Monday, October 10, 2011

Love With Your Business

As a Small Business Coach I work with a lot solo-preneurs who are busy trying to juggle running their business with looking after families and are feeling pretty burned out as a result. The problem is that the line between work and home life has blurred and they often aren't experiencing great results in either area.

As a small business owner the chances are that you started your enterprise because you had a skill interest or a passion that you felt could be a viable way of earning you an income and giving you a certain amount of freedom to work and live the way you wanted to.

Often my clients have gotten to the stage where the business has overtaken their whole lives, it's all they think about and the work life balance just doesn't exist.

After coaching a client recently who shared with me a timetable they had created that started each day at 6am and didn't finish until 7pm in the evenings I decided to ask them a question. "When do you take a break during the day?" I asked.

My client looked at me and sighed that she just didn't have time during the day to take a break and confessed that she was pretty much living on coffee and having a sandwich at her desk so she could continue working through.

Isn't this what you used to do in your old job? I asked. She looked at me and nodded.

What my client had done was create the same stressful working patterns for herself that she had as an employee. Nothing had improved, in fact, if anything she was working harder and longer hours.

It's no wonder that she had fallen out of love with her business, it was killing her.

If you are overwhelmed by your business here are some simple tips to help you restore some sanity to your working life.

1) Set realistic targets and deadlines for yourself so that you can meet your commitments and not get overwhelmed.

2) Play to your strengths and hire your weaknesses. If you are great at sales and marketing do that part but if accounts are your weak spot hire a bookkeeper or accountant. Trying to tackle tasks you aren't comfortable with will take you twice as long, stress you out and take you away from the ones that are likely to make you money.

3) Take breaks -If its lunchtime step away from your desk and go and sit down and your lunch somewhere else away from the workspace. You need time to relax and recharge.

4) Decide on fixed hours during the week if you can and stick to them. Once you finish for the day resist the urge to check for e-mails or start doing presentations etc. Make sure your work and leisure are clear defined and kept separate.

5) Celebrate success- When something goes well acknowledge it and enjoy it, your business is part of you, its your baby so to speak and you deserve success so when it comes along in no matter how small a way enjoy it and savour the moment.

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