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  • Writer's pictureMary Knox Miller

Don't Forget 'Me' Time When Running a Business

In your attempts to 'have it all,' don't forget to take care of yourself.

When I started this business I wanted to do it all - teach organizations how to harness the power of story; capture enduring spirits in portraits; create powerful videos for organizations; volunteer my time and talent to nonprofits to showcase their impact.

And this was on top of my full-time job as a video strategist and producer for the MBA Program at Harvard Business School. Not to mention my other full-time jobs as mother to three beautiful elementary-age kids and beloved wife.

What was I thinking?!?!

I have this problem - it’s called the “I can do it all because when I put my mind to it, I can accomplish anything” syndrome.

It’s been with me ever since I can remember. It made me cast aside fear and insecurity when I switched high schools in tenth grade. It kept the fire going as doubt crept in that I could succeed as an international photojournalist.

Twelve countries and three pivots in higher ed marketing and communications later, it pushes me to tell the next story, film the next event, strategize the next initiative.

This ‘syndrome’ of never-ending-determination-despite-all-odds is a gift. But the flip side is not knowing when or how to slow down.

I’m writing this from a coffee shop where the clock hasn’t reached 8am. I woke up two hours ago, got dressed for work, and was ready to tackle the day. But then it hit me. I need to recharge, to choose what I want to do rather than reacting to the day’s demands.

Ideas for my online business have been swirling in my head for days. The website is nearly ready.

There’s so much I want to share with organizations who want to harness the power of storytelling to connect with their audience. If only I could tell them all I’ve learned in the last 15 years, I could fast-track their growth and help them reach more people.

But I’ve just lost my other website for video and photo services. I spent seven months learning WordPress, navigated the cumbersome world of HTML, generated blog content and linked it all to social media.

I was on a roll.

Until I wasn’t.

One change to web hosting platforms and it’s all gone.

Deep breaths.

Remember - I can do it all.

Wait, maybe I can’t.

Or maybe I can, but I shouldn’t.

It’s time to rethink, to push everything aside and get back to basics.

What do I want to do?

How do I want to serve others?

What stays and what goes so that I can lead the life I want for my family, my clients - and me?!

I am energized by challenge.

I revel in the joy I bring to others through my talents, especially when in service to a greater purpose.

Gratitude overflows for the people and the University mission I currently serve.

I have built a career from the ground up, and I'm itching to create something new.

I’m incredibly blessed to have a family I adore who remind me every day to breathe in joy.

Ok, this is a good start....


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