What’s Your Pace In Business?

An essay on reclaiming your own pace in business, outside of what we're taught to believe, hustle culture mentality, and our own inner expectations.

Published on  March 14, 2024

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My favorite song the summer I graduated from high school was Brushfire Fairytales by Jack Johnson.

Maybe because it seemed to echo the imminent changes in my life before college and I needed to be soothed by hearing these lyrics on repeat:

🎶 Slow down everyone
You’re moving too fast
Frames can’t catch you when
You’re moving like that 🎶

I’m so proud of my past gangly teenage self for knowing there were magic in those words and my god, I never knew just how far I’d stray from that message over the next 20 years.

Recently, Jack’s melody revisited me…

I’ve finally tasted the dreaded daycare sicknesses, a rite of passage all parents talk about, but apparently I did NOT understand the assignment.

You see, I thought my child would be getting sick constantly, but in reality, all she gets is a runny nose and her 16.5-month-old immune system takes care of the rest with impressive efficiency.

An immune system, I might add, that I built with my own dang body – a cruel irony 🤪

Instead, since November, my husband and I have been trading sickness like friendship bracelets at a Taylor Swift concert, but instead of a hunky, emotionally-available tight end, all we get is misery, hitting us like clockwork every 7-10 days.

Physically, it’s been a challenge, but it’s also impacted my business.

As a planner, I always set monthly objectives and specific focus projects. Have I made the progress I hoped for? Not quite.

Yet, to my surprise (and delight), everything is still okay.

But can I tell you what Quinn of 2-3 years ago would have done? 👇

She’d have constantly judged herself, blamed herself for every missed handwash, and yelled with balled up fists to the heavens: “WHYYYYYY?” She’d have overworked herself on well days, not allowed for any rest, and criticized herself endlessly on sick days.

Some remnants of those thoughts linger, but they’re fading.

Partly because our household’s sickness frequency is just so darn comical that there’s little more I can do but Let Go & Let Germ.

Also partly, because I’m wary of the pace I’ve set for my business over the past 5+ years.

I believe many of you feel the same way…

The conversations in my DMs, the articles I read, the podcasts I tune into – they all echo the same sentiment:

We’re questioning the old ways of doing business, and – more importantly – we’re asking ourselves how we want to move forward.

My answer? I’m over the relentless pursuit of results by arbitrary deadlines.

That doesn’t mean I’m tossing goals out the window entirely (hello, I’m still a marketing & business strategist & coach), but I’m fully embracing the idea that my self-worth isn’t solely tied to the outcomes I achieve.

Now, my sense of value and worth stems from the my presence in moments with Layla, from my dedication to serving my Collective members wholeheartedly, from the daily creative freedom I have to share meaningful ideas with the world.

I’m setting my own pace for my business, deliberately different from before… and doing it with purpose.

Because, truth be told, even with my meticulously color-coded Asana lists, there will always be more to do. Something else to feel “behind” on.

But, here’s the kicker… and please excuse the pinch of woo in what I’m about to say:

What if we’re not behind at all? What if we are right on time?

Perhaps my issue isn’t needing to accomplish more, but rather my expectation of how quickly things should be accomplished (cue the saying: Stop “shoulding” yourself 💩).

In my decade-plus journey of growing a business, I’ve learned that things often take longer than I think (or want), and that’s perfectly okay.

Good things, after all, take time 💜

But let me also be clear: this is not just a “mindset” challenge in my own little brain.

That seems to be the solution-du-jour online lately to just “re-frame” our thinking, but we need to go further: we need to interrogate where our thinking came from in the first place.

After all, a slower pace stands in stark contrast to the rhetoric of bro business influencers, the 24-hour news cycle and ever-updating algorithms, and the allure of the “make 6 figures in 6 weeks” Instagram ads barraging us daily.

Why have we been conditioned to think harder, better, faster is STRONGER?

For me, this epiphany has been a journey—one sparked by the echo of lyrics heard on my childhood bed, just as I teetered on the edge of a new phase of my life.

Here I am again, realizing the significance of this lesson at another pivotal inflection point in my life as a new mother.

In retrospect, this has been profound reminder that growth isn’t always linear, and success isn’t measured solely by how fast we reach our goals.

Embracing a slower, more intentional approach to business has not only allowed me to navigate the challenges of motherhood with greater ease but has also led to a deeper sense of fulfillment and purpose.

Maybe true success lies in finding balance, embracing self-compassion, and staying true to my own unique path.

So thank you, 18-year-old Quinn, for setting me on this course. I’m finally listening.

🎶 Slow down everyone
You’re moving too fast
Frames can’t catch you when
You’re moving like that 🎶