Unclenching the Jaw
This year has been my tipping point. It is the year that I have gone from sleeping well at night to tossing and turning. The year that my jaw began to clench. I have my eye on a couple culprits:
- My iPhone. I can pick it up at 2:00 a.m. and do a quick check of the emails or read up on the forum or check a twitter feed. I no longer come home at night and shut the door on the day's activities.
- Social media. Social media is a game changer when it comes to running a small business, and the changes are largely positive. But it also keeps me awake at night as I try to unravel the consequences of social behaviors that I was never very good at to begin with. In my private universe, social media is confirmation that the cool kids and the cheerleaders won the nerd war. I no longer feel confident in my relationships with my customers.
- The warehouse. Not only does paying rent on a physical space "up the ante" with regard to responsibilities, it also becomes space that needs filling, which means more products and more diverse creative projects. I no longer "know everything" about everything I sell.
- The employees. Not them particularly, just the fact that they exist. That someone has to rise to the occasion on every occasion. I no longer get to hide in my work.
Recently, I moved my desk to a different part of the warehouse and brought my files with me. In cleaning out the cabinets I stumbled across a pile of old "to do" lists. I had to smile when I saw the exact same things on a five-year-old "to do" as were on last Monday's list. Poor little Kaila, plugging away week after week and still not able to cross that one off!
Next to the list was an old business plan and it was interesting to see how much of that plan I had actually realized and also how outdated it was when considering our current situation. A recent Wall Street Journal article
on small business suggests that the first defense against stress is to develop a long-range vision and business plan and then to simply work the plan.
With that flicker of insight lighting the way ahead, I set the old business plan on the top of the pile on my desk, and began to write this blog post.
The beginnings, I hope, towards unclenching the jaw.
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