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Finding Balance in Your Business

Business

Finding Balance In Your Business

We’ve all experienced the long days, the late nights, and the work-filled weekends that come with any small business. When I first started my business, every weekend was consumed with work. I couldn’t go anywhere without my laptop (and I seriously mean anywhere). Being away from the computer for longer than an hour gave me anxiety because I was so worried I would take too long to get back to a client. I worked late all of the time and always felt behind and had to meet certain deadlines. This frequently caused so much stress that caused me to constantly oversleep in the morning (I could not drag myself out of bed no matter how hard I tried), which would then result in another long night of finishing my work.

It’s exhausting just reading that mess, but it’s completely true. It was an awful cycle that I couldn’t pull myself out of, and it hurt me in so many ways. My body was physically tired all of the time, and I had a difficult time focusing on work. It not only took a physical and mental toll on me, but it took a toll on my personal relationships as well. After enduring this pattern for several months, I finally realized that I was missing balance in my business.

Why is balance so important?

Finding the right balance in your business is one of the most important things you can do for yourself when you’re an entrepreneur. So often, especially when we’re just starting out, we get so caught up in the idea that we have to constantly “hustle” in order to make it somewhere that we frequently forget to take care of ourselves along the way. I finally reached a point where I couldn’t do it anymore, and I needed a change. I decided to set office hours and tried to stick to those hours to get work done, answer emails, and post on social media. Once 5:00 rolls around, I shut down the computer and leave my office. I can cook dinner and enjoy an evening with my husband without having to stress about deadlines. I also let myself have my weekends back. One of the reasons I decided to give up photography and pursue editing is because I didn’t want to constantly be working on weekends — that is time I’d rather be spending with my family and traveling. It was a micro change that produced a macro result, and it gave me my life back.

After I made this change, I started to see a huge difference in how I was operating my business. Because I didn’t feel tired and overwhelmed all of the time, I was more productive during my office hours, and I was able to get through catalogs faster and more efficiently. I quickly realized that clients are JUST FINE if you take 24-48 hours to respond to an email. Trust me – THEY UNDERSTAND! I don’t expect people to answer my emails within the hour, so why did I think everyone expected this of me? Your business isn’t going to fail because you didn’t answer that email the second you got it, and you don’t have to get a catalog back to someone that day if you’ve explained the expectation should be 3-5. You have to make sure you’re taking care of yourself, or you will burn out really quickly.

So if you find you’re struggling with the same fatigue I was plagued with early on in my business, try finding the right balance for you. It could mean taking on fewer weddings a year, or it could be as simple as setting strict office hours. Listen to your body – is it telling you that you need more sleep? Also, listen to your friends and family. If you’re giving up your entire life to your business and sacrificing time with your support group, it’s probably time to make a change. Like Mary Marantz says, “I didn’t quite a 9-5 to work a 24/7.” Figuring out what you need in order to have a more productive workweek will put you in the right direction for healthy success.

 

 

If you like this post, you may also be interested in:

5 Things Nobody Tells You About Being a Small Business Owner

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  1. Jenn

    March 6th, 2017 at 11:06 am

    I love this and I really need to hear this. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  2. IDOWED

    March 6th, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Last night I got a work email at 3 am. My phone dinged and I made the mistake of answering it. 3hrs later I went back to bed. This am I needed a refocus. Thank you!

  3. Summer

    March 6th, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Thank you for this. I’ve recently been making office hours too and sticking to them rather than working 24/7. If I don’t have weddings on the weekend, then I don’t answer (as many) emails either. Spending time with my family and being there for them is my priority in addition to growing my small business. 🙂

  4. Lisa Robinson

    March 6th, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Yes!! So much truth in this. (Why is it the hardest thing in the world to do, though?!) My freedom came when I was able to rent studio space to work. Now, the majority of my stuff is out of my home so home stays home and work stays work.

  5. Lilli Black

    March 6th, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Girl, yes. This is such a hard thing for passionate business owners. You nailed it!

  6. Bailey G

    March 6th, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I so often get caught up in the hustle..

  7. Jennifer

    March 6th, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    What a great post. I have told my husband so many times that we need to set hours for ourselves to “clock in and clock out”. It’s something we really need to work on. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Andrea Burolla Photography

    March 6th, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Oh man, I so relate to this! I thought it was interesting that you found you actually worked better by working less. I am so guilty of working everywhere and anywhere I can (like today at my son’s Ninja class!). Time to make some changes.

  9. Lynn Marie

    March 6th, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    This is so true and important to recognize. It’s so easy to always be ON in our technology filled society. I had to turn off sounds and notifications for texts and e-mails. I now physically check a few times a day. I also have official office hours from 10-6. That has helped a TON! Great post!!

  10. Alissa

    March 6th, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    This is an awesome post and something EVERYONE needs to read. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Amy

    March 6th, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    This is a really great post, now to implement this into my routine!!

  12. Natalie

    March 6th, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Really needed this! Thanks for your authenticity and posting this.

  13. Robyn

    March 6th, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    This is such a great reminder. Someone once told me that no matter what, when the clock strikes 5pm you close your computer and be done. The work will be there again tomorrow. I have always remembered those words.

  14. Savannah

    March 6th, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Yes!! I love this! I completely agree, and sometimes have to remind myself that a client will be not only understanding, but okay with me taking a little time to respond. Great post!!

  15. jiyeon

    March 6th, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    yes yes and yes. as business owner, it’ so easy to lose the balance. this was such a good blog post! thank you so much for sharing!

  16. Kristine B

    March 6th, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    “Balance” is my word for the year! Great post!

  17. Elizabeth Dilley

    March 6th, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    What a great post! I need this information today!!

  18. amber

    March 6th, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    I really struggle with balance. I’m still in the first year and this read was really helpful. Sometimes I WANT to keep going.. keep editing, keep blogging, keep researching … because I LOVE my work. But It is a real life stuggle to make sure I am not ignoring other important parts of my life… my husband, my friends and family. Thank you for sharing this.

  19. Lexie

    March 6th, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Balance is something I am always struggling with! I finally turned off my email update on my phone so I have to physically click on emails to check it. That helped a little bit but I definitely have to set some hours where I shut it all down!

  20. Sunshine Lump

    March 6th, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Glad to hear it wasn’t just me that went through this! It’s easy to lose that balance.

  21. ItalianBelly

    March 7th, 2017 at 8:47 am

    I need to take a page out of your book. I needed to read this. Thanks.

  22. Sharee Davenport

    March 7th, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Finding a balance is so important. I love the way this was written!

  23. Tierra Wilson

    March 7th, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Balance is def key. Especially in creative fields. Thanks for sharing your tips.

  24. Sara Normand

    March 7th, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    I needed this today! With a full-time job, I am finding it really hard to get my blog up and running and today was the first time I couldn’t meet my goal of two posts per week. I am going to have to re-think whether this is feasible!

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