When I was choosing the name of this blog, SURVIVING was the key word (as compared to thriving), as truth is, sometimes I feel like I’m just barely keeping it together. Being pregnant with a toddler, running a household and a business- it’s bloody hard work. Sometimes I feel like I’m being swallowed up by the stress of my never ending To Do list, the mounting washing- thinking I should be a better wife and mum and worrying about where I think my business should be.
As much as I feel like this sometimes, I try and focus on the fact that I am swimming more than sinking and build on that, as if I let the pity party take over, I’d be a miserable wreck! So today, I’ll share with you how I do keep ticking along as well as can be expected with a very full platter.
My top survival tips:
1.I know my priorities
When hubby and I started our businesses, the biggest driver was being able to create flexible lifestyles to allow us to spend as much time as possible with our child/ren and each other. No matter how important a client or business opportunity might seem, my family always comes first. And if/ when my health is suffering, I step back and get myself on track before I try and help others
2. I make sure I work on the IMPORTANT stuff
My coaching clients know I believe these should be the priorities in your business:
Firstly, taking care of your existing clients (as keeping existing customers happy is much easier than finding new customers!)
Next- searching for new customers and marketing your business
Lastly- everything else- admin, finances, website development etc has to always come behind the first two.
So many business owners get trapped in the cycle of spending their time on things that fall into bucket 3. They will be working like crazy and feeling burned out, yet the results are not coming in. You might find that your days are taken up with emails, social media, etc but you still haven’t got your latest FB ad campaign up? Get the important stuff done first! If you do a quick time track over a week long period (maybe put it in a pie chart), you can see how much of your time you spend on various activities and you can do some priority shuffling from there
3. I look after me
This is one that admittedly I don’t do well all the time, but nearly every day I do a 40 minute walk, I take 10 minutes to meditate, and once a week I make sure I go along for pregnancy yoga. This is a minimum when it comes to self-care for me- I believe that massages, reading, watching TV, whatever it might be for you are also really important to keep the balance. I am conscious that if I don’t look after myself first, I am not showing up as the best version of me as a business coach, as a wife and as a mother. This is the biggest area I see women fall down, and unfortunately, it usually results in exhaustion, illness, unhappiness and burnout. Which ironically lands you even further behind when you were desperately trying to get ahead by working harder. So TAKE CARE OF YOU.
4.I have my support team
These are people that I can call and have a bit vent to whenever things get too much! Usually it’s my sister and my hubby, but I also have a handful of amazing friends and my own business coach I can openly talk to when things just feel too much to help me get it off my chest, but also put everything in context. My coach Pru (from the Owners Collective) had a fantastic quip for me one day when I was feeling exhausted. She said “So, you’ll get there in 12 months instead of 3!” In the big scheme of life, didn’t really make that particular issue feel so overwhelming after all!
5. I get help
- I have an incredibly supportive husband, who like me, runs his own business from home and so is around to help me juggle the housework, our son and my various pregnancy medical appointments
- I have a cleaner. Personally, I think EVERYONE should have a cleaner! I did even when I lived on my own in a small flat. It’s a value exchange, and for me my time is so precious that it’s worth the investment
- I hire support in my business- whether it is updating my website, designing a leaflet or booking an event, I outsource wherever possible to allow me to focus on what I do best- serving my clients.
Whether you have a family or not, running a business is a friggin hard game, and finding the balance can be so hard.
No-one has it all figured out, we are just trying our best but don’t feel you have to do it alone- set yourself up for the best chance of success!