I Shut It Down

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Last week I caught up with an old friend. You know, the kind of friend that although you haven't spoken in six months, you pick right up where you left off. Her. She is an innovator and marketing genius. When she left her corporate career years ago to pursue her own creative firm, I said to myself, “Take notes. One day this will be you.”

After a short period of chitchat, she began to share her experiences since we last connected. Her child had developed health issues that affected the ability to socialize with others. Her parents were both ill and she was starting to plan for their end of life care. I quickly jumped in to encourage her.

“That's a lot! You're an awesome wife and mother, always juggling your business and family so well.”

I wanted her to hear she was strong and able to accomplish anything. After all, she has been my business muse for the past ten years and has always encouraged me in my endeavors. This is someone I look to for the master plan – how to make it all work!

I've always admired her gumption and stick-to-itiveness. She is well known in her industry and for good reason, she earned it through hard work and vision. After leaving the corporate world to change the city one client at a time, she had accomplished her goals with grace and style. She had arrived!

I bragged on her a bit more and I could tell she was grateful. However, after a brief pause she confidently stated, "Well, I shut it down...I shut it all down".

We shared an awkward pause and then I realized just how serious she was. She went on to describe how she had informed her clients, completed all projects, turned off the email, and then closed shop to focus on her children and parents. She removed one thing to focus on her main thing...her family. She shut it down.

What do you need to shut down?

Now, this email is not a sign for you to quit your job today, leave your spouse, or pack your bags and head out to another city. Please seek God for those answers. The sole purpose is to make you think. So, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is my 'main thing'?

  • What (or who) is distracting/hindering me from reaching my ultimate goals?

  • What tasks and/or activities occupy my time, but are not ushering me into the destiny I envision for myself?

For my friend, it was her business. Although lucrative, it was taking her away from where she wanted to be most. Perhaps for you, it's a toxic relationship that takes more than gives. Or, a past emotional hurt that rears its ugly head just before you're about to take a leap of faith.

Maybe it's that fourth activity/committee/social club that you said 'yes' to, even though you know you can only handle three! Whatever hinders you today, I'm here to encourage you. Shut it down.