Sacred Self-Care for the Self-Employed; or How I Can Afford to Take a Week Off Every Month.Read Now
Ever wish you could take a "mental health" day off from your business but can't afford it? Or need to take sick time off of work for yourself or your children and don't have any savings? And what about the millions of women in America who would like to slow down at "that time of the month"? How many of us have that freedom without jeopardizing our finances?
Well I believe entrepreneurship is the way of the future, because we can craft our own schedule based on our own needs. I now take a full week off of seeing clients and doing active work to nurture myself. I still send emails and work "on" my business, but I don't see clients and I don't work "in" my business. I sleep in, put my feet up, take naps.....and stay in my pjs if I want! I plan my whole month around this time which I have come to feel is sacred self-care.
But it didn't always used to be that way.
I used to power right through even though my body told me "no". I worked many days with clients when my body was aching and I was tired. I am thankful I learned mindfulness practices to help me tap into my body's wisdom. And I nurtured myself for short times: during a yoga class, or a massage, or a nap. But even though I could hear my body calling for deeper & longer rest, for many years, a full week off was not financially possible.
If you can relate to this, I want to share how I did this because I know there is a better way. A better way for women, and for the world! Can you imagine what the world will be like when all people are nurturing themselves? We'll have a happier and more productive workforce, for one thing! And I also believe the feminine values of listening, rest, compassion, and support for healing will come more fully into the marketplace.
Women's wisdom is valuable.
So what are the clues or keys to creating an entrepreneur lifestyle that works for you? The first step is knowing what you crave. Maybe you long for a 4-day work week. Or just 1 or 2 days grace period when you need it.... Or perhaps you want to take more extended time off? I know one powerful woman entrepreneur who takes one month off each year for self-care. She uses this time to travel, write a book, finish large home projects, etc.
A great way to know what you crave is to look at where and when you feel the most stressed, pissed off, and fed up!!! Women can look to their inner bitch for her wisdom here! No kidding! She knows what you need. As we know now, many symptoms of "pre-menstrual syndrome" are linked to real emotional and physical needs for nourishment. I personally believe this "syndrome" is a sign of the world not meeting the natural needs of women.
Stress shows you what you need.
But if we want our business to meet our needs we have to create it. Crafting a business in which you have control over your schedule is one key element. Take back control! You are the creator of your life! If you set up the client load you can start to arrange your schedule around your time off. You can begin to have rest during the times you feel most stressed or tired.
Raising your rates strategically over time can also reduce stress. I have always done this with my different healing businesses. As you research the market value of your service, and as you grow your clientele, you will be able to charge more. I find people value my services highly because I build good relationships with them and get them great results. This means you are trading fewer hours for dollars, and this gives you more time.
Financial stability gives you more choices.
If you are deeply in debt and have no savings, and are working hard to get more stable, you may or may not want to take more time off. But I would suggest really take a weekend. Give yourself a little pampering & care. At this stage I used to take 1 day off a month, my most tired day, and that helped me a lot.
As you become more financially stable it can be easier to take longer time off. Once we had emergency funds, home purchased, and our investments on track for wealth-building, I began to take 2 full days off for mental health. I was glad my money was making me money, even when I was not doing anything. So a few days off was not financially stressful.
Lately separating my time completely from my income has helped me to take that full week off. I began to use value-based pricing & packages in my work rather than just an hourly wage for a service. People are happy to pay for the results the package gives them without me always delivering them in person. In addition, hiring help and automating some of my services/products has helped. So during my week off income still comes in without me having to actively teach, speak, consult or perform.
A better world is...here!
So...can we see and feel a better world coming? Or perhaps we know it is already here...the time of feminine values. The time of self-care. The time of nurturing, and allowing our body wisdom to be honored.
It's up to us.
How will we create our businesses and our lives moving forward?
I hope my story is helpful, and wish you many blessings on your self-care!
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Coach. Teacher. Author. Speaker.