How many of us are guilty of putting everything else ahead of our personal health? Our businesses, our kids, our social calendar, events... you get the idea. I know many of my readers and subscribers are busy moms who run their own businesses (like myself) and I am writing this post just for YOU! I want you to be reminded that your health and sanity are the most important thing to maintain on this crazy roller coaster of running a business. I am going to run through my list of tips that come from personal experience, which have helped me put myself first in order to be the best mom, wife, entrepreneur, and friend I can be without sacrificing my own health.
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1. EXERCISE!! I can't stress this one enough. I always used to say that I didn't have time to go to the gym. But I found a gym that I liked with child care and made it a priority. Now it is just part of my routine to go 3 times a week. The benefits are honestly amazing. I feel an elevation in my mood when I work out, which gives me more energy (oddly enough) to tackle other important tasks throughout the day. I was also guilty of thinking going to the gym was only for when I wanted to lose weight. But now I don't even bother with my weight and I look at progress in different ways. I actually saw the scale number go up after consistently working out. I panicked at first but now I understand that I have built up my muscles and actually lost body fat along the way! Another perk of going to the gym: the childcare staff is looking after my kids so I can get a break from them to focus on myself. It is awesome to have that time away! I'd encourage you to look into exercising at least twice a week as a habit. No excuses!
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2. GET HELP! This comes in many forms, but asking for help is a key to success as an entrepreneur. For me, it was the realization that I needed to hire help with watching my kids more often. I was struggling trying to work from home with the kids demanding my attention all day, which then pushed me to be up all night working instead of spending time with my husband after the kids went to bed. Don't get me wrong, I still work some week nights, but having others take the kids off my hands for a few hours during the day has really helped me balance things better.
For you it may not be the same issue, but there is always a way you can have someone help to benefit your business. Do you outsource or have an assistant? Do you do your own accounting and struggle big time with it? When you are pulling your hair out and stressed, it's best to step back and call in help for these things. As a design assistant, many have told me that I am faster and more knowledgeable at the tasks I do for them, so it just makes sense! If you don't have time to learn a new program like Sketchup or Photoshop, why not outsource? I am here to help you with that if you need me! Click here to see the services I offer that you can take off your to do list.
3. SAY NO. Let's practice that word, no, no thank you, no, I'm really busy... it's okay to say no sometimes! It's also a good time to evaluate everything you are saying yes to. Are you in a niche for your business, or are you saying yes to every single type of project that comes your way? Don't be afraid to say no to the things that don't fit into your niche. I promise that you will not lose business, it will actually be quite the opposite. When you narrow your focus to one thing, people know who to call for that task. Susie's neighbor needs an expert bathroom designer? That could be you! The local builder that's looking for a designer, or realtor looking for a home stager... you need to decide the ONE thing you are GREAT at and focus all your time into it. Why do you think I became a virtual design assistant? I realized there was a need and that it was something I was really good at. Boom, my business molded into virtual interior design assisting.
It is also important to know when to say no in your personal life. I've had to miss gatherings with friends or neighbors because a project was due the next day. Yes, it sucks, but at the end of the day we all make sacrifices in some way or another. If I had said yes to a particular social event and then come home to finish my project, I'd have been up all night and stressed out. I know from personal experience that it's just not worth it! There will be other gatherings to go to in the future. Now I'm not saying you should miss your Mom's birthday party or skip out on church if you go every Sunday. Know which events are worth saying yes and no to. This also goes for saying yes to helping someone else when you know your plate is full. I'm so guilty of this! We need to remember that we can't do it all!
4. TAKE A BREAK! Get some time away from work; take a trip, take the day off, whatever you need to do to recharge. And DO NOT take your laptop along or be on your phone working the whole time. Let me tell you about a neat thing your e-mail can do-- auto reply: out of the office. Same for your voicemail. Do what you need to do to make people know that you will not be seeing your messages until AFTER your trip. If you need to go somewhere remote to resist that temptation, then by all means take that trip to a remote island villa! I know we aren't all that fortunate to travel, so just taking a day to read in the park alone is something you can and should do. Get the babysitter, you deserve it!!
Recently my husband and I spent the day at an amusement park riding roller coasters while our kids were at the babysitters house. It was so fun! I am so glad we did that and I hope to keep doing little fun things on the regular. It is so important!
Thank you for reading along, I hope you take my tips to heart and try at least one! If you are interested in working with me as a virtual design assistant, please contact me at email@example.com.