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Blog: It's good to be back!
Where is the instruction manual?

Through out my years as an organizer and business owner I have had many women approach me for advice. When I lived in Montgomery I was fortunate enough to have an intern twice a year through the Interior Decorating program at Auburn University of Montgomery where I still teach. Interns had to spend approximately 20 hours with me. You get to know someone pretty quick. I was always amazed at how many questions they had and how they were hoping someone would tell them the secret to success. I had those questions too. I've learned only through trial and error that there is no secret to success. You have to first discover your talents. If you are unaware of your gift from God you have no idea how to interpret your purpose, right? It takes a lot of self awareness. Often times there is no other way to gain self awareness except through some major life crisis. After some soul searching to decipher the hidden meaning in any life changing event we are stronger, hopefully able to trust ourselves more and ask the questions necessary to encourage us to take the right fork in the road. But we must be flexible. Plans can change, quickly! I've always been proud of my ability to zag when others are still zigging…I am a fast learner and am always aware of my damage factor. For months I have been trying to redefine myself in this new town. Montgomery had a population of over 202,000, our new town…under 15,000. Oh yea, it's different! My stand still is that I have been driven for several years now. Once we moved I still found myself traveling the 2 hours to Montgomery for clients even in this second year. In this new place, the emergency brake has been pulled several times now. My husband and I were talking last night, as we have been many nights lately, about this 3rd baby thing. Which has lead us to talk about our current baby. Lula has had so many growing pains. I cannot bitch about my achievements or disappointments, I am thankful for each one. That is why this blog is called Lula's Grace…if it were not for Lulagrace (www.Lulagrace.com) I'm not sure if I would be who I am today. But if Lulagrace were to cease to be, who would I be then? Lately I have had some definite time wasters and it just completely drags you down when it isn't just your business it's your baby. I only have my time for sale. I don't have a product that I can re-coop the costs. I love to offer free advice but since our move to a smaller town it seems a difficult situation to be in. Money ruins many relationships but I have to contribute to my family, and my time is my product. My knowledge and experience is my service. As a business owner, of anything, you must always be ready to reinvent yourself. You must stay ahead of the trend and stay current in your education. I have not been sure if I wanted to quit, take some time off or what? My husband says I flip flop from hour to hour. It's true!! After really thinking about it, I have made this decision. Lulagrace is a part of me. But I'm not Lulagrace. I COULD give it up, but I love my profession and would go organize for 4 days if someone called today and needed it done, even if they were 4 hours away! Since her creation I have never known how to exactly clock out at the end of the day. My husband has been incredibly understanding to allow me to dedicate so much of my time to this 24 hour commitment. But it is time for me to draw the line between my personal and my professional life. I need balance restored between the two. As of Oct. 4th I will no longer answer calls after 5pm, I will no longer return Lula emails after 5pm. I will also book out my jobs so I am only on one at a time. My business hours are 8-5 just like everyone else. I am going to start enforcing my rates and if you want free advice, you can attend the introductory free class I am teaching at FUMC beginning October 13th. I love you all, but ask that you respect what I do. Yes, it is a talent and ideas pouring from my mouth are part of what makes me fun to be around, but it is also my J-O-B. The ability to organize a project and "Git er Done" attitude make me a plus to any function for sure. But it is wearing me out! And it puts no money in my pocket. Not to mention incredibly unfair to my paying clients. So, sorry to rant this morning. This is why I have been uncomfortable and ill at ease for over a month. For the past week I have been up at 5am each morning with this first on my mind. While there is no instruction manual for discovering your own passion there isn't one for running a business either. You learn as you go. I appreciate all my clients and I love to help out when I can. I am learning to say "No, thank you!". Please don't be offended or take it personal when I do.

posted on: 10/7/2010 2:00:00 PM by Melissa Searcy
category: Family

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It's good to be back!

by Melissa Searcy

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About Melissa:

Melissa Searcy is a professional organizer and independent decorator now living in Jasper, AL. Formerly of Montgomery, Melissa owns Lulagrace Interiors where she was a regularly featured guest on morning television and had articles featured in the local newspaper and many local monthly publications. For more information you may visit her at www.lulagrace.com. Melissa is also a member of the Facebook community at Facebook.com/melissa.searcy or on Twitter at Twitter.com/LulagracePO.

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