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As a small business owner, you dedicate yourself completely to every client and setting boundaries when trying to get some downtime is not a straightforward task

As a small business owner, you dedicate yourself completely to every client and setting boundaries when trying to get some downtime is not a straightforward task. You find yourself torn between wanting to be there for your clients and your need to disconnect.

  • However, is it necessary to choose between your needs and clients’?
  • Is there a way to have your cake and eat it too?
  • Can your absence be good for your clients as well as for you?

A few tricks can help you make the most of that time and help your clients do the same.

Prepare in advance

Start by asking yourself how long do you want to be away. Make a list of all the tasks you would have to do in that period. The length of preparation is directly affected by the amount of time you want to be away for. The longer you plan on being absent, the longer you should prepare for it. Once you produce that list of tasks, arrange it by difficulty. The preparation process might require more time than you expected and it makes sense to start by dealing with the most demanding ones first. In case it demands more time than expected, you will have started with the most challenging ones and potentially have some time to spare.

Delegate the responsibility

When you take a look at the list, divide it into those tasks that you can finish before you go and those you will need to delegate. Think about whom you can rely on while you are away since life and business will continue. Work should not depend on you to run smoothly. In case it does, that means the process is dependent on you and can break at any time. You might agree that is not a true recipe for success. Therefore, think about who can replace you and for what tasks.

Distribute responsibility onto your colleagues, so you can rest in peace and neither one of them, in particular, feels overwhelmed with responsibility. Inform your clients whom to turn to regarding what topic in case they require help while you are away. Besides showing you care about them and providing them the needed assistance, you will also gain some freedom from the chains of calls and emails.

Inspire independence

Wondering what to do in case you work independently and no one to delegate tasks to? How does one set boundaries to clients if there are no team members to rely on? Would they feel abandoned and you feel guilty if you didn’t respond when they needed you? There is a way to prevent these feelings and make this a learning and growing experience for both parties.

Start by making a list of topics you think they could try to contact you for while you are away. What on this list absolutely needs a prompt response, and what can wait? What can you say no to, or not respond and feel okay with it? Make sure these are boundaries you can stick to. Otherwise, you will be sending mixed messages to your clients if you respond to something you mentioned you will not address while being away. Furthermore, they will respect you for being able to set boundaries and respect them even if they are unhappy about them. The crucial step in the process is informing them about the boundaries in advance and making sure they know what to expect. Once you have informed them it is up to both of you to stick to the agreement. Most importantly it is on you since clients try most often testing those boundaries and you will have to practice maintaining them.

By starting to prepare ahead of time, you can also address your absence as a topic with your clients. Provide a time for them to express their thoughts about what could come up in the meantime, what they rely on you most of the time and what other resources can they turn to if needed? Besides helping you rest without feeling worried or tempted to respond back, this topic can encourage them to build more independence and resilience. In reality, you won’t always be there for them, nor will you be there constantly. No one will in fact. Therefore, this can be an opportunity to practice self-reliance and note down those issues they weren’t able to solve independently. This can bring to the surface the topic of resources (lack of them, really) in life and reliance on others. The more resources we have to turn to when in need, the greater the chances those needs will be fulfilled. In coaching for the businesswoman, the topic of boundaries is an important one to examine and practice. Your absence can spark this immensely important life topic.

Utilize downtime to enlighten issues or processes to be improved

Interestingly, the process of you being away can demonstrate what area of business needs improvement. Where are the breaking points that depend solely on one person? What were your colleagues contacting you for when you were away? How can you be confident to have necessary instructions in place, or a process, to address those key issues before your next vacation?

Use the mistakes or problems that occurred as valuable insights about the specific areas requiring operational improvement. Besides, utilize the time before your next vacation to set procedures in place and test it while being away next time. Additionally, you can address it with your clients too. Not all of them know in advance what are ordinarily the things they rely on you for. The absence of such a valuable resource enlightens and reveals a possible way of searching and providing support for those needs.

Lead by example

What if you were to look at your downtime as an opportunity to learn and improve? Think of it as a unique chance to improve processes and inspire self-reliance in clients (primarily coaching clients). By properly taking care of yourself and carefully respecting the boundaries you are setting, you are leading by example. Furthermore, this is exceptionally significant in direct coaching for women in business since they need to do the same at some point and will, this way, have an example to think of. This will promote their growth, and it is an essential part of coaching for success. Now go ahead and arrange that downtime so you can come back refreshed and ready to improve!

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Nowadays, we have gotten used to packing light to avoid the high-priced check-in luggage when traveling. However, in personal lives, we tend to bring us loads of emotional luggage anywhere we go, without realizing what fees we are paying for this. What price do we pay for carrying the weight of the “emotional check-in” luggage? What if there is a way to make it into a carry-on?

We can try a small thought experiment together. Imagine trying to pack a suitcase that should hold all your necessities for a journey called “the rest of your life.” What treasured memories would you take with you? What pain would you like to leave behind, which people and responsibilities would not make the cut? What would your life be like if you could leave behind all that is holding you back and weighing you down? Think of the lightness of life with only a carry-on of memories, people’s needs, and expectations from you.

Significant memories

When you look back to your life what memories make you sad, disappointed or angry? Amongst those which do you identify as responsible for the things, you dislike about your life today? How would you and your life be like today if those events played out differently? Good news is that even though we can’t alter the past we can change how we perceive it and therefore how it defines us.

Who would you be today if you didn’t experience the challenges in the past? What did you discover about your strengths and capabilities by enduring them? What friendships grew on the road to overcoming them? Even though it is problematic to see at times, even the most difficult of memories can have something useful for your life. Most would rather if they could choose, avoid the pain they experienced. Don’t be fooled, this is possible!

Even though you can’t alter the past, you can transform your perception of it. You survived and it made you stronger! Sometimes seeing the positive that came from the frustration helps leave the negative emotions about it behind. Think of those events through this metaphor – a calm sea never made a skillful sailor. We don’t have to be prisoners of our past, but rather grow through what we go through.

Fears and negative anticipations

Robin Sharma said: “The fears we don’t face become our limits.” Once you can leave behind some of the painful memories from the past (read reframe them) you might be able to think more positively about the future too. Who we are and what we do in the present, is partly rooted in the past. However, we determine what to do today based on what we anticipate will happen tomorrow. We choose our actions today depending on where we believe they will take us. Those anticipations become more positive once you can reframe some of the “negative” experiences from the past. When you see that in everything bad there is a bit of good, you might start risking more. Allow your suitcase to contain fewer fears and more hopes.

 

People and their needs

Often we don’t notice when we become buried under peoples’ expectations and needs. Once they realize just how good of a resource you can be, they will rely on you consistently. These expectations accumulate over time and even though you feel like a good person by providing for others, you also feel drained.

Is there any of their needs that you can leave behind? What don’t you like providing they can find another person for? Before you start thinking this will make you a bad person, remember that by doing this you are in a way helping them. They will learn to widen the social network and become more independent. What people and which of their needs do you want to pack into the carry-on? This will allow you to still feel helpful and good about yourself without feeling drained. Remember, if you lose yourself – you lose it all.

 

Responsibilities and control

Being in control can give us predictability and help us feel safe. The more safety we need, the more control we are going to try to impose on different things in life. Needless to say, when you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing. Which things are, in fact, controllable? Which of those do you continue trying to rule over? What are the important and controllable things that you want to take with you to the rest of your life?

There is so much on your to-do list, day after day. Do all of them need to be done by you specifically? What can be delegated? Coaching for businesswoman can help you pack only the necessities in your carry-on. What are the essential duties you want to remain committed to? Direct coaching for women in business can help you learn how to delegate and focus on tasks that require you exclusively. Even though you can do anything, doesn’t mean you should do everything.

Make room for the things you want

The fact is you can’t pour into a full glass. When you translate that metaphor onto everyday life, you realize that for something unfamiliar to come in, you need to make room for it. Leaving behind the unnecessary, distressing and burdensome things from life provides the opportunity to add new, desirable ones. If you don’t choose to drag 5 check-in suitcases through airports when traveling, why would you choose to drag your emotional luggage through life?

Carrying only an “emotional backpack” allows you to travel to places where there are no elevators or smooth sidewalks. Imagine what you could experience if you didn’t have to carry so many worries, fears, and responsibilities with you. Pack light to travel far and enjoy the journey!

1 July 2019 Article Submitted byMilica Markovic

 

Lets catch-up virtually for 30-45 minutes to discuss anything about you and your business. I’m here to help you set and achieve your goals. You can book using the button below

Lets Book a Discovery session Today

 

 

we all benefit from taking a break or holiday , including your Start-up Business

How to holiday without slowing down your business

As a Business Coach on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane, we understand that growing a small business takes time and dedication. However, we all benefit from taking a break or holiday , including your Start-up Business. Down time allows everyone to relax and recharge, which can be essential for small business owners to maintain optimal performance at work. Being able to step away from a project or business helps you develop Confidence in Business.

As your own boss, you get to decide when and where to work. Just because you’re on holiday , it doesn’t automatically mean that you can’t keep your business running and growing. Successful small business owners understand how to take breaks, while still communicating with clients and finishing tasks. Small Business Consulting can help you decide if a holiday  can help you achieve a more well-rounded approach to doing business.

If you’re worried that your next holiday  will slow you down business-wise, think again. Almost all holiday  destinations have an internet connection and the ability to spend a few hours at a coffee shop. This allows your business to thrive, as you’re always finding ways to keep your customers happy while enjoying your holiday . Coaching for business women can help you balance all the demands of life, work and self-care, without sacrificing anything!

We go away a lot and balance work, life and play. We know how to do it and how important it is. 

When you first started as a business owner, you were probably too busy to think about holidaying. However, now that your business has been running for a few years, remind yourself that it’s okay to unplug from work from time to time. In fact, taking time for holiday  and self-care can actually increase your sustainability and allow for much-needed rest and relaxation.

Next time you take some time off work, consider using that time to reorganize your work life completely. On holiday , you’ll have the peace of mind to truly assess what’s important at work, and what you can let you. Leave your problems behind you but bring back the peace and tranquility of your time spent away from home. Also, stepping away temporarily is made easier with Support from a coach such as us, who provides support and direct coaching for women in business.

Everyone deserves a break from work, especially successful small business owners. Rather than making a choice between growing your business and taking a holiday , consider how you can have both. With the availability of telecommuting and the benefits or much-needed rest, you can do both at the same time!

For more information, contact Paulette McCormack Coaching for help and support.

 

Lets catch-up virtually for 30-45 minutes to discuss anything about you and your business. I’m here to help you set and achieve your goals. You can book using the button below

Lets Book a Discovery session Today

There was a time when work and family time had clear boundaries

There was a time when work and family time had clear boundaries. Nowadays, that is no longer the case and one must be conscious and very careful in trying to achieve the work-life balance to get the best of two worlds. This line has been further blurred by the use of technology that makes people available even after hours and consumes the time spent relaxing.

On a more cheerful note – even though it might be hard, it doesnt mean it is impossible to achieve work-life balance. However, what this balance will mean for each of us will be different, as our needs and responsibilities differ too. The ideal state of harmony and the road to achieving it will vary, as does what we are struggling with right now. Thats why the solution needs to be tailored and why we will propose later a small exercise designed to help you move closer to your individual desired state.

Gains and benefits of achieving the balance

The appropriate condition of balance and the avenues of attaining it will differ from person to person, but the benefits of achieving harmony are significant to all people employed. When employees experience a sense of command of their own lives and time division between work and rest they are more engaged and energetic in both.

Being in control and knowing there is designated time for each helps people focus on work while at work and deal with family matters outside of it. Not merely do they enjoy family time more, but they are equally able to build better relationships with coworkers and management. Fostering better relationships reduces the number of conflicts and increases productivity. A company is only as great as its people and studies prove that employees that have an optimal work-life balance do a better job. Therefore, companies that encourage this balance will yield good results in productivity, employee retention rates and become more enticing attracting the most outstanding talent out there.

Managing the balance will have an extensive effect on health and wellbeing in general. Being tired and overworked takes a great toll. Thinking process becomes clouded and productivity declines. Over more, tiredness can lead to dangerous mistakes at work and in private life. Stress from working too hard and not tending to yourself has negative effects on the immune system. In turn, this has a negative impact on any medical condition and overall health.

Bear in mind, dedicating the majority of time to work leads to more work. By showing you are responsible and get the work done, you invite people to rely on you in the future again. This leads to less and less time devoted to family and friends. Time remains the resource we need to be most careful about spending as it is not limitless and you cant get it back. Think about what you spend it on before you run out of it. In the words of Steve Blank: When you’re gone would you rather have your gravestone say, ‘He never missed a meeting.’ or one that said, He was a great father.

Moving closer to the Ideal

Before we attempt to change something we need to comprehend where we are currently and what we would desire to avoid. Therefore, the following technique could help in gaining clarity and taking the first steps towards the ideal state of work-rest.

You need very little material – a pen and a paper. If you dont have it handy, perhaps your imagination can do. Start by drawing a straight link across the paper in a letter position. On the left end of the line, you should write a phrase that indicates the undesired state of work-life balance and on the left the desired state. Ask yourself, what would like it to be, and what would I dislike in terms of this balance. For example, one could write living to work on the left, unwanted, and working to live on the other, desirable, end. Find your own wording and note it down.

Next, think of this line as a continuum going from the state you dont want to be in up to the one you wish you had. This step is about positioning yourself on this continuum NOW, in 2 and 5 years, on your worst day and in the IDEAL state. Take the time you require to figure out where to mark each of these on the line. An additional step could be trying to position people close to you on this line, to the best of your knowledge. For all you know, some of them will be an explicit model of what you like to avoid in life and what you want to aim for. If you discover you know someone who has achieved what you desire, they can be a resource and you could reach out for guidance.

Furthermore, we want to move from understanding to applying. Once you have them all noted, think of two small things you could do that would get you closer from where you are NOW to the IDEAL. Remember the tale of the rabbit and turtle race? Even the most modest steps bringing you closer to the goal, as long as you are persistent and dont give up. Conceivably that modest step for you would be saying NO to additional work or to staying over hours? Would you need learning how to delegate better to decrease the workload you are handling right now? Would it be making a list of priority items that prompt your response after hours and those that can wait until you come to the office? Could you need to communicate more clearly when you are available for work and set clear expectations when they can (not) reach you? Whatever these two steps are, they need to make sense to you and be applicable to your unique situation.

Ultimately, it is possible you opt for Coaching for success and find a great Gold Coast Business Coach to assist you in this endeavor. A coach could assist in developing steps that are outside of your comfort zone but still not terrifying. What you decide to undertake at this stage should be challenging enough, but not paralyzing you with fear. Otherwise, you will simply go back to the behaviors you are comfortable with which lead you to predictable outcomes. However, if you continue going down the same familiar road, you will inevitably end up on the same place in the end. Change is about designing the following modest step and estimating the consequences before you take it.

Slow and steady is the key

Remember, creating a healthy work-life balance is a continuous process. Re-examine your priorities from time to time, draw the line again and if needed find assistance to support you staying on course. Work-life balance does not imply an equal division of time. Figuring out an optimal number of hours to allocate to each requires an investment of time and energy. Successively, life will reward you with feelings of fulfillment, meaning, and calmness. Being attentive and investing consistently will yield good results and ultimately achieve the harmony you need to make the most of the two worlds.

30 April 2019 Article Submitted byMilica Markovic

 

Lets catch-up virtually for 30-45 minutes to discuss anything about you and your business. I’m here to help you set and achieve your goals. You can book using the button below

Lets Book a Discovery session Today