I had one of those weeks last week where you just don’t stop – I’m sure you know the sort of week I mean. It’s not uncommon for small business owners to find themselves immersed in what seems like unending activity – especially in challenging times – and while we all expect hectic weeks from time to time, if we find them turning in to hectic months then it is time for a reset.
When Saturday evening came around I realised I needed to step back and take some of my own advice – the advice I share with members and boards when we are discussing ways to balance the demands of running a business and living a life outside the world of work.
A good place to start is strengthening your connections – something The Alternative Board is all about. Our network of peer-to-peer boards brings like-minded business owners together so their many challenges and opportunities can be tackled. It also brings accountability as board members keep track of how their peers are doing and ask them about the progress they’ve made as a result of the discussions – something that really helps when balance needs restoring or a new perspective needs to be found.
Often when we are busy we lose track of the reasons why we are running a business in the first place so take a moment to remind yourself of your long term goals and, if they seem foggy or obscure in the middle of all your busy-ness it is probably time to sit down and revisit your vision for your business and yourself.
The third practical step is assessing your business practices. Look for areas of opportunity or improvement – what would make the day easier? Are you trying to do too much with too little in the way of resources? Is that why you are feeling stretched? Are you making the most of digital and automation or have you simply set operating parameters that are too rigid and inflexible?
So that’s a simple three step process to help you reset – connect with others, remind yourself why you do what you do and double check your business practices are still appropriate for your enterprise. And once you’ve done all that make sure you relax.