One Business Owner’s Tale of Woe
“She screamed at me!”
“I work so hard to make certain everything goes smoothly and she just yelled at me. That has never happened before!”
“If she had read the documents she would have known that what she was asking for was totally out of my control.”
This is what one client told me last week as she explained why she just had to turn off – turn off from her customers, turn off from her inbox and turn off her online business.
This screaming customer was my client’s proverbial straw.
In addition to feeling bad that this customer was unhappy, my client was also feeling awful about shutting down her business and taking a break.
One could tell that she had been working hard to keep it together but she had reached the bottom of her resolve.
Will her business take a hit? Did she fail?
Maybe and No, not at all.
Here’s the thing we business owners often forget. We train ourselves to put everything we have into our businesses and we do. Unfortunately, we never train ourselves to stop and take the time to step back, evaluate and figure out how to do it better, smarter, faster and with less angst.
Our natural tendency is to keep pushing and pushing – ourselves, our vendors, our employees, until our spring of resolution and perseverance is bone dry.
The screaming customer that put my client into a tailspin was ultimately a good thing.
It made her stop. It forced her take the time to evaluate, to ask what needs to change, how she can do her business differently.
Taking a break from your business is not failure.
Let me repeat that…
TAKING A BREAK FROM YOUR BUSINESS IS NOT FAILURE.
Rather, it is a very smart thing to do.
When you’re in the thick of doing, it is too difficult to see what is and what isn’t working in your business.
You need a break, a breather, some time to gauge how it could be made better.
I believe Life sends these ugly episodes to force us to slow down, to figure out what needs to be done and to take a well-deserved break.
My client and I discussed some of her biggest business dreads and came up with some possible solutions for her to consider. One solution was to shift her focus from social media to email. It wasn’t working for her and she really disliked doing it. Another solution was a virtual assistant for the inbox and possibly a CRM (customer relations management) firm to handle customer phone calls.
That was last week. This week, I found myself experiencing much the same distress.
First, I discovered our cat has developed another case of diabetes after 2 years and 2 months of being healthy. This means injections twice a day to a 15 pound cat who believes he is a lion.
My husband had to make an emergency visit to the ER. The time consuming ER and Vet visits completely threw my week out of whack.
And just to keep life interesting, I had made appointments with several vendors – each requiring multiple hours per appointment. And I had an important deadline for a client that couldn’t be missed.
There was a point yesterday, when I said to myself “Stop, just stop and think”. Did I really need to run myself crazy pulling together a promised post on YouTube Advertising this week, or could I postpone it and do a better job?
I decided to postpone the post. I knew I didn’t have the energy or brain power to create the post I wanted to craft.
And you know what? The world didn’t come to an end. When I do create the post, it will be worth the effort.
I’d give anything not to have to inject my cat, but that’s the way it is for the moment. Hubby is fine and the client received their materials when promised. The vendors got rescheduled and I took time to get back my sanity.
So before you go all crazy with screaming customers or before you think you’re ready to throw in the towel, remember…
This is YOUR business.
YOU create it to be as big, as little, as much as you want it to be.
You have permission to take a break.
Do whatever you need to do to rejuvenate yourself.
Your business is supposed to FIT you, fit your lifestyle and not be a source of torment. Instead, it should be a source of joy, a place to pour your creative juices.
If you feel you need a break, then cash in this Permission Coupon below and use it as many times as you want. It will be okay. I promise.
Do you find yourself loving or dreading your business?
Are there areas in your business you wish you could farm out? Why don’t you?
When you become frazzled, what tips or steps do you take to refresh yourself?