, so I decide to check Facebook. I figure this is me being efficient and using dead time.

And I feel OK about this slight bending of the rules, because I am much further forward with work than I expected to be this week. And I feel like I’ve broken that spell, the one that makes me need to read every single tweet since I last logged on. Because a lot of the people I follow are in different time zones, this takes ages if I do it first thing. If I wait until lunchtime it’s pretty much impossible, so I’m learning to let go. I’m actually kind of thankful for the feature that shows me random stuff from hours ago now. Dear God, what have I become?

Friday

Really easy today. Helped by the fact I’m doing a first read-through of a developmental edit on my Kindle, so I’m not at my desk. In fact, it’s 3.45 and I’ve had to make myself go and check Twitter, because I know I’ve been tagged in a thread and I want to get my mentions under control, and I know if I don’t have a quick check-in now, and I’ll end up on here all night. This morning, I used the time that ordinarily would have been social media time to wander round Home Bargains, which is much better for the soul. But more expensive.

Saturday

I think about not sticking to this for the weekend, because hey, it’s the weekend. But then I remember I’m freelance and very often work weekends, although I’m not working much this one, so I might as well keep it up. Although I do slip up again by checking a Twitter notification out of habit (why didn’t I turn those off?) But instead of scrolling through Twitter during my daughters’ swimming lesson, I read a little of the work-related book I’ve been slowly reading for ages (Into the Woods, by John Yorke, if you’re interested), and I feel it’s a much better use of my time

Sunday

Today is even easier than it has been, because I don’t actually get out of bed until 10am, and then I have a few errands to run before my daughter’s birthday party. I take a quick half an hour to flick through Twitter after lunch, and while it’s nice to sit and have some time that isn’t running around after the kids or working, I actually lose interest quite quickly. I go on Facebook and Twitter again later on, but I decide to go and have a glass of wine and watch The Handmaid’s Tale instead.

And now it’s Monday again. I did it! (Mostly.) Yay me. So did I celebrate by hopping straight onto Facebook this morning?

Actually, no I didn’t. And I didn’t even have to try to stop myself.

Every time I make a conscious effort to cut down my social media use by developing a new routine, I realise something slightly scary – Twitter, especially, has such a hold on me. But it’s breakable, and once I do break it, I regain so much more time, energy, and productivity. The problem is it’s easy to slip back into bad habits, especially as giving up social media completely would probably have a detrimental effect on my business (aside from the invaluable support of the online editing community, I can trace most of my clients either directly or indirectly to social media). So I need to stay engaged, but I need to do it in a healthy way, and I think not starting my day with it is probably the way to do that. If I start my day distracted by all the funny/weird/sad/happy/frustrating/terrifying things social media can throw my way, it’s much harder to find the focus I need to get all my work done, engage with the people who are actually in the house with me, and do things like housework.

Well, maybe. I’m not going to hold my breath on the housework thing.

Saying Yes

My last post was about saying no. This post is about saying yes. Not to work, because I don’t think anyone particularly needs advice on saying yes when people want to give you money to do the thing you do. No, this post is about saying yes to opportunities that, quite frankly, scare the living shit out of you. I’ve been doing a bit of that lately, and it’s been very interesting.

I wrote here about how I don’t like looking like an idiot, and for many years this held me back in so many ways. But I’m running a business now, and fear is the path to the dark side. Or at least the business-failure side, which is not really an option because I have bills and children who need school shoes (why are they so expensive? Why?).

When I was asked to take part in an SfEP editors round table as part of ALLi’s Self Publishing Advice Conference my initial reaction was that I couldn’t think of anything worse. For someone who talks a lot, I get a bit freaked out at the idea of anyone actually listening to me. What could I possibly have to say that’s worth paying attention to? But then I figured the person who asked me must have thought I was worth including, so, with my inner life-coach (basically the voice of my little sister, who is the most brilliantly pushy person I know) hissing into my ear, and before I could think too much about it, I said yes.

And it went really well. I didn’t make all the points I ideally would have made. I lost my train of thought at least once. But at the end of it all, I felt as though I hadn’t made a total fool of myself, and that we’d created a useful, interesting resource for authors, which of course was the whole point. And imagine my delight when, a couple of days later, I got an enquiry from a prospective client who’d seen the video and was interested in working with me. I must have actually said Useful and Interesting Things! Or maybe she just liked the look of me. I brushed my hair and everything.

I was, as you can imagine, feeling pretty happy after that. And so when the opportunity came up to lead a session at this year’s SfEP conference, I took a very, very deep breath and said yes to that too. I am terrified. I’m not sure I’ll do a good job. Part of me still doesn’t quite know why anybody would want to hear me speak about anything. But those are not good enough reasons not to try.

I don’t know how the session will go (although I once went to a conference session where the speaker was so bad that the head of the company had to step in and take over. As long as I do better than that, I’ll be happy). But I do know this – every time over the last two years that I have stepped out of my comfort zone and said yes to a new opportunity, I have gained something. Sometimes all I got out of it was a helpful lesson of what not to do in the future. But more often, I’ve made a new connection, learned a new skill, or found something out about myself as an editor, a business owner, or just a general human being.

That’s worth saying yes to.

 

Saying No

I’ve just sent back a job, and I feel great. Normally I hate returning jobs, even if the job has been difficult, and I dither over it for at least an hour before finally hitting send. This is because once it’s gone back, I’ve lost my chance to catch anything I might have missed, to do a better job. If, like me, you have perfectionist tendencies, that moment of letting go is hard.

But today, it wasn’t hard at all. Partly this was because the manuscript was beautifully written, I know that a production manager will see it before my edit goes back to the publisher, and then there will be a proofreader to catch any lingering errors. But mostly it is because now I’ve sent it back, I have at least TWO WEEKS OFF to do some CPD and sort out the various bits of my life (seeing friends, cleaning, that kind of thing) that I’ve so badly neglected during my recent busy spell. I’m very excited about this.

I’ve ‘taken time off for CPD’ before. Although in truth it was more like ‘did some CPD while I panicked about the fact I’d had no paid work for weeks and there was none on the horizon’. This time it is a conscious choice. I have money put aside to pay the bills, and in order to protect this time, I even said no to a project.

Saying no wasn’t just about the time off, which I’m in desperate need of. There were other reasons – I didn’t think I was a particularly good fit for the project, and it looked as though it could get very intense and, after a fair few very intense projects recently, that’s not really right for me right now. So I apologised to the client and passed on the name of a colleague who might be able to help.

This felt like a bit of a milestone. I’ve had plenty of enquiries not come to anything, but that’s usually because the client has decided to go with someone else, or didn’t want to pay me enough, or our schedules didn’t work. And I’ve batted away many things at enquiry stage that I knew I didn’t have the right experience for. But this was the first time where I could have done the job, despite not being a perfect fit, and the author wanted me to do the job, but I said no.

Editors advise other editors all the time to not say yes to everything. Be brave, say no, hold out for the right project at the right rate, it’s not worth the time and the misery. And of course, we should all be brave enough to admit when the client might be better off with someone else.

But those things are easy to say. The truth is that when you’re new and still trying to establish your business, the temptation to say yes to everything is overwhelming. And that’s because you never know where that next enquiry is coming from, and you’re desperate for experience, and any job is better than no job, right?

There are enough people who will tell you that no, sometimes no job is not better than any job. But I’m not going to be one of them. Because I’m not in your shoes. I’m not the one paying your bills. I don’t have any right to say you shouldn’t take that job, because it is only very recently I have felt that I can say no to things. So that’s why it feels like such an achievement. I’m there now (at least at the moment. Watch me cry next time business dries up). If you’re not, don’t beat yourself up about it. It will come. Remember that most people giving that advice are giving it precisely because they’ve been where you are, putting in far too many hours for far too little money on a manuscript that needs far too much work. They want to help you avoid that, but sometimes, when there are bills to pay and mouths to feed, it feels unavoidable.

I know some people may disagree with this. There will probably be those who argue that this is encouraging editors to settle for less, and therefore allowing clients to exploit us. And there are people out there who have the confidence and the business skills to say no to the not-quite-right jobs from the start. But I wasn’t one of them. So I took on jobs for embarrassingly low rates. I embarked on projects with a learning curve so steep it took every ounce of energy I had to haul myself up it. And I learned from every single one. I learned more about myself and my abilities – what I was capable of, what I enjoyed, what I didn’t, what worked to get clients, even if they weren’t the best fit for me – and I applied those lessons to my business until I got to a place where I felt a bit more comfortable saying no. So there was value in those jobs, even if at the time they felt like little more than a way to keep the wolf from the door.

Goodness me, that went on a bit, didn’t it? Considering this is my first day off in a loooong time, maybe I should step away from the computer now. I’ve heard I have one of those ‘husband’ things, and some things called ‘children’ I could spend time with. If I can find them under the mountain of housework.

A Very Sweary Dictionary

Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows I like a good swear. I even wrote about it on this blog. If you’ve followed me on Twitter for a while, you may remember that some months ago I decided to use my powers for good, so I created #TheDailySwear, where each day I tweeted a new compound swear word, along with how I (or a dictionary) thought it should be styled. And because I’m so kind (and because my brain is too tired at the moment to write an original blog post) I thought I’d collate all that information* here. Don’t say I never do anything for you.
The style choices below are just that, style choices. For many of them I’ve referenced a dictionary or two, but the great god Merriam-Webster is not going to come down and smite you if you want to hyphenate your batshit or close up your fuckbuddy. That sounds very wrong, sorry.

So here we are: the Kia Thomas Dictionary of Swears.

apeshit – closed, same as “batshit”.
arse over tit – open, as in “I fell arse over tit down the stairs”, but I could see it being used as a hyphenated compound adjective. Perhaps “Boris Johnson looks like some kind of arse-over-tit pigeon”?
arsewipe – closed, as in “He’s an absolute arsewipe” (translation for the non-Brits: he’s not a very nice man).
ball-ache – hyphenated. I’ve got to admit, my first thought was to close it, but “ballache” looks like something you’d find on Masterchef Professionals – “I’ve made a ballache of vension with a kumquat emulsion.”
batshit – closed, as per Merriam-Webster
bellend – closed, and I very much enjoy the use of “monumental bellend” as one of the examples on Oxford Dictionaries Online.
clusterfuck – closed. One of my favourite words, although obviously not so much of a fan of finding myself in one.
cock-block – I normally always defer to Buzzfeed’s excellent style guide, but sorry, guys, I like the hyphen here, as per Oxford Dictionaries.
cocksucker – closed. Perhaps hyphenate if you need to distinguish between someone who is fellating and someone who is not.
cockwomble – one word, as are all swearword-animal combos: “shitgibbon”, “crapweasel”, etc.
dickhead – closed. Pretty sure most people know this, but I enjoy the Oxford Dictionaries definition: “a stupid, irritating, or ridiculous man”.
douchebag – closed, as per “shitbag”. And the lesser-spotted “turdbag”.
douchecanoe – closed. Swear+inanimate object = closed compound, including “fucksticks”, “fucknugget”, “crapburger”… the possibilities are endless.
Fuck all – generally open, although a hyphen is helpful in phrases like “fuck-all else”.
fuck buddy – open. And lowercase “b” unless you’re writing some kind of disturbing Elf fanfic.
fuck off – obviously open as a phrasal verb, but it is also used as an adjective in some parts of the UK (i.e. my house), in which case hyphenate: “There’s a big fuck-off spider over there.”
fuck someone over – keep it in that order. You don’t “fuck over someone” without a harness. Or maybe levitation.
fuck up – open as a verb, and I prefer it hyphenated (“fuck-up”) as a noun (although Merriam Webster has it closed)
fuck you – all forms open according to Oxford Dictionaries, but like to to hyphenate the adjective, in a fuck-you kind of way.
fuck-a-doodle-doo – don’t forget your hyphens. Unless you’re instructing someone to fuck something called a “doodle doo”. And if you are, I’m not sure I want to know.
fuckboy – I think I might be too old and uncool to really know what one is, other than a closed compound.
Fucked-up-ness – I think I prefer to two hyphens for clarity, but my editing colleagues are split between this, “fuckedupness”, and “fucked-upness”. We can also throw “fuckedupedness” into the mix if you really want a wild time.
fuckface – closed, as are “twatface”, “buggerface”, “dickface”, “cuntface”, “bollockface”, “shitface”, “pissface”, “bastardface”, and “wankface” – all mine and my husband’s pet names for each other.
fuck-me – hyphenated as an adjective only, as in “fuck-me shoes”. Open for the exclamation/invitation.
fuckload – one word. Just like “shitload”, both singular and plural forms are used.
fuck-ton – I tend to hyphenate this, to stay consistent with my preferred styling of “shit-ton”, but I could be persuaded to leave it open. Use imperial “ton”, unless using the phrase “metric fuck-tonne”.
fuckwit – closed. Do people say this outside the UK? They should.
goddamn – closed, uncapitalised, with the “n” on the end.
goddammit – for all I like the “n” in “goddamn”, I find it looks weird in “goddamnit”. Like a goddam nit.
horseshit – closed, like “batshit” and “apeshit”. At least when used figuratively. I’d probably leave open for actual shit from an actual horse.
jack shit – open, just like its British cousin, “fuck all”.
mindfuck – closed. Trying to figure out how to style swearwords is sometimes one of these.
motherfucker – closed. Never hyphenate, unless, I suppose, you really need to emphasise that someone had sex with someone’s mum.
pisshead – closed. One of the many swears the UK has relating to drunkenness.
piss-poor – hyphenated before the noun, open after. This is a piss-poor blog post. This blog post is piss poor.
piss-up – hyphenated, as in “couldn’t organise one in a brewery”. But “Go and piss up a rope”.
prick-tease – hyphenated. Avoid using uncritically, because ugh.
rat-arsed – hyphenate for another UK drink-related term. Are we drunk too much?
shit-fit – hyphenate. Oxford Dictionaries has it open, but that makes me think of shoes that give you blisters. Those are a shit fit.
shitbag – closed for the insult, open for a bag that isn’t very good, and hyphenated for a bag in which you carry shit.
shit-eating – hyphenated, as in “a shit-eating grin”. Not used much in the UK. Perhaps we don’t grin enough.
shit-faced – hyphenated in Oxford Dictionaries, which is my preference. But the trend appears to be towards shitfaced, as per Merriam Webster.
shithead – closed, same as “dickhead”. Does people still call people shitheads? It feels very nineties to me. But then if all that velvet and faded denim can come back, maybe so can this.
shithole – one word, which you can use to describe your own hometown, but woe betide anyone else who does…
shit-hot – I’d keep this hyphenated even after the noun to avoid confusion, e.g. “I am shit-hot at swearing.”
shithouse -– one word. “Built like a brick shithouse” is a bloody marvellous phrase, but I’ve got to say this second definition in Oxford’s US dictionary is a new one on me: “(of a woman) having a very attractive figure”.
shitload – closed. Can be plural or singular: I have a shitload of work to do/I have shitloads of work to do.
shit-scared – hyphenated, even after a noun.
shitshow – closed, unless you saw a shit show.
shit-stirring – hyphenated, as in “Are you really that stupid or just shit-stirring?” If your sugar doesn’t dissolve in your tea, that might be down to shit stirring. (Joke stolen from Hugh Jackson on Twitter).
shitstorm – closed. I’m trying to decide if a “shit storm” is one that is pathetic, therefore fails at being a storm, or a strong one, that makes life shit for those who encounter it.
shit-ton – hyphenate, because otherwise it could be a ton that is shit, and “Shitton” could almost be a small English village.
son of a bitch – generally open, but go ahead and use “sonofabitch” if it feels right for the character/voice.
sweary tmesis – (inserting a word into a another word)! – Hyphenate these, such as “abso-fucking-lutely”, and sometimes it’s wise to tweak a spelling to follow pronunciation, eg “Christ all-fucking-mighty”. In words like “everything”, leave every fucking thing open.
thundercunt – closed.
twat-faced – hyphenate as a compound adjective to describe someone or something with a twatty face, but I think I’d close if being used as a synonym for “shitfaced”, or for “twatface” as a noun.
wankstain – closed. As is “jizzstain”. And I’ve never had cause to call someone a “cumstain” or a “spunkstain”, but what the hell, let’s close those too.

And that, ladies and gents, is when I ran out of swears, something I never thought would happen. Anyway, I hope it might be useful to someone somewhere, someday. Happy swearing!

*some choices here differ from the original Tweets. Because a woman can change her mind, you know.

Congratulations! It’s a … business!

My babies are getting freakishly big now, so I often feel like the baby days are well behind me and my life is totally different. But now my sister has a baby, and spending time with them has made me realise that while many things have changed since over the last few years, some things are now surprisingly similar. It seems having a baby is actually a pretty good preparation for freelance life:

I find myself saying really surreal things – Back then it was, amongst other things, “Put Mammy’s tampons down and play with your caterpillar”. Now it’s (genuine excerpt from a Messenger conversation with a client this week, posted with her permission) “Pussy? I don’t mind the odd ‘between my legs/thighs’. Or you can often get away with just ‘I’ if the context is clear.”

I don’t always brush my hair – Now, I know there are many people who work from home, and many new mothers for that matter, who take great pride in their appearance at all times. I am not one of those people, now or then. Brushing my hair and wearing trousers that actually have fastenings are once again optional extras in my life, and for this I am grateful.

I go a long time between conversations with real live adults – Thank heavens for the school run. Those other parents are often the only adults I talk to who aren’t married to me. It does remind me of spending long, lonely days with people who hadn’t mastered the English language yet. Although, now I think about it, there probably were more conversations with adults back then. It’s just they were always about poo.

I have a lot of internet friends – When my children were small, I had something of a parenting forum addiction. I did eventually have to go cold turkey because it was taking up a ridiculous amount of my life, but the friendships I made there were real, and the source of so much support. Now I have my online edibuddies, and they are just as wonderful and knowledgeable and downright fun to chat with. We probably talk a little less about breastfeeding though. And then only to argue about whether it has a hyphen in.

I feel completely crushed under a massive weight of overwhelming responsibility pretty much all the time – Oh my God. What am I supposed to do? How do I keep this thing alive? I have to make so many decisions. I’m going to fuck this up and ruin EVERYTHING. I had those thoughts constantly when my girls were babies. Well, just the first one, if I’m honest. By the second I was too busy making sure the bigger one wasn’t trying to feed her raisins. And now, with my business, which by now is probably a toddler who can be relied upon to stay on its feet most of the time but still isn’t quite toilet trained, I find myself asking them again. It’s all on me to get this right, and sometimes the sheer worry of that is so exhausting.

But you’ve just got to keep on keeping on – Because just like back then, there was no opting out. Things needed to be done, so I did them. I didn’t get everything perfectly right with my babies, and I’m not going to get everything right with my business. But whether you’re a parent or a business owner, you keep moving forward, because you have to. You help them grow, you learn from the mistakes you make while doing it, and, hopefully, in a few years’ time, you look back on this incredible thing you made and feel like you could burst with pride.20180217_192353