I feel like the hustle culture has merged with corporate mentality and has blurred the lines on what it means to be successful in business.
For so long entrepreneurs have been told that you need to hustle, you need to work 16 hour days to be successful, you need to give up all your free time to grow your business to where you want it to be.
If hustle is your thang, by all means, continue.. But I find that the vast majority of business owners have created their own business to NOT live by this culture.
They were either burned by corporate mentality, brow beaten into believing they had to live and die by their desk job and it became a hard transition once they built their own business.
I was one of them.
But I’ve learned (still learning) a lot about the way I want my business to run and how I want to live my life while running it.
Because let’s be clear, if I busted my ass to build a business that gave me the exact same stress levels and self loathing that a corporate job gave me, Why would I choose to leave?
I want my business to provide for me, but above all, I want to LOVE what I do, and not because I have to do it.
So here are 10 things I’ve implemented in my business to protect my time and mental health
1. I turn off my laptop and walk out of my office by 5pm each night. Let’s be clear, this doesn’t happen every single night, because sometimes I WANT to work later, but in general, I want to enjoy my evenings without thinking about work
2. I don’t have notifications on my phone and turned off my ringer. I hated the constant buzzing of notifications going off on my phone, the constant dopamine hit every time it rang. So I turned it all off
3. I have at least 1 day a week where I don’t take calls from anyone. Fridays are blocked out for me and I use that day to work for myself, or I use it for my time with the kids.
4. Most mornings I block off until 10am. This gives me the freedom to see my kids out the door, go to the gym or for a walk without having to worry about meetings. Yes, I do make exceptions, but not always.
5. I don’t work a 9-5, but I work “9-5”. My business hours aren’t business hours. They are the hours where I can choose to work. Some days my client load fills my entire block of time. Sometimes I have a few hours left where I can do something for myself – like read, or have a coffee chat with a friend.
6. I create content daily with value in mind. When I show up with value, and lead with value, I feel alive and happy. When this becomes a chore, then I know I have to reevaluate something in my business/life.
7. I made my office a place of calm and peace for myself. If you don’t love the space you work in, do whatever you can to make it a place for you. Even when I sat at my kitchen table to work because it was the only place I had, I put a candle on next to me, I had a picture of my kids on the table, I turned the music on in the background. Make it a safe space for you.
8. I take breaks often. Some days I take longer breaks, others it might be just a few minutes to cuddle with my cat. But deliberately getting off my chair and out of my office is still a work in progress for me
9. I found a community of amazing people to bring me life. Finding a mentorship program or even a community (online or in person) can make all the difference to a business owner. Surround yourself with like-minded people who understand how lonely running a business can be.
10. I am kind to myself. I’ll be honest, this is still one I’m working on, but it’s getting easier. When I’m having a rough time, I’m taking it easy on myself. I’m learning that rest and “rest” are not the same thing. I’m learning that kindness can be ensuring I eat proper meals, or going for a walk, or meeting up with a friend. Kindness means not beating myself up when a client conversation goes wrong, or a campaign didn’t turn out the way I hoped. When I am kind to myself first, I can show up so much better for everyone else, especially my kids.
Ultimately you get to decide what works best for you and your business. Just make sure it’s never for the sacrifice of your family or your mental health