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Friday, March 28, 2014

A day in the life at Naptime Diaries!

Today's post is by Jacey, the Naptime Diaries Shop manager! She also just released an amazing new eBook - Escaping Reaction, Embracing Intention

Monday starts before it’s light out, bundled in a blanket on the couch, a candle’s glow lighting the Word as I blink away sleep.

This feeding my spirit and my soul, nourishing myself for the week to come? It’s my time with the Lord, but it’s also on our Naptime Diaries daily tending list.

As Jessi put it during a 2014 vision planning session, “If we’re going to run a business that makes Scripture prints, we’ve got to be in the Word personally every day.”

We rarely do the important things in life by accident, and one of the best ways I’ve learned to get to the essential but not urgent things is to do them first.

I’m in the Word while my phone stays on my nightstand, sometimes reading the same verse over and over while I focus my ping pong mind away from last night’s dreams and TV shows, away from my mental to do list.

As I eat my breakfast and check on the emails that came to our shared Naptime Team account over the weekend, a text comes in:

Tall black coffee, please.

I swallow a last gulp from my oversized mug before combing my hair and exchanging sweats for jeans, pulling on the boots I wear everyday during this spring that can’t shake winter.

By 9:30, I’m pulling up at Jessi’s, equipped with gold polka dotted notebook and a list of questions. What do you think about this collaboration? That guest post? Where are we on this project? That overdue commitment?

Jessi wisely copies me on every email in which she agrees to do something so I can follow up. She is trustworthy and reliable, but an email can easily slip through the cracks because of the high volume. I act as a safeguard so that we can keep commitments or say no up front.

Coffee in hand, Nick, Jess and I structure our meeting around three categories: profits, projects and problems.

None of us are “numbers” people - seriously, we had to get outside help to learn some 7th grade formulas - but a focused intention this year is to hone in on those numbers.

Projects are the fun part, where our creative minds come alive and we get to envision the end result months before Jess puts pen or brush to paper.

We’ve had some growing pains the past few months as we’ve changed almost every aspect of our fulfillment process. We work through the details but don’t get bogged down in them.

A growing small business requires both hardcore work in the trenches and flashes of long term vision on a daily basis. Thriving means shuffling between the grunt work and the visionary; pivoting between marketing, creating, and customer service, sometimes all in the space of an hour.

By lunch I’ve answered emails, and I’m getting an order together for our print fulfillment center. Jessi eats lunch standing over Cannon’s high chair or at her computer, and I do the same. We shout back and forth every so often. If her voice sounds tender, I come in to make eye contact while she gives me the lowdown in between salad bites.

How long I stay at my desk depends on the priorities I’ve set for the day. Are there urgent and essential tasks I need to complete, things that need to happen today?

A balanced, intentional business requires constant shifting and reevaluating. Some days, I put in a full day printing labels, fulfilling orders, and answering emails at my desk. Others, our meetings or lunches last longer, because we’re pinpointing the icky feeling I got from that article or discussing that inspiring book she read this weekend.

Intentional living doesn’t mean becoming a robot. It means setting your intention, following through, and showing up the next day to do it again.

Bio: Jacey is the shop manager for Naptime Diaries. She’s passionate about living intentionally in the face of real demands, the unexpected, and human nature itself. Her book on the topic, Escaping Reaction; Embracing Intention, released this month. She writes about relationships, faith and personal growth at The Balanced Wife. She lives in Charleston, SC with her husband, Mike, and golden retriever, Jack.

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