Simultaneous Equations

Holding your head in frustration with your problems is an everyday thing when trying to balance a work-life situation. Here’s some tips to do it with a smile.

Variables and coefficients

Dear Diary

As I go along my journey I find that I have to hold a few balls in the air, all at the same time. This comes after a week of having to:

  • Pay bills
  • Get the car fixed
  • Sales repping
  • Drawing up new documents
  • Deciding what to make for dinners
  • Making dinner
  • Doing grocery shopping
  • Writing my blog ideas down
  • Visiting family
  • Spending quality time with husband
  • And the list goes on

I’m starting to wonder how do people do this and some do it successfully too. It’s a real skill and quite the sacrifice I find, mainly of yourself. I have been reading blogs and articles about other women in business to see what they have to say about this subject. How they get through it all. We don’t even have kids yet, I can only imagine how a woman with kids does this. Let alone single women with kids who are trying to start a business. Is there enough support? How do they go about creating a support system around them to focus on becoming successful in their businesses?

It made me think of a much-dreaded school subject, math! I wasn’t always good at it when I was in school. But now being an adult I see why. It’s because I didn’t apply myself. I’ve always been logical and sought to do things in a systematic manner. This is the very foundation of math. Admittedly, I was just a lazy snot-nosed kid who looked at the problem and gave up. Unfortunately, this thinking set in motion a pattern in my life I only came to understand as an adult. As an adult, I discovered something amazing when I started to ask why? And then I started to ask how? These are important questions to ask in math, but also in life as a whole.


I found that the more I started to question things in pursuit of a solution, the better I became at math. It’s in the rules. Not always being one for rules and structure as a teen, as with most teens, I constantly tested boundaries to experience the surprises of their results. Through this behaviour I have learned a lot, about myself and about others. I learned about cause and effect, reasoning, risk-taking, result and; most of all of the situations in life often present themselves as problems to be solved.

Instead of fearing this process, I found motivation in solving a problem by looking at possible solutions first. Then selecting the processes by which I would go about solving it. Sometimes, there’s more than one problem to solve all with a few possible solutions. The question is what is the right answer? Is it a question of priority, what you pay attention to first. Or following a controlled system to get to a specific outcome?

Solving for (x, y)

Start with focusing on what you want to be done first:

  • The priority, your kids
  • Homework
  • Dinner
  • Bathtime
  • Storytime and bedtime, for the kids
  • Setting your schedule for the next day
  • Paperwork organized
  • Take kids to school,
  • Start your day of business etc.

To get things done I find I have to be strict with protocol or rules. A disciplined approach to things. Otherwise, I will never get to solve for x. Because I’m not following a set formula, I’d be making things up as I go along. Have complete chaos as a result and an elusive x. I find myself prioritizing, dealing with what I have been given, clues or…. things that lead to the obvious…

eg. I need to pay these bills first or there will be trouble, I need to spend time with the kids after school or there will be a consequence for that, then I need to reply to these emails or there will be a delay, etc.

Just send the email

I find if you send an email out of business hours this is not in any way unprofessional, it shows you are committed and eager to give someone a response even if they are asleep at the time. It will be waiting for them when they wake up to start their day. This should only be perceived as positive. It means doing work after putting everyone to bed is fine. I find I’m actually very productive in the evening, so this works perfectly for me. I once emailed someone at 3 in the morning and a good few hours later, when they replied actually complimented me on working hard and sought to help me with whatever I need within the day. But with this, take caution, have balance. Burn out is real and often gets the jump on you when your nose is deep in your work like this.

Solving equations with 2 unknowns

Balancing home and work life is difficult. With math, one isn’t expected to know the answer by looking at the problem unless you’re a savant! You go through the steps to solve the problem. Often as working women, we solve multiple problems at once, this is truly amazing. We seem to have this tolerance for it, a natural affinity for math!

As business people, math is at the core of your business. It is in everything you do:

  • Critical reasoning
  • Logics
  • Problem-solving
  • Working out commissions and Salaries
  • Budgeting
  • Doing your books, accounting
  • Dietary plan for your family, so they’re at they’re optimum throughout their day, yep there’s a bit of math there!
  • Sorting the finances for home and business
  • Calculating how much financing you’ll need for business, how much you can contribute and maintain a lifestyle
  • Doing math homework with kids
  • Probability and risk evaluation. eg. How far does this tank of petrol get me for what I have to get done, taking on new clients, business failure or success based on the market, etc.
  • Working out profits and losses

Process of elimination

I find that I have to constantly get rid of the clutter. Things that just get in the way or even cause problems in the first place. Things that cause clutter:

  • Negative thinking or defeatest thinking
  • People who add to the above
  • Bad habits
  • No schedule
  • No discipline
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Lack of support

Satisfy the equation

In math to solve an equation one has to “satisfy the equation”, meaning do the variables ‘fit’ or make the equation true by contributing to the correct answer. Is what I am doing the right fit for me? How can I ensure this? See the link on what is in your hand…

Substitution method

Don’t feel guilty! This is the biggest one that gets to me. I feel guilty if I say no I can’t meet up with friends and family to work on my business. Or guilty when I can’t buy new toys or cool clothes for the kids because we’re on a budget.

But I find by communicating my new purpose and reasons for changes in the family, asking for support in various areas I get support and understanding! We become a team spurring each other on and we celebrate together when there’s a victory, however small. Most of all we’re driving our destiny and making goals and dreams come true. By setting examples for each other and helping each other along. We sacrifice together knowing why we’re doing it, to keep an eye on the prize for later. We’re building a legacy together and learning how to grow.

Asking, communication and accepting. This has become very important in building my support structure on this journey. If I don’t communicate, everyone will assume I’m OK and leave me to do what I’m busy with. And if I don’t ask, no one will know I’m in need of help. Mainly, if I don’t accept the help no one will want to offer help again.

Truth of the equation

The truth behind the equation is that it is self-created. We create the reality in which possibilities present themselves through our decisions (x) and/or actions (y) and yes life throws in a few other variables and coefficients. We are the axis on which life plots out our thoughts and deeds in the hope that they are a balanced equilibrium. But to this there is always a reason, there is always a solution. A few methods may apply to help with the process.

Until tomorrow, dear Diary.

Motivation and happiness

“I have decided to start my own business”. Exploring the feelings behind the motivation of these words.

Dear Diary

I have decided to start my own business. I feel I have the necessary skills to do this. I like working on my own and I can motivate myself because I know what I want in my life. More and more I feel that I’m using the people I work for. I say this because while my attention is on their work my heart is always set on other things, like ideas and future endeavors. Instead of thinking of saving my salary to invest in skills to make me better at my job I save it for things to buy for my own business ideas. Instead of thinking of ways to increase my employers’ presence in the marketplace I think of ways I can get ahead in a chosen market instead. Instead of encouraging my peers at work to be better at their jobs and to work through the bad times, especially those times you feel like quitting, I tell them to consider starting a business on the side instead. Is this wrong of me Diary?

I have an insatiable need for freedom and to free others who are like-minded in some way. To steer my own ship and to lead my crew through uncharted territory with success. More and more I feel like an impostor. I think I can do better, do more. I feel my heart egging me on to take the leap, but I’m not always sure I should, it’s like I’m waiting for permission. Why Diary?

I think society makes us feel that we are obligated to work for someone instead of exploring our unique talents and generating business out of that. The more I speak to people about going on my own the more they make me feel as though I’m a rebel trying to start a war and that I should repent or be doomed. So I’ve been trying to squeeze myself into a box for their sake. I feel trapped Diary. I feel like a zombie just aimlessly going through my routine of going to work and coming back home. I have no life outside of work because I’m always tired. I have headaches because I’m always thinking of ways to improve my circumstances at work. I’m depressed because I am not really happy about the work that I do. This is why I feel like an impostor because I go against what I feel for the sake of false comfort. For the sake of an hourly rate that is assigned to my worth by the company for the role I fulfill. Actually my job is very easy, I clock in at a certain time, I do what my job description entails, I take breaks and I make sure I have delivered my quota by the end of the day. I clock out and start again in the morning. By this standard, I’m not a very good employee Diary. I feel like I’m in a relationship with someone but secretly having an emotional affair with someone else. Is it right that someone pays for my time and I give them a half-hearted response? Is it right that I misrepresent them by wearing their uniform, the very face of professionalism, whilst plotting my escape? I don’t think it’s fair Diary, I wouldn’t want someone to do that to me in my business.

So then I must ask, is there a difference between an entrepreneur and an employee? Who decides who should become what and why? What would be the reason behind that decision? Because we all need each other right? Employees need entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs need employees. So, what does it take to become a happy, motivated entrepreneur? What does it take to become a happy, motivated employee? For me Diary, my work has to make me happy for me to be motivated. So are we saying that motivation at work comes through happiness in fulfilling work? These are the questions I have been asking myself.

Until tomorrow, dear Diary.