When you run your own business and you deal with clients, it often comes with an unspoken assumption and inner compulsion to always be available to everyone, all hours of the day, all days of the week, perhaps even all days of the year. Particularly as a newly self-employed person, the pressure is always there to be working as much as possible, and taking a day off is almost unheard of. It’s easy to become burnt out working at this pace, so here are a few things you may want to think about next time you turn down a great day out because you’re worried about leaving your emails unattended.
Busy is not a badge of honour
While this quote flutters around on Instagram from time to time, it’s actually very poignant for those running their own business. Dealing with naysayers who predict your failure in the beginning stages of your business can make you feel like you need to constantly update them with how incredibly busy you are and how in-demand your product or service is. At the end of the day, being busy does not equal hard working, it does not equal more money, and it does not equal more success. Whether you are taking a day off because business is slow or because you simply don’t feel like adulting today, it’s all OK.
Make yourself more sought after
Being constantly available at all hours of the day may be great for your clients, however if you are hoping to be booked more in the near future, you may not want to give the impression that you are sitting by your laptop refreshing your Outlook every ten seconds in hope that you’ll receive an email. Going out for the day and turning on your out-of-office response shouldn’t mean you lose all of your clients in one day, it simply means they will assume you have a life that you are happily living outside of work, and that’s a more healthy way to be living anyway.
Your wellbeing comes first
If you’re wondering what lie you could possibly concoct for your out-of-office response that is appropriate, you can stop now. It doesn’t matter if you’re taking the day off to go see an old friend, or you’re heading off on holiday for a few days, or you’re sitting in your pajamas at home catching up on a TV show that you love. None of it matters. Telling your contacts that you are having a personal day is absolutely fine, and totally acceptable, so don’t feel that you need to make excuses or justify your actions.
Always remember that running your own business gives you the freedom to say no sometimes, and to shape the life you want. Put your wellbeing first, dial down the ‘busy’, and enjoy a day off once in a while. You deserve it!