Is it time for an intervention with your business?
I am a sole proprietor of a small business, essentially a one woman show, for all intents and purposes. Does that mean I do everything by myself? Not on your life. My better half is quick to ensure our dogs get out for the daily runs if he sees that my day is full of client calls. My friends help me out with errands or dog sitting or even just meeting up for coffee to make sure I get the hell out of the house and see the sky.
Working on your own is exhilarating and fun and lonely and frustrating and so much more than all of that.
I know that many women who are small business owners struggle with “work, life, balance” issues. They are of the belief that they can’t take time out for themselves, they find it hard to give themselves permission to step away from the work, just in case something happens.
Have you ever watched a gambling addict at a casino? You know the one: they can’t step away from the machine even for a second because they know the next big win is just waiting for them.
One time I visited a new casino in Florida because we had coupons to eat there. As I walked past the line of telephones a woman collapsed on the floor, bam, right in front of me. She didn’t even have time to hang up the phone. I learned later that she had been inside at the casino for more than 24 hours straight! I don’t think I have ever done anything for 24 hours, except breathe. She was pasty and exhausted and dehydrated and apparently used Depends so she didn’t even have to leave to go to the washroom! Yikes!
I see lots of people who seem to be addicted to their businesses. They cannot leave, they cannot take any time off even when they are not well. They give me lots of good reasons for their behavior but, truth, the bottom line is that this is a choice. We all have choice in our lives about who we want to be and how we want to be.
Since I am not perfect, I know that probably shocks some of you, I do over extend myself some days. I may try to accommodate a client by changing an appointment for them when I already have several calls that day. I am learning though because I know this for sure: if I do not take care of me then my clients are not cared for properly, my family is not cared for and my two lovely dogs are not properly cared for.
Some days it’s hard to let the phone ring and take me time but I am taking my lesson from the woman at the casino ” you have to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em” and if you don’t, at some point you’re probably going to fall flat on your face, bam, just like that.