July 16, 2015

Taking A Breather May Be The Best Thing For Your Small Business

book-pileYou know what I did yesterday?  I actually stopped working long enough to make myself lunch.  Then I really turned the universe on its head and not only ate that lunch but also read a book (not even a business book – just a fun fiction book) for an hour.  It was probably one of the best things I’ve done for my business in the last 60 days.

I knew I was in trouble when a few weeks ago I was looking at this site’s editorial calendar and was drawing a blank about what I was going to write about.  Ideas are not something I typically have trouble with (just like most of you – I think it’s a benchmark of being an entrepreneur!) so when I found myself looking at an empty calendar I knew something had gone awry.

It wasn’t that there wasn’t anything to write about.  This industry is changing so rapidly I don’t think that will ever be the case.  And it wasn’t that I didn’t have projects that couldn’t be worked on.  In fact, it was the opposite.  I’ve been spending the last few weeks working at Mach 10.  Like most of us entrepreneurs, I’ve been juggling multiple projects, multiple roles, and multiple deadlines and trying to keep all those balls in the air had turned into a 24×7 operation.

And while I love what I’m working on and while I’m so excited about what this site is going to be debuting down the road, the truth is that it was exhausting.  There’s only so many days/weeks/months that anyone can work at rapid fire pace, without breaks, before it starts to break you.

And that’s what I realized as I looked at that blank editorial calendar.  I wasn’t just tired.  I was exhausted.  And while a vacation wasn’t in the cards (and let’s be honest, as an entrepreneur almost every vacation is ‘working from a new location’ as my husband often reminds me), a short break was needed.   So, feeling guilty as I thought of all the to-do items I could accomplish during that time, I gave myself that hour to turn off the work brain.

That hour, in and of itself, didn’t make up for the weeks of exhaustion, but it was a small step.  And after that hour I sat down and wrote this article.  My brain, it seemed, hadn’t dried up of ideas completely – it just needed a little bit of time to reboot.

So if you find yourself at the end of your entrepreneurial rope, give yourself a break.  A big get-out-of-town vacation if you can swing it, but even an hour on a sunny porch with a  good book might be just what’s needed.

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One comment on “Taking A Breather May Be The Best Thing For Your Small Business

  • Debra B on said:

    So true! It’s amazing how a “small” food business can be a 24/7 job! I too deal with the guilt around taking a break but know it must be done to be fresh enough to be successful. It’s a fine line.