chickens, fish bowls and uplevelling

January 6, 2022

When I was a little girl, I took eggs from the fridge and hid them in my gigantic Narnia-esque wardrobe. I’m still not sure what possessed my parents to buy antique furniture for a child’s bedroom, but it was a good wardrobe for hiding things in. I wanted the eggs to hatch, of course, and when my mother took them away (before they rotted) I was disappointed.

Fast forward 30 years, and adult-me moved to the countryside. It still took a year of living there before I was confident enough to get my own chickens. I had a baby, and knew nothing about how to raise hens, so I nervously waited.

My first coop was small, and I became a proud chicken Mama to 4 isa brown hens. I had no idea what I was doing, really, but I spent hours researching what I needed to know.

Six years on there has been a huge uplevelling. I now have 11 hens of different breeds and they live in what can only be described as a palace. A walk in run, and enough space for 20 hens to sleep happily.
I hesitated against getting the palace for quite a while, reasoning:

It’s too expensive
I don’t need this much grandiosity
Chickens are just a hobby. They are just pets, I’m not a professional

People will think I’m silly/frivolous

When the courier brought the 4 pallets up the driveway, I felt embarrassed rather than excited.

All signs of an upper limit problem. Placing a set of rules and limitations around the idea that I have for my future self.

I use the grand chicken palace analogy here to remind you of two things:

It’s ok to start small in your business and grow once you see signs of growth. BUT consider that signs of growth are more than just finances, influence and numbers. The trajectory of growth might actually start with setbacks, delays and mini disasters.

Watch out for those sneaky upper limit problems – the voice that says “I can’t charge THAT much”, “It’s narcissistic to get professional photos taken”, “I’m a nobody, so who will buy my course/book/listen to my podcast?” etc.

Lately, things in my business have been stalling. Delays have come out of nowhere. Tasks aren’t getting started, let along finished, and there have been days where everything seems to be going wrong. Throw in a few tragedies in my personal life and having to self-isolate over Christmas and I’ve seemingly hit a new level of stress. My old mentor used to call this “new level, new devil”. It’s a sign that I’m about to up level in a big way.

It comes from one of the first books I read when starting my business, the Big Leap, by Gay Henricks.

I go for months and months on end where I conveniently (subconsciously?) forget about this book and it’s teaching, but then something will nudge me to pick it up again. At just over 200 pages, it’s an easy read.


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