As a pet blogger, and a business owner everything is sunshine and roses, right? You get up float to your home office on wings of caffeine, sit down at your pin-straight neat desk and words flow from your fingertips. Clients call you, offer you more money than you can take to the bank in a wheelbarrow and you only have to work an hour or so a day. Wow, that sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Sign. Me. Up!
In reality, as in any business endeavor, the pet blogger deals with stress. It could be stress from trying to get your client work done, filling your own blog with content, scrambling to find new clients, getting your pets to cooperate for photo shoots for product reviews and getting your family to understand that even though you’re home you’re working. If you work outside of the home and have to add a commute and family obligations and household chores to the mix of your blogging duties, it can be downright exhausting, not to mention stressful. In this Blogging 101: Combat Pet Stress, I will share some ways that have helped me retain my sanity while pursuing my dream of full time writer. Ready?
If being an entrepreneurial pet blogger was easy, everyone would do it. Just as you have stress in a corporate job, or even being a cashier, so too will you have stress when you’re running your own business. You need to expect it. Prepare for it. Deal with it. There are many ways to deal with stress and they include:
- Doing yoga or any kind of exercise
- Eating healthy, regular meals
- Drinking water
- Take your dog for a walk
- Connecting with other like-minded individuals
- Getting out of the house and away from your desk. You can’t operate in a vacuum
- Partaking in a hobby. Got a few minutes? Work on a crochet project, paint a picture, organize your sock drawer (for some, organizing is a hobby!)
- Paying it forward by volunteering at a local shelter or by mentoring a fellow pet blogger
Stress probably won’t kill you, but how you react to it could make you ill!
Having priorities will help you, well, prioritize what is important, what’s crucial and what can wait. There is only a finite amount of time that everyone gets every day and you need to know what you need to accomplish in that time frame. If you take time to set priorities you can almost rest assured that you will learn to focus on the important tasks – those that make you money, make you feel great and move your business forward. Success is about doing what matters the most, not necessarily doing everything.
Focus on what you love.
Many pet blogging entrepreneurs operate on a shoestring budget, I know I did when I first started out. I also know that when I started making a good living I was still hesitant to outsource too much because I am a control freak. What I did do was take a step back and think about what aspects of my business I truly despised and truly put off until the last possible minute. For me it was bookkeeping. Actually it was anything to do with money – other than depositing checks! Keeping track of receipts, tracking income and expenses, balancing bank accounts, putting stuff into Quickbooks made me want to cry so that was what I outsourced. It was a task I put off. It stressed me out. I didn’t know enough about it to know if I was doing it right or well. AND, more importantly, it wasn’t something I was married to, like my writing, and I could outsource it without feeling I was in panic mode.
Reach out to colleagues.
It’s very easy to isolate yourself. You’re busy. You have work to get done and don’t have time to socialize, right? Kind of wrong. You need to connect with colleagues. You have to stay current with business trends. You also need to network with potential new clients to keep growing your business. Schedule a time to get out of the office several times a month even if it’s just to work at a coffee shop so that you have to get dressed and get out of the house!
Give yourself a break.
Sometimes you just have to say, “You know, it may not be perfect, but it is more than good enough.” Say it. Walk away. Move onto the next task. It is always easy to second guess yourself, to not turn in a project even though the deadline is looming because you know you can massage those sentences until they are even more beautiful. Let it go. Congratulate yourself for a job well done and move onto the next task.
Take care of yourself.
If you’re a sole proprietor and you get sick, who will do your work? Will your customers’ tasks not get complete because you’re sick? If that’s the case, then you need to make time for healthy eating and exercise. Get away from the computer when you eat your meals. Cook meals rather than relying on processed foods and take-out. Get up and move at least every hour. Take your dog for a quick walk. Get on a treadmill. Do some jumping jacks. Staying healthy will give you energy and that will help you make it through the more stressful times. Remember, you are your business’s greatest commodity.
Robbi Hess is the former BlogPaws blog manager and will be speaking on Time Management Tips For The Blogger at the BlogPaws 2016 Conference. She blogs at All Words Matter.
Photo Shutterstock Monkey Business Images