Many small business owners decide to go it alone, because they want a better quality of life – less commuting, shorter hours, better pay and more job satisfaction. But how long does it take before you realize that it’s not quite working out?
You’re working 70 to 80 hour a week, including weekends and you’ve been doing it for a few years now. As someone building a business, you don’t think you the luxury of saying no to new opportunities. Whenever a prospective client asks for a meeting with you, or an actual clients asks to you to do some paid work for you, the answer is always “Yes”, isn’t it? You can’t afford to turn work away, so you work longer and longer hours. You don’t want to spend your hard earned turnover on hiring someone else to do some of the work you don’t like doing, so you bravely learn to build a website, understand your accounts package and attempt to keep on top of all the paperwork.
But sooner or later you will hit a wall. You’ll start having trouble focusing on the project you should really be working on, because there are so many other things to be done. You’ll start to miss a few deadlines and your clients will start to notice that something isn’t quite right with the service you’re supposed to deliver to them. Your family will start to see a problem too – mostly because they will hardly ever see you.
The good news is that you’re not alone. Many small business owners work more and play less than people who work for others. About 31% of entrepreneurs work at least 10 hours a day and 15% work every day of the week, according to a Discover Small Business Watch survey. The poll also found that 59% of respondents define a ‘day off’ as being available for calls and emails, or working at least part of the day.
Do you recognize yourself here?
The truth is that this pace is unsustainable. Creativity suffers, resilience falters and your sense of accomplishment plummets. What’s the solution? Take a break in order to reboot your life and your business!
This break could be as short as a one hour lunch break, a whole day off a week (or two!) or even a long weekend away. It could be time outside your office in the sunshine, time off at time, or time completely away from it all. There are no rules about how much time you must take off, where you should go and what you are supposed to do in the time. It’s more about finding out whatever works for you. The important thing is that you do take time out, before you burn out.
How often do you really take time from your business and what do you to reboot yourself?