I am writing this blog post from beautiful Ibiza Spain. My friend of over 25 years, a fellow salon owner and beauty business coach Donna Roggio has recently moved to the island after owning a successful salon for 19 years. She reached out to me with questions on how I went about creating my online education business for hairstylists and needed help in creating a similar model for the business side of the beauty biz. She said half-jokingly, “you should just come here to Ibiza, and we can work together here instead of trying to coordinate the time zone differences with our different working schedules. To her complete surprise, I said: “sure. I would love to; let’s pick a date that works.” Just two weeks later, here I am in this beautiful place with my daughter as my travel companion.
I have only been here a few days, and I am already getting so many lessons from this amazing island. The vibe is so relaxed and friendly. It is really hard to explain in words. I have been introduced to Donna’s friends, and not a single one of them has asked what I do, if I am married, or how many children I have. Every single conversation I have ever had up until this point has included all or most of these questions.
We tend to be a society of measuring up people by their level of success and accomplishments in the United States. I have felt this sense of guilt of not being in my workaholic mode all day every day. The fact that I don’t have consistent access to internet service has forced me to slow down and just “be” in the moment.
When I go to lunch at home in Florida, if my husband gets up to use the restroom, I immediately grab my phone and check to see if I have gotten new messages. Here I look around and admire people’s unique sense of fashion and enjoy people watching.
Cell phones have been a blessing and a curse. We are so connected 24/7 that when we don’t have our phone in our hand, we panic. It is hard to believe that I was able to travel and get anywhere. I wanted to go without using WAZE or Google maps. Some of the best moments I have had on vacation were as a result of being lost and asking for directions.
This beautiful city has given me permission to unplug. The world is still spinning, and everyone is still doing whatever they normally do and not suffering from me not emailing them back within 30 seconds of receiving their message. Having a language barrier has forced me to be a little more quiet. I choose my words much more carefully and use less of them, and the conversation actually goes a little better than when I am talking a mile a minute. I have become a more silent observer, a role I am not used to but have actually enjoyed.
I highly recommend travel to everyone. Get out of your everyday routine, see something new and different. Get comfortable being just a little uncomfortable, and you just might find a side of yourself you would not otherwise have experienced.
Being self-employed, you have no set schedule, no rules, and no deadlines. One would think that it is the ultimate goal to have that kind of flexibility, right? There is only one problem. I am not only my own boss; I am my own worst critic, and no other person’s expectations of me have ever been higher than the ones that I have of myself.
Having goals sets some structure into my entrepreneurial lifestyle and helps me to constantly move the needle forward. The flip side of it is never building in time for rest, relaxation, or time to simply BE. My entire life, since I can remember, I was forever living way too far into the future. My Mom always says when we were eating breakfast, I wanted to know what the plan was for lunch and dinner. Sadly, I still do.
My Dad was a self-made man who worked really hard. He was my example of the work hard and do what you love, and the money will come. Unfortunately, he was also the example of never take time off and keep pushing forward. He retired at 50 from his original business and ended up working even harder at his next venture and never stopped until his body gave him no choice. He was diagnosed with lung cancer and had one of his lungs removed. He survived the cancer, and thankfully he is still with us. Shortly after the surgery, we discovered he was starting with signs of Alzheimer’s.
So for my Mom and Dad working so hard all of those years so we could have a nice life, live in a nice house and go to good schools, etc. this should be the fun retirement years. They should be going on cruises and touring Europe without a worry in the world. Instead, my Mom is his full-time caregiver and is with him 24/7, constantly answering the same questions over and over again, reminding him who his children and grandchildren are.
I find myself in a place I have never been before. I have created a life that I have always dreamed of, living at the beach in a state that is sunny 300 days a year. I am experiencing a feeling of contentment that was always the end goal, always the dream, but feels confusing.
You see, part of the reason I am so uncomfortable about being so happy is that I realize that I have been confusing being content with being lazy my entire life. When I saw people sitting around and playing cards, or binging Netflix, I would think why are they not taking a course, or learning something new to become more successful. They are so lazy.
I am choosing to push through this feeling of discomfort and instead of leaning into the new me. The person who knows she has worked her butt off her entire life, and it is more than ok to start to relax a bit and be CONTENT. My goal for this and every year to come is to “be where my feet are.” Stop looking ahead and being a slave to my never-ending “to-do” list and live in the moment. After all the past is the past, the future is not guaranteed, and all we really have is the present, so why not just enjoy it. One day at a time...
A licensed cosmetologist since 1986, Elaine has personally trained all of her own stylists and taken them from beauty school graduate to color expert in less than one year earning over $60,000 annually.