As entrepreneurs and small business owners, it’s easy to get wrapped up in our businesses. You know how it is, head down, loving what you do when POOF! where’d the day go?
Some days it’s as if there’s no “off” switch — meals are missed, personal relationships are neglected, mail piles up, you get the idea.
That’s why we see so many books, articles and businesses designed around helping us incorporate self-care into our lives and businesses. Important? Absolutely.
And if you’re currently in that mode, it’s time to step away. Force yourself to unplug for a few hours or, better yet, a couple of days. Reconnect with those important to you, discover a hobby outside your office, volunteer somewhere, take a child to a museum, go for a bike ride or a long walk. . .
But what about the “other side” of that self-care coin?
You know, the one where we often feel overwhelmed and so incorporate more self-care activities into our lives:
- Taking a nap or an afternoon off
- Hanging out on Facebook and convincing ourselves we’re “networking” or “building relationships”
- Chatting with friends and calling it “masterminding”
- Tackling easy tasks and avoiding bigger, more difficult projects
- Generally finding anything to do so long as it’s not “stressful work”
Do any of these sound familiar?
If not, congratulations, you’re one of the few this has never happened to. If so, let’s look at what you can do to jump start yourself and get back to work when it does happen:
- What’s your “why” for owning your own business? Note that the reason is never just m.o.n.e.y, it may be things that money can help provide such as a financially-free retirement, college for your children, etc. Whatever your “why”, get back in touch with it. It’s motivating. Inspiring. Pulls you up when other things fail.
- Assess where you are in your business
- Do you need clients?
- Do you have too many clients and need leverage?
- Do you feel you’re doing everything “right”, yet something’s missing?
- What’s one step you can take today, right now to move you closer to your goal?
- Follow-up with those who have shown an interest in your work
- Look at the work you do with clients, bundle the most popular of it and create a group program with an e-learning platform
- Invite someone outside your business in to take an objective look
As important as it is to ensure you take time off, relax and have interests outside your business, it’s also critical to spend time getting working on the “right” things to make your business successful – as you define it.
Self-care is like most other things in your business and life – you need balance. Things likely won’t balance daily or even weekly, but your goal is to make it all work for you and your family: choose self-care activities which nurture and support you, choose business goals which inspire and motivate you and, most importantly, ask for help as necessary.
We can best serve others when we first serve ourselves.