Take Care of Your Top Business Asset

A lot of the posts in this blog talk about the very practical, nuts-and-bolts of business: contracts, PR, technology issues, dealing with customers, and so on.  They’re all great posts—my fellow WIC members are nothing if not bright, practical, experienced and generous in their willingness to share their expertise with the community.  Each blog post addresses an important aspect of your business.

But there’s one thing I’d like to add: do you treat yourself as if you were your own most precious business asset?

I’ve talked to WIC members ranging from women who are just testing the consulting waters to experienced consultants who have been in the business for decades and have reached the pinnacle of success.  We all share the same challenges: finding the time to take care of ourselves. There’s always one more email to send, one more call to make, one more deliverable or contract or white paper to review one last time.

So here are some thoughts from a consultant who’s been at it longer than she cares to admit.

  1.  You don’t have to do it all.  Being in business for yourself doesn’t mean you’re expected to know—or do—it all yourself.  Figure out where you can best add value and hire people to do the rest, even if money is tight.  Can’t justify it?  Look at it this way: if your billing rate is $100/hour, would you hire someone to do the filing, bookkeeping or house cleaning at that rate?  I didn’t think so.
  2. Ask for help.  Yes, yes, I know we’re all independent, smart, resourceful women.  Swallow your pride and ask friends and family to return some of the favors you’ve done for them over the years.  Find and line up resources: someone to clean house, weed the garden, run an errands, walk the dog, pick up the kids after school, cook a meal.  It will take a load off your mind and let you focus on the important stuff.
  3. The important stuff isn’t always the business.  And clients can be remarkably understanding.  Sometimes you can’t put a value on another cup of coffee with a good friend, a longer walk with the dog, or an extra half hour letting rush hour pass you by.  Give yourself permission to be kind to yourself.
mb@douglas-partners.com' About Mary Beth Deans

Mary Beth (MB), managing director of Douglas Partners, works with clients to simplify business processes and ease the pain of new or upgraded technology, especially for HR and Payroll. She leads complex teams to ensure client needs are met and that her clients are able to take full advantage of new tools and best practices. Read more of Mary Beth's at douglas-partners.com/blog.html

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