It’s September again – the kids have gone back to school and while many of us are readjusting back to our normal work schedules while mentally reliving our summer vacation (or lack of one if you solely worked the whole time), I’m also looking back at my summer as probably the best one ever. Why? Because for the first time ever, I had a clear divide between work and play – something that you too can achieve!
I’ve built my company over the last 12 years while my kids have been home, and I have been juggling many different things. I’ve been trying to find that balance between being a good mom and running this company – I’m so excited and grateful for but it’s sort of like trying to catch two growing snowballs at the same time. As the years go on, I deal with a growing family AND a growing business which often leads to not really knowing what to do with either. And so I’ve spent the last couple years just trying to get really clear, calm and focused on what it is that I do. Finding the balance between my personal and professional life is not a divide that comes easily or that’s just simply time blocking or putting to do activities in your planner. It is one that has to be rooted in trust, clarity and encouragement.
First, beware of burnout
When you’re running 24 seven without stopping and you’re trying to juggle three different things at once it leads to burnout, and burnout. It’s not your friend, because getting into burnout takes, you know, a click of the fingers. Getting out of burnout takes probably 10 times as long as it takes you to get into it. And I think that’s the piece that we forget. And if you think about it as debt with a credit card, you know, it takes you one swipe to create credit card debt, but it’s going to take you earning three times the amount that you put on your credit card in order to get out of that debt.
Burnout is no different. You can burn out in a day. But it’s going to take you two to three days to recover. And so throughout your week, we’ve got to be finding those nano moments of recovery, of stepping away of having a clear divide between work, or being a mom or being on your own or being a wife or a husband or whatever it is, you know, whatever your circumstances.
How can we avoid burnout? We have to trust that our business will be okay with us stepping out that little bit. I think that this is a piece that holds so many entrepreneurs back because they don’t trust that if they go away that the people and their customers and their clients will still be there when they come home. If you’ve created a team, you need to trust that they can manage to carry out their tasks to ensure your business is still running. If you’re the sole employee of your business, sometimes this means trusting that you can do a little extra work to give yourself an afternoon or day to take care of yourself. This can also mean spacing out certain projects where you can – whatever plan works best for you and trust that you will stick to it.
We can’t always take a day off, or a week off, or even two hours off – sometimes this is a luxury. Instead, what we can do is create these micro-moments of unplugging to get that clarity that you need. So that you can step forward with the calm and the confidence that you need to make the power moves that are going to get you to where it is that you want to be.
Having that clear divide between work and play, or work client-facing and work behind the scenes and play that clear divide has left me, so calm, clear and determined to make these next power moves that are going to have a massive impact on my business. I could not have done that if I was still trying to walk that tightrope of being a mom while trying to work on the side or trying to work on the side while trying to be a mom. Those two don’t have a place side-by-side at the same time, at the same minute. It just causes frustration, chaos, resentment, and you’re never really good at one thing. You’re being an okay mom and an okay business owner. Whereas if we can get that clear divide, then you are on your path.
A lot of you are not in a situation where you can be taking full days off. My kids happen to be old enough that they’re in school full time now. So for me to take a Friday off, I don’t have to pay for daycare or babysitting anymore. But I have spent the last 12 years sometimes having to pay a babysitter for the privilege of working. But the working, at that moment, outweighed the fee that I paid the babysitter. So it is possible that the stage that you’re in but it’s a little bit trickier. You got to pay for the privilege of working. Some of you want to work 24/7, some of you just want to work one day a week or one afternoon a week, but whatever it is, give yourself the grace to acknowledge that growing this business is important for you and trying to balance your family commitments is also important for you. And that it is possible to do both.
Not working to get work done
It’s not an act that all of us can just jump into today. There is a little bit of a learning and growth curve. I started slowly by not being available Friday afternoons, then not being available Monday and Friday afternoons than not being available Friday morning, Friday afternoon and Monday afternoons. And now I’m not available on Mondays and Fridays full days. Now, part of that is that I’m doing all the behind the scenes work. Try taking a half-hour and walking around the block so that you can clear your head and get ready to go for your afternoon. Stand up from your desk and shut your laptop. Talk to someone else without worrying about what’s happening on your laptop when you’re not there.
I know you’re ready to end 2019 powerfully and to catapult your business to success in 2020. Maybe you’re sitting there wondering how to do it? Well, you’re in luck because I know all about helping women entrepreneurs grow their business so you finally meet your goals. Come and join me at PowerUp Your Business Live where you can gain the encouragement and tools you need to achieve your business goals and your dreams.
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When I think back to the summer, I think about, you know, a week of camping with no cell phone and I think of a week at a cottage where I couldn’t even post a photo up to Facebook, the internet was so weak, and it was so liberating to not be attached to the internet into my phone and I had the autoresponder on so I knew that anybody who had emailed me would know that I was away and could not respond. And that alone created so much space and freedom in my mind so that I can recharge on a personal level and have the energy for my power moves on a professional level.
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