I’m going to be totally honest with you: when I first started sharing my life and my recipes on social media, I never anticipated how hard it could be to prioritize my self-care.
And maybe it seems a bit silly to say, especially to those who don’t work in social media. I mean, getting to create recipes I love while I stay home with my kids seems easy, right? A few years ago, I probably would have thought so, too. But what I’ve learned since leaving my law career and transitioning into running KaleJunkie full-time is that navigating self-care as a women entrepreneur is freaking hard, especially when it comes to working for yourself.
When you work for yourself, taking breaks is almost impossible. It’s so easy to let any downtime you may have be filled with work. It’s like having a never-ending to-do list in your brain, at all times. There’s always something that I can be doing to benefit my business. And even when I’ve gotten all my work done for the day, there’s still more that I feel like I could do.
But as I’ve learned over the years, it’s impossible to do it all. In fact, I’m able to get more done when I focus on prioritizing my ability to take care of myself. It sounds counterintuitive, but the less I work, and the more space I take for myself, the more that I can continue to show up and deliver the best content for you guys that I possibly can.
Over the years, I’ve learned so many lessons about navigating this space as a female entrepreneur, so I’m going to share a few of them with you – the most important ones!
Ever heard of work-life balance? When you’re working for yourself, finding time to step away from your never-ending to-do list is crucial. Sometimes this can come more intuitively, like when I have a day where I just feel like I need a break. But other times, it has to be scheduled in. I like to do this while I’m planning my week ahead. Every Sunday, when I sit down to plan out the work I have to do for the next week, I like to make sure to schedule in blocks of time where I rest or take time for myself. Whether that looks like sitting on the couch and watching Netflix, or going and getting a facial, I try to make sure that there is some activity on the calendar that doesn’t pertain to work, at least a few times per week.
This one sounds like a given, but it is so much easier to get work done when you are doing something that you love! This primarily pertains to content creators, but can really be relevant to anyone who’s working for themselves. Think about the type(s) of content that you love to consume. When you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, what type of content are you “liking”, “saving”, and/or sharing with your friends? See how you can replicate this type of content within your own work. I promise, it’ll make the process way more fun.
It takes a village to run a business! Even if you’re doing the work yourself, you still need people in your corner to support you. Whether that’s friends, family, your partner, or other entrepreneurs, finding people who believe in you and share in the vision that you’re holding for your business can be incredibly helpful when things get tough. Just knowing you have someone you can call to talk about your business and all the highs and lows of entrepreneurship with, can feel like a weight off your shoulders. There are even many Facebook groups dedicated to creating spaces for female entrepreneurs to connect!
“Wins” in business come in all shapes and sizes, and no matter what they look like, they deserve to be celebrated. Make sure you’re taking time to properly acknowledge your wins and celebrate your success as it happens. Did you land your first sponsored post? Amazing, now go out and celebrate! Did you make your first $1,000? Awesome, treat yourself to something nice! There are so many little ways that we can give back to ourselves and celebrate our “wins”, and when we make space to do this, it can help to keep in perspective just how far we’ve actually come.
This is one of the toughest, yet most exciting lessons I’ve learned as an entrepreneur. There comes a point in time where we just can’t do it all. Sometimes, our business begins to grow to the point where it surpasses our ability to maintain it 100% on our own. It’s a beautiful thing, but also an indication that it’s time to ask for help.
Recently, I hired a new brand manager to help me create content and manage the backend of KaleJunkie: Hannah! Hannah and I met a few years ago at an event in San Francisco and I recently brought her on as a new member of the KaleJunkie team. It was definitely scary at first to make the leap into hiring someone and trusting them with my vision for my brand, but I’m so glad that I made the leap! It not only has allowed me to accomplish more in my business, but also to step back and take space when/where I need it.
Like with anything, setting your boundaries from all angles is SO important. Whether this is in the way you interact with your clients, to how you show up online, to the types of messages you are and aren’t open to receiving, it’s incredibly important to have firm boundaries and stick to them. As a new business owner/entrepreneur, people will try to push your boundaries all the time, especially on social media. You’d be surprised at how often people will ask you for free work or to give them “special” treatment! Hold firm to your boundaries and don’t let people try and take advantage of you. You are worthy of preserving your time, energy, and your rates!
Entrepreneurship is not an easy road to navigate, but it can definitely be a rewarding one! If you’re an entrepreneur and had to go back and give yourself one piece of advice… what would it be? Leave a comment below and let me know.