Time off and outsourcing make me a better business owner

When I used to work in the corporate world as an employee, I did not hesitate to take a sick day when I had a cold. I enjoyed my time off on weekends. I took every moment of vacation time available to me.

However, things changed when I went out on my own:

After I left the corporate world and started my own business, I became the marketing person, the bookkeeper, the social media expert and every other position needed to run my business.  In the beginning, everything was great. As time went on, however, I started to feel overwhelmed.

Knowing that feeling overwhelmed all the time wasn’t doing anything for me or my business, I had to accept the fact that I could not do everything that needed to be done to grow my business, and I needed to take time off to relax and refresh in order to run my business more effectively.

Setting some boundaries, giving myself time off and starting outsourcing tasks:

The most powerful decision I made was this: I decided to do what I was best at and put all my focus into that area of my business.  In my business, I cook, create recipes, teach, and network. Those are not only the things I’m good at, but also things I am passionate and get excited about.

Anything that didn’t fall into one of those categories got outsourced. I have outsourced my business’ marketing and social media, my bookkeeping/tax, and video editing, as those are all tasks I have no interest in and do not do well anyway.

Finally able to nail down a schedule that works for me:

I created a schedule that works for me and keeps me on track.  Having one agenda/calendar where I schedule both professional and personal time, so nothing overlaps and I don’t end up double booked or overextended has been HUGE for me.  I found that I like to work in the morning because it’s when I am the most productive. Knowing this allows me some balancing options, and I have chosen to leave my evenings open to be with my family.  If I have the opportunity to attend an evening event, I limit it to two nights a week, and keep the remaining evenings reserved for me and my family time.  On weekends, I may do some work, but it is always intentional and scheduled into my agenda ahead of time.

So what do I do with the extra time outsourcing gives me?

And I started taking vacations and time off or away from my business.  It is very important to me to take a couple of weeks off without thinking about my business and just relaxing.

Sure, that means prep work with my business partners ahead of time. And yes, I’m never 100% out of the office. Any work time that needs to happen while I travel is intentionally planned out and noted in my agenda to provide me with balance.

But taking time off for me and my life outside of my business, gives me time to give my mind a rest.  It means unplugging from social media. It means connecting with my family on a personal level, spending time together having deeper conversations, eating as a family and doing things together.  When I am back to work I feel refreshed, rested and my mind is clear to start again.

It’s a powerful feeling. There is no doubt in my mind that this time away makes me more productive in the long run that I would be without it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Think outsourcing might be the next move for you, but not sure what you could outsource? Know that you need time back, but can’t figure out where to begin? Check out the replay of our Fempire LIVE with guest contributor, Anne-Marie Gabrini of K+A Personal Concierge, where she gives us 5 Things We Can Outsource in our Day-to-Day Lives.

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Overwhelmed by the transition to entrepreneurship?

I’ve been there. When I left the corporate and small business worlds to start my own business, I didn’t know what I was in for. I saw other women living lives that I wanted to be mine, and wondered, “How are they doing it?” Knowing something had to give, I totally changed the way I’m running and building my business.

As a mother, blogger, mentor, speaker and business owner, I am used to balancing the demands of many roles. It is hard to “do it all,” and I have learned how to adjust to those expectations. Stick with me and you’ll be diving into your business with fresh eyes and a growth-centered mindset faster than you ever imagined!

It all came to a head in the Fall of 2015. With my daughter’s autism diagnosis and my postpartum depression following my son’s birth, my Spring/Summer that year had been pretty rough. I was feeling pretty kicked around — to say the least. As I was crawling out of the dark and twisty places life had cornered me in that year, I knew that everything had changed.

For many reasons, I couldn’t go back to my corporate life. One of the biggest reasons was that my perspective on how I was going to live my life had changed. A shift had happened. My time away from my children was going to be spent doing things that I was passionate about. Doing things that got me pumped about life. In May of 2016, I went out on my own and started my business. It was great. I was finally doing things that had me pumped about my time away from my kids. I had the flexibility to spend more time with them. At the end of the day, I had the energy to work in my household and my marriage.

But, while I was living my passion and excited about my life again, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Previously, I was a teacher, a sales professional, marketing leader and client services manager. By setting clear objectives, I succeeded in each role, even though they were in different industries.

But being an entrepreneur was a whole new world. I felt the loneliness. I had self-doubt. I didn’t know where to start…and I wasn’t the only one in this boat.

Whether I’m out speaking to a room full of female entrepreneurs or leading a workshop, one of the things that I hear over and over again from these amazing women is how great it is to be out from behind their desks and surrounded by a group of like-minded women. And as our conversation continues, it becomes clear that they are looking for a tribe of women that they can connect and collaborate with regularly in an environment that is welcoming, encouraging and safe enough to let their walls down and share. I needed a community like this too. One that encourages fellow members as they conquer fears, overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams. A tribe that leaves me with a new comfort level and the confidence I’m craving to expand my growth and limits — both personally and professionally.

And most importantly, I wanted a place that would offer me more than inspiration. One that would give me the actionable advice, education and mentorship, support and accountability that we all need.

And from these conversations and my own needs, Fempire Builders was born.

You see, it’s not just me. And it’s not just you. We are not alone. And when we come together, it’s a powerful thing. With the Fempire Builders community supporting me and holding me accountable, I have experienced the business growth that previously I had only dreamed about.

Just as it has been for other Fempire Builders, it will be the same for you, too. Wait and see!