Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Chocolate Cake Alone-- And Other Necessary Truths Every Boss Babe Needs to Know.
Here are the facts: you’re a living, breathing girlboss, and that $#!T takes work.
Unlike nine to five employees, you can’t just punch out at the end of the day and switch off from “work mode.” You wear many hats; walk miles and miles in matching shoes; and barely have time to catch your breath. I’m right there with you. I’m a videographer, a CCH (chief cat herder), and I’ve spent the last six months filming, training a new employee, editing, all while spearheading a major rebrand, rebuilding my website, restructuring my client experience workflow, and building an HR department. Where do I find time for my social and personal? Don’t even ask.
But you know what? We plan hard, we strategize hard, and we work hard—don’t we all deserve to play even harder? I only ask because most of us are so intent on succeeding that we forget about this simple, but life changing, fact: we need to take care of ourselves, too. And taking the time to do so won’t take anything away from our accomplishments.
Given this recent revelation, I of course, want to pay it forward. So I want to tell you the three things that help me maintain my sanity as a business owner and human being.
The Morning/Day After
Carve out time for self-care, with the same dedication that you would for your monthly payroll schedule; and guard these precious moments with your life.
Filming destination weddings is part of our video production offerings, and boy, can they stack up. Some weekends we’ll have multiple teams filming Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on any given weekend. During peak wedding season, if I’m overseeing back-to-back weddings in a single weekend where I’m onsite with one of our teams filming 10+ hours in a day, that next 24 hours is blocked off for complete R&R day. Why? Because if I don’t—I become a l-a-d-y m-o-n-s-t-e-r.
I’m cranky because I’m tired. I snap because I’m over-exerted. I feel unmotivated because I’m wound too tight. And I don’t want to be productive because my whole body just physically aches. Instead of forcing myself to get stuff done and producing half-a$$ed, uninspired work, I take the time to give my mind, body, and soul to recuperate. I’ve long since discovered that my little Day After routine is non-negotiable to the success of my business but for my psyche and avoiding burn out.
Do the same for yourself and don’t even think about apologizing for taking time out to take care of yourself. After a big push, set aside a chunk of that next day to relax, reset, and refill your spirit. Try--
Indulging in a lingering breakfast
Catching your favorite yoga class
Secretly let your outdoor cat inside to sit on your lap and not let your significant other know about it (one of my guilty pleasures...I mean...I don’t know who would do that…)
Enjoying a deep tissue massage
Talking a long, scenic walk
Planning a movie marathon day (and literally not talking to a single person the whole day. (Pro tip: Catch three matinee movies back-to-back in a theater. You’re welcome.)
Getting a mani/pedi with your bestie and talk smack about that vendor you couldn’t stand working with
And another note about setting up your Day After: learn these three words: JUST SAY NO.
Don’t even think about going anywhere near your inbox, or your to-do list. If you have to build this into your client interactions, do so. Let me them know what dates you’ll be unavailable but be sure to pick up the pace once you’re back in full force. As seen in one of our website form inquiries -- I’m crystal clear in taking ownership of the expectation of when I’ll follow up if they’re contacting us Friday through Sunday.
The Day After you are not the business owner, the worker bee, the workaholic, you’re YOU. You’re the wonderful human being who has needs and is allowed to take a little bit of a time out to reset and re-energize with a long bubble bath as you get into the latest Invisibilia podcast episode. So go ahead—set up that auto-response email for the day, update your voicemail, and give yourself the permission to rest. Guard those plans like your life depended on it—because, honestly, it does.
Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Chocolate Cake Alone
Sometimes, you just have one of those days. Those days where your palate is just craving sugary indulgence or the savory goodness of something deep-fried. Sometimes, there’s nothing better than a big bucket of crispy drumsticks smothered in gravy; or a moist and fluffy slice of chocolate cake.
A lot of us, myself included, tend to curb these cravings. Don’t give in, we tell ourselves—we’ve been so good and disciplined, sticking to our clean, healthy diets. Which is good. But here’s the liberating truth—giving in isn’t as big of a deal as you make it out to be. Neither are you the only one having this internal debate in your head.
So here’s my tip—the next time you feel the urge to indulge? Don’t suppress it, celebrate it. In fact, call your girlfriends and enjoy this little treat with them. Savor the moment, enjoy the company, and own the entire experience.
If you’re wondering what all this has to do with running a business—here it is: The most successful entrepreneurs know when to give in, in the interest of self-care. And when you do it once in a while, it’s perfectly OK. Sometimes, it even leads to something surprising and inspired.
Give yourself permission to indulge. You are not weak for doing so. Find friends who love something as much as you do (Where my fried-chicken-lovin’ peeps at?!) is my M.O. for finding people to work with who are passionate about the same causes and share the same values. Because at the end of the day, friends don’t let friends eat chocolate cake alone. And when you find them? Work doesn’t seem like work. So go ahead girl—you can have your cake and eat it too.
Meet Your New Best Friend: Moving Meetings
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I started to notice a pattern around all of my meetings: they revolved around sitting, eating, caffeine, or alcohol. I’m sitting for hours working behind the computer, and then end up sitting a couple hours more for meetings with clients. So I wanted to mix it up a bit.
One day, I asked a handful of colleagues and clients that I meet with regularly if they’d be open to having our meetings while walking the beach at Sullivan’s, or walking the bridge. The feedback was astounding--100% of them said yes. The result? I started working in two to three bridge walks into my work week, during my work hours.
Don’t be scared...Ask!
I wouldn’t have been able to do so if I didn’t ask. Often, we don’t speak up because we want to try something unconventional. Maybe we’re scared of getting shut down, or we’re worried about getting laughed at. But maybe, you get people on board and you get everything you wanted and more. There’s no harm in asking.
For example, here’s an unforeseen side benefit I didn’t even see coming when I started my moving meetings-- aerobic activity boosts endorphins (those feel good hormones in your body.) These moving meetings not only gave me a breath of fresh air and made me feel really good in my own skin, but had this great effect for client or associate’s well being as well.
There’s that quote from Maya Angelou “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” In yoga language it’s called “shaping the listening”. These movement meetings also became a way for me to create an atmosphere where we felt energized, free and relaxed. And I had the opportunity to affiliate those feelings with me...which is awesome.
So if it’s a viable option for your clients or colleagues, or any meetings you typically schedule around sitting drinking coffee or catching happy hour together, try switching 30% of your repeat meetings to moving meetings, and see how that works for your life and business.