When I meet someone new, inevitably, they ask “What do you do for a living?” There’s always a moment of awkward silence where I figure out what to state first – usually whatever has the newest project happening or what I think will resonate with the listener. My friends always laugh in that pause because they know there’s a litany of answers coming. My husband says he has the same pause when people ask “What does your wife do? Is she in software, too?” My husband has a 9-5 job, just one, but is also co-owner of our board game business.
I answer, usually all in one breath, and they squint at me with one eyebrow raised skeptically and look at our mutual friend for confirmation, who always nods enthusiastically. Some people say “I’m tired just by hearing that.” And I think many people assume I must not do all those things well, but that’s untrue; I’m an overachiever and I do it all well, eventually. Read also: You Can for how to break things into tiny do-able steps.
Here’s the answer to “What do you do for a living, Autumn?”
“I have 6 jobs, presently, and a project. I own 1 company and co-own 2 others. In my one company, I’m a hypnotherapist specializing in trauma and short-term therapies, and I supervise interns. In the other two, my husband and I create board games; our first one should be up on Kickstarter in the next few months, but I can demo it for you, if you’re interested. I also write books and have 2 published on Amazon and 3 more in the works. I teach psychology at the college level. I work part time supervising visitation for parents. I’m also working on the business plan for the substance abuse center I want to open in the next two years.”
Are you tired just looking at that? I get tired just saying all that, but it’s 100% true. And that does not even account for the side projects that I’m always considering, investing in, and collaborating on, nor does it include my Mastermind Group that meets every other week or the practice group I organize that meets monthly.
People also ask “Do you sleep?” I sleep almost 8 hours every night. I eat. I exercise. I read a lot. I watch TV almost every day. I spend time with my friends at least once a week. I listen to audio books in the car. I go on vacations. I pay my bills on time. I also do my own nails every week. I love my full life.
My to-do list HAS to be organized. I use a system called Sticky Notes that’s pre-installed on my desktop computer (and Evernote when I’m making “don’t forget” notes in my cell phone) to keep track of all my projects. They’re each coded in a different color. As I do things, I delete them to leave the note empty. I start work most days around 8am, take a lunch break, and quit around 6pm, depending on that day’s projects, though sometimes I’m working until midnight, and some days I get a case of the “I Can’ts” and do absolutely nothing but watch TV all day; there’s a happy balance in there.
And, just to understand that the way I think and work is sane, once I week, I watch How to Do All the Things with Hank Green, my long-lost twin.
Recently, I was working on a list of interns to market supervision to and listening to videos including Ugly Behind-the-Scenes with Jeff Walker, marketing guru. He stated you should not compare your back end with anyone else’s front end. I also shot the video commercial for an upcoming webinar and figured I’d share with you my back-end. That’s my portable video camera on top of my printer and some paper with my script held up by the phone and a stapler. So do I have it all together? Yeah, no, sort of. I get a lot done. But it is not glamorous. As an entrepreneur, I’m plagued with massive excitement and crippling doubt, so I know I’m doing it right as all the Inc. articles seem to echo those feelings.
Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.