“Who do you think pays for that vacation?.” A client wrote after a snafu that I couldn’t address while I was away celebrating my anniversary! There is was, I made the dreadful mistake of sharing too much…and though I tried to make sure everything was handled beforehand, there was an issue and it all came back to bite me! I stressed for an entire day while away with Chris….he kept asking “what can you do to make it so that you can enjoy the rest of our time together?” You see, what I do, what we all do, is our life. We breathe our business, so much so that we often don’t know how to function without them. We have created a culture not only for our clients but also ourselves where we don’t matter! We will stress, give up sleep, and miss family events to do whatever we can for our other baby…our business!
I saw a post from another creative a few days ago about feeling that she couldn’t post personal things on social media (girls nights out, being at her child’s soccer game, or God forbid vacation) I hate to say it, but I have lived this for years! Just a few weeks ago, it was my son’s very last soccer game EVER!!! and I so wanted to share something, but I felt this twinge as I had turned down a few clients because of that day and didn’t want them to see!
Why do we (small business owners) feel that we have to justify every moment…that feeling that if we do anything for ourselves, we have to make sure that we equally share that we pulled an all-nighter, that we had “4 clients that day” that we haven’t had a day off in 2 weeks. We feel this need to justify all our actions, our time spent, why we didn’t get back to someone in minutes. It’s not healthy! We need boundaries…if you are a small business owner, you are working more than 40 hours a week. You are probably putting others needs before yours and your families. You have sacrificed so much at what cost? Eventually, it will all pile up and resentment will build up and you will begin to loathe and hate the exact thing that you loved and built…and even more so, your family will. It will leave you feeling alone and depressed!
This time of year is especially difficult! I encourage you, to take some time this week and define what you want for this time of year. Yes, I know that often these few months fund the first few months of the year when things are slower, but write down what you want and what your goals are. If it doesn’t help you achieve those goals, don’t do it!
For Business Owners…here are some tips:
- Only answer emails and calls during normal business hours. Most of us are not in an Emergency Filed…meaning, life and death situations do not hang in the balance because of what we do. So set those clear boundaries.
- Talk about your family, people will only know what’s important if you share about it. The more they hear you share, the less shocked they’ll be when you say “I’m spending time with my family”
- Don’t feel the need to justify…you do not have to share everything. There is nothing wrong with saying “I’m busy that day” nothing dishonest and if you are busy doing something for you…even better.
- Set definite days off: Protect those days off and celebrate them so that your clients know “she’s not available” on those days.
For Patrons and Cleints Just keep these things in mind
- The small business owner that you used or shoped is so VERY thankful for you, they do not take it for granted that you supported them and that you had other options
- That they (during this busy time) are often spread so thin as they are trying to capitolize on this gift giving, picture taking, busy season. They use the funds that they make now and some survive on it for months in the new year …the slow times
- They are human, yes I know that you have paid for a product or a service, but I promise, they want nothing more than to deliever the most amazing experience to you! Sometimes, not often, but sometimes things happen that are beyond their control. No one knows more that you are counting on them, or that product to deliever. If something happens that is a mistake, please realize it’s exactly that…a mistake!
- Encourage them, often just an extra note of thank you, a shout on on Social media, a small token can make their week. I promise!!!!!