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Beware of the Barrenness: How to Live Happy as a Small Business Owner

Updated: Feb 28

How many of us go through life garnered by routine and endless to-do lists? Everyone knows being a business owner typically means living your life centered around your business’s needs, and not necessarily your own.

The view of adventure in a forrest from the inside of a camping tent.

It means being consistently packed down with things to get done, errands to run, and meetings to attend. And while I used to LOVE (and even think I excelled at} times with a heavy load or chock-full schedule, it can definitely wear you down over time, ultimately leading to unhappiness in your career, your home, and your life.

"Beware of the barrenness of a busy life." - Socrates

So, what can we do to lessen the fullness of our workloads and get back the fullness of our lives? Let's take a look at things you can start doing to live with more joy as a small business owner!

1. Live More Simply

Work smarter, not harder. We've all heard that saying, but how many of us have put it into practice? There are so many books revolving around this topic, but the one I hear most about is Tim Ferriss' "The 4-Hour Work Week."

While our philosophies differ slightly from Ferriss', the idea of streamline you life is still our goal. Take a gander at our website or social media, a common theme we push for our clients is to take a moment for you.

In terms of simplifying your life, make sure that the things you're investing time and energy in are producing a positive impact on not just the business, but yourself.

Sure, you need to input payroll and other menial things, but take time to find ways to improve. As a basic example, perhaps you hire a payroll company to take over the task entirely. Freeing up your valuable time for more productive items such as growing your business.

Another way to simplify your life and your daily schedule is to simply get rid of things that don’t really matter. I’m talking full-on Marie Kondo your life, "does it bring you joy?" No, well stop doing it or find another way.

Simplifying your routine or business day can be revolutionary in terms of success!

2. Treat Yo’ Self

Image with two people in bling saying treat yo self
Parks & Rec - NBC

Our second tip is brought to us from our favorite Parks and Recreation duo, Tom and Donna, and that is to treat yo’ self!

Do things that make you happy and add a little pampering into your routine. Take time to relax in the bath tub, get a massage, or go to the hair appointment you’ve been putting off for ages (trust us, your roots will thank you)!

Every morning, I get up a little earlier to drink my coffee while SITTING on the porch (not driving or running around). I'll typically read or watch the people as they drive off to begin their days. In the evening, I try to light a candle and throw on a face mask, while I sit and listen to something relaxing for just an easy ten minutes.

small business owner sitting in a chair at the beach taking a break.
This SHOULD be you!

While they were being a bit silly on the show, they also weren't wrong. Taking some time to celebrate you, your accomplishments, or just taking some time to breathe.

You're working hard at being the best business owner; nurturing a small business can be excruciating at times. You must be enduring that stress and burden for a reason, right?

Treat yourself to some occasional fruits of your labor. Purchase that items you've had your eye on or splurge on that family vacation. The costs of it could be scary, but I assure you that you'll recoup that investment on the other end.

It’s adding little self-care routines like this that make your days so much more enjoyable. Fully embrace the ridiculousness of it! Go on, try it!

3. Mix Up Your Routine

young girl jumping off the end of a dock into a lake with mountains in the background.

So far, we have focused on un-cluttering your life so that you can fill it with vibrancy and passion, instead of dull routines that leave you feeling, well, bare and a more-than-a-little empty inside.

Routine often helps us with efficiency, but it can also be a road block to happiness as small business owners. If you allow your routine to run your life, you run the potential of becoming resentful of your business. It becomes a source of pain instead of the dream come true.

What better way to jump out of your routine than to get out of your comfort zone?

two small business owners smiling at something on their phone while sitting at a coffee shop

Earlier this year, I started taking pottery classes every Saturday morning. Not only did I do something different, but I learned a new skill. This fall, I'm even considering taking violin lessons!

The key is to do something that puts a smile on your face and shakes things up a bit. If you can discover something that also takes you outside your comfort zone, even better. Sometimes learning that we are not the best at everything we do can benefit us as entrepreneurs. Revel in the learning and smile as you grow! Your business will follow suit!

Make sure you change up how you do things once in a while to jumpstart your happiness and creativity!


Overall, it's easy to get sucked into a routine, it makes everything a little easier, but it can eventually lead to a pretty dull life. So, SNAP OUT OF IT and let us know what you're doing to fill your life back up!!

We at Out of the Box Advisors, focus on writing these types of blogs to help clear your head as a business owner and hopefully enrich your life just a little bit more!

P.S. Don't forget that one of the best ways to help clean up your busy schedule is to bring in a Business Coach. Our biggest product is "Reduced Stress."

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