The Bottom Line, The Deadline & Crossing The Line

I am a full-time parent, a sometimes employee and a part-time entrepreneur and have been for the past 5 years. I am also a wife, friend, daughter, granddaughter, golfer, photographer, book reader, and more. I wear many hats. Just like you.

When it comes to the big stuff… being a parent, being responsible to clients and employers, being responsible to my own businesses… I am very serious about doing my work well, and making it all work. So serious I constantly fight my perfection demons and give myself permission to be good, not great, all the time. But even though I let myself off the hook these days and allow myself to be late, miss a deadline here or there, and create a simpler version of a “great” output than I would in the past – one thing has never changed, and that is my integrity.

When I was not a parent, before I discovered my entrepreneurial passion, I molded myself into a careeraholic that was committed to the bottom line and the deadline with a tenacity that left my purpose unquestionable. I was at the job to get the job done. So much so I poorly navigated office politics, and sometimes stepped on toes, but all the same, my integrity was never questioned as my intent was to just show up and do the best damn job I could. And I did. No matter the price… because the consequence was just mine.

As I shifted from careeraholic to mom and entrepreneur, I discovered that the bottom line and the deadline were impossible to ever meet. The biggest challenge in both managing our family of 5 and in running a small business on limited hours, is having enough time and money. 

Since I connected my integrity to getting things done on time and on budget for the first 15 years of adulthood in my J-O-Bs, I found myself deeply questioning my core capabilities when I quit my corporate career and the thread from integrity to me was completely severed. I knew I hadn’t lost it… it simply was floating as a core quality that I hadn’t anchored to any specific output.

That was until I started to create my own business. I started teaching marketing to women with small businesses a few years ago, and in the process I discovered my caring and compassion for connecting good people to other good people, and good entrepreneurs to good information. While I discovered some innate good qualities about myself, untethered from timelines and deadlines and bottom lines, I rediscovered my integrity.

My integrity was found in crossing the line deeply into an idea that I just had to commit to, no matter what. No matter how busy I was as a mom, no matter if I needed to carry part-time work to support my family.

I crossed the line and discovered my integrity again by simply becoming part of the solution any challenges in business… in any way I can… even if I’m imperfect. I found my integrity in owning what I know how to do and doing that well, and in teaching others to do the same.

I crossed the line into being a multipassionate person with several career commitments and a busy family. And I won’t apologize for my overcommitments and lack of perfectionism. Not now that I’ve reframed my integrity. I know who I am, what I can offer the world, and have figured out (for the most part) how I can do it.

I won’t pretend the missed deadlines and the struggle to come up with ways to meet the bottom line don’t bother me. They do. But the truth is, my integrity is now based in the real world. My real world. The real world of other multipassionate people juggling various interests, evolving and changing as life demands. My integrity is in getting things right most of the time, and caring all the time.

Can you get comfortable getting it right most of the time, if you care all the time? How do you define your integrity?

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