We’ve all been there. You finally take that much-needed vacation, only to experience constant interruptions from staff or clients.
Which is SO frustrating because the whole point of being on vacation is to be able to leave your business behind.
And, taking time off is important. Getting away from your business prevents burnout and inspires new directions to take your business or new initiatives you can adopt.
The good news is that owning a small business doesn’t have to prevent you from taking a vacation and enjoying time away from your small business.
Schedule it! One of my very first steps is to schedule my vacations and downtime when quarterly or yearly planning. I know that if I don’t pencil it in, it’s not likely to happen. It gives me that sense of excitement,...
You're not alone.
The number one sacrifice small business owners make each year is not taking a vacation.
More than half (60%) only take one vacation per year; nearly one quarter (23%) take fewer than two vacation days annually.
When they do go on vacation, more than 75% still work.
No wonder small business owners are burning out.
Time for rest, recuperation, and pleasure isn't on the calendar.
The first question I ask when starting the annual planning process with a client is:
“What vacations or time off do you have planned for your year?”
If it’s a new client, I am usually met with wide eyes and silence, followed by the myriad of reasons why time away hasn’t been a priority.
My seasoned clients know that in order...
I used to believe that the secret to having more time for myself was to “just be more organized".
Scheduling to the minute meant that I could stuff my “miles-long to-do list” into each day.
Of course, it didn’t work.
I would end up exhausted at the end of the day, not to mention feeling demoralized by the fact that I had only been able to check a few items off my list.
Many of us can relate to trying to do "all the things" and working around the clock.
And, I’ll bet you’ll agree that a 24/7 schedule is not enjoyable or sustainable!
The big issue with being “always” on is that it keeps our nervous system in a state of fight or flight. (More about that here...)
Running from one thing to another, with our “gas pedal floored” leads us to burnout.
Time and time again I see women (myself included) overestimating our capacity.
It’s time to stop ...
And, for many small business owners (my past self included) that number is far greater. The lines between business and life have become so blurred that work can encompass most of our time.
It’s our first thought when we wake, and extends all the way to the late-night problem-solving sessions we entertain before sleep.
Many of us have come to accept the “cult of overworking”. We have succumbed to the pressure of being “always-on” and wear our “busyness” as a badge of honor.
We glorify work as if productivity and wealth are the only measures of success.
Yet, stories from the finish line, say otherwise. One common regret from the dying in their last days is, “I wish I hadn’t worked so much”, and would have spent more time on meaningful activities and relationships.
Contrary to standard belief, more is not...
Fall has the energy of “action” for me. My kiddo is back in school, which generally means I have more time to devote to work, projects, etc. I like to vacation in the summer, so by the time fall rolls around, I can feel a certain pressure or “urgency” around my work, especially as I am gearing up for the final quarter.
It's an easy time to slip back into bad habits. For me, that looks like taking on too much or not planning my wellness and connection activities first. And, of course, that leads to me feeling stressed.
When I am working in a state of “fight or flight”, my decision-making is poor, I can’t communicate effectively, and I’m generally “re-acting” to the world around me, instead of “responding”. Not good…
However, if I stay intentional about my self-care and keep my practices super simple, I am able to handle the stress of the “busy” times. To show up as my...
Business owners have a serious obsession with productivity.
And, with good reason. Generally, more productivity translates to a better bottom line.
I have several tricks up my sleeve for creating more efficiency and productivity throughout my workday. These strategies have allowed me to accomplish more without increasing my to-do list.
But, I return again and again to my #1 productivity booster, which I refer to as the 3R’s:
Rest. Relax. Refuel.
Before I created YBBL, I was in desperate need of a change. I was deep into the cycle of “feeling like I always needed to be working”. Somehow I feared that my business would “fall apart” if I stepped away.
I was working from the moment I woke up until I finally “crashed” at night. And, it wasn't even effective. Working all the time was making me less productive, less profitable, and generally miserable.
We all have times in our businesses that need more effort....
2020 has been….
Well, let’s say that I am thankful that our little family embraced what we could and made the best of it.
And, it wasn’t all bad.
In fact, 2020 forced me to re-evaluate my need for “busyness”. I took the time to revisit my self-care practices and path for healing. If not for staying home, I may have skipped valuable lessons for which I am feeling grateful.
We started the year as an RV family, and in March, made the huge pivot by putting down roots in SW Florida. Beach time allllll the time!
And then, COVID.
I miss our travel lifestyle, but I am thankful that we were able to quarantine in the new house. We kept busy with “projects”: painting, putting together furniture, etc...We got to know our sweet little town by walking in the parks and trails. Met our new neighbors and had a few great socially-distanced driveway meet-ups.
Plus, time and stability allowed YBBL to blossom....
We had arrived at the “pinnacle” of our success.
Sadly, what should have been a joyful moment, seemed rather soul-less.
I looked down at my miles-long “to do” list sighed and thought to myself:
”This is it? This is what I have been (over) working for?”
Looking back, I can see that I had lost my joy.
As our business grew, I let go of all the little experiences that buoy a meaningful existence.
Instead, taking time for joy became an elusive cat and mouse game of “if” or “when”.
There was always “something” that became the new priority.
I was so focused on the business and I failed to recognize that I COULD and SHOULD lean into creating the space for joy.
Such a happy little word, yet, there is an elusive quality in describing joy.
The definition, “a feeling of great...
Movement was especially important to me, I would log several miles a week on my daily walks.
But as things got busier, taking time away to walk felt self-indulgent.
I tried to schedule walks on the weekends, but because I already had a backlog of “to-do” items, it rarely manifested.
At first, I was willing to forgo self-care because my business was a high priority.
In fact, I saw my “sacrifices” as a badge of honor.
I was a dedicated business owner, giving my all to see the business succeed.
But, the sacrifices kept coming until my entire regime of self-care practices disappeared.
My business was like a screaming child, demanding all my attention...
My schedule climbed from an eight-hour workday to ten, twelve, even fourteen hours.
If I wasn’t sleeping, I was working the business, talking about the business, or thinking about the business.
And, with all the stress,...