It is difficult for some small business owners to take time off, especially during times when business is not doing so well. The tendency is to work harder.
It is even harder for small, small business owners to walk away for a few hours or a day or two.
The small, small business owner is usually a one-person, Jack or Jane of all trades, multi-tasking machine, who feels guilty when he or she is not monitoring all things related to their business. (Speaking for myself, of course.)
Some small, small business owners have become more efficient, and have certainly adopted the latest in automation and virtual tools to help them have the ability to walk away from their businesses, as they choose.
Two of them that come to mind are Anita Campbell, and Jim Kukral, who both have a much better grasp of their business than me. Jim Kukral, an internet marketing guru uses lots of automation software like AWeber, to set up autoresponders. Autoresponders enable Jim to email folks back immediately, who are interested in his coaching services, for instance. Jim does not have to be in front of his PC, (or Mac) every minute of the day, to respond back.
Anita Campbell and I were talking at a great local networking event, recently about her business. Anita has a slew of writers, (like me) to follow up with, a radio program to run weekly, her own articles to write, and other assorted duties, which keep her going 12+ hours a day. Anita has been a proponent of using virtual assistants, and it has really helped her stay on top of her day to day operations. They can do a variety of things, from research, to customer support, and press release submissions.
Anita and Jim have the ability to step away from their businesses, because they have them set up correctly.
A lot of small business owners have the ability to walk away, and take some much needed time off. But do they?
Is it harder to walk away for some non-work time, when business isn’t so good? When the economy is down? Is there more of a guilt factor?
I have found that when business is slow, I cannot force things to happen. I am embarrassed to tell you how many times in the past 12 months I have stared at my phone, willing it to ring. (Nor, do I wish to share with you, how many times I have picked it up to see if it was out of order. My franchise consulting business has been slow, but in the last 45 days, there has been a definite uptick.)
So, should you be taking some time off, during times like this? Will you miss anything? Will a potential sale fall through the cracks, because you are not there at the precise moment someone wants to purchase your products or services?
I feel that it is really important to mentally and physically step away from your own business, and every time that I have forced myself to do so, I have come back energized, full of new ideas, and not feeling the least bit guilty.
There are certainly enough tools out there now to manage things while you are away, and if it means spending a little money to maintain your sanity, by all means do so. You’ll also be helping the economy.
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