A business owner I know was having a down week. Nothing had gone terribly wrong, but a higher-than-usual number of fires had crept up.
And then she got a call from an employee…
That employee was having a down week and was reaching out to her boss for support. The business owner gave her what she thought was encouragement, guidance, and compassion.
However, after the call, she was even more drained.
As the owner of a business, you do not have a boss. Most of the time, that is exactly what we want. We relish the freedom of being our own boss. But who do we turn to when we need support? Yes, your community can be there for a listening ear or crying shoulder but they cannot step in and do your work for you. Everything rests on you, your energy, your drive, and your motivation.
- Massage, Acupuncture, Chiropractic
- Mani/pedi/beard trim
- Getting your house cleaned
- Driving/Motorcycle riding
- Arts and Crafts
- Gym class
- And the list goes on...
When I was a kid, perfect attendance was the most important thing. You would think having perfect attendance meant you were going to be President of the United States. The takeaway I have from growing up like this is that as an adult, I never know when I am sick enough not to go to work. When I was in the Air Force and had a corporate job, I only called in sick or went to the doctor when my boss told (ordered) me to.
Since I became my own boss, I have had to really learn to listen to my body and take action required to keep myself sane. I had to do that while balancing the “guilt” of wondering whether I was working enough since I was not working the standard 9-5 work day.
That is a critical component to keeping yourself sane: give yourself permission to participate and make space for your rest and rejuvenation activities. Maybe you feel guilty about the cost or the time away from your business, or (gasp!) that having someone else do it for you is wrong (I hear this a lot when it comes to hiring a house cleaner).
In a previous blog, I talked about setting aside money for triathlons as a way to give myself space to do something that gives me a release. I made it a priority and it made a world of difference in my life.
Whatever it is you choose to do for self care, guard it religiously. That time and activity should be non-negotiable.
When you do not have self care as a priority, you may choose other ways to escape. I have seen business owners avoid their stress by escaping into books, tv, eating, drinking, etc. You know when you are escaping versus resting and rejuvenating. Escaping is not a good long-term solution for self care.
Indeed the business owner from the beginning of the blog spent the rest of the day escaping into a book. Then she got up and went to the gym. During her workout, she reflected on how generally all fires get resolved and the business keeps moving forward.
She finished her workout rejuvenated. And I can assure you she did not get the same rejuvenation from her escaping into her book. When looking to remain sane, turn to self care rather than escaping. There is time for the escape too, but for your own sanity self-care will keep you happy and working in the long run.