If all small business owners were asked, “How many hours a week do you work, on average?” there would be a collective smirk, head tilt, and a shake of the head as a realization hits. Small business owners work when they’re awake! Entrepreneurs and owners know, better than anyone, that small business doesn’t ever stop. As an entrepreneur, if you’re awake, you’re hustling! So, how do we find balance in this fast paced, non-stop, relentless world?
In an age of mental health awareness, we should be better at taking care of ourselves. Our final product is only as good as what we’re able to put in. If we’re only able to put in half effort or feel burnout from our work, then our final product is never going to be up to our standards, which just loops and creates more burnout. Forbes.com reported that 42% of small business owners have experienced burnout. In a covid-era world, business owners are facing even higher rates of burnout. From employee shortages to inventory shortage and higher prices, there’s just always something else that needs to be handled. What’s a small business entrepreneur to do?
Schedule Time for Yourself
Whatever this looks like for you, schedule it. Add it to your calendar. Pencil it in and circle it in highlighter, let your employees know you have “an appointment”. Just make sure it actually happens! I’m writing this thinking, when was the last time I did something just for me?
This doesn’t have to be an elaborate money spend. This can be 15 minutes in the morning with a cup of coffee and a book before the morning craziness happens or 15 minutes at night doing some yoga poses. I could handle some stretching! Or my personal favorite, my porch with a glass of wine. Whatever feeds your soul and brings you a few minutes of peace, find it daily and make the time for it. This time will clear your head, lower blood pressure and help bring you back to your center.
Now this is a big one for small business owners, especially business owners with employees! Setting boundaries, such as, no email between 7pm and 7am or no phone calls after hours, unless emergency. These small boundaries have to be discussed with employees and, the hard part, you have to apply them and stick to it! Let that phone go to voicemail. Leave your phone in another room during family dinners or family time at all. Setting these boundaries may seem tough at first, but soon, you’ll find yourself leaving your phone in another room and not missing it. I promise!
Boundaries also come in taking time off. It’s ok to take a day off. It’s ok to take a vacation. But a day off should mean a day off – away from your phone. You are the only one that set this type of boundary.
Just Say No!
Now, for some people, this is super easy. For the rest of us, this is HARD! I am not good at telling people, “no.” For most entrepreneurs, this is difficult, because we constantly want to network our business. We want to meet people, help people, be present and visible – all in the name of work! A good rule of thumb, if when asked to help, you immediately begin stressing time and the how, just say no. People understand! You understand, so why wouldn’t they?!
By not saying “no,” you’re pushing yourself closer and closer to burnout. So, while, yes, it does feel great to help out and be a part of your community, you just can’t do it all. Saying yes to everything, will cost you the heart of your business. Learn to say no. You don’t owe a reason, or an excuse, just an, “I’m so sorry, I can’t do that.” You don’t owe anyone a reason. You don’t.
These three simple strategies can be game changers for you and your small business. Taking something off your plate can also help. The March promotion, Localmize can help with that. That social media you’ve been wanting to tackle, Localmize can help with that. Your website? We can definitely help with that! However you take care of your business, Localmize wants to be a part of your success. Contact us today to see what we can do for your balance.