When you think of self-care, what comes to your mind first?
Before starting my social media agency, I would have thought of things like face masks, massages, spending time outdoors, and things like that. But in the entrepreneurial world, self-care takes on new and different forms, because you’re not only caring for yourself now, but also for your business.
Having a solid self-care strategy in place for you and your business is what could mean the difference between an aligned and thriving business, and one that is totally burnt out. So, if you’re ready for some super-essential self-care tips that will help you to avoid burnout, let’s get to it!
In the beginning, I was sitting at my computer from 7:00 am until 10:00 pm, nearly every day. I would drop whatever I was doing to answer emails as soon as they popped into my inbox, and even answer them waaay past “business hours”. Essentially, I was my business and my business was me, and there were no boundaries to protect me from it, or it from me!
Without setting some simple, yet necessary barriers, you’ll find yourself constantly running on fumes. Beginning with setting some time restrictions for myself, I ended the 15-hour workdays by implementing one rule: I could not open my laptop until I had coffee, breakfast, and gotten myself ready for the day.
While setting boundaries with yourself may feel silly at first, it is one of the best forms of self-care you can give yourself in your business.
The next place that will be important to have boundaries is with your clients. You can be dedicated to your clients without sacrificing your own needs and priorities! It is important to know where you are able to be flexible, and where you need to draw the line. For example, I don’t answer my emails or (work-related) DMs outside of my business hours or on the weekends because it’s very important that I unplug and take that to be present in other areas of my life.
Another great form of self-care you can implement in your business is making sure you are pricing yourself and your services well. Under-charging and overworking is a deadly combo that I have seen lead to burnout time and time again!
The thing is, when you are first starting out, you may be tempted to charge less until you gain more experience. If this is what feels right for you, by all means, do it, but just don’t forget to eventually raise your prices! Doing your best work for what doesn’t feel like enough pay could eventually make you resent your work, your clients, or your business in general.
Resentful business owners are not able to make expansive and aligned business decisions! By charging your worth, you affirm to yourself and your clients that the service you are offering is valuable and something worth investing in. If you’d like some tips on how to decide on your pricing, check out my previous blog post about creating your packages!
Out of all of the things on this list, I think this one is the most underrated! Sometimes, taking care of yourself and your business means asking for help. Outsourcing could look like hiring a part-time employee, or simply hiring out for a one-time project as you need it.
Owning a business means that sometimes you have to be the CEO, marketing manager, accountant, designer, and sales rep all in one day. If that sounds exhausting, that is because it can be! By having someone to help you with the tasks that drain your time and energy, you are able to have more time to do the things that really light you up in your business.
Spending the most amount of time on the things you truly love will not only help you to avoid burnout but will also help your business to become something you truly love and are proud of.
I encourage you to take a good look at your business and identify where you would like it to go. Then, figure out which tasks take up the most energy and find someone who truly loves doing those tasks.
I hired my first virtual assistant early-on (before I felt really overwhelmed) and I couldn’t recommend this more! We were able to grow and learn together, and she gave me back so much precious time that I was able to use to grow my business in the direction I dreamed of.
What is working in your business, and what isn’t? Setting aside some time on a regular basis to reflect on how things are going will help you to make sure you are staying aligned in your business.
This is such an important step because, without it, you won’t always be able to see burnout coming before it hits you hard. If week after week, the same task or client is causing you a ton of stress, it is important to catch it sooner than later and take action to improve things.
It is also great to reflect on the things that are working well, so that you can keep those things going! If turning off your computer every day at 5:00 pm allows you to have the family time that lights you up, then continue to make that a non-negotiable form of self-care! If hiring someone to take on certain tasks for you gives you more time to find and work with new clients, continue to budget for it in the future, so you can always rely on this support to help you grow!
Journaling can be a great way to brain dump, reflect, and see patterns from a broader perspective. Jotting down a few things that worked well and didn’t work well each day or a few times a week can really help you to see the bigger picture over time!
Making the time and effort to take care of yourself and your business could not only save you from burnout, but it will also help you to create and adapt your business so that it feels in alignment with you and your goals!
If having an aligned business that feels truly right for you is one of your goals, it will take frequent action to get there and to maintain. Sometimes, it will be something small like setting your business hours and sticking to them, and other times, it will be something bigger like hiring your first VA or increasing your prices.
What is your favorite form of online-business-owner self-care?