9 Tips for Protecting Your Energy as a Small Biz Owner

9 Tips for Protecting Your Energy as a Small Biz Owner

Entrepreneurship is usually painted as a super glamorous, exhilarating endeavor that’s all gushing client testimonials and snazzy photo shoots in bath tubs full of cash money (and don’t get me wrong: it can be that and so much more).

But entrepreneurship can also be wildly energy-draining –  especially in the beginning or when you’re making major changes (like scaling your business or building a team).

So, let’s talk about the elephant in the room, shall we? How in the world do you protect your precious energy when there’s a zillion things vying for your energy and attention at any given time?

Over the years, I’ve picked up a few simple tips & tricks that have helped me conserve/protect my energy as I continue to show up in the online space – and I think they’ll help you, too.


1) Know Your Limits

I’m a big believer in dreaming big–but also being realistic. And this especially applies to your schedule and workload, too.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard about capacity was this: Don’t base how much you take on on what you can handle on your best days, but rather how much you can handle on your worst.

Be honest about your capacity. You are not Superwoman (even if sometimes it looks like you are to the outside world) and it’s 1000% okay to set limits around what you will and won’t take on.

If your biz coach recommends that you start planning a large-scale summit for the summer but you’re also juggling a month-long launch and three private clients, it’s okay to say no.

Or a dreamy ideal client reaches out but you absolutely do not have the energy to “squeeze them in” that month, don’t do it. (You–and they–will both be happier that way. Trust!)

And trust me, too, when I say this will forever be in flux. Your capacity and limits will change during different seasons of life and business. You’ll never to forever-adjust this. But you have the right to do just that.


2) Establish Boundaries

I could yammer about boundaries ‘til I’m blue in the face – but that’s just because they’re so important.

To maintain your energy (and sanity) as a CEO, you need to clearly communicate your boundaries to your clients, team members and even your family.

When are you available? When are you not?

What ways do you preferred to be contacted–and about what issues?

Respect your own time and you’ll teach others to do the same. Learn to say no when necessary. Setting boundaries isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a declaration of self-worth. (And that’s a hill I’m willing to die on, for sure.)


3) Work the Way You Want to Work

You know what really sucks? Working for yourself but still feeling bound to old “rules” around work.

The beauty of entrepreneurship is that you now have choices about how, when and where you work.

Don’t love early mornings? You don’t have to clock in at a particular time anymore–so if you’re more of a night owl or get your juiciest creative ideas in the wee hours, you can choose to work in line with those natural rhythms. Consider your personally most productive hours and structure your workday around them.

Don’t want to work 8 hours a day straight because it’s too much on your brain? Don’t do it. Split up your week (or days) and make a schedule that works for you.

I’ll go a step further and say not only should you work with your natural rhythms, but you need to if you want to maintain and protect your energy long-term.


4) Delegate and Outsource

You saw this one coming from a mile away, right?

Delegating and outsourcing is the most elite way to conserve your energy, IMHO.

If you don’t know where to start, I’ve written tons on the topic, including exactly what you can outsource to a VA and outsourcing myths to ditch ASAP.

But the easiest place to start is to write down all the tasks you complete during a typical week and see which ones actually need your magic.

If they don’t need to be touched by you, you can delegate or outsource them. (Or even automate or eliminate them, period.)

The goal is to do less of what drains you, and more of what gives you energy.

BTW, you likely won’t ever feel “ready” to outsource, so you’ll most likely just have to “feel the fear and do it anyway.” But, I promise once you personally experience how freeing and wonderful it is to outsource a big, hairy project and wake up to find it fully completed and wafting for you in your inbox/project management system, you’ll get the hype. Heaven, my friend.

Oh, and if you already have a team, use them. You trusted them enough to hire them, so be sure to also trust them with actual work. Giving them actual responsibility not only eases your load, but also fosters their growth. It’s a win for everybody involved.


5) Get in Community

Even the most introverted business owners (hi, it’s me!) need a like-minded community in order to truly thrive.

I encourage you to make a concerted effort to connect with fellow women business owners, whether in-person or online. I can’t tell you how magical and energy-nourishing it is to surround yourself with people who get the unique challenges (and joys) that come with entrepreneurship. Everybody needs a #bizbestie (or a #womeninbiz Slack channel or Facebook group) to turn to for strength, insight and guidance.

Don’t shy away from seeking advice from professionals in diverse fields, either. Not everybody you seek advice from has to do exactly what you do–nor should they. A fresh perspective can spark brilliant ideas and new insights in ways you can’t even imagine.

Also, don’t forget that support can come in other forms, too–like a business coach or strategist.


6) Protect Your Physical Environment

I feel like this isn’t talked about nearly enough. But since most women entrepreneurs work from home, I couldn’t just gloss over this one.

Make sure your physical environment is calming–not crazy-making.

When you’re WFH, anything from the laundry and dirty dishes can totally derail your day and productivity.

So, what do you need to do to your environment to ensure you can focus on what actually needs done, when it needs done?

Maybe it’s decluttering your office (did you know clutter can literally cause stress and anxiety just by existing? True story!). Or moving your home office to another more secluded area of your house (where you can’t hear Bluey or Miss Rachel on repeat). Or maybe it’s even leaving the house once or 3x a week to hit up a local co-working place.

Whatever you need to do to curate an environment you flourish in, make it a priority.


7) Lower Your Expectations

I know, I know. I’m all about empowering women to dream–and chase–their big audacious dreams.

But the truth–and science–is that you also need to set realistic expectations. In fact, research has proven that setting overly high expectations – and then not reaching them – can lead to burnout.

So, if you’re stressing out every Monday when you check your biz finances and realize you’re not a millionaire (yet again), maybe it’s time to re-evaluate whether millionaire status is viable for you right now.

If you have to set lower expectations so you can actually hit your goals for awhile, do it. And then, incrementally increase your goals over time. Growth is great. But sustainable growth is even better–and that’s what I’m all about.


8) Watch What You Consume

I’m all about health and wellness. But that’s not what I’m talking about today (although I do fully support getting in your daily greens and at least 30 mins of movement!).

You also need to watch what you consume as far as media and social media goes. Social media can either inspire us or drain us, and there’s such a fine line.

You might think scrolling social media is relaxing – but most research says it’s actually not “filling you up” the way screen-free time would (like, you know, a coffee hang out with friends or a walk in nature).

So just be mindful.


9) Take Breaks

Breaks aren’t a luxury when you’re a business owner–they’re a necessity. You simply can’t produce your best, most creative work or ideas without skedaddling away from your desk to re-charge. I’m all about taking short breaks throughout each day (a brief, brisk walk can do wonders for your energy and sanity), as well as scheduling longer breaks and unplugged timed away from your business (like, you know, a tropical vacation or trip to a cozy & remote mountain cabin).

At the end of the day, the truth is your energy is your most precious asset. Protect it fiercely and you’ll always have all the fuel you need for your entrepreneurial journey.



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