I want to dedicate this week to saying that it is important, nay (can you tell I’ve been reading my pal Shakespeare!) imperative, to make sure you are taking care of yourself on a personal level and (brace yourself) NOT feeling guilty about it!

There is no doubt that we are all struggling with taking a break. As new entrepreneurs we understand time is money. When you take any time off you can’t help but think about the opportunity cost.

When I first started, a whole 8 months ago, I was so locked in the 9-5 mindset that if I took more than an hour off for a lunch break I would beat myself up and work into the night to make up the time. The reason this behaviour is ridiculous is because you are running your own business so you CAN manage your own schedule and work when / how it works for you.

I would start to feel the guilt come on when I wanted to have a coffee with a friend in the middle of the afternoon or take time in the day to go shopping for birthday gifts. I would say to myself – “if your business fails it is because you didn’t work hard enough – how dare you take a coffee break.”

Excuse me, Mr. Negative, BUZZ OFF!

You need to allow yourself this freedom. Being an entrepreneur is about creating your own rules. It is about doing whatever it is that you love to do but also giving your mind a rest and a chance to recharge.

You are the boss – you are the one that decides when enough is enough and the hours that you work. YOU!

Understanding this concept takes a lot of time. Sometimes my to-do list taunts me and I just want to get it all done as quickly as possible without acknowledging that I have 2-3 weeks to work it out at my own pace. There is a fine line of course, you need to establish office hours and you need to adhere to these hours, however, you also do not have to adhere to the 9-5 rule, or any other rule that you might feel “obligated” to follow.

You make the rules now.

It is something that all entrepreneurs struggle with because it is a well know fact that what you get out of your business is directly proportional to what you put into it. True, however, in the first year you have to allow yourself some breathing room to get established and to figure out what’s what.

After you have a couple of clients under your belt, and are feeling comfortable with the work you are delivering to them, you can then take a step back and start to create the work day and work world that you really want. As tempting as it is to rush through (and believe me taking it slow has been difficult for a charge-forward person like me) I know the value of slowing down is far greater than the quick -and-easy-fast-reward alternative.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again – you didn’t go through all of this s*** to settle for something that you aren’t 100% dedicated to. You have altered everything – your whole life has been flipped – and you are struggling through the day to day to make something happen for yourself. Part of that is rewarding yourself with a little time off to enjoy life. As long as you are doing a little bit everyday to push yourself towards your goals, the results will come.

A break won’t deplete your momentum, it will fuel it!

Until next time – dream, experience and love your life.

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