Loving your business is something you’ve probably heard people say, and it might even sometimes sound like a cliché. This is especially true if you feel like your business is more stressful than fun, or that it doesn’t provide you quite the lifestyle, ease, or joy you’re looking for.
If you have any perfectionistic or workaholic tendencies at all (and yes, I’m looking at myself), running your own business is a fast way to get confronted with your beliefs that more is always better and more work always leads to better rewards.
Yet, like any other relationship, there is a right balance between effort and reward. We know this instinctively in our friendships and love relationships- we find a way of giving and taking, and giving and taking that works for everyone.
But I think this balance can be more elusive in your business.
Owning and growing a business can be challenging. It sometimes requires long hours. It requires continually stepping out of your comfort zone. It sets you up for rejection.
Sometimes, you put in a ton of effort, only to find out that your outcomes were less than expected. And, of course, if you have any self-worth or self-esteem challenges, sometimes business makes those more intense, too.
So how do you work towards loving your business better?
Here are a few strategies which have helped me:
Work with people you really, really, really like.
This is a big one. Since you might be spending a significant portion of your day interacting with your clients, support staff, and vendors- you want to be sure that these people are good for you to spend that much time with.
Dan Kennedy has a great saying that I always remember, “If I wake up thinking about you three mornings in a week, and we’re not sleeping together, I know you have to go.”
What I take this to mean is that if a client, team member, or vendor is causing you stress and worry, you need to let them go.
Have strong boundaries around work and the rest of your life.
This means that even though you work for yourself, you set times for your work, and you stop working when the day is done. If you work from home, especially, you need to develop routines or rituals which help you shift from “home” to “work” and then back “home” again.
While it can be tempting to intermix “house” stuff and “work” stuff- like “Oh, I’ll just throw a load of laundry in before I work on this proposal”- I think this shifting of attention back and forth actually leads to inefficiency.
(If you do need to get household chores done in the day, perhaps try combining these with breaks from the workday- around lunchtime, mid-afternoon, and so on.)
Create a fulfilling life outside of work.
Yes- business requires hustle- I get it. But we’re not meant to hustle 24/7/365 without any time for rest and play and relaxation.
The bigger and better your life is outside of work, the happier you’ll be- and you’ll have more to contribute to your business and your clients.
Manage your money very well.
If you make a deliberate habit of good money management each month, you give yourself freedom and flexibility to build your business how you choose. You can work as much or as little as you want. You can turn away (or fire) clients. You can structure your days as you like.
When you have profits in your business, manage those wisely so you can create more income and more ease.
In addition to these tips, do you have any that have helped you love your business better? I’d love to know!