Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Taking Care of Yourself First (Especially for Home Business Owners)

I have finally been able to move into my new home, a replacement for the one that was damaged in the hail/tornado storm.  Although it's livable, there are a lot of things that weren't built or installed correctly, so I am "held hostage" by needing to be here when they arrive.  And they often arrive unannounced.

The biggest task I had to do, and which I did all by myself, was move the business inventory from the temporary office space to the room designated as office in our home.  It took four people to move it to the temporary location, but I wanted to move it to the home office because I needed to organize it, to be able to find it when customers place orders.  It took me a week, but it is done.

If you have a home business, you know that you can work 24/7 if you allow yourself.  It was nice that I had limits on myself when I had to travel to the temporary office, but it was also a hassle.  I couldn't respond to specific customers requests about some products immediately. With me new home office, I have pledged to take more care of myself working from home.

1) Take care of your inner world.  There is stress trying to run your business with perfection from home.  You are deeply involved in a project, and you suddenly have to leave it to respond to a family member's need, take a phone call and deal with it for someone else in your household, and plan meals, cleaning and other household tasks.  It can be exhausting.  And that makes it difficult to have that perfect business that you want.  Use your income to hire a business coach to point out ways to run your business more smoothly. Follow your intuition and listen to yourself rather than over-analyze to the point of exhaustion.  Feed your creative side so you can keep your business creative. 

2) Give yourself a break.  Sometimes I have to get up from my desk and go outside and take a walk just to have some time for myself.  And lunch is always a break.  I never take my work to the table.

3) Slow down, be mindful of your happy time and place.  I take a break in the late morning when my husband leaves for tennis to do tai chi, qigong, yoga, and or do a meditation.  It's an appointment I make with myself.  I never schedule anything else for late morning.  And it is so important to me.

4) You are not alone.  Networking groups can help you feel less isolated and be a support group for you.  One of the things I like about the Shopify ecommerce program is that every day I get an email from Shopify with hints and tips, stories from other online shop owners. 

5) Be gentle on yourself.  Set firm boundaries for yourself.  Like my late morning self help program.  Or rules like absolutely no work after 8 pm.  Make sure you take a vacation or day off occasionally.  Every year my husband and I take a cruise.  Once we are aboard the ship, there is nothing I can do about my online business.  It's time for me.  I can do and be "nothing" for the week or 10 days I'm on the cruise.  And when I return, I open my online shop again, and it was fine without me.

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