I walked into my apartment, looked around, and headed for the couch. I knew I should try to make it to the bed, but I couldn’t get that far. How many weeks had I been burning the candle at both ends? Three? Maybe four?
I tried to sleep but could not turn off my brain. My accountant had told me today that we were growing at an extraordinary rate. “Keep it going,” he said. But could I? All I did every day was business, business, business! I hadn’t seen or even talked with any friends for weeks. All that fresh food delivered to me was just sitting in the fridge, rotting. How many times had I driven through Chick-fil-A in the last four weeks? Too many. What about my personal needs? Weren’t they important? Actually, it felt like I don’t even matter.
I’d exceeded my expectations for the business over the last three years, but was this what I wanted? I had more money than I ever thought I could make from cleaning, but was it worth it?
Sure, I wanted financial freedom, but at what personal cost? I had all this money but no one to share it with.
This had got to stop. It was time to change and make sure that “me” wasn’t forgotten.
That was about three years ago. And you know what? I met my husband a few weeks later, and the rest is history.
You don’t have to choose just business or just yourself. You can purposely decide to help prevent burnout.
Here are a few things I have seen that have indeed fueled me, and yes, actually putting myself first has propelled my company forward.
1. Be willing to ask for help
I used to do all the refilling of the supplies and all the laundry for the business. I felt silly asking for team members to chip in.
2. Set boundaries when you’re responding to emails or the business number
Yes, the client can wait until the next morning.
3. Take some days off or even go on a vacation
Give your brain and body some rest. You will be more productive. After Derby week, I would go to Cincinnati and check into a nice hotel for a day or two just to relax. Room service, anyone?
Get up at 5am if you need to before the phone and emails come in just for “me” time. When I go this, I feel like I’ve conquered the world before the business sign is “open.”
5. Celebrate the wins with some material items or trips
Reward yourself. No one else is going to because you’re the company’s owner and not at a large corporation where they constantly give perks and recognitions for hard work and dedication.
You show up every day for your company, but you’ll never be able to keep showing up unless you take some time for yourself first.