Looking back on our lives can be a waste of time, a distraction, and keep us stuck in pain. However, it can also help us discover how far we've come, who we were, and why we believe what we do. As I collect my scattered online content onto two sites, I am discovering more about my journey and why it took me until 45 years of age to finally get it right, professionally.
I've tried starting a marketing company a number of times over the years. In 2006, in 2009, and in 2016. Finally, in 2018 I got it right. As I go over my past blog posts, I am learning why it took me so long to find success.
Post from 2007:
Ever wonder why there are so many more men in executive positions? Ever wonder why there are more male experts than female ones? The answer is in the innate nature of women.
We are the glue that keeps the family together or at least we are the ones to pick up all the pieces. In the past men went to work and the wife took care of everything so, he could concentrate on work and do what it took to rise to the top, if he was so inclined. He didn't come home to wash dishes or pick up the kids or even do laundry. His whole role was wrapped up in being the income earner and the handyman (if he wanted to). Need the lawn mowed, need the garbage taken to the curb, or shovel the driveway? Then he was there to lend a hand. Need a diaper changed or a dish washed, he'd quickly disappear, he had work to do after all. By having less responsibilities at home he was free to put his focus into his work, especially if he wanted to climb the corporate ladder.
In most homes today though, both parents work, both have more responsibilities in the home and with childcare. Their focus is split between home and work, thus they are challenged to do either effectively. Houses are nowhere near as clean, dinners are rarely shared at a table every night, and too often both parents are too exhausted to put in the extra effort needed to be exceptional at work or home.
So, are We Doomed to Mediocrity?
No. It does mean both parents need to look to each other for support in different ways. Plus they need to look outside of the home for resources to help them, like quality daycare, so they are not stressed and worried about their children. A good house cleaner to ensure weekends and evenings are free to focus on other tasks, such as children and the work they've both brought home. They both need to be willing to help the other and both need to have a vested interest in each others success in the workplace.
If one parent only cares about their career and places a tonne of demands on the other to help them, without giving support back, then only one will succeed while the other is crushed by the weight of picking up the slack.
Since husbands, in most cases, still earn more and feel their career is more important, they don't do 50% of home based work. The wife has added chores with grocery shopping, childcare, and housework. Just going on a family outing means an exhausting day for the wife, as it is her responsibility to get everyone organized and out the door. She spends all the time making sure everyone, but her, is having fun and behaving. Afterall, the husband worked hard all week and deserves a day of leisure. Sounds old fashioned? Yes. Unfortunately for the x-generation, we didn't have role models showing us men doing housework when we were little. We are still learning how to change the gender role expectations.
If the husband only focuses on his career and goals, it will impede the family. As the wife tries to make a successful career for herself, it will be difficult because she won't be able to put in the long hours. She will have to drop everything for the kids and if the husband needs something done. Her focus will be split, her ability to stay organized will falter, especially if being organized isn't a strong suit. She will be too exhausted to anything well and both her career and her family will suffer.
In todays family dynamic of two working parents, it is vital for both parents to work together and support each other, so both can succeed and the family doesn't suffer. The husband must take on a more domestic role and all home chores must be split 50/50. An attitude of helping, sharing and caring about each other must be adopted by both parties. Neither can criticise, blame, or demand.
My Goals were Not Important Enough
I feel the anger brewing when I read this post from 2007. It brings up all my failures from 2007 to 2017. In 2006, I'd closed my home based daycare business and tried to find rewarding work in the 'real world' with a paycheque, then my husband went north to work and I stayed home with two young kids full time. I learned about building an online personal brand, I started writing, I created websites, I taught myself about SEO, social media, and a host of other things. Then my husband came home and from then on, let's just say we both did the best we could in a bad situation and my aspirations were put on hold. I did the best I could but I wasn't a good wife, in his eyes at least.
The answer to this question is simple. He left me, the kids grew up and left, and I had the money from the sale of our house to invest in my dream. I have the time, energy, and focus to succeed, finally. The only regret I have is, it took so long.
A prophetic dream from 2010 foretold what was about to happen in my life, if only I'd understood what the dream meant. Hindsight is 50/50.
Success is Different Now.
When I look back at success over my life, what I considered success was different.
In my 20s success was all about starting something new - Getting my degree, a new career, moving to a new city, getting married, starting a family, buying a house, building a second house, starting a business. I had a good career, an upper middle class lifestyle, and a bright future.
There was success in my 30s. I raised two independent, resilient, self motivated kids and gave them the best life I could during a very difficult time. In my later 30s, just getting out of bed was a success. I never stopped learning, never stopped trying, and developed my skills as a writer and grew my marketing knowledge, which is success in its own way.
In my early 40s, success was finding myself and moving forward as a full time single mom with few resources. I wrote three novels and continued to study marketing. I worked full time and was able to survive as a single mom on my own, even unemployed.
Success in the second half of my 40s is going to be measured differently, as I work to build a name for myself, an agency, and the connections necessary to live life as a digital nomad.
What is success to you? Let us know in the comments.
Shannon Peel is a Professional Marketing Specialist and Storyteller. She has authored three novels in three different genres. Her company, MarketAPeel, helps Independent Professionals and Small Businesses define their personal brands and tell their story through different channels. www.marketapeel.agency