How do you prevent burnout for small business owners?
Q: "What tips do you have for preventing burnout for small business owners who care too much, i.e. very hard to get away from our brick and mortar to get downtime to refresh and recharge. Inspiration and enthusiasm are key, but it's hard to come by in the doldrums of January.
A: Well, a top fan, Alice, I'll tell you, you know, I'm no different. So, for example, so yesterday morning I wake up at 5:00. I have no idea why. Oh, yeah, trash trucks, New York City, right, exactly. I wake up at 5:00. I just start working on my stuff and I'm going until about 11:00. And I get to 11:30, I was like, "Holy crap, I'm going to have to drive and I'm going to have to get...I have some articles due last night. This is gonna be a long day. I don't want this whole day to be work, work, work, me in the hamster wheel of going around and around trying to figure things out."
So, I ended up going online and stayed there most of the morning. I took the afternoon..took three hours to go see "The Ferryman," which if you're in New York, is an amazing play. And said, "You know, I need this for my own survival."
It's the same thing most business owners need to do. I can't tell you how many times when I go to a conference and someone has questions for me. They're emailing me and I tell them, "Oh, well, you should come to the conference where I'll be speaking." They'll reply, "I know, but yeah, I can't afford to go there."
Let that sink in. "I can't afford to go in there."
Well, if you can't afford to go and get recharged, and get new ideas, and learn new techniques, then what the hell are you doing? Because the only place you're going to make a difference and recharge yourself is to make time for you and to say, "I'm going to go buy a nice shirt. I'm going to have a glass of wine. I'm going to go and take a day off."
If you feel so concerned that you can't...you have to be there all the time, I can tell you one thing, it's your issue.
You know the old saying about working as a store manager, when you think you're so great?
Fill a bucket full of water. Put your hand in the bucket, and when you pull it out, the hole that's remaining is how much you'll be missed. That's pretty much true.
You know, we think we're so important, but you may have trained your crew to not think on their feet. So, when you want to get the hell out for an afternoon, you say, "I'm going to assume you're going to do your best judgment and use that. And don't bother me for three hours. And when we get back, if anything happens, we'll unpack it, but I assume that you'll be able to do this just fine."
And train yourself to get out of your store. Don't hang out in the doldrums of January or mid-week, moping that it's quiet. That's why you have this time. That's why all the conferences start in January because retailers need to get their butts out of the store and go recharge.
So, another thing about an inquiry from last week. A person saw I was speaking at their main association conference and asked, "Oh, can you come and speak to us on the day before? For free. " And I said, "Well, I'm speaking all day at the conference, you should come there." They replied,"Oh, yeah, you know, we're having our own meetings and doing things. We don't do those." By the way, I don't speak for free.
The whole point is, if you go to a conference, you're not just there to buy. You should be there at every educational session. I don't care whether I'm there or somebody else.
There is always something to learn. There's always somebody else with a new way. There's always somebody who has one little thing.
It's kind of like we're still all back in school. Like, "Oh, I couldn't ask her. She's too pretty." Well, of course, you could have. Why didn't you? Because you got caught up in your own head, "I can't, I can't."
Too many of us take ourselves out of the game because we think we can't. "I don't have time. I'm so necessary. It's so important."
Get over yourself. Sorry, just had to say that.