Chances are if you are reading this, you are a small business owner or soloprenuer. Welcome! Small business ownership provides you with a stability and potential that in my opinion has long been lost in the corporate jungle. After all, small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms; employ just over half of all private sector employees; pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll; and have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years.
But what isn’t defined in your role as a small business owner is something that you probably enjoyed on the corporate front…a set schedule. You remember the days, 8-5, Monday-Friday, where anything outside of that was probably well compensated and hopefully kind of out of the ordinary? Those days are over. As a small business owner you have to remember to sleep. And weekends? Ha! Finishing your day by 5 or 6 without a stack of papers to read or a laptop nearby is probably a memory as well.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. The fear/panic/worry that another client will never call, or another contract will never be signed can be fleeting IF you remember to make room in your life, well, for a life. It’s important to actually slow down and remember who you are building this business for, whether that’s you, your family, or even your employees, and taking some time to spend time with them. Trust me, it doesn’t clutter your calendar, it clears your mind.
Taking just one day a week, or heck, even a couple of evenings, and focusing on what’s truly important can do more to help raise your productivity than anything else you can do.
As Jack Canfield writes in The Success Principles, that the most successful people he knows maintain a balance among work, family, and recreation in their lives. “The value of regular free days is that you come back to your work refreshed and ready to tackle it with renewed vigor, enthusiasm, and creativity. To become truly successful, you need these breaks to allow yourself some distance from your normal day-to-day life – so you can become more creative in generating breakthrough ideas and solving problems.”
And by free, he means FREE. Not taking a report to read to a ball game, or going to the coffee shop to catch up on your email backlog. No laptops, no emails, no documents, and no contact with your work. Free. Go to the park. Take your kids to the zoo. Go swimming. Catch a ball game. Free. I dare you.
Give it a shot, I promise you, it works. And let me know how it benefits you work AND your life!
Here’s to self-employment!