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The One Essential Tool

Beverly Bochenek from Designbcb and Knit360five shares some good personal advice for all sellers on Etsy.

There are many perks to running our businesses. From using our creativity and other talents in a way that expresses ourselves while still (hopefully) making a decent living to knowing that we set the goals for success and depends on how much we put our whole selves into the work to get out of it what we need and desire.

There’s nothing like being the boss.

But with the responsibility comes a tremendous amount of stress and though we know it’s worth it in the end, unless we’re careful, the path can be damaging to our health and wellbeing. 

To stay on top of our business game, we make sure we keep educated, stay motivated and surround ourselves with as much positive support we can find. To become successful, we make sacrifices: dinners out may not be financially viable, while our friends are tailgating at the game, we’re at home making hats or cutting boards or earrings with this month’s birthstone. We expect some measure of sacrifice and work to pay off for us with a successful business that allows us to live the life we dream. 

The road to that dream often is bumpy with sleepless nights, long hours and self-induced deprivation of family and friends. It makes us grumpy and less productive.

To be truly successful at our calling, we need to remember sleep, rest and down time are as necessary as the latest app or that new, shiny crochet hook. (OK, that’s just me.)

We know it’s essential to sleep, rest and get away from the workplace, even when we’re passionate about our work. I suggest it’s even more important when you are passionate. Passion burns and it can cause us to burn out. We can be pulled away from what we love because we exhaust ourselves or make ourselves sick – in my case, there was a period where I spent weeks knitting and crocheting up to sixteen hours a day to get orders out. I managed to do it but six months later found myself in the hospital battling blood clots because I didn’t move enough or rest enough.

Rest is part of my schedule now. It is blocked out on my spreadsheet and when it comes, I put down the needles and hooks and pick up a book, or do a workout or even clean a room. Housework is also sacrificed.

The point is: don’t forget to take care of yourself when taking care of business. You are no good to anyone: family or customers, if you are not giving your best self to your tasks. Schedule your down time if you must and play music and dance alone or with someone. Take a walk in the sunshine or the rain. Sharpen your Candy Crush skills or take a nap like you did in Kindergarten. Take time to rest so you have the energy you need to fuel your fire.

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