When I started my first home baking biz in 2010, I knew very little about business and even less about my own needs. I would work from 7:30pm -2am. Wake at 7am to take care of little people. Squeeze work in anytime I could in between, Rinse and repeat. I didn’t know another way existed.
In less than 2 exhausting years, I hung up my apron and decided I'd be better off getting a job outside our home….with normal hours and better pay. My mixer collected dust for 5 years-the length of time it took me to recover. Even then, I started Nibble Cookie Co. unenthusiastically, but promised myself I would do everything different.
And I did. I read business books. I listened to endless hours of podcast episodes for entrepreneurs. I invested in coaching. I joined groups and googled every problem I had. I went slow. I knew my priorities and better yet, practiced strict boundaries. Stuck close to people who inspired me. When life felt out of balance, I immediately went to work to correct the problem. I hired help. I reflected, a lot. I let go of things and got really clear about my core values. I got really good at saying no and aligning all my decisions with my bigger goals.
Here’s the catch. There’s nothing special about me. You can do all these things too. There are so many wonderful resources to tap into and people willing to share what they know. There’s hope for everyone that has sunk to the kitchen floor covered in tears and exhaustion from trying to do too much.
My own experiences are why I’m passionate about talking about burnout, sharing business advice, and rejecting the glamourization of hustle culture. I believe you absolutely can build a healthy and successful business. You don’t have to sacrifice your mental or physical health for it either. Can you do it all? Of course not, and no one expects you to.
If you’re reading this, and maybe you’re on the kitchen floor crying in exhaustion right now, there’s still hope. Here’s some tips to get you back on the path to building a healthy, sustainable business.
Do a self-check. Where are your emotions and general vibes about your biz.? If you feel off kilter, keep reading.
List out ALL your roles and responsibilities. Now, circle the non-negotiables. Star what you can offload. The point here is for you to see ALL the things you’re taking care of and then be willing to delegate it to someone else or let it go, even temporarily.
Know how much time you have to devote to your biz each week and plan accordingly. Figure out how long tasks take, brainstorm ideas for efficiency, and flex your no muscle.
Practice self-compassion. Beating yourself up, feeling guilty and practicing negative self-talk is part of the hamster wheel keeping you stuck.
Reach out. Get support. Join communities of like-minded women. Show up vulnerable. Don’t accept the status quo. Keep going. Rinse and repeat.