There seems to be a buzz in this last quarter of the year that’s all about combating burnout with elements of self care, defining non-negotiables and those pesky boundaries we all know we need, but find it difficult to stick with daily. Now, I’m not talking about self-care in the traditional go-have-spa-day…I’m talking about whatever self care looks like for you. Perhaps it’s as simple as blocking out an hour for lunch during your day or maybe as complex as not working Fridays in the summertime. ← That right there is #goals.
Defining all of these elements — self care, boundaries, non-negotiables — as a business owner tends to be constructed around my “why” foundation.
Let’s talk about the “why” before we deal with the itchy sweater of discomfort in defining all the rest of the elements. But first, If you thought this blog would unveil earth-shattering insight into how I run a business from this side of the screen, I’m sorry to disappoint.
This blog is really about unpacking the elements and practices I’m working on right now as a leader in my business (ahem, and in life) to make my business more aligned with my “why.”
What’s a why? A why in business is the purpose and reason you signed up for this entire roller coaster that is entrepreneurship. There’s a reason WHY you went into business for yourself and I can guarantee it wasn’t because you wanted to work weekends or 16 hours days, right?!
Oftentimes, our why in business crosses over into the personal life as well. And what I’ve found is throughout the years, my why has morphed and changed with the season in life and business I’m in.
Some define their why as this overarching statement of impact. Here for that. But in the beginning of my journey my why was quite simple. After building Oh Snap! Social on the side for 5 years, I wanted to get out of my 9-5 job and be my own boss, pay myself, make an impact on my clients’ businesses, and run my own schedule. My why was simple, strong and clear.
Then I got into the weeds of running my business. This why slowly became fuzzy and unfocused.
Yes, I was making an impact on my clients’ businesses.
Yes, I was able to pay myself more my first year in business than I made at my day job.
Yes, I was able to grow a team and pay them for their expertise.
Yes, I was able to scale my business.
But with this growth came longer hours, work on weekends, a chaotic calendar and sacrificing my new why…
My New Why
This new why, I was able to fully wrap my head around in March of 2021. Better late than never, eh? The foundation of my why today are my relationships with my husband, my parents, my friends, my team and yes, my clients.
When I’m connected with the people in my life I feel more myself — this fun, energetic, type-a personality who loves busting a move, drinking wine on rooftops, and humming around the house to whatever song is paying rent in my mind for the day. This why also has a branch to it…my own family.
One day soon, I hope to become a mother and I know in my heart of hearts that the reason for running this business and working my booty off now is so I can spend time with them when they arrive and still financially contribute to my household AND continue Oh Snap’s mission of making social media fun for small businesses and their teams.
When’s the last time you sat down and clearly defined your why?
Stifling Stress With Your Version of Self Care
The past two years have changed the trajectory of our businesses, good, bad or otherwise. It’s also taken a toll on our mental health. I’m not an expert on mental health by any stretch, but I do have self awareness to know when things aren’t quite right with this noggin’ of mine. For me it’s knowing when to rest then ACTUALLY resting. That follow through, amiright? Lawd.
Necessary Tangent: This past weekend, I actually did a fun Reel on Instagram about my weekend plans for resting then I used my audience there on the ‘gram to hold me accountable to actually following through with it. Proud to report, it worked and Saturday was such a magical day spent with my hubby at a gorgeous Virginia winery followed by copious amounts of couch cat naps in the afternoon. Heck, if you know you need to rest, I’m happy to be your restful accountability buddy. Post your weekend plans for resting on your social media, tag @ohsnapsocialkarlyn and I’ll check-in with you on Monday to see how it all went.
Now this rest doesn’t have to look like scenic wineries or booking a fancy pants massage (though lemme say, I do love me a massage).
My self-care practices are things much less monumental but still flex my rest and self care muscle. Here’s the rundown of my small things that I’m slowly but surely making non-negotiables in my life-business blend.
- Daily walk around lunch time with my husband (weather pending)
- Eating lunch away from my desk
- Closing my laptop and pausing client notifications at 5pm no matter what
- Not adding more things to my to-do list for the day, throughout the day — anyone else do this?
- No work on Saturdays
What are your 5 non-negotiables that you’d like to see in your life-business blend that support your why? Send me an email and let me know email@example.com.
Now these non-negotiables cannot go into practice with our bold and unwavering boundaries. This is the part — again the follow through — that is the most challenging for moi. There are different kinds of boundaries that you could implement to help you out. The two I want to touch on today are physical and emotional.
- Physical – Dividing work and life physical space.
This could look like having a different phone number for your personal life and business life through. Google voice is free and allows you to have a separate number (that you get to choose!) for your business. For me, I needed a quick split which means having a separate device for business and personal. I’ll be getting a work phone in the coming months to help with this physical boundary that I need to stay accountable to my why! For me I’m going to be getting a separate work phone in the next few months so I can literally leave my phone “at the office” over the weekend and after 5pm.
- Emotional – Having an understanding of self in relation to business and personal commitments. Emotional boundaries are established overtime and merge culture, upbringing, societal shifts and norms and our overarching belief system.
This is having the emotional intelligence to know which clients you adore working with and those that are just not the right fit. The follow through with this is not taking on those clients who drain your team’s energy and creativity reserve. For business owners, this could also be having the awareness to make changes to the team as you grow and scale to better serve the company’s mission and overall team culture.
A great indicator for these boundaries is once again, going back to your why and those outlined non-negotiables. If you’re finding business relationships (clients or team members) are not aligning with your physical or emotional boundaries, it may be time to have a discussion to set up expectations for all parties. There’s no substitute for impeccable communication!
Once again, I’d love to hear your top 5 non-negotiables for your life-business blend. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org OR send me a DM over on Instagram I’d love to hear what you came up with!