Do you work yourself sick?

A recent study found that many employed people are working an average of 46 days paid overtime a year, which is leading to stress and depression. For many self employed this is the norm, but if you were employed before you set up your business did this apply to you and did it feel any more or less stressful than putting in long hours to build a business?

In the early days there can be a slight misconception by people venturing into the world of self employment that this option will offer them more flexibility and more free time when, depending on the nature of the business, the opposite is usually true. As well as doing whatever it is your business offers you are also the book-keeper, sales and marketing team, administration and troubleshooter and this is what is often overlooked at the beginning.

If you are putting in long hours in your own business and actually feel a sense of achievement, can see your brand growing and your business is taking off, this positive effect can usually counterbalance any frustrations that can be experienced.

Sometimes it is common to feel that you are always busy but with so little return. Are your sales increasing? If not why not, are you dedicating your time to the wrong things?

Anyone with a social media account knows it is fatal to go online, because hours can be lost checking emails, surfing the net and getting distracted by non work related information.

Having discipline and structure will mean feeling less stressed and depressed. It is not pleasant making sales calls or feeling you are pushing your products or services onto others, but it is part and parcel of having your own enterprise. Breaking your time up into chunks that concentrate on delivery of your product or service, admin time, prospecting for business time, marketing planning, accounting and sticking to it, means that you feel more in control and achieve more in the time that you have rather than feeling you are working around the clock.

If you are struggling with any of the tasks at hand because you simply don’t have the expertise or the inclination to be effective in these areas, it is worth considering outsourcing to other small businesses. With the high levels of redundancy that have been taking place over the last few years more and more ordinary people have found themselves out of work and setting up business to business services such a book keeping, marketing and sales, PR and administration. This in itself can be a weight off your mind. It frees up your time so that you can concentrate on your core services and grow your business.

It is also great to have a support network of experts in their field around you, so that you can be efficient in every aspect of your business