When Life Asks You to Stretch

Hello, friend! I'm not sure about you, but 2019 has been full of surprises so far. Some of them have been more than I could have imagined or asked for, and some have forced me to come to some difficult realizations. Things that I was sure would work out have fallen to the wayside, and things that I never considered have come to pass.

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In the midst of life being full of surprises, I have also found myself doing the routine work necessary to maintain balance at home. It’s been a time of reflection, re-calibration, refocus and in a word, stretching. I have been forced to let go of some ideas that I had and be open to new opportunities that I didn’t plan for.

It’s been an interesting time of disappointment and hope, sadness and excitement. I’ve gone from frustration to clarity to determination in a matter of days and I’ve been forced to let go of certain plans to embrace new opportunities.

Not every change has been heartbreaking and not every change has been ideal, but what they have been is affirming. I have never felt more sure that Root & Restore is where I belong and what I am supposed to be doing.

I do believe that life has a way of igniting a passion within you and then helping you to navigate the journey towards realizing that passion in a way that fits your life story and your gifts.

This is why every person’s journey doesn’t look the same, regardless of the similarity of their profession. When life put me in a situation where I had no choice but to accept what is, I have been encouraged that when we loosen our grip on our specific plans, we open ourselves up to new possibilities. This does not guarantee an easy time, nor does it guarantee complete clarity in every aspect at all times. What it does guarantee is that as we work towards our callings and the fire in our hearts, we may find that life stretches us to meet our goal and achieve more than we might have thought possible.

Are you currently being stretched in your life? What does that look like for you? I would love to hear your story!

The Vulnerable Beauty of Community

Her voice trembled as she spoke up. Tears filled her eyes as she shared her heart. She was starting to experience incredible business growth and all of her work was paying off. Everything she’d worked for to this point was starting to pay off, but she couldn’t help but struggle to feel seen and loved in her relationships.

Everything was falling into place, except this one piece. And it hurt.

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Vulnerability in community makes community work.

As her group members heard her story and identified with her heart, other tears were shed. Maybe her group members couldn’t identify exactly with her feelings, but they could understand the desire of her heart. They wanted her to know that she was not alone.

This is the power of vulnerability in community. As we discuss business, so much can be learned and implemented to help us become better entrepreneurs.

However, opening up the conversation to how we feel and the state of our hearts helps us to clear away the cloud of isolation and reengage our business ownership with renewed intensity and focus.

Joining a community of entrepreneurs who feels and values vulnerability in the same way that you do allows you to have a safe place to share exactly who you are, with all pretension aside. You can be shy, introspective, verbally process, make jokes or cry. You can share your reactions to your group members and come together to create an outcome that you may never have uncovered on your own.

Here at Root & Restore, we care deeply about the success of your business. We want you to master marketing and obliterate your branding. We want you to achieve success beyond your wildest dreams and do it with the utmost confidence in your ability. We also believe that as you have a group of fellow entrepreneurs who have seen you share your heart and have shared their true selves with you, you are more closely intertwined and can encourage each other at the heart of issues that arise.

Some of you may need to laugh through the frustration, and some need a safe place to shed tears. Some need to sit in silence and some need to talk through every possibility. The Root & Restore community is equipped to do meet you in every aspect because through our program, we have created a place for you to be vulnerable and real. Your real is welcome and celebrated here.

When Everything is Not as it Seems

“Your business seems to be just taking off!”


Let’s be absolutely clear: that comment was nothing but kind. The tone was full of encouragement and came from a place of sincerity. I smiled and gave a heart-felt “thank you!”, but the old familiar knot in my stomach returned.

They didn’t see my business bank account, or lack thereof. They didn’t see the up-all-night hours I was pulling just to finish calligraphy projects because I wasn’t doing a great job at balancing motherhood, “wifehood” and “small-business ownership-hood” (Can we make words up around here? Yes? OK, good. ha!). They couldn’t see how much I was starting to resent calligraphy, or how I couldn’t see the beautiful work I was creating beyond the imperfections that I nitpicked at the completion of every project.

I was tired. I was weary and I was, to be honest, sick of feeling like a failure at every turn. Social Media felt like a lie, because I was posting beautiful content and celebrating the gorgeous work of my colleagues while feeling burnt-out and overwhelmed.

The business I’d created to give me space to fuel my creative passions seemed to be taking far more than what it was giving. My well had run dry.

I’m not sure if you can identify with this, but what I really needed was not a break. I needed balance. Congruence, if you will. I needed my dreams to match my desires and I needed to allow myself space to love what I was creating.

The dream for you, dear friend, is that through Root & Restore, we are able to help you find congruence in your life as well. Balance. Confidence. Perspective. Tools to meet the difficulties of entrepreneurship, head on.

We know that you are excellent at your craft. We know that you love the work you do as an entrepreneur. We are confident that you are uniquely equipped to change the world and/or your corner of the world by pursuing hard after your dreams.

We also know that sometimes, the work is hard. We know that you can get overwhelmed and burnt out. We understand that it is easy to compare your journey to the carefully curated, edited narrative that social media tells. We know what it feels like to feel insecure.

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I’ve been there before, and to be honest, I’m there sometimes now. Struggling with self-doubt and comparison will likely be a part of the business journey forever, just like business planning and goal setting will be. The good comes with the bad, and our ultimate goal is to equip you to manage the difficult days as they arise.

You don’t need to go it alone. We’re in your corner, honored to celebrate the good with you and humbled to stand with you and encourage you when things get hard. This is Root & Restore.

You've Got Questions... We've Got Answers!

Here at Root & Restore, we are so excited for just about every opportunity we get to share more about our mission and our desire to help each creative entrepreneur experience wellness with regard to mental health. We have created and developed a product we are thrilled to share with the national creative community, and we are excited to use this year to develop as many resources as we can to help provide mental health support for our community.

Granted, since we’re one of the first to develop a product like Root & Restore, we get lots of questions about it.

The good news: we love answering your questions!

So, to help you have a better idea of what Root & Restore offers and how it can help you, here’s a compilation of some of our most recently and frequently asked questions.

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What's the difference between Workshops & Retreats?

Workshops and Retreats are the same exact program! The only difference is that workshops are offered in once-a-week meetings over an 8-week time span and retreats offer the same program over a 3 day period.

Workshops are a great fit for the busy entrepreneur that can't get away but can spare an hour and a half once a week.

Retreats are wonderful for the entrepreneur who wants to completely unplug and be pampered for a weekend! Once you've registered and reserved your spot, you simply have to pack a bag and show up. Everything else is taken care of!


What if I haven’t made a sale?

I have to be honest, I actually love this question. The reason for this is that no one is exempt from experiencing insecurity, self-doubt, comparison or struggling with ineffective self-talk. The most seasoned entrepreneur can struggle with these feelings, just like the brand new entrepreneur who hasn’t made a single sale.

If you are able to attend a workshop or retreat and have made all of zero sales so far, the program information will apply to you. You will be able to participate in discussing how our thoughts influence our emotions, which influence our behaviors. You will be able to participate in our insecurity exercises and share what kind of self-care is most effective in your life. You can still take a personality test and share how you foresee your personality type influencing how you run your business.

All of that to say, you are MORE than welcome to join us if you’ve made 100,000 sales, or zero sales! We value you and your story equally and we are honored to celebrate all steps forward. Why? Because we believe that every step forward in a business is significant to the owner.


How can I be involved if I'm not local to Houston?

Excellent question! You can participate in Root & Restore in three separate ways if you are not local to Houston.

1. Join us for a retreat! If you want to get out of town and can make a retreat, we would love to host you!

2. We are offering online workshops starting February 21, 2019. You can be anywhere that has internet connection and we would love to host you! These are the same format as the Houston workshops, which will include one hour and a half time commitment each week for 8 weeks.

3. Sign up for a one-on-one consulting session with Catrina. Consultation sessions are available on a flexible schedule and can be booked one-at-a-time or in multiple sessions. We can meet virtually, allowing you to be anywhere in the world!


What if I’m super introverted?

We are so excited for you to join us! Here at Root & Restore, we value each and every person we meet, and we work hard to honor each person’s story and personality preference.

As we work thorough the Root & Restore material, if you feel comfortable sharing, we would love to hear your heart! If you don’t you are never pressured to do so. We understand that sharing your story is an honor and we respond accordingly.

If you choose to attend a retreat and you’re very introverted, we offer lots of down time built into our schedule so that you can take time to rest and recover as you wish. This can mean a nap, a walk on the beach, or any solo activity that re-energizes you.


Who is Root & Restore for?

Great question! Root & Restore is for any entrepreneur who feels confident in their skills and gifts and owns a business OR plans to open a business. Root & Restore is designed for a solo entrepreneur to join a group, or the program fits perfectly in a team-building format to boost team cohesiveness and morale.

Essentially, if you are a business owner or work for a small business, Root & Restore is for you!

If you feel capable in your business and know that you have what it takes to be a small-business owner but sometimes struggle with feeling insecure or alone in feelings of self-doubt or comparison, Root & Restore is for you.

Our vision for this program is that we can come alongside you to give you an opportunity to address common issues related to mental health and equip you to combat those stressors as they arise.

Root & Restore is not meant to be therapy. We do, however, encourage you to find a licensed professional counselor if you feel that therapy is appropriate for you and your current life stage.


I want to purchase the program and hold my own group. How can I do this?

We hear you and we are thrilled that you want to bring Root & Restore to your community! Please stay tuned, as we are planning to offer details on this option starting late 2019!


Is there food?

YASSSS, BOO! If you haven’t noticed, we love to eat ‘round these parts! For every workshop and retreat, we have catered meals brought in to make sure you leave us with a full heart and a full belly.

Catrina knows her gifts, and speaking life and encouragement into people is one of them. Cooking beautiful meals in a timely manner is not. Ha! So, we invite local caterers to join us in our mission to love you well by providing our workshops and retreats with beautiful, delicious, nourishing food.

We can’t wait to break bread with you!


Can you give me any tips for getting out of a slump?

Thank you so much for asking this question!

First off: you aren't alone. We have been there and we know how it feels. Just to encourage you, this is only temporary. Keep hanging on and pushing through... this won't last forever!

Now, for some actionable tips that you can implement:

1. Step away from your computer/office/workspace.

2. Give yourself permission to rest.

  • We love our "Self-Care Quickie" download! This is the perfect guide to giving yourself an instant, mid-day boost!

3. Do something that fills you up.

  • Some ideas:

o Go for a walk/run

o Watch your favorite show

o Read a book

o Take a nap/bath (as your schedule allows)

4. Give yourself TIME to get out of a slump. Take it day by day and don't rush yourself. Celebrate your small wins and allow space for those wins to build upon themselves.

5. Be kind to yourself! We can be the harshest, most brutal critics of ourselves. There is space for grace and you are worthy of showing yourself kindness.

Well, there you have it! Thank you so much for sharing your questions with us and we hope that each one is useful!

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Words from Our Root & Restore Alumni

Here at Root & Restore, we make no secret about our love for people. We love the people who we’ve met along this journey and we believe strangers are friends we just haven’t met yet. Simple, right?

Well, today I’d love to introduce you to some of my friends- some of the pioneers in participating in Root & Restore. Some of these ladies joined the program when it was printed out section by section on a Word document. The beauty of this program is that even then, before it was beautifully designed, the content of Root & Restore has had an effect on their businesses, their perspectives and in some ways, their lives.

We don’t take it lightly when we are invited to join you in your business journey. We are honored to be a small part of your story.

Here are some of the stories of Root & Restore alumni:


First, Catrina is the most encouraging person I have ever met - and I don't say that lightly. She is constantly lifting others up and that really shines through in the content she created for Root & Restore. One of my biggest takeaways from the program is to stay far far away from comparison, especially via social media, as we are worth so much more than those silly numbers. Root & Restore also opened my eyes to some of my personality traits (both positive and negative) as a business owner and the program helped me to adjust my mindset accordingly. Mental health is so important in general - but as a business owner, I feel it should be one of our top priorities. Root & Restore definitely helped me to move it up my priority list and to feel more whole as not just a business owner, but also a person.

Ryann | Owner & Stationery Designer | Nine 0 Nine Creative


Root & Restore was such a great experience for me. Owning your own business and working from home can be a very isolating experience. Add social media on to that and the comparison game and your confidence can begin to slowly melt away. When I joined the Root & Restore group I wasn’t sure what to expect. I slowly realized I wasn’t the only person experiencing the same emotions as myself and began to find common ground with the ladies. Hearing and sharing our struggles was so therapeutic for me. I loved working through our issues together and not only listening to each other but also helping each other grow and tackle those emotions head on. I definitely recommend Root & Restore: it is a wonderful program!

Cathi | Owner & Photographer | Catherine Smeader Photography


The Root & Restore program brings you back to your why and helps you deal with the emotional side of business. My favorite thing from the program is that I learned to deal with my negative thoughts in a positive way. I’m in a much better mental place now thanks to Root & Restore.

Michelle | Owner & Portrait Artist | Michelle Collins Artist


Root & Restore has been invaluable for my business as well as for me, personally. Catrina has combined her expertise with her incredible gift for relationship to create a curriculum that you can come back to time and time again, but I was also pleasantly surprised by how much I have grown to love the women that I did the retreat with. We have become an incredible support system for one another and I am forever grateful!

Caitlin | Owner & Lead Encourager | Grace & Ollie


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We’ve saved you a seat!

We want Root & Restore to be a part of your story. We can’t wait to meet you!









Big Things VS the Little Things

Maybe the big things are not actually the big things.

Maybe the little things are the big things, after all.

At the very beginning of this year, I did something I never do- I spent some time hanging out in the pictures folder of my phone. I looked back over pictures from years ago, before we bought our house and before we had our oldest son. As I scrolled, I could feel the disappointments that I had then and was struck that they were the same now.

After all this time, after so much has changed, so many of the things that held my emotions hostage as I celebrated Christmas after Christmas were still hanging heavy on my heart. I’m not sure if you can identify with any of these thoughts, but they read something like, next year I’ll:

  • Have a completely clean house

  • Lose the weight

  • Do a daily devotional

  • Actually believe my husband loves me

  • Have more money

  • Make my house more beautiful

  • Figure out how to be truly happy

Without fail, I’ve gotten around the holidays for 5 straight years and each year, I’ve gone over that internal list and been disappointed.

Let’s not forget that in the time that I spent being so disappointed about the former list, I:

  • Brought two lives into the world

  • Started two new businesses

  • Laugh more than ever before

  • Started the journey to making peace with my body

  • Learned the value of saying “no”

  • Understood that I am worthy of boundaries

  • Allowed myself to truly feel and name my feelings

I looked over pictures in my phone and while I could recognize the disappointment I felt on the “big days” (holidays), the little days in between showed me a different picture. A picture of love and laughter. Of belonging and change and growth. Of growing through pain and entering into community and continuing treasured friendships along the way. Life is being lived in the day to day, and the “big” things that seem to bring me disappointment year after year only seem to pop up around one specific time of year. In those photos, I saw that life has unfolded beautifully and in ways I never could have dreamed or planned on my own.

Maybe the little things are not the little things, and they actually are the big things.

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Maybe the things that I think are big are actually wolves in sheep’s clothing- calling me in to dwell on them instead of all of the beauty that makes up the actual life I’m living. And, maybe in the things that I think are big, there are less opportunities to measure my failure and more opportunities to give myself abundant grace. Lavish grace.

Maybe the next time I choose to move my body, I should recognize that as a small win. Maybe the next time I save more than I spend, I recognize that as a small step forward. Maybe, when my husband goes to work before the sun comes up so that he can be home as early as possible, I hear the message of “I love you” as it is communicated. Maybe I break down the big disappointments and allow them to be opportunities for growth instead of impossible standards I won’t achieve.

Maybe I finally recognize that the big things are NOT the big things, and I give gratitude for the small things that are actually weaving the fabric of my life story.

Does this thought resonate with you? Are you able to see the pattern of a beautiful life that you are creating and living in the day-to-day? I would love to hear what tapestry is being woven in your daily life. How can you show yourself lavish, abundant grace?

Life Without Root & Restore

By now, you probably know why Root & Restore exists. You know why we’re here and you have felt alot of the pangs of small business ownership along the way. Some of those negative feelings may look like:

  1. Doubt

  2. Insecurity

  3. Fear that you’re wasting your time

  4. Guilt

  5. Growing Pains

  6. Feeling like you aren’t enough

  7. Constantly fighting against personality quirks that you wish were different

  8. Feeling Alone

There’s so much more, but we don’t like to dwell on the negative.

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Now, another thing you may already know from Root & Restore is that we aren’t afraid to talk about these topics. We are firm believers of the idea that when you share these burdens with community, you lighten the load. When the load of entrepreneurship is lightened, you have the freedom to dream bigger, work harder and go for your goals with confidence and joy.

Root & Restore doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be hard days along the way. However, we do guarantee that when the hard days come, you’ll be equipped to handle them in a way that doesn’t completely derail you.

Now, imagine what it could be like without Root & Restore. Without the tools and guidance established in our program, you are still guaranteed to have hard, disappointing days. You’re sure to have those days where you just don’t quite “feel like it”.

Rather than being able to be able to recognize your hard days as just that, a hard day that will pass, you may experience extreme doubt that your’e doing the right thing. You may be tempted to believe that your feelings of being alone are an indicator of your incredible isolation rather than an opportunity to engage in a community that deeply cares for you and genuinely wants to see you succeed. Even worse, you may believe that you are not actually intended to pursue this dream and you may choose to cut your losses and quit while you’re ahead. These are all relatively normal feelings, but they can feel debilitating when you don’t have the correct tools to combat them when they arise.

We want you to be equipped to handle the hard days when they come. Root & Restore can help.

Do you have any questions about how Root & Restore can help your business? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

A Brief History

I’ve always known that my passion was people. I have always been driven by learning what makes people tick and I never tire of hearing the stories of how you came to be the person you are today. I have always known that psychology was in my blood and I have always loved the subject.

I went to college to study psychology and actually had plans to marry two of my favorite topics: sports and psychology. This wasn’t exactly the way the plan worked out, but I did pursue psychology throughout my entire academic career.

I have an undergraduate degree from a very small Texas school named LeTourneau University and immediately went on to get my graduate degree in Community Counseling from Baylor University. (Sic ‘em!)

I’ve worked in many different arenas that integrate psychology- from Academic Advising to Career Counseling to Outreach and Planning. I’ve seen a lot and never seem to tire of the subject. How can you, when there are new people to meet and new stories to learn??

I never quite saw myself integrating the subjects of psychology and entrepreneurship, but doing so through the creation of Root & Restore has ignited a new passion in me that makes me so very excited for the future.

Having been a calligrapher for 3 years prior to starting Root & Restore, I have felt the glory and pain of entrepreneurship. I understand the crippling doubt and have felt the unquenchable excitement.

I have experienced the frustration of wishing that your skill could just be SEEN for what it’s worth and I have felt the pride of a positive review.

I understand having goals and dreams for your business and pouring your heart and soul into making them come true.

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All of this, in addition to my academic and professional background, has led me to develop Root & Restore. I know because I have lived entrepreneurship and I am able because I have the education and experience to back my passion.

Root & Restore is the first program of its kind- an immersive program for entrepreneurs based in mental health and designed with you, the attendee, in mind. It offers a unique blend of psychology with an entrepreneurship focus and was created to grow and develop with you as you grow and develop.

I would love to meet you and can’t wait for you to join us on the journey through Root & Restore!

Your Newest Relaxation Bestie Just Arrived: The Self-Care Quickie

The Self-Care Quickie is here: it’s the self-care exercise you never knew you needed but won’t know how you lived without.

Meet what we lovingly call the “self-care quickie”... our cheeky term for an exercise that we will love forever. 

Here at Root & Restore, we think self-care is extremely important. So important, in fact, that we used our background and experience to design an exercise that will allow you to give yourself the maximum in relaxation and refocus in the next 5-10 minutes.

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This exercise was designed to be super easy to use and super easy to access. We want this to be something that you come back to time and time again. Please feel free to print this, put it in a place that you’ll see regularly, and use it whenever the mood strikes to help you remain centered and focused.


Know a friend who absolutely must have this on hand? We love to share!

Share this link with a friend, or click the button below, download the file and send it to everyone in your community.

We would love to hear how this exercise helped you to regain your balance and focus!

With Love,

Root & Restore

The Root & Restore Experience

You walk into a room with 8 other people- some you may know and some you may not. You are met with kind smiles and a friendly welcome, but you’re still nervous. Could these people truly understand how hard it is for you to run your business? Could they honestly get that sometimes throwing in the towel seems so much easier than pushing through?

In your first session, you’re encouraged to share your story. You listen to each person go around and tell a small part of their journey and you’re a bit taken aback. You didn’t expect to hear so much that you would identify with coming from people that you may have heard of, but didn’t know directly. You leave with the nagging feeling that you just may not be as alone as you think you are.

The next week, you arrive to your workshop and you’ve done your homework. You know your personality type but don’t quite see how it plays into who you are as a business owner. Aren’t those two things separate? Catrina expertly guides you through another intriguing conversation in which you, alongside each of your group members, are encouraged to share any feedback or thoughts you might have over the week’s content. You start to connect the dots and leave the week’s session with a small glimmer of hope.

Maybe I AM supposed to be doing this and maybe who I am as a person is all a part of the bigger story!

As you arrive to your Root & Restore workshop for week 3, the knot in your stomach has changed from a sense of being unsure to a feeling of excitement. You’ve really enjoyed sharing your heart over the past few weeks and are looking forward to what is to come. Now that your group has taken some time to really build a foundation of rapport and trust among each other, it’s time to dig in a little deeper. Catrina seamlessly navigates the topic of the group as well as the group exercises and works implicitly to ensure that every voice that wants to be heard is heard.

There are some tears and some deep revelations that come to the surface. Connections that have previously been made are cemented as hearts are vulnerable and honest.

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The entire time, Catrina is guiding your group along, making sure that each meeting is a safe place for you to go to be heard, seen and understood, not just by her but by your group members as well. Validation and respect are paramount and you start to uncover dreams and hopes for yourself and your business beyond what you could have ever dreamed. There is something to this and a new fire is being ignited in your heart.

In each of the subsequent meetings, the topic you cover builds on the previous weeks’ content and the group’s cohesiveness is further cemented. You laugh together, you cry together and you help each other navigate the breakthroughs that you didn’t expect to come.

The reason that the Root & Restore content works is because it doesn’t focus on itself as a program, it focuses on you. You are encouraged to self-reflect and share how the information impacts you, as well as your reflection on the insight that your group member share.

As you find yourself coming to the end of the 8-week workshop, you have found that, almost effortlessly, you are walking away with new connections and new friends who are not only interested in you as a person, but who are also deeply committed to the success of your business and the realization of your dreams. They want to stand with you in the hard days and celebrate the small accomplishments, because they all realize that the small accomplishments are the ones that lead to the big dreams being realized.

Your real and your messy and your hopeful are welcome here. We believe that is what makes you fabulously unique and we are honored to share it with you.

The Topics of Root & Restore

Root & Restore was written with a very specific purpose in mind. As a fellow creative entrepreneur, I understand the difficulties of small-business ownership very deeply. I understand what it is like to feel alone in feeling like you’re not good enough or that you don’t have what it takes to be successful. However, my vantage point is also unique because I have a professional background in counseling & psychology. This allows me the unique perspective of being able to use my prior education and experience to equip individuals to combat the difficulties that arise in small-business ownership.

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Root & Restore identifies and expands on eight different topics related to the difficulties of small business ownership. To give you a better idea of what you can expect in each topic, I’ve outlined them all for you below:

GETTING TO KNOW YOU/WHY YOU TOOK THE PLUNGE

Who are you? What makes you tick? The first section of Root + Restore allows you a chance to share a bit about yourself and why you decided that small business ownership is right for you.

PERSONALITY TYPE

Your personality type can say a lot about who you are and why you have the preferences you do. In this section we dig into your personality type and how it can affect how you run your business.

Personality Assessment and definitions used from 16 Personalities.

INSECURITY

We are all insecure. We all have that one thing that we wish we didn't struggle with, but we do. We SO do! Engage in a powerful exercise that confirms, once and for all, you aren't alone in this.

SELF-TALK

We all have a powerful tool that we can use to make or break us. Self-talk has immense power to determine the journey you take. How will you use this tool to navigate your journey?

COMPARISON

Do you have that one person that you look at as a measuring stick? It could be Beyonce or the girl sitting next to you in the coffee shop. Dig into why comparison can be harmful to you sharing your true voice with the world.

I ACHIEVED SUCCESS, NOW WHAT?

Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt like the person looking back at you was a fraud? If people knew the real you, they wouldn't admire you so much? Let's talk about how to handle success when you reach it.

TANGIBLE TOOLS FOR SUCCESS & SELF-CARE

Give yourself permission to take care of you. Powering through your to-do list is all the rage and can be very appropriate. However, sometimes taking a step back to create just to feed your soul can be just as effective in the long run.

HOW DOES ROOT + RESTORE WORK?

Root + Restore is an 8 part workshop that addresses some of the most common issues that small business owners and creative entrepreneurs face from a mental-health standpoint.

COMMUNITY: WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?

Surround yourself with people who are not only kicking tail and taking names in their own business, but who are also wanting to cheer you on in every aspect of your business. The Root + Restore community has been through the same content, so they genuinely celebrate the good, understand that the bad won't last forever and aren't afraid of the ugly. These are your people.


As we go through each of these topics, our hope and goal is that you will not only come away from Root & Restore encouraged in sharing your gifts with the world, but also confident that you did not make a mistake in starting your business. Root & Restore does not guarantee that every single day will be an easy one, but what we can do Is equip you to combat the hard days with the tools and content that you’ve learned in our program.

Giving Yourself Grace: An In-Depth Look at Making Grace a Reality

WHAT IS GRACE, EXACTLY?

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Grace:

Disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency

As small business owners, a common personality trait is that we are high achievers and have a certain expectation for how we perform. We want to be the best that we can be and provide the best service to our customers that we can. We plan out our calendar year, define our goals and build a plan for how we will accomplish said goals. We map out a plan for how we will market and continually refine our customer service language in order to provide the best experience.

As women who fulfill many goals in addition to being small business owners- friend, daughter, mom, wife and sister, we find that our plates quickly fill up and there are a multitude of obligations vying for our attention. On a good day, we may manage these obligations with ease and grace. On a bad day, it may feel like things fall through the cracks and we simply can’t keep up.

As high achievers, it can be tempting to fall into a habit of negative self-talk when we have a bad day. If we’re being honest with ourselves, the things that we say to ourselves when frustrated are nothing like the encouraging, kind things that we would say to a friend.

Why is it so easy to give grace to others, but not to ourselves?

It is always important to remember that we are our own worst critics. The people that interact with us and truly love and support us are happy to have us in their lives. They don’t want the improved, perfect, flawless version of ourselves that we sometimes wish we could attain- they want the real us who is unique and quirky and real.

In encouraging us all to give more grace to ourselves as we run our businesses, I’d like to go over some pointers to do so.

GIVE A NAME TO HOW YOU’RE FEELING

Primarily, it is so important to give ourselves a name to the feelings that we are experiencing. As women and especially as business owners, it can be tempting to gloss over our emotions or hide behind saying that we are simply “having a bad day”. Rather, I believe that we are worthy of giving our feelings a name and saying exactly what we are experiencing. If you are feeling unsure of yourself, timid about the level of skill you have or frustrated with yourself or a situation, it is important to say that. This enables us to reframe the negative emotions we are experiencing and face them head on. As we acknowledge how we are feeling, we are empowered to take the appropriate actions to resolve the situation. Sometimes the appropriate action means just giving yourself time to work through how you’re feeling. Sometimes that means journaling or speaking with a confidant about our emotions. As we do this, we are giving ourselves space to acknowledge our emotions, process them and then move forward in changing our focus to being productive in work rather than allowing the cloud of how we are feeling to hang over us. We can face our feelings head on and move forward in a healthy way.

WHEN YOU ARE OVERWHELMED:

In our society, the pressure to be perfect in every aspect of our lives can feel crushing. Social media makes it seem like it should be easy to wear a multitude of hats with complete ease, but the reality is that this is not only extremely difficult, but completely draining as well. You might be able to be “perfect” for a short amount of time, but that level of performance is not sustainable. As business owners, you can be good at your craft but struggle in networking. You can be innovative at marketing but struggle to make sure your finances are well organized. We all can’t be everything at all times to all people.

There can be so many contributing factors to being overwhelmed. We can have obligations in so many areas of our lives, and sometimes things fall through the cracks.

COMBAT BEING OVERWHELMED WITH FOCUS ON OUR CAPABILITIES

To give ourselves grace in this area, it is so important to remember that you are capable. While sometimes our to-do lists feel like they will overtake us, we must take a step back from our obligations and focus on our capabilities. It is only natural that the roles that we hold in our lives have a great deal of need associated with them. The list of things that we must do to fulfill our roles can be extensive. When we look at our to-do lists and find the inevitable feeling of overwhelm start to creep in, giving ourselves grace is essential.

To do this, we must remember that just as our lists grew item by item, we are able to be successful in tackling them by setting appropriate expectations and operate within a reasonable realm of capability. It is admirable to set high expectations for yourself, but some days you need to proceed within the grace of giving yourself space to tackle a much smaller list and give yourself space to breathe. If you manage your expectations of yourself by allowing for extra room to breathe in your schedule, you can practice grace as you check off each item and set yourself up for success. As you feel the effect of a less crammed schedule and to-do list, your productivity will grow, and you may accomplish more than planned. The lie that we may be tempted to believe is that our to-do lists will never get done. The reality is that they rarely ever go incomplete. Somehow, we always find a way to do all of the things we need to. So, by managing the quality of our processes by giving ourselves space in our schedules, we are also practicing grace by naturally reducing the pressure to perform on ourselves and giving ourselves space to thrive. In thriving, we may actually be surprised at what we are able to achieve.

LET GO OF THE “SHOULD’S”

I think that given the messages that we receive through society and social media, it is so easy to feel like we’re missing something, or we SHOULD be doing something different than what we are doing.

What are some examples of things that you feel that you *should* be doing that you aren’t?

We must recognize the source of the message we receive that makes us feel like we’re missing something. Why do we feel like we SHOULD be doing things that we aren’t? Why do we feel like we SHOULD be more to people than we are? What is the source of the message that we SHOULD be doing, being and giving more?

As we practice intentionality in letting go of the “should” feeling and make an effort to identify what we ARE doing, we can give ourselves credit where credit is due. A practical way to practice this is to write down the goals that we have had for ourselves over a specific period (this year, this month, this week?) and list out what we have accomplished. This way, when the familiar lie of feeling like we should be doing something arises, we can combat it with the knowledge that we are acting in the best interest of our business.

The only journey that we absolutely must focus on is our own.

When you let go of the should feeling, you give yourself grace to focus on what you should accomplish to best further your business, rather than trying to keep up with someone else’s arbitrary metric of you and your success.

WHEN YOU RECEIVE AN ANSWER OF NO

Rejection can be so difficult! In the world of entrepreneurship, it can feel easy to take things personally because we are representing a business that reflects our personal talents, skills and ideas or a product that we have created. In a sense, it truly IS personal.

As we encounter opportunities that we hope will ultimately lead to receiving an answer of “yes” or “no”, it can be a difficult pill to swallow when we receive an answer we were not hoping for. It can be disappointing at best and deflating at worst. 

As mentioned before, it can be tempting to engage in negative self-talk when we receive an answer of “no”. To combat that and create a space where we give ourselves grace, it is key to take a step back and acknowledge that our receiving an answer of “no” is not an actual rejection of you, the person. It could be that the timing is not correct, or that your path is ultimately being protected from something that could hurt your business in the end.

This is a concept that is much easier said than done. It is difficult to remove the personal feelings from receiving an answer of “no” that you very much wanted to be a “yes”. Give yourself space to process your emotions and adjust accordingly. Maybe the answer of “no” is simply a change in direction that causes little more than a blip on your radar. Maybe the “no” is crushing and you are deeply disappointed. When this happens, it is important to simply be gentle with yourself. Protect your space and surround yourself with activities, work and people who fill you up and make you feel whole again. In being kind to yourself and giving yourself permission to do what fills you up, you are practicing grace in a real and tangible way.

Ultimately, the bottom line is that we are all worthy of grace. It can be hardest to give grace to ourselves, because we tend to be our own worst critics. If we give ourselves an opportunity to take a small step back from being wrapped up in our day-to-day lives, we can be intentional about giving ourselves grace given our humanness. We can do great things, but we cannot do it all immediately.

When we make mistakes, we must remember that we will not be fully perfect at all times. We must acknowledge the details surrounding our situation (are we under additional stress? Is there something happening in our personal lives that leads us to be less focused than normal?) and give ourselves grace for sometimes making an honest mistake.

Personality Type: What It Means for You

We all have a personality type- it’s something we’ve learned along the way in high school or college. We’ve taken the tests online and been told the color of our aura and our spirit animal.

This information can be fun and somewhat insightful, but most of us may not realize that there is great power in discovering the name of your personality type and our preferences for how we interact with the world. Learning this information about ourselves gives us an opportunity to harness powerful insight into the why behind our preferences for our interaction with the world and our behavior.

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Root & Restore has teamed up with 16 Personalities to provide the comprehensive personality assessment used in our program. As you take the personality assessment, you may learn new insights into your personality. You may find that behaviors you have that have felt like simple quirks are actually a shared characteristic that many with your personality type have as well!

In order to help you better understand your preferences for interacting with the world, we would like to invite you to take the 16 Personalities assessment and download our free worksheet, linked below. This information comes directly from our workbook, so you’re getting an incredible inside peek at just a fraction of the content that Root & Restore participants engage in!

Did you find anything compelling in your personality assessment results, or did you uncover something significant in working through some of our content? Please share below- we would love to hear from you!

Click the link below to access your FREE download direct from the Root & Restore content!

Root & Restore Personality Type Download

Taking My Own Advice

The final checkout was completed, we arrived home and I scooped up my babies to greet them after several (wonderful!) days away. I kissed my husband hello, soaked in the familiar comforts of home and settled in to enjoy the after-effects of an incredibly uplifting, wonderful retreat.

I heard story after story about how wonderful the retreat was and heard first-hand how impactful the attendee’s time together was. I was on this incredible high for about a week after the retreat as I saw each of our attendees implement so much of what they’d learned and apply it to their every day life as an entrepreneur.

As time wore on and my gratitude for the work of so many people to pull off such a wonderful time settled in, so did my discomfort. I couldn’t pin point it, but I started to feel down. I should have been on an incredible high and I should have felt completely unstoppable.

The word was starting to get out about Root & Restore and every single bit of it was good. My dream of pouring into small-business owners and empowering them to have tangible tools to combat feelings of insecurity, self-doubt, comparison and much more became a reality. I had everything I could ask for at that time. I’d had a successful retreat. I also felt really sad. I identified so much with the feeling of a deflated balloon that was just blowing in the wind.

It’s so important to share that as the content of Root & Restore is incredibly valuable, it also matters that I take the information to heart and implement it for myself. I absolutely must practice what I preach. Since I wasn’t able to find the right next steps for myself, I did what I knew to do and turned into my Root & Restore community. I talked to some of the ladies that I had just poured into mere weeks before and allowed them to speak truth back into me. I also confided in past Root & Restore alumni to allow them to speak truth to me as well. What came of those conversations was not only deepened connection, but a reminder that in planning so fervently for the retreat, I failed to look beyond that weekend.

I was so hell-bent on making the retreat weekend an incredible time that I didn’t look even five minutes beyond that time, much less five days. This meant that as I settled back into my post-retreat work routine and tried to continue moving Root & Restore forward, I felt lost. I felt empty and weary.

It can be difficult to know in your heart and mind that you are doing good, appropriate work and simultaneously feel deflated. If you’ve ever felt this way, I want to encourage you that you are not alone.

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In a section of the Root & Restore content, we touch on celebrating achievements as they come. The big ones and the small ones.

Wouldn’t you know it… I ABSOLUTELY didn’t stop to celebrate this huge accomplishment of a successful first retreat! I didn’t give myself a single moment of grace to rest from our time together OR evaluate and celebrate the dream-come-true that the retreat was for me. I was so focused on my next steps that I gave no value to the work, thoughtfulness and intention I put into the retreat when they, in actuality, held IMMENSE value.

So, here I am, almost three months later. My real life consists of a sweet little babe who isn’t fond of sleep and a rambunctious 4 year old who loves to be on the move. I’m balancing motherhood, being a wife and entrepreneurship. I am truly just like you. Just like I tell every person who interacts with Root & Restore, I needed to give myself the space to 1. REST and 2. celebrate the accomplishment that is our first retreat. I’ve asked for help (a whole blog topic in and of itself!!) and have given myself space to rest. As I’ve done that, I’ve felt the passion & motivation for my work slowly start to seep back into each day. I’m working on celebrating my first retreat- that just takes a bit more intentional work.

Now, who wants to meet me for champagne and fun? We’ve earned it!

How We Came to Be

I’m not sure if you’ve heard our story, but with so many exciting changes happening and new friends coming on board, I wanted to take a minute to share it again. There are so many ways that Root & Restore could have never existed. The path to becoming just what we are today is full of twists and turns. Did you know that prior to ever being an entrepreneur, I earned a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling and worked in Higher Education? I loved being on college campuses and I love working with college students. I never, ever saw myself as an entrepreneur or a creative business owner.

Root & Restore came to exist because I first became a calligrapher. I felt compelled to try something for “me” after having a baby, and calligraphy piqued my interest. My husband encouraged me to really try it after confirming that I had skill in that area and I went for it. The only small problem was that while I loved creating beautiful work for other people, my heart was consistently set on fire not by the projects I delivered, but the people I met. I loved building relationships with new people and encouraging them in their creative businesses.

I would also receive incredible feedback from other creatives about how talented I was or how wonderful my work was. That was so nice to hear, but I seemed to constantly grapple with feelings of insecurity and self doubt. I constantly compared my work to others and if you’d have met me at the very beginning, my biggest goal was to be as good as a fellow calligrapher in the area. This isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, but it was not right for me. To take all of my gifts and abilities and weigh them against another person who was presenting their very best work at all times was not fair to me and what I brought to the table.

As I began to build a creative community, I felt comfortable sharing my innermost thoughts and feelings with the people close to me and rather than feel alone in my struggles, they were shared and related to and time and again, my load was lightened in being honest about my internal struggles as a calligrapher. The more I had these types of discussions, the more I realized that I was truly not alone in my feelings of insecurity and self-doubt. I was not the only one struggling with negative self-talk and rampant comparison.

Then, a life changing question came to mind: Why are we not more honest about this? We don’t necessarily have to make our struggles the biggest part of our conversations or connections, but having the freedom to be genuine and vulnerable when it is appropriate can make a world of difference in our trusted, professional relationships.

I started Root & Restore because I believe that small business owners and creative entrepreneurs can thrive when given the space to be vulnerable and real about the hard parts of small business ownership.

We can more authentically connect and encourage each other when we are invited into the inner workings of the person behind the business and the brand.

The beauty of this type of connection is that when we work towards our goals, the small accomplishments become magnified because we are invested in the person and we know the significance of every step forward in their business growth. When we have difficult days and everything seems to be falling apart, the same people are able to step in and remind you of your greatness because they are invested in your day-to-day well-being.

Will you join us? We would love to have you attend a workshop or join us at a retreat. We are excited to meet you, just as you are.


Fall 2018 Retreat Recap!

Just last month, we were on our very first Root & Restore retreat. We are so very excited to share our time with you!

We were welcomed into an absolutely stunning home right on the beach in the Texas Gulf Coast. We had gorgeous flowers by Amanda Bee Floral Design to brighten up the space and give it a luxuriously comfy feel. The decor and location of our retreat helped each attendee to feel immediately relaxed and cared for as she walked into the home and took in the scenery on the balcony.

As we started the course material, immediate connections began to form as each woman shared her dreams and motivations for starting her business. This gave each of us an opportunity to connect on a fundamental level, as we opened our time together by getting to the heart of why we are on our entrepreneurial journeys.

The beauty of opening our time together in this way meant that genuine connections happened very quickly. As connections of the heart happened, this led to more in-depth, authentic conversations over insecurities, comparison, and self-care. Furthermore, the retreat attendees were able to quickly rally around a new friend when tears came and frustrations were shared.

As the retreat facilitator, it was such an incredible honor to see each retreat attendee step into the gap for each woman, meet her where she felt inadequate and lift her up to reach for her fullest potential.

The conversations over meals and over course content was inspiring, real, transparent and encouraging. Because of the Root & Restore content, our retreat attendees felt that they could be exactly who they were and use their unique voice to speak life into each woman’s heart.

As we navigated through topic after topic in the workbook, walls came down, vulnerabilities were shared and dreams were spoken into life. Each woman knew that her innermost thoughts were safe in our group. She knew that she could share her big, scary dreams and that they would be held with respect, honor and have life breathed into them. Her vulnerability was honored, not used against her.

Our most powerful session was on Self-Talk, which led to some life changing dreams being shared and incredible goals being put into play.

We were able to dig deep into connecting each woman’s passions with her vision, which resulted in some powerful ideas coming to life that can truly change the world.

One of my absolute favorite parts of working through Root & Restore content with different groups is to see which topic is the one that changes lives. It has varied with each group, but it is an incredible testament to the power of Root & Restore and its ability to help an incredibly diverse audience.

As a result of working through the Root & Restore content, each woman gave as much as she received, she shared her heart and listened to the hearts of others, and each woman saw the power in being vulnerable in a safe space. We saw strength and vision ignited in their hearts and minds and we all left feeling truly honored to have had an opportunity to join in these women’s stories.

Our gorgeous booklets were designed by  Lynsey Creative  and were absolutely perfect for facilitating our conversation over three days and three nights.

Our gorgeous booklets were designed by Lynsey Creative and were absolutely perfect for facilitating our conversation over three days and three nights.

AS IF THAT WEREN’T ENOUGH, WE WERE TREATED TO THE FOLLOWING AMAZING RETREAT PERKS:

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In-House Catered Meals

We were treated to deliciously made and beautifully styled meals made with lots of love by Chef Alfreda with The Purple Orchid.

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Yoga & Massages

While our bellies were taken good care of, Wilma took incredible care of our bodies and minds by guiding us through a personalized yoga course as well as calming, relaxing massages.

Our gorgeous gift boxes included goodies from Houston-area vendors and were the ultimate in self-care with goodies like bath bombs, candles, sugar scrubs and a gorgeous journal for jotting down every single thought and emotion during the retreat time together. 

We had an abundance of laughter, heart-to-heart moments, some tears and more warm memories than we could count. All of these wonderful times were accented by a gorgeous view and the calming sound of waves on the sand throughout the duration of our time together. 

We all walked away from our retreat weekend with incredibly full hearts and friendships that are certain to last a lifetime.

Life was spoken into our dreams and passions through the Root & Restore content. We also received incredible value on business strategy from Melinda with The Lovely Creative. She also was the amazing photographer during the retreat and we were so blessed to have her! 

As if our time together couldn't have been more special, we were greeted by an incredibly intense rainbow as we wrapped up the retreat and prepared to head back home.

It almost felt like a promise- that as we each went our separate ways back to our lives, that we had been seen, known, loved and cared for and that our journeys were not by mistake.

What a powerful image to wrap up our time together.

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Will you join us for our next retreat? We believe that our time together has the power to change your life and we want you to be in on it all. We can’t wait to celebrate you!

When the Answer is "No"

Preface: Most of the time, Root & Restore will be a place of encouragement and empowerment. However, something that is more important to me than lifting people up is being real. I believe with every part of my being that in order for me to be an effective encourager, it is vital that I be genuine and real. That way, when I say the fun, kind things, the recipient of those words knows that they are hearing me speak something that I truly believe in rather than just anecdotal happy words to lighten the mood. 

So, to jump right in... 

A very real and normal part of building a business is being told "no" or watching doors close that you wished would open. If entrepreneurship was an easy path to achieving wild success, everyone would do it! However, it's actually a difficult road that is full of detours, delays and disappointments. 

Part of those disappointments can show up as rejection. A lost bid, a rejected idea, a "change in direction". All are forms of the answer "no" and all have the potential to be a nuisance at best and crushing at their worst. 

Today I'd like to share with you some thoughts on how to deal with rejection- from a lost bid or a disappointed client to losing a client to a competitor.

1. Understand that it doesn’t feel good. 

  • Allow yourself to feel sad over receiving “no” for an answer. It takes time to process the feelings you’ll have over rejection- from relief to disappointment, etc. I believe that in our boss-lady culture, it can be tempting to gloss over our feelings of hurt or disappointment and try to put on a brave face.

You don't have to show the whole world your broken heart or ruined vision board, but it is important to be honest with yourself about how you feel. If you're relieved, that's ok. If you're upset, that's ok too.  If you're crushed, it simply means you are human. 

2. Be kind to yourself. 

  • Being rejected is not fun, regardless of how you look at it. However, it doesn’t mean that you are a failure. It doesn’t mean you should quit. It doesn’t mean that you have no value. It can be tempting to jump to those types of conclusions, but being told “no” doesn’t mean that the whole world rejects you. It just means that the situation you were wanting to be in was not for you, or not for you in that time. Being kind to yourself and giving yourself room to process your emotions (be it for 5 minutes or 5 months...) is key to moving on in a healthy, effective way. 

3. Protect your space. 

  • I was once told no over two very big projects that were deeply disappointing. I just KNEW I was the perfect fit and the “yes” was so palpable I could taste it. Then, I got a no for both. I was SO upset!! It felt like a punch in the gut and while I knew I’d ultimately be fine, I had to take a minute to protect my space to protect my sanity. This meant taking a step back from specific social media pages for a while and intentionally surrounding myself with things that would lift me up. I took on projects that made me happy and I spent time with people that really knew me and loved me. Instead of scrolling on social media, I spent more time away from my phone than I normally would and found such peace and joy in simply protecting my space. 

4. Try to accept that not everyone/everything is for you.

  • This can be difficult, because it’s so easy to feel like you want to be all the things for all the people. This “no” could have been a case of bad timing: maybe you weren’t ready for the opportunity, or maybe the opportunity wasn’t ready for you! Maybe in 2, 5, or 10 years, things will be different. OR, maybe you will simply grow out of the need for that opportunity and saying “no” now positions you for something that is a much better fit later.

Maybe your business growth would be hindered by the opportunity you’re seeking now and you are being protected for something more significant in the future. I’ve heard the concept that “there is enough success for everyone” and I sincerely believe that’s true. However, the success that someone else has may not fit your life in the same way. That same concept works for why some people get “yes’s” and some people get “no’s”. Your opportunity will come, and it will be the best fit for you. An answer of “no” can be painful, but it can also be a protection for what is meant to come into our lives.

What is meant for you will find you! 

5. Try to find the lesson.

  • Finally, I strongly believe that we are told “no” in life for a plethora of reasons. These closed doors can be deeply disappointing and painful, but they can truly shape us and our businesses for incredible growth if we let them. Maybe experiencing rejection ourselves helps us to be more compassionate and considerate when we have to tell someone else “no” to something. We can be more kind and understand how they may feel.

Being rejected for an opportunity can give us freedom to pursue new, unexpected avenues of our businesses that we might not have otherwise. We never know what growth opportunity is waiting just around the corner!  We can also take the opportunity to learn from our experience. Maybe we were weak in certain areas of our business and this gives us the opportunity for true, honest reflection and improvement. 

We are told no for so many reasons, so many times in our journey as entrepreneurs. It is a difficult part of pursuing your dreams, but it can be a refining part of our journey if we allow it. If we choose to let our experiences of rejection be fertile ground for growth and positive change, these “no’s” can become the very foundation that we build our empire off of. 

I'll have to give you the details over coffee sometime, but there have been a few "no's" in my life that I truly thought would crush me. I did not feel that I could stand under their weight and getting through a day felt overwhelming and downright impossible. I don't share these things lightly or ignorantly... I know that if you really had your heart set on something and it doesn't work out, it can feel as if oxygen suddenly was in short supply.

This is when it is best to engage in serious self-care and tangible tools for success... care for yourself at your most basic level, meet your immediate needs and let the rest fall into place. 

One final thought: I am no spring chicken... HA!  I’ve seen a lot and experienced a lot in my life. I just want to encourage you that there has yet to be a “no” in my life that I didn’t come to eventually appreciate, no matter how much it hurt at the time.

A dream deferred can surprise you in the ways it does come true, in its own time and in its own way. 

I am cheering you on, friend. I would love to hear about how you handle rejection and how you've come to appreciate how hearing "no" can shape your journey. 

A Measure of Success

How do you know when you’ve succeeded in life? What will it take for you to measure your life as a success? I have friends who are practicing surgeons and Ph.D’s. I have friends who are successfully parenting four or more children and are cultivating real romance with their spouse. I have friends who are completely debt free and have bodies now that would make their 16 year old selves green with envy. I know person after person who, when ranking my accomplishments against theirs, will out perform mine time after time. 

In trying to live what we would consider a successful life, accomplishments rarely tell the entire story. It’s easy to see how we fall short because we aren’t as rich, skinny, popular, healthy or spiritual as the next person. We aren’t as gregarious or well spoken and dang it, I can’t even make sure all members of my house are well fed, much less compete on all the levels with all the people! 

I’ve found that the story often ends in the same way: I will always find someone out there with more accomplishments than me. Someone who has made more of their business than I have and someone who has capitalized on turning their skills into a dream job.

However, when we take accomplishments away and stop the comparison game, we find that we each have our own sphere of influence. We are fully capable of reaching the people in our sphere of influence and the messages we send to them can radiate in ways we never could have imagined. Some of us have Beyoncé level spheres of influence. Some of us have spheres of influence that may touch our partner or our children or our parents. 

Regardless of how large or small our reach goes, the messages we send are still of critical importance. Do we empower the people we interact with? Are we intentional in lifting them up and leaving them better than we found them? In interacting with your 3 clients or your 30,000 clients, the fundamentals are the same. We are all worthy of encouragement and we are all capable of speaking life-giving truth to those we touch. We are able to treat each person like they matter, because the truth is that they do. The truth is also that no one story is more or less important than the other. When we make this a fundamental philosophy of how we run our businesses, customer service does not need to be a notch on a checklist, because it comes naturally. 

Now, I’m also not here to say that you can’t experience disappointment. It can be difficult to see others achieve the dreams that you have. It can be hard to see others succeed in the areas you had hoped for. I don’t have all of the answers, but what I do know is that we all have our own path to take. What is meant for us will find us, in life and in business. If you’re walking through a moment or an extend time of frustration with not being able to reach your goals, it is important to acknowledge that and feel that frustration. When you give it a voice, you empower yourself to walk through why you may be disappointed and frustrated and what you can do to change it. 

The process of business ownership is a journey. It ebbs and flows. As we navigate through the process of building and growing our businesses, it is important to recognize and celebrate the successes that come our way- from each new, individual client to the realization of the big, scary, out of this world dreams that have come true. The small, barely noticeable successes eventually collect to become the big dreams coming to life. Keep at it, friend. you are making a difference by showing up, and that's something I'd call a success. 

Cheering you on,

Catrina

Giving From an Empty Cup

Do you ever feel empty and worn out? Like you're trying to give from a completely empty cup? 

Maybe your heart is totally in your craft, but getting down to the nitty gritty of checking off an endless to-do list can feel just about like climbing the Rockies. You could be feeling this way because you're dealing with something in life that has you overwhelmed or down. Maybe there is a big life change you're experiencing that has you distracted and feeling like you're not yourself. 

It can be so difficult to not want to fight against the the frustration that can come from feeling distracted and out of focus. Sometimes it feels like if you just push hard enough, you can figure it out and break through that wall. 

We hear popular phrases encouraging the consumption of all of the caffeine and all the hype music and all of the messages telling us to just keep pushing until we make it. However, what if sometimes, (not always), but sometimes, the answer is to just give yourself permission to rest? Permission to close the computer, put down the paint, NOT edit the pictures and take a day to just be? There are times when pushing through can be completely appropriate and VERY useful. There are also times when giving ourselves the space and grace to rest can not only recharge us in a significant way, but we can also position ourselves to do our best work. 

I encourage you to give yourself permission to rest and recover as you need to- as often as you need to. Sometimes this looks like a quick trip through the drive-thru at your favorite coffee shop to give you a pick-me-up. Sometimes this looks like taking a day off to rest and recover and spend time with the people you love.  

The work will still be there, as will your talent and the demands of this amazing job you've created for yourself. Maybe, just maybe, you'll do better work faster because you're doing it from a place of investment in yourself rather from giving from an empty cup. 

Cheering you on, always. 

Catrina 

Confessions

In the vein of being vulnerable, I'd like to share a quick story with you- something that requires me to be open and honest with you. 

I am in the middle of a major life change- my family just recently welcomed our second son into the world. As a second-time mama, I have been so excited for this big life change but also fully aware of how much of my whole world will be affected. I still remember the days after I brought our first son home from the hospital and how I truly felt that my world had been completely turned upside down. 

When you're trying to launch a business and prepare for a baby at the same time, there's alot of humbling that can happen in the process. You don't have all of the energy you might have had otherwise and balancing work, dreaming, planning and implementing with new-mama brain and a very active toddler can make small tasks seem nearly impossible. 

All of that being said, I had a plan for something big to happen in my business before the baby came. My husband, being the wonderful man that he is, lovingly convinced me that maybe, just maybe, the timing wasn't right and that blindly pushing towards my goal could potentially cause more damage than good. 

Y'all... I didn't handle that conversation well. I didn't handle it well at ALL. I wanted so badly to reach my goal, to plan my event, and ride off into the sunset of new motherhood with all of the recognition and accolades that this event would bring. When I was held accountable and faced with the (correct) decision of letting that go (for now), it genuinely hurt. I was disappointed and frustrated. I was mad at him for being right and mad at myself for not seeing it on my own. 

This experience, which, if I'm being totally honest, took a few days to get over. It left me feeling bruised and deflated. However, it reminded me of how hard it can be as business owners to let go of short-term goals that feel so important to best accomplish the long-term goal.

In an effort to feel like we've got control of our businesses, it can be tempting to focus on the little things as a substitute for the big things. It can feel easier to focus on a flawless social media account than it is to dig into our insecurities and dream big dreams for our businesses. It can also feel easier to take on the clients that aren't your ideal instead of raising your prices and saying no to projects that don't set your soul on fire.  In my personal case, it was easier to focus on planning a big party than it was to admit to myself that I should focus on building the foundation of my business and let that be enough for now. 

However, pushing ourselves to go to the uncomfortable parts of owning a business (bookkeeping, goal setting, networking, etc.) can make us more well-rounded business owners and can help us to see areas of success that we might not have otherwise. 

Allowing ourselves to let go of what feels like the big things in order to build a solid foundation for our business can be so hard to do, but can be such a worthwhile investment. I know that this is much easier said than done, because it is a huge struggle of mine as well. It's so much easier to focus on the things that come naturally to us than the things that are outside of out comfort zone. Similarly, it is so easy to focus on the goals that feel good to accomplish and come easily versus the ones that are more time and labor intensive, but that take our business much farther than we might have imagined. However, in choosing to stretch ourselves and say "no" to the smaller, easier goals in lieu of the bigger, more intensive goals, we are truly investing in ourselves and our business growth in lasting ways. 

Cheering you on, friend. Always. 

Catrina