Stop The Stress, And Surrender.
4 weeks ago I doubled my business (Amazon Copy Warrior). Instead of doing all the work myself, I finally got brave enough to hire a staff member. Now, I’ve never had much luck with staff – I’m simply too creative to bother with things like micromanaging someone, yet I’m too anxious to NOT micromanage. And often, I’ve experienced that hires walk a fine line between their brains being engaged, vs. totally on another planet.
I’m ok with other planetary thinking… when you’re on that planet.
So I get a little stressed about this whole “staff” thing.
Anyway, I hired the guy and after 4 weeks of nurturing, and extreme patience and trust at my end, he’s up and running and I’m very happy – albeit a couple of tardy deadlines.
And so it teaches me surrender.
In this case, surrender means being “ok” about the little things that aren’t right, for the benefit that the bigger picture is showing. Surrendering and giving it up, instead of doubling down on the angst of it all.
Ok, so what if I had to make up one of the deadlines for him, and so what if the research isn’t in my folder on the exact time I say. Sure, these things are important and annoying when not done… but they’re not worth me losing my shit over. They’re not worth getting in his face to the point that he tells me to go shove my job (… and he could, he is a freelancer and has the freedom to do so).
The small level of nurturing I must do (even though it costs me time), is nothing, compared to the volume of work that has been lifted off my shoulders. It’s work lifted that enables me to focus on my real Zone of Genius – The Writing.
So instead of stressing over those little annoyances, I must instead surrender to them for the greater good of my business, what that means for my life, and of course, for the good of staff satisfaction.
Does surrender feel good for me?
Fuck no. It feels fucking awful (I’ve had a few moments where it felt good, but mostly it feels a little strange).
But it doesn’t feel awful because it is awful. No, it feels awful because it’s a new way for me to think, feel and live. I would LOVE to hold on tightly to those little things and make a drama of them. My lower self would love to complain, scream and yell. My lower self would love to say “See, told you so… you should never have staff”. As my mind battles with my higher self, it feels wrong. But the truth is, it is all being 100% right.
Now surrender doesn’t mean dropping your own values or morals. Make no mistake, there are deadlines my freelancer must meet. And perhaps I haven’t been clear on why the date and time IS the date and time.
Perhaps he isn’t aware that I could swap a client booking in a moments notice and need the research on hand for those times.
Perhaps he isn’t aware of how busy I am, and how I need to check his research in advance. Not to pick holes in it, but to have enough time to tidy anything up that needs doing BEFORE I spend a chunk of time writing sales-crushing copy.
His research is being sent to clients, so it must be what “Stacey Hancock” would send if she were doing it herself.
(that was weird talking about myself in the 3rd person just then).
Either way (or all ways), I must again surrender. Surrender now, to the possibilities of miscommunication, surrender to my own areas of weakness around delivering information or instruction. Because to surrender, means less stress – and the ability to find the answers. If I don’t surrender, I’ll miss seeing where my responsibility is… and I’ll miss out on being able to deliver a clear and concise feedback for him. If I stay stuck in stress or blame… we’re stuck.
Last weekend, there was another moment I was challenged and needed to drop into surrender, instantly. And with practice, you can do it instantly. And it can change your entire day if you do!
So, I hired this guy so I could decrease my wait list. It had bumped up to 2 months. Not because I’m slow… but because I’m sought after for Amazon Copywriting and I have an incredible confidante who feeds me endless clients. It works well, I get to focus on my craft instead of sales process etc. So, to serve my market better, and to serve my confidante (who I am eternally grateful to), I doubled the workload each day with my new staff.
But… 3 weeks later, the waitlist had gone back up to 6 weeks again.
And I got anxious. I was scared about whether people would be annoyed (even though I have evidence that they’re not). I was worried my confidante would hire another writer and I would lose all my clients (an old scarcity pattern that I run), I was stressed about the thought of hiring a writer to help me, I couldn’t see anything in my minds eye about expanding my business further than I already had in the last 3 weeks. And while it IS possible to expand, was I ready for a second expansion? What would that look like? Would the work quality fall to pieces? What if I hired a writer and they were hopeless? If I had another writer do I need another researcher, since the current one is a little slower than anticipated. What if… what if…. What IF!!!!!!
Stressful thoughts, right?
And boy, was I anxious. But after about 30 minutes of this my partner demanded I go and sit in the sun and chill the fuck out.
So I did… and practiced surrender.
I sat in the sun, and said “It is what it is” – a saying I love, and also loved by my mentor – but she adds a little bit extra “It is what it is, and that’s all it is”.
It is what it is. It’s a 6-week wait list with happy clients, happily waiting for The Stacey! They’re cool. They know what’s happening, and they’re ok.
It is what it is. It’s POTENTIALLY a situation where my confidante will hire another writer. Cool, lets surrender to that possibility. And while we’re at it, lets surrender to the idea that I won’t lose clients because of it. I mean, duh… why wouldn’t you wait for the Staceinator!
It is what it is. It’s a business I don’t desire to hire another writer for. I AM the writer. I love the writing! That’s why I HAVE a 6-week wait list, because of ME, and who I am, how MY brain thinks and my passion for product copywriting.
It is what it is.
And it’s not a big deal.
It only BECOMES a big deal if you choose to make it so.
Why worry about what could happen. Why worry about what you don’t want to have happen. Why worry about what won’t happen if you don’t do xyz?
It’s not a big deal when you surrender. Because it’s usually the NEED to control that creates the “big deal”. Control what you can – your feelings. And if you’re dealing with clients (… or kids, partners, staff etc, manage expectations instead of controlling outcomes)
So, what have I done about this wait list?
Nothing. Well, except for what I normally do, which is to courteously tell each new lead what date they can expect their work to be done by. And I do it, BEFORE they make the booking and put a deposit down. I also give them ideas about how they could get work done sooner for cheap, but then keep their booking for me to fix it up for them later on. I let them know very clearly WHY there is a wait. And when I deliver their work, I exceed their expectations. I mean, waiting is never a problem for that guy ordering a customized Lamborghini, right?
So, I can manage expectations and be my very best.
I can manage what I can manage and for the rest… I surrender to what will be.
I have a few ideas about what to do moving forwards, which I will be discussing with my confidante, but for now, I’m sitting in this place of surrender to allow space and freedom to find that soul shaking fuck yes idea that feels good. Because having more staff, does not feel like soul shaking yes to me right now.
Business expansion DOES feel like a fuck yes.
And the “how” is coming. It’s travelling up my energetic surrender path to smack me in the face with the answer. It’s on its way.
EDIT (…5 Days Later). The “how” arrived! It arrived after an afternoon of working at a bar in the sun with 4 cocktails under my belt. But did arrive sooner than that. My advisor gave me a great idea… but my soul wasn’t ready to hear it. It wasn’t until after those cocktails, and that sunny day, that I finally got the “fuck yes” download I had surrendered to. Now, while it’s a fuck yes, it feels bloody terrifying. No one said surrender was ever going to feel like rainbows and sparkle farts. But it sure as hell feels better than resisting and controlling.
But guess what else. My advisor, who I was so worried about hiring another writer… didn’t. He wants ME to hire the new writer, to expand MY business. See. Can you SEE! The VERY THING I was worried about was not the outcome at all.
Can you ALSO see, surrendering was a far better way to spend that 7 days instead of being stuck in stress about it all.
Some things cannot be controlled.
MUST NOT be controlled!
Some things… most things, will yield better results with surrender.
Surrender isn’t about giving up things you require or desire. Unless you desire a little extra stress? Surrender does not mean you quit. Surrender doesn’t not mean you failed at something and now you have to say “oh well…”
Surrender means giving up and letting go of what you cannot control (or know) right now, so you can clear some energetic space to either attract in what is right, or so you can finally hear the answers your soul is trying to share with you.
I guess its kinda like war. Soldiers didn’t surrender because they stopped CARING about the war or the battle or the duty they had given their oath to. They surrendered because the control was unable to be regained (or gained). It isn’t very strategic to KNOW and have PROOF that you don’t have control but then continue to act as if you do.
Surrender is never a sign of weakness. Shit, think about how noisy our damn egos are… if you can surrender with ego-chatter going on – you’re damn strong!
Surrender does not mean letting someone else fuck you over while you sit there and take it. Know the difference. Surrender does not mean let your husband touch you just because he wants to, and you “should” perform your “wifely duties” even though in that particular moment you don’t want to be touched.
Surrender does not mean I can just let my staff decide their own deadlines. I mean that would be a crazy thing to surrender right? Because then I won’t be that sought after, deadline-meeting copywriter anymore now, would I?
Surrender doesn’t mean letting my advisor TELL me what I SHOULD do next. But it does mean letting go of the anxiety and issues I have around his ideas so I can hear my own solutions.
Surrender simply means letting go of that tight grip of control you’re trying to maintain. The control of doing it or not doing it. There’s no room for white knuckling it here. If you can’t control some imaginary thing (or some real physical thing), and the act of trying to control it is stressful, anxiety making or even driving up depressive thoughts – then surrender is the healthy choice.
The only choice. Well, the only choice if you want to experience a flood of new and exciting choices in your new expansive surrender energy!
Choose your battles wisely. Trying to fight and control them all is exhausting.
And as I said, sometimes it can feel awful; because if you’ve never practiced surrender it feels foreign, strange and somewhat “wrong”. Now, it can also feel amazing and freeing, but don’t expect that as a right of passage, because sometimes it just feels like a dark scary forest.
Either way, both feelings are correct.
So, now you know that surrender can release stress…
And invite creativity and problem solving…
And now you know how surrender feels…
And it’s perfectly normal no matter how it feels…
And it’s not s sign of weakness, but instead a sign of strength…
And now you know surrender can be as fun as 4 cocktails and a sunny day and a KNOWING the answer will come when the answer is ready to come?
… what will you surrender today?