What’s the story behind Thanks, Julia?
Thanks, Julia sprung from a foundation made of life experiences: it’s one part entrepreneurial experience gained by building a small business for the last eight years. The other parts are highlights pulled from my previous professional life as a project manager. Drop in five years of motherhood and you’ve got yourself a business idea.
But none of that practical life stuff influenced my decision to create Thanks, Julia more than my mental health journey did. Thanks, Julia was really birthed from the ups and downs I experienced, from all the highs and lows, and how I navigated living while juggling it all. Surviving this experience gave me purpose and had me dreaming: what if I could help out others?
This is my story.
My life with anxiety and depression began in middle school. I’m forty years old now, so this has been part of me for nearly thirty of them. For most of those years I self-managed the symptoms I felt and paid the consequences as they rolled in. While I can’t recommend others try this approach, it became my way of living this life and I worked with it. I learned that I respected anxiety. It’s saved me hundreds of times. Through building a pet care business, anxiety pushed me towards success. My never-ending worries and panic always kept us running safe, which was the single most important core value behind the entire operation, really.
But when I became pregnant with my first baby, anxiety and depression manifested their ways differently. While it was easy to give in to long stretches of sleep for the first time ever, when I woke it was normal for me to feel like the entire world was against me, hated me for existing, hated me for carrying this child, and that I was alone.
Through the months leading up to his birth, I had days where I kept it together only fueled by anxiety, but it gave me the nervous energy to plan and prepare the best I could him. After he arrived in April 2015, I tossed around and considered different stretches of time as “baby blues”, writing them off as a phase that would pass. They didn’t pass, though.
By the time he was a year and a half, I had a handful of suicidal thoughts. My husband had made calls to help lines each of those times. I remember many of those moments just as well as the days my son hit another developmental milestone. Things weren’t really getting better but I felt a break from the darker times by my son’s second birthday.
It was about that time I self-diagnosed things as postpartum anxiety and depression. Being able to do that closed a chapter for me. I was able to say, “I had it. But more importantly: I don’t have it anymore.”
I was also able to declare that I was never having more children, blaming my postpartum years as too hard on all of us, causing me way too much fear to do it again. My first business was about five or six years old by this point. I had hundreds of customers trusting my team of fifteen employees. While it wasn’t self-care by any stretch of the imagination, work was a reliable distraction from my depression because my anxiety would get me out of bed and would push me to my desk to get started each day. On the good days, I was so grateful and proud to have built something that touched people and served a purpose.
In February 2018, I accidentally became pregnant again. I was furious. That time is hard to write about because I imagine my kids reading this one day and I would never want them to feel unwanted. I’ll try to summarize: I was ashamed and resentful. Pretty full of hate, even? But again, anxiety kept me waking up and pushing me through. It reliably showed up and insisted that I figured out a solution to “this problem” and for the first time ever, positively changed my life.
I’d even go as far as thanking my anxiety for saving my life, back then. Anxiety was the reason I bought the book, “The Fourth Trimester.” Anxiety was the reason I designed a postpartum plan. Anxiety was the reason I wouldn’t take no for an answer when I ran the numbers and knew we could never actually afford implementing my plan. Anxiety got me everything I wanted, it helped me find the words, it kept a lot of fight in me, and it got me to where I am today.
So where am I today? I’m alive.
That might read a little anticlimactic after everything I just shared but I’ll assure you, it’s heavy with meaning. And it’s truly the story behind Thanks, Julia. I’m creating this business because I survived to be able to do so.
The Thanks, Julia’s story.
I felt too busy. Too tired. Too stretched. I knew I needed more support. I needed help. Working alone, I figured out a way to get what I needed. And then, with some trial and error, I began to feel more connection to my family. I found more energy to invest in my friendships. And I finally had interests again. My life wasn’t just a day-to-day thing I was surviving, I was beginning to enjoy it.
I also began to began to feel more connection to my professional life. With the newfound clarity, I started identifying solutions I routinely implemented at work that I realized could crossover pretty naturally at home. For example:
- Work taught me not to recreate the wheel. Why build my own systems, tools, strategies to run the business? We found what worked and I tailored it to work even better for my company.
- My role at work taught me to delegate. By writing those job descriptions, I identified strengths and weaknesses and figured out ways to help my employees grow and evolve.
- The business required best practices for operating, guidebooks for how to do everyone else’s job, and how to get the team on the same page so everyone knew how to count on each other.
- My company required terms, rules, contracts, and boundaries so its employees and clients could refer to those during difficult times, helping them back into their lane faster.
It was like the clouds parted and the sun shined brighter when I realized we could run our house kinda like a small business. I began testing these same practices of offloading my weaknesses to others, so I could focus on my strengths and helping my husband to do the same. Through a lot of challenging conversations we both fought to uncover what we hated about adulting. But just as we began to breathe easier, we had some kids. And I had some more challenges with that, as did my husband. So we stopped for a minute to reset, then we put in the work, and we tried again. That trial and error really helped us move toward next-level efficiency in our house.
Thanks, Julia is, as a result of that work, deeply rooted in purpose. Not because I do everything right, but because I began to realize that lots and lots of people are really struggling like I was. While some of us are doing better with their self-care rituals, most of us still carry a million burdens caused by day-to-day living. So instead of recreating the wheel, figuring it all out by yourself, doing it all even if you hate it, and trusting that no one can do it as well as you, you could hire me. I could help.
Now it’s become my mission to continually test new tools and approaches to find the best, most personalized system for each and every client I have the opportunity to help.
“What if I could help out others?”
We start with a comprehensive interview. This allows us to develop a deep understanding of you, your story, and your underlying operating system (or lack thereof) in a short period of time. Armed with this knowledge, we then begin to prioritize what’s most pressing to determine your short, medium, and long term goals together.
Working collaboratively, we’ll build out a project plan for you and your household. We’ll create projects, assign work, specify deadlines, and communicate about tasks as they are started, in-process, and completed.
As part of the process, there are tasks to complete between consultations. Most of those tasks will be completed by you, delegated to your partner or another expert, or Thanks, Julia will assist. There is no obligation on the client to complete their lists, but not doing so may slow the client’s progress in gaining improved quality of life or achieving their desired personal outcomes.
Our process is invigorating; you will begin to find clarity, change your mood states and take powerful new actions in multiple areas of your life. We’ll celebrate the small wins while lifting a lot of your burden. After some time, you’ll have reset the way you manage things at home and you’ll have the tools and best practices you’ll need to move forward without us.
Enough of me. Now I’d love to hear from you.
Today’s question has two parts:
- Think about your past. What’s one instance where you tackled something really challenging and you grew stronger as a result?
- What’s one hard thing you know you need to start doing now in order to make your life better?
Share as much detail as you can. Put your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Thank you so much for reading and being open with your point of view.