Something I've learned over the past 6 months of owning a business is that there will always be a sense of urgency in your work. Whether it's staying on top of trends, finding the best prices for supplies, or creating the best possible marketing for your customers. There will always be something lingering on that to do list.
Needless to say, Benjamin did work. The man got sh*t done. And there have been times when I've lived by these words. Not many feelings compare to a good day's work. I definitely take pride in my productivity, and I don't believe I would be where I am today if I didn't. That's great and all but, at what point do you have to say "Enough! It's time to kick off my shoes and watch some damn Netflix." Unfortunately, even physically finding time to relax doesn't always put the mind at ease. I've learned that mastering this tricky sense of "must do more," is not so black and white. And to be honest, I'm probably one of the worst people to ask if you're looking for guidance on the subject, because I myself have yet to figure this one out. The best I can do is write frantically and encourage myself to explore the topic further!
I guess what I do know is that being a business owner is about balancing all the different roles necessary to maintain success. The tricky bit is realizing that as a start up, YOU are generally ALL of those roles wrapped up into one person. You invent the wheel, you manage the wheel, and you turn it yourself. And as soon as you learn how to turn the wheel, you want to find new ways to reinvent the wheel. It really doesn't stop. And typically, there's nothing wrong with that. All of those aspects are needed to run a successful business. But at what point do you "take a moment," to just be?
Adjust the Standard According to Reality
What I'm beginning to realize is that there is a big difference between short term and long term goals. Yes I was aware of this before, but I never really forced myself to adjust my standards based on these goals. I'm always going to dream at lengths. I think this may be a key attribute to being an entrepreneur. But giving myself a reality check every once in a while isn't a bad thing. And when I say reality check, I don't mean to discourage or undermine my aspirations. I simply mean to look at my goals and give myself a realistic time frame for what I wish to accomplish. With this in mind, I'm more inclined to appreciate where I am now in comparison to where I want to be in the future.
Running the Business So the Business Doesn't Run You
Frankly, I think this next point could be a whole blog post in itself. Obviously every small business owner runs a business, but I'm going to assume that 99% of those business owners allow their business to run their lives. I've heard horror stories of people waking up at 2am to prep their supply for market days, because they're either understaffed, have family commitments, or their "system" just doesn't work for them. And regardless of what the reason is, it's ALWAYS the latter. I often find that I'm guilty of falling into the same trap. It's hard to let go of the reins sometimes when you care so much about the standard of work that goes into your business. However, building a system that works for your lifestyle is essential to owning a successful business. And I can only aim to be aware of the importance of this, while I continue to learn what works and what doesn't!