“Born to hustle.”
“Hustle hard, girl.”
“All good things come to those who hustle.”
As a blogger or female entrepreneur, you’ve probably seen your fair share of quotes like this on everything from t-shirts to coffee mugs. They put it in pretty gold script on a soft pink background, so it feels light, airy, sweet and simple.
But when it comes down to reality, hustling is usually anything but sweet and simple.
It’s about busting your butt every day to make things happen. It’s about coming home after a long day at your 9-5 and settling in for another 5 or 6 hours of writing, designing, posting and networking. It’s about spending three hours to write the perfect blog post, design the perfect images to go with it and posting it to all of your social media platforms… all in the hopes that you gain a handful of new subscribers.
And most of the time, it IS worth it.
You’re going after your dream. You’re being who you were created to be. And you are making things happen.
But there’s one little part that those flirty office supplies are leaving out...
Hustling should never come at the expense of your well-being.
In a world where we are all constantly told to “go, go, go” and rest is treated as nothing more than a glorified excuse to be lazy, we feel almost obligated to run ourselves ragged. If we’re not working literally 24/7, existing on coffee and energy drinks, then we must be a slouch.
But what if that’s not really the case?
What if it’s actually okay necessary for us to stop and relax in the middle of all our hustling? Can we stop long enough to do it?
Well, I don’t know you personally, so I can’t really answer for you. Except that I can and I will.
The answer is… YES. You can take time out of your hustle to rest and relax. It does not make you a lazy person. The blog police won’t come arrest you. And your business will not crumble.
In fact, adding a little “flow” to your hustle will actually make you a smarter person than the rest of the bunch. Because while they are trying to piece coherent sentences together at 2 a.m., you will be getting some much-needed rest.
It’s not about going to one extreme or the other. It’s about finding a healthy balance and then maintaining it.
So, how do you find this illusive “hustle and flow” balance?
1. Schedule it.
If you’re anything like me, I’m going to guess that you love all things “office-y.” Planners, calendars, notebooks, pens… the whole deal. That’s why you knew exactly what gold and pink office supplies I was talking about at the beginning, didn’t you?
So make good use of those planners and wall calendars and schedule in your “flow” moments, just like you do your “hustle”! Figure out what works best for you – whether it’s meditation, prayer, a massage, yoga, running or even taking a nap – and then make time for it on your schedule.
It might seem silly at first, but it’s about making these things a priority. If you leave it up to when you “feel like it” or when you “have the time,” it will never happen. Otherwise, you’d already be doing it.
2. Give yourself permission.
I probably should’ve mentioned this one first, so you would even get something on the schedule… but once you do make time for some “flow,” don’t feel guilty about it! Give yourself permission to relax, rejuvenate and be totally present in the moment.
That means no:
- Checking emails
- Checking texts
- Answering phone calls
- Networking with the woman in the pedi chair next to you
It means totally letting go, calming your body and quieting your mind. Your body needs you to do this. Because if you don’t, eventually, you will pay for it. I did… in the form of advanced adrenal fatigue… but even if it never gets that severe for you (I hope it doesn’t!), you can still end up with fatigue, headaches, digestive issues, skin issues, insomnia and more.
Why not save yourself the trouble and never let it get that far?
3. Set office hours and stick to them.
Sometimes as “side hustlers” (or even full-time hustlers), we find it difficult to draw the line between work and the rest of our lives. We sit down at the computer in the evening to “do a little work” and before we know it… the sun is rising outside our window. It’s easy to do, especially when you get in the zone. But if you’re not careful, you’ll soon find yourself working 16, 20 or 24 hour days and your body is going to start to revolt against you (see #2).
So, whether you have a 9 to 5 or not, set office hours for yourself and stick to them. If you can only work in the evenings, that’s fine. Set your hours as 6 to 10 p.m. But make sure you actually stop at 10 p.m. and go to bed (or start your evening routine – see #4).
For those of you who are doing your blog or online business full time, this may be a little easier because you can set somewhat normal hours during the day. But the same goes for you… make sure you stick to them. When office hours are up, shut the computer, get up from your desk and go have a life.
4. Create a morning and/or evening routine.
Another great way to work some “flow” into your life is to establish a morning or evening routine. Not only will this help you to be more productive and more likely to actually get it done (humans are creatures of habit!), but it might also make you feel less “guilty” about scheduling it in during your work hours.
You can create a morning or an evening routine depending on whether you’re a morning person or a night owl. Or you can do both! But make sure to incorporate some things that will help you to feel calm, peaceful and relaxed like journaling, meditating, taking a bath or sipping some hot tea.
Then make sure you actually stick to it. That means allowing enough time for it in the morning before you have to be somewhere, or in the evening, before you’d like to be asleep. If you want (or need) to be in bed sleeping by 10, then don’t wait til 9:55 to start your routine. Make it a priority.
5. Take time off.
Now, if you’ve made it this far, there’s one more thing I’m going to tell you to do.
Take a vacation.
Before I continue, go ahead and get it out… “How can I take a vacation from my business when it hasn’t even gotten off the ground yet??”… “Vacations are for quitters!”… “I’ll take a vacation once I reach six figures in my business.”
Are you done?
Yes, you need to work hard to make your business happen. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But you need to also remember to play. If someone told you right now, that tomorrow was going to be the last day of your life, would you want to spend it writing a blog post and creating pins?
Didn’t think so.
Figure out when you can take a little vaca… be it a week or just a weekend… and again, make it happen. Don’t just talk about it or think about it. Do it. Even if it’s just a two day trip to a Motel-6 at the beach, get away from the grind and relax, recoup and rejuvenate.
That way, when you get back, you will be completely recharged and ready to kick butt, hustle and take over the world.