Business Not going Well? Take a Hike

Text from my newsletter of 25th October.

Starting a business is exciting. Growing it is hard.

And the harder it becomes the more likely you are to mess up your work-life balance.

There will always be times when you must work ridiculous hours to get something done or fix a problem, but the danger is when those hours become the norm.

No one can sustain working 16-hour days for an extended time without damage to their health, and their relationships with family and friends.

In fact, it’s altogether self-destructive, because your work suffers too.

The very time you need to be at the top of your game is when times are tough, such as when your business growth stalls.

That’s when you need to be getting proper sleep, eating well, and giving yourself space and time to unwind, think and plan.

I do a one-hour hike in the mountains where I live every morning, and it’s often on those hikes that I get ideas for my business.

There are occasional days when I don’t do that walk for one reason or another, and on those days I often feel edgy by the afternoon.

Never underestimate the value of that time away from the business, whether out hiking or spending time with family and friends.

This week’s links

This week’s theme is on mental health and how it impacts the way you grow your business. I’ve linked to articles on ways to improve your work-life balance, prioritising your goals, re-training your thought processes and dealing with a productivity addiction.

10 Ways to improve your work-life balance

The pressures can sometimes seem intolerable for a one-person business owner. I know.

I went through periods in the early days of my business when the stress kept me from sleeping properly for months at a time, and led to the break-up of a relationship.

In sales calls, I was frazzled and lacking confidence, which meant I generally didn’t make the sale.

As hard as it seems when you feel as though you’re in over your head, the way out is to step back. Give yourself some space to clear your mind and get a fresh perspective.

It helps you to think clearly, prioritise effectively and perform at your best.

We are all individuals, each reacting differently to stressful situations, but among these 10 techniques for getting your work-life balance right, there will be one (or more) that works for you:

10 ways to improve your work-life balance

The one goal at a time advantage

Multi-tasking, wall-to-wall meetings and 12-hour days are still regarded as badges of honour in many parts of the business world.

The truth is they kill productivity and destroy your health.

One of the pleasures of building up a one-person business is the freedom it should give you to improve your quality of life.

But, too often, we take the (bad) habits we learned in the corporate world with us when we transition to our own business.

With bad results.

This article on the Online Visibility Academy illustrates the advantage of standing back, analysing your activity and prioritising what you do:

One goal at a time

Are you stuck in permanent side-hustle mode?

Amee Quiriconi has some tough questions for you, if your business seems to be permanently stuck.

Of course, you may have made a conscious decision to keep your side-hustle as a side-hustle.

But if, deep down, you’d love to do it as a full-time business and make good money from it, then her questions might help. They may also make you feel uncomfortable!

Get out of your side-hustle mindset

Addicted to productivity?

John Rampton considers the damage we can do to our health and relationships when we are so focused on being productive that it’s become an addiction.

And, as I said earlier, when we damage or break relationships and lose our health, we are far from performing at our best.

Here are 9 ways to break a productivity addiction and regain a balanced approach to your business:

9 ways to overcome being addicted to productivity

Fun flashback

Paul Simon turned 80 last week – here he is with Art Garfunkel performing ‘Mrs Robinson’ live at the Concert in Central Park:

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Martin Malden

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Website owner: Martin has been working online since 2006 and focuses on two areas: 1) affiliate marketing and 2) designing and building websites based on WordPress. He has his own WordPress agency, and serves clients in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK.