“I’m up to my eyeballs.” “I’m exhausted.” “I feel like I have to do everything myself.” Have you ever uttered these sentiments? Or something similar?
The life of a woman business owner can be hectic and overwhelming at times, whether you are a solopreneur working out of a home office or the head of a multi-million-dollar operation with several locations. Naturally, there will be times when you feel on the verge of a burn out. The key is to recognize the signs and then take control so you don’t burn out, but instead, burn even brighter.
A Forbes article recently featured a list of ways entrepreneurs can use their strong drive and unstoppable motivation to ensure their companies are running as smoothly and efficiently as possible without paying the ultimate price: their mental and physical health. Here are a few of my favorites:
• Arrange your week by activities, not office hours: For example, Monday: business building, Tuesday: client calls, Wednesday: social media, etc. This way, you’re not tied to hours and can schedule a day off when needed.
• Work on your business, not in it: As much as you want to get your hands “dirty,” there’s only so much you can accomplish by doing that. Working on the business is essentially taking a step back, looking at the business and working on it.
• Sense first, act second: Overwork is an indication that vision and direction aren’t fully formed or trusted. To better attune to your instinct, intuition and desire, try daily journaling sessions first thing every morning.
• Outsource in a cost-effective manner: Entrepreneurs tend to be workaholics simply because they don’t have the financial resources to hire people as talented and passionate as they are. Look to outsource tasks that can be handled by others in a cost-effective manner.
• Don’t fall in love with all your ideas: As an entrepreneur, you are really excited about your ideas and want to execute on them as soon as possible. Don’t fall in love with every idea though; some will fail and those failures will help guide you.
• Keep it fun: Spend 30 minutes meditating or focusing on the things you used to love; this can be tough but keep going and explore your thoughts online. The key is to remember that fun unlocks creativity, which will help your business.
I’ll admit there have been times when I’ve felt I needed to keep a 24/7 watch on my business. But I always come back to this: Working relentlessly only causes me stress and prevents me from being there when and where I am really needed.
One of the things that keeps me burning brighter through these times is surrounding myself with other women business owners, like the incredible women I have met through NAWBO. They inspire me, lift me up, share helpful ideas, and so much more. I have also learned to ask for help when I need it and to take breaks to focus on activities that make me feel happier and more creative.
What’s your secret to burning brighter? Share it with five of your NAWBO sisters today to make a difference in their lives and business success!
—Edie Comminos, 2019-2020 President, NAWBO Chicago Chapter