I slowed way, waaay down on buying courses about four years ago, once my business started churning out a healthy profit.
(Here’s an email that recaps those first few years.)
It’s not that I didn’t want to keep learning, there just wasn’t time. Poking around in my email archives, I came across an email I wrote around this time last year about all the work I was producing:
“…updated two email sequences, spent many hours fine-tuning a sales page plus touched up five other landing pages for Email Stars, recorded three podcast interviews and pitched three more, took more than 3x my normal volume of meetings, met with Substack, outlined and scripted an entire training module, adding in special lessons for product-based businesses, planned an event we’re hosting for potential promotional partners, created a new storytelling resource for my students, …”
Then, a few paragraphs later, this email read:
“After dinner at my bestie’s house, I cried in the car the whole way home, from door to door, feeling tired and overwhelmed and like my work would never be done. Then I slept for 10 straight hours.”
(Here’s the whole email, which I sent last year.)
If I could rewind the clock, I would go back and hug my 1-year-ago self. She was so scared and so tired from trying to keep the earth turning for all the people she loved. She was always crying in the car, trying to cram her feelings in those rare in-between moments when no one needed anything from her.
My bank accounts were slowly draining from having to pay for double everything, and the only thanks I got from my then-husband was a biweekly dressing down in our mediation sessions, where we were negotiating the financial details of our divorce.
I’m really proud of myself for having the courage to put some things down. Those were some very big boulders I was carrying and I didn’t even know it.
One of the best things about this new iteration of my business is that I have time to take courses again. I already have quite a serious backlog that I’m slowly chipping away at, including…
- A course for copywriters on how to use AI tools like Playground and ChatGPT—more on that soon, promise! (with Sam Woods)
- Replays from the Safe Parenting Summit, which I purchased because they promised mp3 recordings (I never watch summits live) (hosted by The Heartful Parent Collective)
- A workshop on how to improve email deliverability, included as part of a membership I recently joined (CTC Circle)
- A class on creating healthy boundaries (Self-Healers Circle with Dr. Nicole LePera)
- A masterclass on how to teach my children about abuse prevention, including how to talk about their bodies (ConsentParenting with Rosalia Rivera)
- Three modules on recovering from religion, a 10-week course I’m way behind on even though I never miss the live calls (Happy Whole Way)
- A workshop on permit-planning for backcountry campers (She Dreams of Alpine)
I won’t get to more than a few lessons this week, if at all, and I feel pretty calm about that.
It’s Monday at 6:15am as I write this, eight days before this email will go out. The house looks like a hurricane recently swept through the living room—huge plastic tubs, clothes and toys scattered everywhere. We’re moving in a few days, for the second time in 16 months.
My boys woke up in the middle of writing this. They’re on the couch listening to their favourite audiobook, Diary Of An 8-Bit Warrior.
Life looks a lot different than it did a year ago, and I’m proud of the work I’ve done to get here. It was not easy. With fewer people needing things from me and fewer obligations in my business, I can take days off when I need them. I booked myself a whole week off at the end of the month.
Maybe I’ll listen to a few classes while I put together Ikea furniture and restack the pile of firewood in my garage. Or maybe I won’t.
But there’ll be time, eventually.
An hour ago I was snuggling under a blanket finishing off the last 10 pages of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel before firing up my computer. As I tamped the coffee into the portafilter, preparing my second espresso of the day, I suddenly felt like the luckiest person on earth.
I didn’t have to start my day this early, really, but I knew that a future me would be grateful if I got even a tiny jump on my workweek.
Starting late is a privilege that most people in the world do not have.
I got to start the day doing some of my favourite things in the whole wide world.
Read a novel.
Write a new story for 14,000 readers.
Snuggle my two healthy boys.
If that’s not living the dream, I don’t know what is.