When we talk about what needs to be done to succeed as a blogger, relaxing and taking time out is very rarely something which we consider as a key attribute for business prowess.
Most people who tell us how to achieve success will cover the basics about how to be a driven and motivated business owner. They include the following:
- Staying dedicated to updating your blog on a regular basis, preferably at least three times each week
- Keeping ahead of industry best practice, by subscribing to the latest news and staying in touch with those people whom you admire, that run successful blogs
- Undertaking regular maintenance for your blog including removing spam, updating software and plugins, and refreshing your site when required
- Implementing ongoing improvements to enhance navigation and content, and refreshing your material including your free giveaways and downloads
- Responding promptly to customer feedback and queries, and regularly soliciting input from people about how they find using your site
- Staying organized and focused upon your blog as a tool for marketing and business development.
This all sounds pretty familiar, right? Each one of these points is best practice for the potentially successful blogger, and seem to be second nature to the experienced online marketer.
However, there is another aspect to successful business ownership which is seldom celebrated or referred to, and is often not adhered to by even the most sensible and savvy bloggers – completely switching off.
You may think this is crazy advice for you, especially if you are anew starter in the blogosphere, when we first set up our businesses, it seems as if there are not enough days in the week to accommodate everything which we need to get done, and the idea of deliberately taking time out can seem laughable.
Why should you be reading a paper, having a lie in or going on a picnic, when you could be marketing online, setting up your social networking or developing a new product to sell? You can only make money by selling things, and you won’t get anything sold by sitting down and taking five minutes out to watch your favorite television program or having an extra half an hour in bed. Right?
Hear me out on this one. Can you remember the last time you approached work full of zest, really looking forward to getting in to it? It’s as true in business as it is in love – absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Think about the last time you took a vacation from your work. Were you sitting on a beach somewhere sipping a cocktail? And what happened when you turned your thoughts to your business?
I’ll bet that you came up with some killer ideas about how you wanted your business to progress when you got back to it. It’s always the same with our work – the further away we get from it, the more perspective we can gain about how to make it work, and what we need to do to succeed.
When we are completely immersed in business for hours on end, every day, losing our weekends to blogging and customer service, we can quickly lose sight of our overall goals and objectives.
We forget who we are, why we wanted to work for ourselves, and what we need to do to achieve our ambitions for our site.
We can quickly become stressed and short-tempered, and begin to resent our work from keeping us away from some of the things we really value, such as family time or relaxing.
This stress stunts our creativity and motivation, and the chances are we end up working harder, but not smarter. This is where the power of walking away comes in to its own.
How stepping back from our blogs will reap its own rewards
I really am advocating being completely lazy from time to time. Stopping what you are doing for an evening, a day or a weekend when it comes to work is invaluable.
What are your hobbies, when you think back that far to when you last had some spare time? Reaching out for a good book can clear your head of worries, making it easier to tackle them at a later stage.
Heading off to the golf course will buy you at least three hours of quality time where you feel relaxed, energized and invigorated for when you get back to the office. Spending time in the kitchen rustling up a decent evening meal will get your spouse off your back and make for a happy home life.
All of these things need to be seen as potential business investments by the busy blogger, rather than shirking or dodging your work obligations.
But don’t take it to extremes…
Don’t get me wrong, there are people who have taking time out down to a fine art. These are the business owners who you can look at, and instinctively know that they won’t be around next year, or the year after.
They approach everything with the same laid-back and slightly lazy attitude which will most likely see to it that they will never succeed. Deadlines float past unnoticed, and the budding entrepreneur soon finds his or herself left without a business.
Admittedly, it’s tempting to revel in being your own boss, but it’s important to set limits on how much time to take out.
Essentially, blogging as a small business owner is all about balance. When you take time out, really enjoy it and don’t feel guilty for not pouring all of your spare hours in to your blog.
Similarly, don’t get so adept at leaving your business for a while that you forget to go back to it altogether. By balancing your quality time with your work, you stand to be an extremely successful, stress-free and confident blog owner with a great future ahead of you.
Now go and play golf – but not for too long!