Yes, there is life after owning a small business. Or more specifically, you can have a life while owning a small business.
I started this site because I kept encountering the same themes over and over again – both in running my own businesses – and in talking with many other small business owners:
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling like your business owns you
- Never being able to disconnect
- A cycle of worry and frustration
Yes, many small business owners fantasize about being employees again because at lease their employees get to go home at the end of the day and not worry about the business.
If you feel this way, you’re not alone! I felt that way when I started my first business, and I still do at times. But over the years, I’ve learned at least a thing or two. I hope to learn more from my readers and listeners, and to help as many people as I can with their own pursuits.
Most of us start our businesses for two reasons (among others):
- You want more freedom and control – to break from the 9-5.
- You want to create something new, original, and even great.
But instead we often find out these sad truths:
- You aren’t working a 9-5 job, you’re working twice that much and stressed out even when you’re trying to take a break.
- You’ve created something, but that things plagues you with stress! Money problems, payroll problems, employee problems, and on and on.
There’s a reason that so many small businesses fail and it isn’t just about money: a lot of small business owners start to feel like their business isn’t worth the time, stress, and frustration to keep things moving.
But running a business doesn’t have to feel this way.
You CAN own a small business that gives you the life you want without unnecessary stress and hardship.
No, there’s no way to make running a business easy. And there’s no way to guarantee that every business will succeed.
But there are ways to make the effort worthwhile over the long haul. There are ways to grow into your business, so that you become a person who can handle almost anything with equanimity, even a failure and restart when necessary!
I call this “Self Help For Small Business Owners” because it’s all about learning strategies to grow into your business. I’ve broken it down into 4 main components:
Values Identification and Intentionality: Continually thinking about what matters to you and making sure you’re building a life around things that excite and energize you.
Organization and Planning: So that you aren’t overwhelmed by the barrage of incoming information and know what is most important to focus on with limited time.
Character Building: Ingraining habits that reduce stress and increase daily gratitude. Becoming a calmer, more positive, and thoughtful decision maker.
Systems and People: Developing systems that keep your business moving and building an organization around those systems.