February 22, 2015

Rachel Strella

Small Business Owners: The One Thing You Must Do

small business ownerI've been trying to decide what to write about this week. I spend my days coordinating editorial calendars for clients, writing their content, and making sure every detail is in order. And, frankly, I'm usually a little fried by the time it comes to write my own blog post. ('Cobblers children have no shoes' comes to mind).

Servicing clients and running a business is time consuming.  I'm certain that other small business owners struggle with putting their needs in perspective, at times.

A few months ago, a woman in my mastermind group (also in the online marketing field) said she shifted writing her blog and social media content to evenings and weekends because she felt guilty working on her own stuff during the work week. And, because there was just too much to do.

Many of us can agree that paid work should come before our own marketing, but I can't help but think how much we, as business owners, put ourselves on the back burner. And not just with marketing but with everything - even our health and personal life.

There are times I plan to head to the gym after I eat lunch (and yes, I'm guilty of eating lunch at my desk), but if a client needs something or I get a call or an email, I often push my gym time or even skip going altogether. Obviously, wellness is important to sustainability and balance is essential for success.  I think sometimes I even tell myself it's just this one time but really I've put my business ahead of my own needs more times than I can count.

Sometimes it's just my OCD talking - I must finish this 'one last thing' before I can take a break. Other times, I let my business run me rather than me run my business.  I know I am not alone. I talk with colleagues and small business owners who frequently say the same thing. Some of us, like myself, went into business for financial or personal freedom yet we hold ourselves hostage to our business, almost forfeiting the very freedom we longed for.

I'm telling myself this as much as I'm telling you: we need to take time for ourselves!  Yes, we need to focus on our marketing, but we also need to focus on activities that nourish our soul. In fact, I'm going to set an hour aside each week to fulfill this very task.

One. Hour.

I must do this. If I don't, I'm not useful to anyone in the long run.

Who's with me? Can you give yourself an hour this week? Next week? I officially invite you to join me on this mission.  I've created a private Facebook group of small business owners - established entirely for this purpose. Let's do it!

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10 comments on “Small Business Owners: The One Thing You Must Do”

  1. I was a gym member for like 6 years, when I started my business in march of 2013 I basically stopped going, seemed to be to busy.
    In those six years I lost 80 lbs. , I gained lots of it back.
    So fitting for me today because today was my first day back at the gym it felt great.
    The only set back was the girl scout cookies next door , yes I did but I have given some of them away.
    I am on board to at least 2 days a week.

    1. Rick,

      Girl Scout Cookies are a necessary evil!!

      Sounds like you need to join our group! I'll send you an invite!

  2. Rachel, You couldn't have said it any better. I find that between work and then social media for my clients on the side I let my self, my family and my relationships go.. and it never turns out fantastic. I get run down and run out of juice. So thank you so much for putting it into perspective!

  3. So well said. This has been very much on my mind of late. In fact, I decided this year that I was going to do things differently. And so, together with running 2 businesses (yes, I'm a sucker for punishment) I joined a French class - something I've been dreaming about for years - but now, to make up for the time (it's 1.5 hours during a work day. Can you handle that...a WORK day!) I start at 6am on the days I go to class and work until late in the evening to make up for it. Lunch? What's that. It's ridiculous. Some executives take 1.5 hours lunch. But my guilt is just too much to bear.

    Oh and did you see how I differentiated my days by saying "a WORK day"? Every day is a work day for me so the class could have been on a Sunday and I'd probably still do the same thing.

    Is it something that can be cured? I am not so sure. But I'm willing to join a group and stand up and say, "I am Rachelle, and I must always do 'one last thing'.

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