Sometimes as a small business owner, you make decisions based on the welfare of your business and not on the welfare of yourself. There is this looming cloud above you that says if you don't pump your body full of caffeine and stay up into the early morning, then you are not a good business person. I have fallen subject to this myth. I sleep very little, I don't eat well, I drink a lot of coffee and energy drinks, and I accept this feeling of constant anxiety. Seems a little silly from the outside looking in, but something has happened. There has been a shift. With the ability to "share everything," we find ourselves doing just that. Facebook, twitter, instagram, blogging, etc. The more you know about my inner workings, the more likely my business is to succeed. Is that true?Will you think I am lazy or ignoring your order if I go to sleep at a decent hour? Will you think I am irresponsible if I don't make it to the post office? Will you share with your followers that it took a little longer for your order to ship? I worry constantly about this. It's time to make the change I need to see in the way I run our business. It may not be the smartest, or the most commonly accepted, but if I want to maintain sanity, I need to make some vows. Here they are.
As a small business owner:
I vow to make my personal and emotional health a priority over turnaround time.
I vow to not let my feelings get hurt over etsy convos.
I vow to stay true to the integrity of my art and not let impatience force me to rush through an order of 10 or an order of 100. EVERY UNIT COUNTS.
I vow to respond to emails during business hours only, even if that means it takes longer to respond.
I vow to spend less time proving that I'm working through social media, and do more quality work.
I vow to not check our etsy feedback more than once a day, nor will I allow it to define our business.
I vow to stop making promises I can't physically keep.
I vow to take days off.
I vow to be honest and stop saying yes to everything. It doesn't make me a bad business person to say no sometimes.
I vow to be kind, even when I am frustrated and overwhelmed by work.
I vow to be a better partner, and respect the boundaries between work and home.
Lastly, I vow to take breaks, walk the dogs, drink plenty of water, and remember that we are not a giant corporation. We are two people, making good.
We'll see what happens, but I do know it's 10:30pm. I have 2 weeks worth of work to do in 2 days, and I'm going to sleep. I am going to sleep until 6am, And I refuse to feel guilty about that.
What kind of vows would you make when it comes to running your small business?