There is probably no occupation that demands more of your time and single minded attention than being a small business owner and entrepreneur. Often being both the primary motivating force and the desk where the buck stops, can draw so much from your energies that it can be tempting to put yourself last. Needless to say this is counter productive at all levels. Not only will it extract a heavy toll from you, it will also eventually affect your business negatively. So if you’re a committed and driven small business owner, with a dream and a burning ambition, how do you make sure it doesn’t come at the cost of your self? Well, fortunately you don’t have to make a choice between the success of your company and your own well being. As a matter of fact, entrepreneurs who are satisfied and fulfilled in their personal lives tend to be more focused, energetic, positive, inspirational to their staff and able to make difficult decisions without being overawed. In fact, investing in your happiness and personal well being is a directly positive influence on your business. Here are a few things to consider, that will help you remain effective in your business as well as happy in your personal life. Make Lists! As simple as it sounds, nothing helps you manage your time and take a more holistic approach to your life, than having a handle on each individual task. Perhaps the single most effective, and easiest, thing you can do to keep each commitment, and yet retain focus on the larger picture, is to make a list. A list is a brilliant and often underestimated tool for time management. It helps you keep an eye on all the things you have give your attention to as well as what time you should allocate to each. Delegate It’s sometimes the case that small business entrepreneurs micromanage their companies. Often you have put together an entire business from conception to creation to everyday administration. A small business is often a labour of love for the business owner. This, however, is no reason not to take advantage of skilled staff. Maybe your business does not have that many staff members. It might even be the case that you don’t have any staff members that are administratively skilled. Don’t go past this section and consider it inapplicable to you. Delegating a task doesn’t simply mean that have to get someone other than yourself to take over an entire responsibility. There are always smaller components to most tasks that can easily be accomplished by just about anyone, with a little training and regular practice. Be Flexible It’s an unfortunate fact that many small business owners have had to overcome considerable odds and challenges to even have established their business at all. While there are many positive, character building consequences to this, it can also make some of us too set in our ways. Let’s face it, this can be one of the most logical consequences of having to stick your guns, against the odds. In other words the same determination that has seen you through early challenges can blind you to changing scenarios and the opportunities that come with them. Lighten up! A relatively relaxed state of mind and the ability to focus when required, and unwind when possible is a great asset, don’t fight it. Being able to step back from what you are trying to overcome, from time to time, can suggest a more effective, and sometimes even more lucrative, alternative. All great leaders must possess both the ability to plan but also the courage to improvise. Don’t always end up fighting your circumstances, use them to your advantage too. Get A Hobby Or Recreational Activity As much as people like to put us in a niche and define us by what they know of us, it is criminal for us to do that to ourselves. Find satisfaction outside your business goals. I could be a skill that you’ve always wanted to acquire, maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to play a musical instrument, do some charity or go to the gym and get fitter. The point is being a small business owner, chances are you enjoy challenges, find other things to excite you besides your entrepreneurial drive. Sometimes these activities will be synergetic to your business success, at other times little successes at your leisure activities will relieve a sense of frustration at work. Simply put, don’t limit your possibilities and the things that you can invest energy into. Often being active infuses you with greater energy rather than leaving you with less for your primary responsibilities. Never Forget How You Got Here When looked at without taking things for granted, most of us have experienced many unique adventures in our lives while getting to the current stage of our lives. Keeping our dreams close to our hearts and looking to our past experiences for guidance can remind us what is truly important to us. Repetitious activity, done with determined application, is what brings most small business owners success. It’s important this inevitable repetition doesn’t chip away at a more nuanced self appreciation. Rather, make what you do fun and revel in rising up again and again to each new challenge. Keep your eyes firmly on the larger picture and enjoy your life journey, and your path as a business owner, for the adventure that it is.
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