Soultiply Blog

How Taking a Summer Break from my Business Helped Me Grow More than Ever

How taking a summer break from my business Soultiply Brittany Ritcher Oh baby, baby…

It feels so good to be back!

I thought my last true summer break was the year that I worked at the American Girl Store (I think I’m STILL finding glitter on my body from that summer…) But this summer, I was in for a big surprise.

On May 19 th , my boyfriend called me and told me the words that I had been waiting so long to hear; he just received a job offer in Los Angeles.

As many of you may know, it’s been a lifelong dream of mine to live in LA. I used to dream of Hollywood when I was still an actress , but long after I had shifted my focus to other dreams, that California song was still alive and well, silently singing in my ear.

My boyfriend and I visited LA in January, just to see if it spoke to us, to see if it felt like a place we could call home.

And it was like breathing a sigh of relief.

The sunshine and open skies were intoxicating. The pace was peaceful, relaxed in all the right ways. Parking was a nightmare, but so was the shriek of that rat that I had accidentally stepped on in the subway. New York had been my home for 7 heart-pounding years, but it was time to move on.

The moment we returned back home (welcomed by a snow storm, none the less – a jarring experience after the January sunshine in California! I didn’t leave my apartment for 5 days; my jolt back to the real world had left me shell-shocked), we formulated a plan so that we could make this move a reality.

And after a brief job search, the news had finally arrived. I was floored; it was a dream that I had been visualizing for so long, but the reality felt surreal.

And the next several months were a whirlwind. Packing tape, boxes, dormant memories and painful recollections. I was leaving a piece of myself behind. And I fought the lingering question: What version of myself was I going to bring with me to California?

Looking back on it, this move happened at just the right time.

To tell you the truth, I was feeling stuck.

Sometimes, I felt like I was moving through the motions. I loved Soultiply with all my heart and soul, but I knew that it needed direction. I wanted nothing more than to help those who might be hurting, to offer a bit of inspiration to anyone seeking a little extra direction. I knew the feeling, and I knew how a well-timed article or a video could brighten your day.

But my voice felt so small.

Why do I feel the desire to share this with everyone? Maybe I should go back to journaling. Is this doing any good?

It felt like no one was listening.

And it’s not that I measured Soultiply’s worth in website hits or social media followers (although I appreciate every visit and every follower, that’s for sure! ) I just knew that it could be so much more. And that vision haunted me for several months, as I continued with the motions, searching for the magic missing piece.

Once I received the news that we were moving, I dove headfirst into planning our new life across the country. I figured this milestone would be the perfect time to take a step back and let Soultiply simmer in my psyche.

And now, we are settled in our new home!

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Peek-a-boo from my new office (!)

Every day I wake up and feel a wave of gratitude wash over me. I can see palm trees from every window. The sun wakes me up in the morning; I feel my anxiety drifting away, a feeling that I haven’t fully experienced since the first day I moved to NYC. The knots in my shoulders are starting to untangle. This move was healthy for me. And I haven’t looked back.

But this move was more than just a change in location – it was an opportunity to take a pit stop on the road to success.

I didn’t want to think about goals or plans for the future. I was much too concerned about packing boxes, hiring movers and trying to sign a lease for our new home 2,500 miles away. Everything around me was gearing into overdrive, so it felt nice to hit the pause button in at least one area of my life.

And I wanted to test something.

I wanted to see how it felt to pursue a goal in the periphery. I wanted to allow Soultiply to sneak up on me, to catch me off guard like a lightning bolt in my heart. I wanted to soak in my surroundings and let the ideas and motivation find me for a change. I wanted to play hard to get.

And most of all, I wanted to learn from it.

I wanted to check back in with myself, to make sure that this was still something that I wanted to do. My soul had spoken; now was my time to listen.

And I’ve come to the conclusion that a break is a very good thing.

Not only is it a moment to recharge, but it’s a moment to get out of your own way.

Without the “pressure” to perform, I was free to create on my terms.

I learned that you don’t always have to be going going going . I left that Brittany in New York City; the woman who ran herself tired trying to survive the rat race.

It’s good to check in with yourself, to make sure that you still love what you do. I knew all too well that dreams can change , and I made a promise with myself when I first started Soultiply that if I ever decided to change my mind, to pursue something new and different, that I wouldn’t feel guilty or fight the feeling. As soon as it wasn’t my dream any longer, I promised myself I would let it go.

So this break allowed me to breathe into that idea, to decide if I was still aligned with my purpose on this path.

And I would be lying if I said that it didn’t FREAK ME OUT. No one wants to throw away 1.5 years worth of ambition and work.

But I knew that it was worth it. I had lived through it before and I could do it again, if need be.

And I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

Yes , Soultiply still fills my heart with happiness, right up to the brim. I know this in my gut to be true.

I missed my baby. This whole experience reaffirmed that this is what I am meant to do.

But during this summer long journey, I realized much more.

The amount of inspiration that I had access to this summer was STAGGERING. Seriously, I’ve just spent 2 solid days sifting through my notebook, gleaning the bits of solid gold that I stumbled upon these last 3 months.

There are going to be some BIG changes happening to Soultiply throughout the rest of this year. Bigger than life ideas that were born out of this luxurious summer rumination.

Many of it will be happening behind the scenes, but I will be sharing the news with you as soon as I can.

In the meantime, I want to say thank you.

Thank you for being there, even when I wasn’t.

Thank you for reading and reaching out to me about Soultiply. Before I left, I felt like no one was reading – but the moment I stepped away, I was in awe of the amount of love and words of encouragement I continued to receive. To know you are reading and these posts are brightening your day just a bit – it means more than you know.

And I will give you some warning next time I disappear for a summer, I can promise you that! I can’t tell you how many passive aggressive, automated emails I got from reminding me that I haven’t posted in awhile.

Chill out FB, girls gotta do some inner work, ya hear!?

And you know those oh-so-important statistics that every blogger and their mother write about online? None of them dropped. Seriously. I took 3 months off and I still had the same average daily readership as I did when I was posting. In fact, I gained Facebook and Instagram followers. And without any work at all, I was contacted more about my one-on-one coaching programs that I had been ever before.

I know it doesn’t make sense, but it’s the doggone truth. And I’m not going to dare question it. (I should work less often!)

This was a lesson in learning how to receive. This was a lesson in learning to accept the good that comes your way. Sometimes it doesn’t have to feel hard, you know?

My favorite quote, from one of my favorite Glen Hansard songs,

“You have suffered enough, and warred with yourself, it’s time that you’ve won .”

So I urge you, even though the summer is coming to an end, it’s not too late for you to take a break. You don’t have to discard your dreams, or make up your mind one way or another.

What could you put on the shelf right now? What could you save for another day? IMG_2258

As I was packing up my belongings for the move, I came across a bookshelf packed to the brim with my old acting books from
college. After I had decided to switch paths , I quite literally put those old books on a shelf and hadn’t touched them since. As the boxes grew taller and the move loomed nearer, I realized that I had no desire to read those books and I would probably never do so again. Yet, it was hard to give them away; they held such a delicate place in my heart, it was like looking at an old friend that you once knew.

You can put something on the shelf, and you can leave it there for years. But eventually, you either have to pick it back up or you clean it out. But it will weigh you down if you keep moving that baggage along with you.

I got $43 for 60+ plays, acting books, musical scores and a piece of my past. I only wish I had cleared that shelf sooner.

Set it aside and feel the release. You can always come back if you like.

Take that weight off your shoulders; you’ve been carrying it too long.

Why don’t you sit and rest awhile?

There are so many people who have such interesting, inspirational things to say. I don’t know how I could ever keep track! Luckily God gave us Pinterest. I like to post my favorite articles and quotes on there, when you need a little boost.

Brittany Ritcher How Taking a Summer Break from my Business Helped Me Grow More than Ever

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