Eighteen months ago I announced that I would be closing my business after seven incredibly wonderful (and exhausting!) years. It was one of the hardest decisions Kyle and I have ever had to make. If you’re new to Skidmore Consulting, you can read more about the decision to close, HERE.
Today, I’m excited to announce that WE ARE COMING BACK!
+ what 2020 taught me (believe me.. I didn’t see this one coming!)
+ what you can expect moving forward!
From the very beginning of my business I’ve believed in a “life first, business second” philosophy. I’ve preached that to my students and in 2020 I had to live that out first hand. My family needed more of my time and turns out that my business had just gotten a little too big for my “definition of success”. I know that sounds crazy. Who doesn’t want their business to grow bigger? It even teeters on the edge of sounding ungrateful… Thank you Lord for all these blessings you’ve given us but no thanks, I think I’ll just walk away from it now. (Please read that statement with complete sarcasm *wink*).
The truth is: What kind of leader would I be, if I didn’t practice what I preached?
Back in 2019 as Kyle and I prayed through the decision to close the business, I had a lot of people ask “Shanna, are you just burned out? What if you just take a year off instead of completely closing?”
You may have wondered the same?
Yes, I was absolutely burned out! But, it was more than that. I know with absolute certainty that I had to quit and walk away completely in order to find the clarity I was seeking. I’ve always known that I wanted to remain a business owner, I just wasn’t sure if a completely new business was in my future. There were a lot of other business ideas I contemplated this year ie: fitness instructor, landscape architect, interior designer. I needed the freedom to completely walk away in order to drum roll… discover I didn’t want to completely walk away after all!
After officially making the announcement in June 2019, I immediately felt a weight lifted. Those first six months I worked to finish out 2019 strong with one more round of my signature program, The Blueprint Model, and one more in-person event, Blueprint Summit. These final two big hurrahs were the perfect send-off to a wonderful seven years in business.
Once I was officially “done”, I spent the next six months living day-to-day ordinary life. Though the coronavirus definitely threw a wrench in my “year of curiosity” plans, I created new rhythms at home. I cooked a lot, I gardened a lot, I read a loooooot! And in many ways, other than the isolation of course, it was the most wonderful six months. Had I lived the year I originally planned, I would have kept myself busy instead of sinking into rest.
Looking back at “my hope for 2020” post, I feel the two main goals I had for 2020 were accomplished. Though I wouldn’t want to relive 2020 in many ways, these were two beautiful bi-products of a chosen (and then forced) slowdown.
“The GOAL of this year is to give my brain space to dream again and to be reminded of what I love doing.”
“Replenish : To be filled up again. To make full and complete. To mend the soil that’s been depleted. What I need this year isn’t just a break from work, but a way to do life and work together without depleting the soil. I want to learn new rhythms. That’s what’s been missing. Living well in ordinary times.”
By July, I felt replenished, rejuvenated, and rediscovered what I loved doing. A full 12 months after publicly announcing closing the business, I finally got the clarity I was seeking.
You see, for me, the most unexpected bi-product of the coronavirus was to find myself offering financial help for free. That thing I used to get paid really good money to do, I found myself offering to do free of charge for those in need around me. I offered to sit down with my neighbors and rework their budgets after salaries were cut in half. I found myself volunteering to teach a finance class at my church. I couldn’t help but create new content for small business owners impacted by the coronavirus. I found myself willing to work for free because deep down … finance is a part of who I am and the talents the Lord has given me.
My lightbulb moment arrived: I really like finance. I actually really enjoy creating budgets. I get excited to help others make and manage money.
As it turns out, I had the right idea all along! I just got off track a bit along the way.
I start off every single course I teach on finance and business growth by encouraging my students to define their own personal vision for success. As I’ve always said, I can teach any business owner to make a million dollars but I can’t ensure you’ll be happy when you get there.
Believe me, strategic growth is important. But buying into the lie that “if you’re not growing, you’re dying” isn’t truth. The cost for me got too high, and I had to walk away.
After a lot of prayer and chats with Kyle, it was clear this was the business I wanted, but with a slightly revised business plan!
Moving forward, the focus will be on finance and helping business owners make and manage money as we’ve always done. Yes, you will still be able to learn from me online through the existing curriculum (Hello, The Blueprint Model is back!!) as well as any new curriculum we develop, but there will be a lot that has changed! Think new services, new product offers + a revised business plan that better aligns long-term with our definition of success (you’ll have to stay tuned for all those nitty gritty details *wink*).
In perfect Taylor Swift style, over the next 30 days I’ll send out sneak peeks of what we have up our sleeves, what will be the same and what will be different when we return, and important dates to get on your calendar in 2021! I cannot wait to share more!!!
In other exciting news, Kyle left his engineering job so we could partner together on the business!!! Yay! This is such a cool God story I’d love to share with you next time we’re sitting down to coffee. But long story short: we realized this was the business we were supposed to run together. I mean, we all know Kyle has basically had an unpaid part-time job building Skidmore Consulting from day one! It was now time to make it official!
The truth is: Being a baller business woman shattering glass ceilings isn’t me. I’ve always said I want to be the CFO (second in charge) not the CEO. Moving forward, Kyle will be handling all operations (including any future hires) as well as managing the entire online & product side of the business. This frees me up to focus on loving clients and students well, creating really great financial-focused content and new curriculum.
Last June when I announced I was quitting, I talked about seasons. I knew I was moving into a season of ‘winter”.
Winter : A season of rest. Everything draws to a close. It gets quiet in order to rejuvenate and renew.
I had faith that the season would pass and that Spring would come again, but it’s not always easy to trust when you’re in the midst of the winter darkness.
Spring : a time of new beginnings. Of planting a lot of seeds, of starting.
Thank goodness in a world where little is certain, we can count on this one thing: Seasons will change.
SPRING IS COMING!
Thank you for journeying with me. Thank you for all the encouragement and support along the way. I have big hopes for 2021, and I would love the opportunity to serve you in the new year!
I’d love to “virtually” see you there! In the meantime, make sure to join our mailing list for sneak peeks at all the good stuff we have in store!