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I’ve been sick for the last several days – sicker than I’ve probably been in ten years. I’m on the mend but I have to say that I can’t remember the last time I did so little. I didn’t even have the energy to answer e-mails. My boys were sick too. We had a long weekend home with a visit to urgent care. It sounds a bit sad but it was actually quite, well – privileged. I don’t have to justify taking time off to care for my children or myself. I have clients who understand and want me to be well so there’s no need for me to feel the anxiety of a boss who will judge me for choosing our health over a project and I don’t feel guilty for sleeping instead of answering e-mail. Despite the frenetic nature of my bustling business, I have priorities and make my choices accordingly and unapologetically.

When we build a business too often we think only about the business and do not dare to think about how we want to live. People and purpose don’t appear in business plans. There are no line items for being human.

A few weeks ago I spoke at the California Women’s Conference. In addition to speaking, we had a Millionaire Girls’ Movement booth. Our Editor flew out from North Carolina, my Marketing Director Linh and his wife were there as well as Veronica who is working on our Women’s Global Initiative. I love these people. We worked hard and laughed harder because we value both hard work and joy equally. I got to talk to people about their business model and quickly realized that I have no desire to create a model that requires me to borrow loads of money, answer to a board, and separate me from the work I really love. Linh agreed that we were on a different path than those wanting to build a commodity they could sell. Nothing wrong with that path, it’s just not ours. I share this because I think it’s important to check in along the way and keep in touch with what you really want out of your business and your life lest you become a prisoner of your work.

California Womens Conference

I’m headed to Turkey soon to spend time with my father. My father has always taught me that no one in the history of humanity has been on his or her deathbed and said, “I wish we had never taken that trip to Africa. What were we thinking going to Rome!” No one regrets living well. We regret that we waited and let life get away from us. So off to Turkey I go with my father.

Raising Humans - Ann marie HoughtailingWhen I return I’ll be performing my second one-woman show Raising Humans. All the money goes to a lovely organization called Kids Turn. This too is part of living well. Giving back by doing what I love. I hope you’ll be there. My last show Renegade Princess sold out – thank you for that. Get tickets here:

I love both the business and creative aspects of my life. I didn’t choose one thing contrary to lots of advice that tells you otherwise. In fact, the coach that I hired to help me write my show asked me to partner with her to do a retreat in September. Indeed, you can create a business that includes all of you. If you or anyone you know wants to write a solo show. You should join us. It changed my life. If you’ve ever thought – I’ve always wanted to do that. Come to Santa Fe. We only have 15 spots available and one can be yours if you’re feeling brave.

I dearly hope that you choose a path that allows you to live your values, do work that matters to you, and earn your worth. It’s not luck that allows for this but rather deliberate architecture. You design your decadent dream through a million bold choices. Some of which are as small as the palm of a newborn. It is because I planned for more than a business that I’m able to live a life of my choosing but I’m not particularly special. You can do this too.

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