Saturday, November 28, 2015


This week's readings in my Introduction to Entrepreneurship class was all about the cost of owning a business.  What are your goals?  What are you willing to sacrifice and is it going to be worth it?  One of the things that I have really struggled with, in my life, is the balance between my ambition and my desire to be a good mother.  I have always wanted to be the best mother that I can be for my children and raise them in a home where they feel as though they are always the top priority.  Because of this, I have become heavily involved in the activities that they pursue and their interests always become my interests.  I have learned more about bugs, micro-organisms, basketball, ukelele, superheros, etc than I feel I would normally know if I didn't have children.  Learning about all of these things, along with my children, has made me a better person.  I can relate to my children when they are struggling with something, and encourage my children to push themselves when things get hard.  I can appreciate their recitals better and try to attend every sports event.
All of this takes time, though, and this time is taken away from my business pursuits.  As much as I love being a mother, I have also loved to create business ventures that help fulfill the desire that I have to make a mark on the world.  I have owned a piano studio and have taught hundreds of children piano.  I have owned a catering company.  I have been an Executive Assistant for Canada's largest dry cleaning company.  I have coordinated Canada's largest annual scrapbooking convention.  I have been on the Board of Directors for Calgary NorthWest Basketball and am now on the Board of Directors for the Noyes Fine Arts Foundation.  I have also accepted a position as the Executive Director for the Katy Children's Choir.
So, how do I balance all of this?  How do I find happiness in both my roles as a mother and as an entrepreneur?
In an address written for the "Ensign" magazine, President Thomas S. Monson stated that there is a 3 step formula for success.

1 - Fill your mind with truth
2 - Fill your life with service
3 - Fill your heart with love

I believe that as we follow this formula, we are given the ability to successfully balance our lives.  When I was participating in the Pathway Program, before I enrolled in BYU-Idaho online, I had to teach a lesson on time management.  This lesson had an object lesson as part of the lesson plan.  First I had a jar.  In this jar, I put large stones which symbolized everything that HAD to get done during the day.  These are things like getting dressed, eating, getting children to school, etc.  After I filled the jar, I asked the class if the jar was full.  It was.  However, I then took gravel and poured it into the jar.  The gravel filled in the spaces between the larger stones.  I told my class that this represented the things that should get done in an day.  These things are the things like spending time with children, talking on the phone with new clients, keeping in touch with a relative, etc.  I then asked the class if the jar was full.  They said that it was.  They were right.  I then grabbed some sand and poured it into the jar.  The sand completely filled the jar.  It took all of the air pockets out of the jar and the jar actually WAS full.  I told the class that this sand represented the things that the Lord wants us to do in the day.
Even though the jar seemed full with the stones, there was still room for more.  Once I added the gravel, there was still room for more.  It wasn't until I filled the jar with sand that the jar became completely full.  This object lesson showed the class that even when you think that you are "too busy" to do anything else, there is always time to do the Lord's errand.  I have always lived by the motto that if you always make sure that you do what the Lord wants you to do, He will give you the time necessary to complete everything else.  This, I believe, is the secret to President Monson's formula.  Do the Lord's errand and the rest will follow.  This is how I find balance in my life.  My children ALWAYS come first because it is what the Lord wants.  When the time is right, the doors open for my career and I am able to fulfill the desire that I have to leave a mark on the world.
I want my jar to be so full of sand that I can truly be the medium through which great things can be accomplished.
The world believes that the measure of success is wealth.  I believe that it is more than that.  I believe that money is a tool necessary to build success, but it is not the reward of success.  I believe that happiness is the reward of success.  In my class, I was asked what my attitude is toward money.  My attitude is that it is a great means to be able to create stability and security for your family and loved ones and a tool that can be used to change the lives of others.
My view on money can affect the way that I live because it affects the choices that I make when I am earning money.  Because I view money as a tool instead of a goal, the choices that I am making are geared more towards happiness instead of money.  For instance, I recently had the opportunity to make a career choice between two careers.  The first career opportunity that was placed before me was to become a real estate agent.  I loved this opportunity because real estate investment is my hobby and I love watching the real estate markets and knowing what is going on.  Real estate agents have the potential to make great amounts of money, which would allow my husband, myself and our children to live quite comfortably.  Unfortunately, this lifestyle would take me away from our family on the evenings and weekends when my children need me the most.  The other career opportunity that I had was to become the Executive Director for the Katy Children's Choir.  This career does not pay a lot of money, however, it allows me to be actively involved in what my children are doing, and it is a program that we can grow into an institution that has the potential to affect many children's lives.  If I saw money as the end goal, I would have chosen the first career, even though it would negatively impact my family.  Because I see money as a tool which can be used to better the lives of those around me, I chose the second career because I believe that I can use the tool of money to create a program that will be bigger than myself.
According to "Attitude on Money", the rules for prospering are as follows:
Rule 1. Seek the Lord and have hope in him
Rule 2. Keep the commandments, that includes the temporal ones, tithing and fast offerings.
Rule 3. Think about money and plan how you can become self-reliant.
Rule 4. Take advantage of chances for learning so you will not be ignorant of these matters. Education, as President Hinckley has taught us, is the Key to Opportunity.
Rule 5. Learn the laws upon which the blessings of wealth are predicated.
Rule 6. Do not send away the naked, the hungry, the thirsty or the sick or those who are held captive.
I love these rules because they perfectly align with how I believe money should be used.  I also see these rules as fitting in perfectly with the way that I view time.  I believe that as these grains of sand are added to my jar, the size of my jar is growing and I am better able to help my fellowmen and make this world a better place for my children.