Updated: Jan 14
This post is meant to highlight where many small business owners go wrong. Not realizing that after things are off the ground it's time to step away for atleast small periods of time. Getting burnt out or never taking time for yourself hurts you, your brand, and the business.
When I opened the brick and mortar store for Elk Lake Marina LLC. The first three weekends I overextended myself. I did it all from working open to close, taking inventory, picking up the bulk orders, making the apparel and drink ware products, cooking all the food, it was a one woman show. But this is how many small business start, you want to keep costs low and doing most of it yourself makes that very easy.
I was working 18 open hours from Friday evening to Sunday evening.
3 hours of set up
3 hours of closing
Totaling 24 hours in a 48 hour time period from Friday evening to Sunday evening. Not gonna lie to y’all, it wasn't fun, but I don’t even think I recognized that at the time. I had a vision that I was so focused on.
Along with at a minimum 10 hours of prep during the week.
I was also working part time as a sales associate at a tuxedo rental company and for the first two weeks I was finishing out the school year (exams!!)
While most of my friends were worried about who was taking them to prom and making sure they fit in their dress. I was trying to figure out taxes and who would cover at the marina while I was walking at graduation.
Now, what I won't say is that this was a mistake. Opening a physical store requires you to put in some serious time, but it pays off in the long run. To make a new business work, or grow a business you have to be willing to make some sacrifices and put in some serious hard work. You want this for yourself, you want to be able to say that you did it! Where people make the mistake after the business is off the ground is in thinking that they have to be there 24/7.
Eventually once everything has started to take off and you've ironed out the details. It's time to reevaluate:
Do I have a social life?
Am I spending as much time with my family as I would like to be?
Am I having fun?
Am I taking time for myself to recharge?
And most importantly look at how you are treating others if you are quick to get upset and snap at others, it's probably time for a break.
This can be hard for new business owners, just like a new mom leaving her baby at home with a stranger. This is your baby. It can be hard to leave your new baby with an employee that in your opinion doesn't have the same capabilities as you, and may not be equipped to handle everything if something goes wrong or handle it as you would. This ultimately comes down to finding, hiring and training good employees. Which we will talk about later.
You have to accept that new momma, your baby will be okay without you and if something is seriously wrong, in most cases, you are only a phone call away! Ultimately by taking some time to step away you will lead a happier life, and have more energy along with a clear head to continue to grow your business.
While some parts of this post may sound negative and like a lot of work. I wouldn’t change a single thing. Opening Elk Lake Marina has taught me more than I’ve learned in any classroom.