When I quit my steady and secure job six months ago, I had no idea what my life would look like now, come Christmastime. Ever since embarking on the exciting path of launching my own health and wellness business—yoga instruction and healthy meals—I’ve been wanting to share with you what that experience has been like. However, sharing with you requires time to sit down and write a blog post, and when you’re building a new business from scratch, you’re busy doing exactly that—building a new business. My fantasy of curling up in bed with my laptop to spend a cloudy morning writing on my website, nuzzled up in my perfectly rumpled white bedsheets (my sheets are blue), photographing my feet in my over-the-knee socks (don’t own these, where can I get them?), Golden Mylk Turmeric Latte in hand (OK I drink these all the time), … yeah, it hasn’t happened yet since quitting my job, and at this rate I don’t know if it ever will. If I can fill my client orders, do my yoga practice, and take a shower, then it’s been a wonderful day!

I’ve expanded my offerings to include breakfast deliveries for on-the-go adults, teens, and children.

The past few weeks have been insanely rewarding, way beyond my wildest dreams of business ownership. Non-stop catering orders for holiday parties came in on top of my weekly orders for regular dinner drop off clients. This work load comes in addition to my regular yoga teaching schedule at my beloved YogaWorks. Fortunately I had a moment to catch my breath and write this post before one more final push for Christmas Eve deliveries. And then it’s vacay for this business woman. So I wanted to take this time to reflect.

Every snackboard order comes out unique!

As the holiday season approached, and I started seeing memes of Santa Claus beginning to take over the social media space, the similarities of my job with Santa’s began to dawn on me. Santa has this sleigh that he fills with presents. He flies all over creation to everybody’s house to drop them off. I have a Honda-CRV that I fill with healthy food. I drive all over the Bay Area to everybody’s house to drop them off. See?

Perfect for every season and every occasion- Rainbow Wraps, Ginger Turkey Meatballs, and Spicy PB Dipping Sauce

But then as I kept thinking, it became clear that the similarities between Santa and me basically end there. Keep reading to see how these differences have marked my entrepreneurial journey so far. Enjoy!

Santa pulls an all nighter.

Don’t get me wrong. I put in my fair share of late nights and early mornings, but I know that sleep is essential. If I have an exceptionally large order, I may need to get up before 5am, but if it’s a typical day, I can get up at 6, do my yoga practice, and get on the road on time for drop-offs. What’s my strategy if everything is piling up? I get up earlier, rather than trying to stay up later. This approach has worked best for me so far, though I know there are many night owls out there.

Santa works one day a year.

Sure, we feel bad that Santa pulls an all nighter, but he only has to do it. that. one. time. once. a. year. By noon on Dec. 25, believe me, he’s halfway through a bucket of Coronas at his time share in Cabo, precisely where he’ll be until the morning of Dec. 24 the following year. Santa doesn’t live at his factory on the North Pole. Famous people lounge poolside. Come on. From everything you’ve heard about folks launching their own businesses, I don’t even have to tell you that I generally work 7 days per week. At this phase where I’m at, there really is none of that “sacred time off.” I’m just not at a point yet where I can rope that off, though it looks like every other Tuesday tends to quiet down for about a half hour! #uselessdaytohavefreetime #everyoneelseisatwork #mynailsalonisclosedontuesdays

Santa has a huge team.

How about those elves and reindeer!? I’m grateful to my husband who helps me with business matters—at least there’s one business degree under our roof, and I’m grateful to Scott and Kay who continue to help me with accounting and design, respectively, and Brielle who cheers me along via the phone. But when it comes to the day in and day out functioning of my wellness business, I’m doing the menu planning, the shopping, the cooking, the cheffing, the sous cheffing, the cleanup, and the navigation, too, because I don’t have Rudolph for that either. If I had to hone in on a Christmas wish, it would be to serve as a food stylist for my favorite brands in 2019 so that I can begin to meet and interface with other food professionals. I literally don’t know anyone who is doing what I’m doing. This is the main downside to my current career— I work by myself all the time. When you look up the phrase “self-starter” in the dictionary, my headshot shows up, for sure, no problem there, but honestly it would be refreshing, and a relief, to be able to consult with folks who’ve walked a similar path.

Santa is not healthy.

Finally, the main difference between Santa and me, and, in fact, the one I’m most proud of, is that Santa is not healthy, and I’m grateful that I am. Every time Santa unloads the sleigh at someone’s house, he’s nomming on white sugar (ahem, his favorite Christmas cookies) and washing them down with milk! (You know how I feel about dairy—I’m lactose intolerant, dairy is inflammatory, whomp whomp.) As far as I know, Santa doesn’t work out. He goes straight from that sleigh directly to his favorite beach chair for the rest of the year. After a drop off, I snack on my homemade hummus out of my favorite mason jar en route to my yoga class. While that doesn’t really sound like a big deal, it’s these little habits that add up to a healthy life. #californiagirl

So there you have it! During my first six months of working for myself it’s occurred to me that my prioritization of sleep, exercise, and healthy eating as non-negotiables are essential for fueling oneself when undertaking a new enterprise. It’s also become clear that I’m yearning for connection with other food and wellness professionals. In addition to food styling, I’m also interested in writing for food brands, too, because, well, I’ve loved writing for longer than I’ve even loved food! Check out my recent projects for clients to get an idea.

Do you know anyone who is, or are you yourself, a professional in the health and wellness field who would like to connect with me, either for a collaboration or to swap stories? Are you able to connect me with any brands or clients who are in need of a food stylist or writer? I’ve got to get out of my kitchen! Please leave your inspiration, ideas, and feedback in the comments below. Sending wishes for Healthy Happy Holidays and Healthy Happy New Year!