Chapter 10: Balanced in Business
I'm writing this on a Monday afternoon, and in an effort to be as transparent as possible, I would just like to point out how tired I am. Not to make excuses for the inevitable mess of words that will most likely follow this intro, but man I could use a nap... or a brief coma (either one should do the trick). "Amber, just stop complaining and make time for some extra Z's!" Alright, can you not lecture me when I'm only partially conscious? Anyway...
I will tell you, today was like most mornings. I woke up, scanning my arm over my bed, searching for my phone so that I could turn off that deathly alarm clock. And in those brief awakening moments, I decided at which level of zombie I would be functioning at today. This of course is always followed by a promise to myself that I will go to bed early. But hey, guess how often I follow through on this nagging issue.... ALMOST NEVER.
Something I've learned as a small business owner - you will be the most accountable for your actions that you've ever been. Mind you, this is more so a personal realization. I can only imagine how accountable I would be as a mother, doctor, professional apologizer (this is a real job, I looked it up). Anyway, my point is, with accountability comes a responsibility to not only your business, but to your self as well. And for someone who has struggled with mental illness in the past, finding my balance in business has been something that I've had to be extremely mindful of.
In my first month/month and a half of working the shop, I was ultimately limited in all other areas of my life. My stress level went up, my social life disappeared, my "me time" was spent either at home or at the shop - both of which I would be stewing over business plans. I had begun to neglect so many parts of what made me the well-rounded individual I have always set out to be. Now this was not an oversight - I was well aware of my actions. One thing I can proudly say about this experience is that I have learned the significance of temporary feelings, stressors, circumstances, etc. Throughout those first (very stressful) weeks, I had to be my own voice of reason, constantly reminding myself that I would find a work routine that would work for me. And you know what, that's exactly what I did. Did I have a few slips along the way? Of course. Did I doubt myself once or twice? Yes, only natural. But reminding myself that the major lifestyle change I made was going to take time to adjust to, was a major tool in getting me through a stressful period.
It wasn't until our third month in business that I decided to start adjusting my priorities. I think I can recall having a total of 2 days off in July. Now I'm not complaining, because I fully understand the commitment I have made, and I want to be their for all of our "first steps," but heck I'm human and it was time for a reality check. It was time to make time for myself! Sometimes this meant simple things like going home for lunch and eating outside in my backyard. And sometimes this meant leaving town for 2 days for a "vacation." Both of which; very necessary! Finishing up with August, and I've banked 6 days off - a small change, but a world of a difference. I've definitely developed a much better understanding of the phrase "work hard, play hard." I think I've agreed to more social events in the past month than I ever would have. I am practically the Yes Man. But hey, in all seriousness, entrepreneurship leaves you with limitless opportunities, which can create a turmoil of unstoppable excitement. Which is why it's so important to recognize when it's time to reevaluate your priorities. I'm constantly learning how to do this. How and what I want to balance in my life. It's ultimately both a difficult and entertaining process. Especially when I'm so tired that I fall asleep while the blenders are running. Lucky for me I have nothing but time and a desire to make this work! And, I'd love to share with you in more detail as we progress. Thanks for keeping up! - This girl is ready for bed. Amber out.