When you love the work you do it can be disheartening when it stresses you out. Wasn’t this supposed to be fun? I thought this was my dream? Why is this so much work?
As much as other people might not believe that being a hooper can be a real job, it most certainly is. Along with a real job, comes real stresses, real problems, and real struggles. Whether you work as a hoop maker, a performer, a hoop dance instructor, or all three, being an entrepreneur and working for yourself is an ongoing and unique experience. If you’ve never worked for yourself before, there are many challenges that will come your way. One of the challenges has nothing to do with your business itself but everything to do with you and your sanity.
Below are my top tips for staying sane while working as an entrepreneur. Rest assured, I have failed at each and every one of these suggestions and often need a reminder to maintain self-care.
Best of luck in your business endeavours, hope you find these tips helpful in your journey!
1. Remember to Dress Yourself
Seriously, this one is key. Just put pants on. When you work from home and don’t have to see other people, it can be really easy to get lazy. When you wake, do as your normally would, get out of bed, shower, brush your teeth, and get dressed. All these habits will get your mind and body ready to start the day.
2. You Don’t Have to do EVERYTHING
New business owners often will take on every element of their business. In the beginning this can be a great way to cut costs and ensure you are involved in all areas of your company. Overtime however, as you get busier, you’ll need to start asking for help. Remember to skim through your To Do list on a regular basis and find list items that you could potentially pay or ask someone else to do. The skill of delegating is a great way to save yourself the insanity of trying to do and be everything. *Note* This will also require the skill of ‘letting go’ and allowing someone else to do the work. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does need to be done.
3. Allow Yourself Guilt Free Time Off
Are you working really hard? That’s great! It is awesome to be motivated and ambitious but do remember that when you are filling up your calendar you need to intentionally set aside time for yourself to recharge. Even more importantly, when you designate time to relax, you’ll notice your inner critic will speak up and try to guilt-trip you for not working. Do not listen to it! Working all day and night is not the key to success. Yes, your business is important but your business will not crash and burn if you take a day for yourself.
In addition to this, also remember to plan the timeframe in which you will to be working. If you work best in the daytime, work 9-5 like you normally would. If you are a night owl, allow yourself time to work in the evening but take the morning off. Ultimately, decide how many hours you’ll work in the day and when quitting time comes, close down what you were working on, put away your hoops and stop working! When you take time off remember to calm the voice in your head, take a breath, and relax. You not only deserve to take breaks but you also require them in order to fully recharge and take on your next work day with new vigour.
4. Get Out of the House
If this is the first time you’ve ever worked from home, you’ll quickly realize how hard it is to be motivated. Being at home all day in the same environment is draining. Give yourself somewhere to go during the daytime, even if you don’t need to. Walk to the nearest coffee shop to work for the day on your laptop, rehearse choreography in the park, or tape hoops outside in the sunlight. Changing your environment will reinvigorate you and help keep you sane.
5. Interact With Human People
Being an entrepreneur is a lonely experience, waking up every morning and spending the day alone can lead to depression and anxiety. Remember to make plans with friends, get out of the house, chat with strangers in line ups, and even consider co-working with another entrepreneur in the same business or even an entirely different one. Sometimes just having someone next to you to bounces ideas off of can be a life saver. Also, set yourself up for social success by scheduling activities at the beginning of the month or every Sunday by looking through your Facebook events, calling friends to make plans, and putting activities right into your calendar to guarantee that you’ll get out the house, not overwork yourself, and get yourself away from your work.
6. Step Away From the Computer
Interacting with technology is not always the most enjoyable experience. If your computer regularly gets bogged down, your stress levels and frustrations go up and up. Remember to mix up the activities you do throughout the day by working in smaller doses on the computer and taking breaks every hour.
7. Separate Business and Life
When your work is your passion, it can be really difficult to separate your life and your business. A great way to help you escape from work related stress is to physically separate your work environment from your home environment. Having hoops, work books, receipts, files folders, supplies, etc. scattered all over your home means your subconscious mind may never get a rest from work related things. If you have the space, keep costuming in the closet, paperwork filed away, and hoop supplies behind cupboards or in the garage. The less noise you have around you the more fully you’ll be able to calm the mind and relax during your ‘off’ hours.
8. Have a Life Outside of Hooping
Here’s the reality of becoming a business hooper. Previously when you were frustrated with life from being overworked, from exams, or other realities of life, you would hoop to relax. Now that hooping is your job it may no longer be as effective as a stress reliever. When you do something for work, it’s important to have other parts of your life to go to when you need a break. In this case it’s important for you to have non-hoop related activities and hobbies that you enjoy.
Not sure what to do? Consider hobbies or interests you used to do or things you’ve always wanted to try. Try hiking, yoga, drawing, music, and other social or creative activities. Not only will this give your body a break from work but also your mind.