When I was a little girl my dad would gather me and my 3 sisters together to play poker…
He’d pull out a pile of pennies and we’d sit around the dinner table and ante up.
There was an index card we’d pass around that reminded us what a straight, full house, etc. looked like and which was the best kind of hand.
We’d all pretend to drink beer out of our plastic cups like dad did from a can.
We didn’t have that many poker games but I loved the ones we had.
Running One Strong Southern Girl over the last year has reminded me of a few of the things I first learned at the poker table with my family.
Waiting your turn when you’re 8 years old is tough. Holding 4 Kings in your hand while waiting for your turn is even harder. (Everyone at the table knew when I had a good hand because it was like my pants were full of beetles and my giggles could be held back as easy as the chicken pox.)
But I learned to sit there and wait. And wait. And wait. Until it was my turn to slap down my winning hand and gather up my pennies. The wait was worth it every time.
Over the last year, I’ve constantly been reminded that nothing comes overnight (or without hard work).
In a day when you can get anything you want within seconds (with the click of a few buttons) it’s getting harder and harder to be patient.
But alas, I’m not the only small business owner who wants answers and action at a moment’s notice.
And the effects of a decision I make in my business today might not be seen for 4-6 months so…I’ve learned to step back (*take a deep breath*) and let things fall into place when they should.
Even as a 3rd grader I quickly realized how much easier it was to notice a full house or straight in my cards when they were organized in my hand.
I’m a solid Type A personality and I think I’ve been putting everything I own in rows and sorted by color from the second I could walk.
This trait comes in very handy in business. You simply can’t be TOO organized when it comes to doing your own accounting and keeping your own inventory.
This has probably been the hardest lesson I’ve learned this year.
I love to write, interact with my fans and customers and market my business. I don’t like looking at numbers and doing anything that has to do with math.
Many, many times over the last year I’ve had to force myself to do what I don’t enjoy first (pay bills, run reports, etc.) and only then treat myself with the time to try new workouts, write reviews and interact with my readers.
Stay True to Myself (People are Mean)
It’s been hard to come to terms with the fact that I can’t make everyone happy.
I wish I was the kind of person who didn’t care what everyone thought of me but I do.
Social media has a way of bringing out the worst in some people. And while I might get 100’s of nice responses it’s the one nasty comment that I tend to focus on.
The good news is that being on the receiving end of negativity (thankfully, a rare occasion) has really helped me become laser-focused on being as positive and helpful as possible.
Accusing each other of cheating was a part of our family poker game. But none of us ever cheated. We were all pretty honest little girls and at the end of the day we stayed true to ourselves.
Who I am changes a little every year as I experience and learn new things. But I’m the same honest little girl at the core and I plan to stay that way.
Remember Why You’re Doing This (And Don’t Quit Your Day Job)
My dad wasn’t one of those guys who couldn’t stand to see his little girls get their feelings hurt. He never ‘went easy’ on us.
In fact, Dad was more like the kind of person who’d let you fall out of a tree and maybe break your arm so you’d learn a good lesson. Naturally he never ‘let us win’ at anything.
So, as you can imagine, the 4 of us were never declared poker champions. In the end Dad always had almost all of the pennies. (We only cared who came in second, anyway, we all knew Dad would win when we started.)
We played poker with our dad for the experience. Not to win.
We’d watch him shuffle those cards and figured he had to be some kind of blackjack magician in the real world with his buddies. We’d all see how high we could stack our pennies when it wasn’t our turn and laugh and make fun of whoever was losing the most.
I love running One Strong Southern Girl. I do it because I love the experiences I’m having and the things I’m learning. I don’t win much (I’m definitely keeping my day job for now) but it’s the little things that are happening along the way that make me want to keep going.
Luckily, I learned early that you can’t always win. I also learned that you never give up. Hard work and perseverance pay off.
*My dad is gone now. But the memories and lessons are everlasting. Thanks, Dad.*
My Resolutions for Next Year
And now if you’d like to wander off and read something more exciting then go ahead. No hard feelings.
Resolutions aren’t known for their interesting plot twists.
You know how colored eyes get all the attention? (Stay with me, I have a point…)
I happen to think the most beautiful and comforting eyes I’ve ever seen were a soft and silky shade of brown—not much razzle dazzle, but awesome in their own way–deep wells of trust and reliability.
My resolutions this year are kind of like those chocolate eyes—not very exciting but honest, reliable and steadfast resolutions that work:
Don’t compare my beginning to someone else’s middle. (I heard this on a podcast from another female entrepreneur. I remind myself of this all the time and it’ll apply for 2018, too.)
Save. Save. Save. (This is my financial goal, obviously. And you can’t have too much in your savings account.)
Learn Instagram. I have an Instagram account now—(Step 1, check!) but I don’t know what to do with it. (Yet)
Read more books. I try to read 50 books a year. I didn’t make it to 50 in 2017 (mostly because I got sidetracked with Podcasts and listened to them all day when I’d normally be listening to a book. But I’m sticking with my goal of 50 for 2018.)
Connect with more female business owners and fitness enthusiasts. (Successful, badass women keep me inspired and motivated.)
10 Pull-ups in a row (this will go down as the year of the pull-up)
Participate in (at least) 2 mud races/obstacle events
*I also have several family-related resolutions (I’m keeping those to myself) but of course I’d love to have more family nights with my kids a la poker night with my dad.
Thank you for being a part of One Strong Southern Girl!
From the bottom of my heart, I love you all.
Let’s crush the next 12 months!