The past few weeks have been a whirlwind! I have had wonderful opportunities to connect with amazing new clients, some through generous referrals and some through leads coming through this site, all of whom have unique and interesting needs for a variety of content.
I had the pleasure of presenting the Your Virtual Storefront seminar as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (with continued thanks to the Business Advisory Centre of Durham), and now look forward to the next adventure of how to broadly market that presentation.
I have also worked at growing The Write Stuff Agency's team. I have been lucky enough to collaborate with some super talented experts namely in digital strategy and social media (more on them to come soon!), and we are all working together to provide a unique blend of valuable services to these clients.
In such a difficult time, I truly have been incredibly fortunate. I love my work, and have this renewed energy when I'm doing what I truly enjoy and helping people in the process.
But that doesn't mean that I won't be taking a few days off in December. I haven't decided when, but I know that I need them.
You do, too.
While developments in technology have made it easier to conduct business from anywhere on the go, they've also led to so many of us working at all hours in order to satisfy clients' demands for an instant reply. The situation has only worsened this year - with most professionals working at least largely from home, the lines between work and private spaces automatically blur. Worse still is that, with sweeping lockdowns and travel restrictions in place, most of us have become apathetic to taking time off because we truly have nowhere else to go.
There are legal protections in place for employees, such as mandatory rest periods and paid vacation time (I promise this won't be an employment law blog, although old habits do die hard). Yet entrepreneurs and small business owners do not have these sorts of legal safeguards in place. There is no statute or law that says that we must stop returning emails after a certain hour, or that we are required to take statutory holidays off.
If anything, the pressures that we face are largely internal - an amplified version of what all client-facing professionals encounter. If we don't respond right away, will that client take their business elsewhere? If we take a short vacation and leave our laptop unchecked, will there be any business to come home to? These concerns are less panic-inducing as a worker in a large corporation with other revenue streams, but when you are a party of one, they become difficult to ignore.
Yet the reality is that entrepreneurs and employees have (at least) one thing in common - we are all human! No matter how much we love our work, we all need time to recharge our internal batteries. When we make that conscious effort to unwind, amazing things start to happen. With less work stress we suddenly begin to sleep better, to function better, our relationships with friends and family improve, and our overall outlook brightens. That last part is something that we could all use more of in 2020.
So even if you're in lockdown with nowhere exciting to go, try and schedule yourself some time to recharge over the next few weeks. Recreate a favourite holiday tradition, set up a video call with friends or family, binge watch that latest Netflix series you’ve been meaning to get through (big thumbs up for Queen’s Gambit over here), or even just cozy up in some blankets with a good book.
Self care is deeply personal, and looks different for everybody, but the important part is that you make it a priority.
However you choose to recharge, your business will thank you for it.