Over the past few days I have been led towards articles, blogs, and discussion groups that deal with the plight of the working mom. Of course, as a multi-tasking working mom myself, I was intrigued by some of the articles I read. Many comments were about not buying in to the “whoa is me, it is just too much to handle” and to take specific actions like creating a plan, scaling back on your activities, or give up the guilt for not being able to do it all or be everywhere for everyone. Easier said than done. As a self described working mom and community activist that can multi-task with the best of them, there really are days when it is “just to much to handle” and I want to yell, “Calgon take me away!”. This got me to thinking about the plight of the small business owner, and I’m talking solopreneur, not someone with 50 employees. That’s another post.
For those of you who are small business owners working by yourself or with a few people helping you, (like your spouse) let’s take a minute in this New Year to think about you in 2010 – before everything else takes over!
Many of us solopreneurs ARE parents, spouses, and active in our church or local community in ADDITION to running our businesses. Like the working mom, we sometimes have too much on our plates – you know, those plates that we hope to keep spinning and work so hard not to drop! I’ve spent the last week working on year end accounting spreadsheets, while not my forte, is something that needs to be done as we approach the end of the year. While I much prefer the marketing and sales aspects of business if I don’t do the accounting, who will? Like many, I am not at the point of hiring an accounting person so I end up being the sales person, marketer, accountant, HR – everything including chief bottle washer and cook (which I do as a parent).
OK, so I’m venting a little. Like so many, I choose to be an entrepreneur, working parent and community activist. I like my freedom and flexibility. Sometimes, like so many of us, I need to let off a little steam. What I’m saying is go ahead It is ok to do that. It is ok to take some time and say, “Gone fishing, back in an hour or ten”. You know your business and life better than I do and you’ll know when to do that. You know if it is appropriate to take a walk in the park for an hour, grab a cup of coffee with a friend, take a vacation or even take a nap.
As we start 2010 and life gets busier with our daily routines and activities I want you to remember to take care of you. It’s all about you! When you’re the company your business cannot function without you and needs you at your best. And your friends and family needs you at your best.
Following are some tips and resources that you might want to visit when you need to take a moment.
Just simple reminders:
1) Get up and take a walk outside your door. Fresh air helps clear your brain.
2) http://www.mindtools.com/stress/RelaxationTechniques/IntroPage.htm – has some great stress management and relaxation techniques and tools that you can take a few minutes to do when in front of your computer. They do ask you to register your email but content is free unless you upgrade.
3) Call a friend, grab coffee or lunch together.
4) Say NO. As hard as this one can be, sometimes a spinning plate needs to be put on the counter.
5) Breathe: take a number of deep breaths (like 10) and relax your body further with each breath. That’s all there is to it!
6) Go to the gym – working out is great for stress and your overall health and wellbeing.
7) Find other like minded people that you can meet with once a week or once a month. Being around other business owners can be motivating. The goal here is support – not just to moan and groan and be negative but to help shift mental gears.
It is January 1, 2010 – 365 days like ahead that you can make count. Remember to take care of you then you can take care of others too.
Here’s to success in 2010!