What are the benefits of working with (and relaxing with) other small business owners?
The chances were that when you became self-employed it’s because you wanted to be a small business owner who could work and play by their own rules. However, it would probably be as fair to say that it hasn’t turned out that way.
Statistically business owners work harder for themselves than they did when they worked for someone else. There’s a massive cocktail of things that go into that such as pride, money, time, doing what you should be doing, marketing, admin tasks, the books, lead generation, phone calls, email, social media, website updates, no sick pay…the list could go on. And it does. Virtually every self employed person I know or have spoken to has been or still are, in that boat.
It wasn’t quite the dream ticket we sold ourselves was it?
But that’s OK, because I’ve found there is a way to elevate the pain that this constant barrage of business owning does to a person. I found that actually doing the opposite of what you’re doing right now works really well too. The ability to tell yourself to step back; switch off for a day or two and speak to others is often the most overlooked and least used way to get you and your business firing on cylinders again. None of us can go at 100mph day-in, day-out, no matter what the 10X’ers and the ‘Hustlers and Grinders’ (sounds like dating app that), tell you to do. And I know it sure as hell isn’t sustainable or a clever plan. You and your business will run out of gas. Been there and done that. It’s a pretty dark place to be honest.
And then I found out that taking that step back, taking some time for me and seeking advice and conversations with other business people was and is absolutely necessary.
So here are the 5 things that you will benefit from by having a work related break:
Allows no stress over day-to-day tasks and allows bigger picture thinking
I hate the phrase “Working on your business but not in your business”, partly because it’s become a cliche amongst coaches that do networking events, but there is no better way to describe the fundamental mistake every small business owners makes when it comes to running their business. Because many have to wear so many ‘different hats’ in the business, we get caught trying to do everything and probably only you know what you are doing tomorrow, at what time and where, and you never quite find the time to work out how to get where you want to be in 6 months or a years time. Before you know it, the day, the week, the month and the year are up and you are no further forward than you are today because there was no big picture plan.
It gives you time to learn from other businesses
Business owners should consider themselves as an expert in their field to some degree, so what does a driving instructor and PT instructor have in common? Certainly not their fitness levels, but at a Mastermind Group I ran, the PT instructor wanted to do a foreign fitness retreat for around about 10 people. Part of the marketing content he wanted to come back with were videos and photographs of the retreat in action. So as we all sat there talking about how much it would cost to hire someone from this country to do it, plus the bed and board, plus the airfare, the driving instructor took a sip of his coffee and said, “Hasn’t that country or town got videographers then? Why don’t you hire someone local?” Glaringly obvious and glaringly cheaper. Sometimes what you cant see, others can see in plain sight.
Make important decisions
By talking to people who aren’t emotionally connected to both you and your business is a massive asset. They can give advice or critique without the weight of upsetting someone’s feelings. That’s why I like being a coach. I’m not there to make friends, but I am there to be honest with you. So if there is an important decision to be made, always take time out and seek advice from a few different perspectives and not ones with vested interests.
So I’m not using this as buzz words, but ‘mental health’ really is a ticking time bomb in the self employed community with many, (including me in the past), working through it because I couldn’t take the time off. Its not healthy, it’s not sensible and plainly can’t carry on. So by removing yourself from a familiar environment in which you are under so much pressure and take time to take a walk on a Sunday morning whilst talking about football or whatever else floats your boat is a great stress reliever. It allows things to be put in perspective and if we add having laughs and jokes whilst trying to make a tee-pee out of bits of wood and a blanket, you might just forget how things were going in the first place…or catch a cold!
Boost self awareness and worth
This I think is my favourite. When people are stuck in a rut; stuck in a routine and are on a treadmill they begin to question a lot of things including themselves. It’s very easy to become isolated and ‘hidden in plain sight’ because everyone else is doing exactly the same. By taking the step back and talking to other small business owners, I am telling you this right now as a coach and as virtual friend…”You are NOT on your own”. You have got this, and whatever your results, your competition, your friends and family or bank balance say…”You’ve got this. You are doing better than the ones that never took the chance you did.” Sometimes you need to be reminded of this. So take it from your other small business owners who are in EXACTLY in the same boat, but will never say it publicly.
And so that is the end of the blog. So what are the benefits of working with (and relaxing with) other small business owners? You’ve seen the reasons why you should take time out from the day to day, and what results it can give you immediately and we’ve not even spoken of the financial benefits it can propel you to. So if you fancy knowing more about the Mastermind Group Coaching or soon to be launched Small Business Retreats, just give me a call or book FREE 30 minute Focus Session and let’s talk about what’s right for you.