Have you ever had one of those days where it feels as if every single bit of your business is conspiring to make you panic? Your internet connection goes down and you can’t e-mail anyone. You have a deadline looming for a customer, and you lose all of your work mysteriously even though you’re sure you saved the file to the right place.
On today’s busy world, one of the main mantras small business owners are taught to abide by is that we should keep busy, not allow ourselves to fall behind with our companies, and to work tirelessly to achieve a successful online presence which reflects our brand and behaviors for our customers. However, this has its dangers. Instead of leaving the corporate world to become happy and satisfied self-employed entrepreneurs, many of us feel undue pressure to perform more than we ever have before, when we take the leap to building our blogs and making sure it performs to the best of its ability.
The classic signs of blog stress include an inability to switch off at the end of the day, which can see you holed up in your office until the early hours working harder than you ever have before, and the feeling of worry which accompanies any leisure time which you may spend away from your business. If you’re feeling this way, the chances are you are succumbing to one of the most common ailments any business blogger can have – guilt.
Guilt gets in the way of you enjoying your business as you should, getting a decent balance between working and taking time out. This can lead to your becoming overtired, frazzled and short-tempered, negating all the reasons why you actually set out to own your business in the first place. Sometimes, it’s important to take a step back and walk away from your blog, in order to gain a sense of perspective and realize just how far you have come since you set out in the blogosphere.
Have you heard the adage ‘Never put off until tomorrow, what you can do today’? This may work well for things like doctor’s appointments or dental checks, but in my experience it isn’t always the best motto to live by when it comes to blogging. Sometimes, there is nothing more powerful than taking a few days out to relax, leaving your blog be and having some decent leisure time to get things in to perspective. Procrastination also supports you in the decision-making process, as instead of having to rush to decide on something relating to your blog, (which software should I buy? How should I deal with this difficult customer?), often, walking away for a while really helps you to gain perspective and make a wise decision.
Procrastination also brings a wealth of other benefits. It can support you to take valuable time away from the stress of work, giving yourself up to some much-needed rest and relaxation. While your mind is occupied on other things, any niggling issues which you may have about your blog business can get quietly resolved in your subconscious, leaving you alert and refreshed when you come back to work. Putting things off for a few days? It’s an ideal way of boosting your business energy, generating more enthusiasm, and ultimately gaining more customers and higher profit. What are you waiting for? Switch your PC off and put your feet up straight away.
Your business will thank you for it.
Running your own blogging business is not just about writing great posts and getting people to read them. It’s also a lot about hard work, time management and stress. I thought I’d give you some pointers in case you’re feeling a little wrung-out at the moment, keeping your fantastic blog running successfully!
With this in mind, here are some of my favorite stress-busting techniques, that can come in handy for us poor overworked bloggers…
Manage your time properly
When we run our own business, sometimes it can feel as if you have a never-ending list of things to do. No sooner do you get one job out of the way, than another three sneak on to the bottom of the list. If we’re not careful, we run the risk of becoming completely out of our depth and fire-fighting all hours of the day and evening just to keep our heads above water.
Managing your time is critical. Look at your things to do list and prioritize it well. Is it really so important that you comment on ten blogs this morning, or can you leave that until you’ve sorted out your affiliate program and answered all of your outstanding emails? By reassessing your list of tasks, the chances are you’ll be able to move things around and buy yourself some much-needed time.
Be kind to yourself
One of the main issues people who run their own business encounter is learning when to stop. In truth, there will never be an end to the things you can do to promote your business. Whether you are getting up early to network, optimizing your blog or polishing your products, you’ll know that there will never be enough hours in the day to do everything that is outstanding.
This is where being kind to yourself comes in. Have you noticed that most people go to work in the morning, do seven or eight hours, and then come home? They don’t lug their desk back home with them and carry on writing and working in to the small hours. Why should you? The whole point of being our own boss is surely to bring us some freedom. Don’t forget to enjoy yours! Whether you choose to have one afternoon off a week for doing nice stuff like walking, going out or simply snoozing, make sure you limit the time you spend working and remember to be a good parent, spouse or friend to the people around you!
Relax – It’s just a business!
Most of us forget to take things steady when we set up on our own. It’s really important to stand back sometimes and see just how much you’ve achieved. The chances are you have come a long, long way since you started out, and you need to take a moment to acknowledge that to yourself.
Remember that as long as you have enough cash to pay your bills, and enough time to spend with the people you care about, you’re doing well.
What is your experience of working for yourself – is it better or worse for you than the corporate world? What have you learned? Let me know your experiences!