I know you feel this, yes you. I know you have felt guilt about the lack of time, money, attention, or focus you have lacked due to your entrepreneurial adventures. I also know you feel like you have to continue because you want better, you need better for yourself, for your family. I bet you're still smiling. You're thinking, yes, I feel that way at times, but it's good. I like being busy. I like that I am working toward something. I am setting an example for my kids. It is not easy, but good will come of it.
Oh, I'm going to have to go first, eh? Alright, let's go:
I unraveled today.
Fully and completely. I'm talking no shower, PJs all day, ugly cry, alone, raccoon eyes, desperate pleading, irrational thinking, cray cray sorrow. Why? No reason. Ha! But, kind of seriously. You ever just put your head down and go and work and be all the things for so long that when you finally sit down and do something unproductive, all the feels begin to flood? No? Just me?
Alright, well, if that's true, and it is just me, than here is the reals in the background of all my efforts to look at least semi- put together in Hot Mess Land. Here it is, all laid out:
I constantly feel guilty. As an entrepreneur with a full-time job, all working from home with a 2 and a 3 year old, I am so grateful to always be available to them, but feel like I am constantly trying to get time alone. Or, busy working on something. Or, just dying for a moment alone to do something meaningless. But, how dare I be too busy for my children, right? What kind of mother is too busy for her kids? And, (intentionally sarcastic) what is wrong with me that I want some time alone?
I mean, let's be honest. There are constantly "bad dads" depicted like this on TV and in movies. The busy business dad who is reading the paper and doesn't have time to play with his daughter or is distracted when his little boy is trying to tell him something. How could he not recognize that his kids need him? Doesn't he care? Ugh! Guilt! Constant guilt.
Two thoughts on that:
I also have suffered from serious money guilt. Went years without buying clothes after gaining serious poundage during back-to-back pregnancies. Seriously, holes strategically under other things. Pants "buttoned" with a hair tie. Hole-y maternity pants over a year after giving birth. I refused to spend money on me. I looked like crap. I felt like crap. It was a particularly crappy time. Three years of my life passed in a blur of pregnancy, newborn, nursing, rinse, repeat and at the end of it, I was 60 pounds heavier, depressed, and lost. All money I made went to bills and the kids. I didn't dare spend on me until I was a mess of irrational tears because I felt like a huge turd. And, I was making money. Decent money. Not great, but livable. Less than my husband, but that's another rabbit hole.
I'm not the only one who does this. Arianna Huffington is considered one of the world's most successful women and talks at length about taking care of yourself. As Huffington Post was booming, she found herself in the hospital with serious injuries following a fall caused by pure exhaustion and was awakened to the need for her to take care of her well-being. She talks about it in her book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder. In case you were wondering, the first two are Money and Power.
1. Disappearing Act
Ever get exposed to a new business and do some research before you book or shop with them? We've all come across Facebook Business Pages that haven't been updated since 2014. I don't know about you, but when I see that, it screams to me "I don't care about you or my business!"
You don't have to post on every available social media platform. You don't even have to post the industry suggested 1-3x per day. Just post regularly and consistently! One quality post that is customized for the audience of the one platform you are posting on daily is an outstanding start. Better than many!
2. Its Not All About You
This could be airing political opinions, making it the family page, or making it a personal blog.
First, I have seen businesses close over standing by political opinions. Just don't. Even when you think you are making a decision about what is right...its just not right to everybody and if family and friends will avoid you so they don't have to hear it, trust me when I tell you everyone else will too (even if they agree with you).
Second, this is a bit of a gray area, so let me try to do my best to explain: your customers want to know about you and your life. I promise you they do. This is part of trust building in relationships. That said, you have a personal Facebook page. Posting your daily pic of your kid, spouse, dog, car, vacation, etc. is NOT for your business social media. Specifically written, relative, applicable content that highlights your life, but is professionally put together as a business would, is another story. Here are a couple good rules of thumb to help you think about your posts:
3. Fluff City
Sometimes this is the cause for the mistake above, and an effort to avoid the mistake above that. In an effort to be consistent when we don't have time to commit to our social media causes that "oh, crap" effect of posting a-little-too personal opinions, turning our business page into our personal page, or overly focusing on unoriginal, inspirational quotes and random pictures of cats, views, etc.
There is an acronym for posting engaging content on social media:
A - Authentic
I - Inspirational
R - Relatable
4. The Salesman
It is so very easy to fall into the habit of thinking of just the here-and-now when creating content. Keep in mind that what you are posting will be on your page for quite awhile, unless you remove it.
We see so many businesses start posting about an event that same week or the week before and post nothing but that. Sales, events, free estimates, quotes, sales, sales, sales, Sales, SALES! This isn't teaching your audience anything. It doesn't build trust. Its the social media version of cold calling. Its like wearing a t-shirt that says "Trust me, I'm a doctor." It's icky. Stop it. Here are some ways to step up your game:
5. Lacking the Goods