I was burned out. Big time! To the point of wondering if I was cut out for this. And that scared me. I mean in the realm of business I hadn’t really been at it that long, but I felt like I had spent the last decade trying to build up this brand that I love. I’ve been running my own product based business for over 4 years now and it isn’t til recently that I truly started to take advantage of the fact that I am indeed my own boss.
When you think of all that goes into running a successful small business usually the first things that come to mind are the more stressful aspects. You know, financing, marketing, social media strategies (this one’s a doozie). But how often do you think about the other side? The fun and free side. You might be thinking right now, “What fun side? You mean like when I make it through a whole day without having a nervous breakdown?” Yes, that can be a fun, good day in the small biz world but I’m talking about the part of our business that goes unappreciated most days.
One of the brilliant aspects of owning your own business is that you have total control when it comes to creating your work environment and setting your schedule. And if we’re being honest with ourselves this is probably one of the main reasons we started this thing in the first place! But how often are you really taking advantage of this? Come on, tell the truth now. I’m guessing your answer lies somewhere in the realm of “Oh, you mean I can do what I want, when I want?!” Yeah, you can! Who knew? And if you’re anything like me this idea seems as foreign to you as a paid vacation, unless you mean a vacation I take and pay for myself, cause that I am very familiar with.
But all this changed recently. And before you ask, yes I am going to tell you what I did. But let me start by saying this, I am totally serious. So you may have already guessed what I did from the post title but yes, I did indeed place my dog in charge of the H.R. Department.
I know, I know. This sounds crazy but here me out. What do most HR depts. do? So here is a generic definition: While mostly administrative in nature, involves documenting grievances, terminations, absences, performance reports, and compensation and benefits information. beyond administrative duties, however, HR assistants are also often involved in recruiting, hiring, and training new employees.
Curry, my dog, has revolutionized the entire department. Who else better to put in charge than her? She is positive, cuddly, always has a smile on her face and really boosts moral. The performance reports she gives are always uplifting and when you go to her with a grievance she is a great listener and always there to lend a helping paw. She schedules weekly retreats at the dog park for trust building and supports hourly breaks, especially if they involve going outside with her and a frisbee. Ok, I think you see where I am going with this. It may not be feasible to have your dog as your HR Department but the spirit of it is what we are really going for here. You need to seize the day. There is no need to stay chained to your desk or locked in the studio. Get some fresh air. Go work at a coffee shop for a few hours. Have lunch with industry friends every now and then. Take the long weekend when you need it. And most importantly know that you are the person your dog thinks you are! You heard me! Dogs are a great judge of character, so take the praise and snuggles and remember that you and your self care are just as important as that random email you need to get out or the giant to do list waiting for you every morning.
“And most importantly know that you are the person your dog thinks you are!”
And if you don’t have a dog to put in charge just ask yourself, “What would Curry do?” And the answer is almost always have a good run about outside followed by a snuggle with your honey on the sofa.