Ditching the 9-5 to start your own business is a bold, exhilarating move. But as excited as you may feel about being your own boss and setting your own hours, the truth is that running a startup can seem more like a 24-hour job. Your success depends on the amount of work you put into your business, and if you only give 50 percent, it’ll show.
But working too hard can also be problematic. By not recognizing when you need to take a step back from your company and rest, the quality of your work could suffer. Taking time for yourself not only allows you to recharge your creativity, but can also give you the valuable perspective you might miss if you’re looking too closely.
Ready to take a breather? Read on.
5 Things You Can Do To Succeed In Running Your Own Business
Find a Hiding Place. One of the joys of working from home is being able to work anywhere — on the couch, at the kitchen table, in bed — you name it. However, this can be tricky when you’re trying to get out of work mode. How are you supposed to relax if you’ve got your laptop and a big to-do list staring you in the face? Avoid these constant work reminders by having a specific, out-of-the-way place to store your work gear. If you have a home office, simply place all of your work materials in there and close the door. If you don’t, find a cabinet or a closet where you can stash your things.
Develop Hobbies Outside of Work. As the owner of a startup, you may feel like you have little time to relax, much less cultivate a hobby. However, something that seems like a waste of time could actually help you in unexpected ways. Taking art classes might inspire you to think more creatively about your work, for example. Joining a kickball team could offer you some unexpected networking opportunities. And doing yoga might just inspire enough clarity to give you a serious “ah-ha” moment. No matter what, your hobbies will encourage you to take a mental and physical step back from the challenges of running a startup so that you can return with a fresh perspective and recharged motivation.
Find Inspiration in Others’ Success. It’s totally normal to feel competitive as a startup owner, but sometimes other companies’ successes can inspire your own. Follow people and brands that you admire to stay up-to-date on their achievements. Read articles and books written by influencers in your industry. Look at how they found their own path to success, and consider how you can learn from that.
Ditch the Work Talk. You can’t avoid it: You’re always thinking about work. And chances are, you’re always talking about it, too — with your spouse, your friends, and the cashier at the grocery store. It’s perfectly natural, and in fact good, to be whole-heartedly passionate about and invested in your venture, but you and your relationships will benefit from a bit of variety in the conversation department. This not only gives you a mental break from the stress and worry of your work, but also shows people that you care about more than work. This is vital for close relationships, and it can also help to strengthen professional bonds. Ask a business contact about their weekend, share a tidbit from yours, and watch as your relationship takes on a new, more personal layer. That’s always a good thing.
Find Your Support Group. As a mother working to establish a startup, even the smallest tasks can seem particularly challenging. Having young children at home, you may struggle to find even a few minutes to focus on a task, while parental duties like cooking and cleaning can quickly distract you from work. You want to prove to the world that you can in fact do it all, but there’s no shame in asking for help. It may be as simple as asking your husband to take the kids to the playground for a few hours so you can finish your project, or you might hire a nanny to stop by three mornings each week. You could also consider an arrangement with like-minded moms in your neighborhood where you trade off babysitting duties a few times a week, giving everyone a few hours of uninterrupted peace. Nurture these relationships outside of work so that when you need help, you don’t feel guilty asking.
Ultimately, balance is the key to staying energized and inspired when it comes to your startup. By maintaining a healthy, happy personal life, your business can only thrive, too.
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