Take the day off!

Take the day off!

Running a small business from your kitchen table, or, in my case, my greenhouse, is in some ways absolutely living the dream: I work from home, I work from outside, I'm answerable only to myself, every day is all about being creative... But running any business effectively is also extremely hard work. While all the above living-the-dream stuff is true, it's also true that if I don't think strategically I'll end up with no product to sell, if I don't pay my bills I'll spend time dealling with debt collectors when I'd rather be thinking creatively, if I don't get into that greenhouse day in and day out then I'll get behind... and then and then and then.  Sometimes I can feel imprisoned by my business.  

And that's when it's time to let down my hair and escape from the castle (flower farm) that I've built around myself.

If there's one thing I've learned over the years which is fundamental to the success of running a small business, that is the value of taking time off.  Harder to do than you might think; you may be flat out busy but not have the cash flow to pay for extra help, you may be saving up for equipment, or have expanded and need to work night and day to make that expansion work, or you just want to take advantage of the quiet of a holiday day (when everyone else is taking time off) to catch up on admin/making/planting/planning.  It's very easy to say you don't have time to take time off.  You may simply have got yourself into a place where taking any time off makes you feel horribly guilty...  

FAIL!  That's not what running your own business is about.

Take the time off - even if it's just taking the time off on a bank holiday Monday.  I'm not saying you need to book a fortnight in Corfu right now - anything but.  But on bank holiday Mondays the phone is unlikely to ring much, and you can give yourself a three day weekend.  And three consecutive days off is transforming.  I promise.  No matter how exhausted you were on Friday when you rushed through all those last minute jobs in order to be finished by Friday night, if you really do take Monday off, properly, including a lie-in and everything, you'll feel three times fresher on Tuesday, and achieve three times more in the following four day week than you would have if you'd worked on Monday.  You might feel guilty, you might worry that you won't get everything done, but take the time off, go out, for a walk, to a park, to a party, anywhere but near the office (kitchen table/greenhouse) which could call you guiltily back to work.  Take time off, and tomorrow your mind will be clearer, you'll feel physically more relaxed, and the four day week following will whizz by in a blurr of achievement.  

It's easy to feel, when running a kitchen table business, that the list of jobs will always be longer than your arm. That taking time out somehow implies that you don't have enough to do, that you're not busy enough.  Give yourself a day off and that to do list will be so muh more doable when you go back to work on Tuesday.  And not only that, when you do go back to the office (kitchen table/greenhouse,) you'll be quite pleased to see it again.

For more tips on making a success of your kitchen table business, come on one of my workshops.  I'll send you home feeling inspired, enabled, and reminded that your business idea is great and you can make something brilliant of it.