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Choosing a Lifestyle Business

For quite a while, my business has been in a good position. It’s continued to grow over the years, mostly with a great group of long-term clients and continual referrals from those clients. The thing about a website is that it’s always changing and growing. Once I launch a website, I almost always continue to work with that client. And, fortunately for me, that relationship continues to provide work for me to grow as my client’s businesses grow. I’ve become good friends with many of my clients and have built a solid base of work for myself.

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Finding Calm Amidst the Chaos

I’ve written about how helpful meditation has been to keeping me grounded and sane, especially during stressful times when work and life are busy. For my irregular schedule, I find it easiest and most beneficial to do small meditations – sometimes only two minutes – throughout the day. My husband knows how much I find these breaks helpful and recently shared a website with my that is designed specifically for taking a calm, peaceful break. The website is aptly named calm.com. The site itself is simple and easy to use: choose a background (if you’d like to look at a peaceful image) and then choose a meditation method – guided or non-guided, and finally choose a length of the meditation.

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Post-Vacation Overload and Recovery

We returned from a great family vacation almost a month ago and I’ve been digging out from a big post-vacation workload. About two weeks ago, things really caught up with me and my regular coaching session turned into crisis management. My mind felt like I had a bouncing ball inside it – I was flitting from task to task, my regular system was not up to date, I was working non-stop with no breaks and I was battling regular headaches – a sure sign of being overly stressed for me. When I reached out to my coach, De, for help, she helped me take a step back to look at what was going on and also to get back to my regular habits of work and stress management.

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How Busy Am I… Really?

I’ve written a lot on this blog about the challenges of raising a family, working from home, work-life “balance” (hah!), and growing a small business. I love all of these things – it’s very important to me to be available to my kids and my family and it’s also important to me to challenge myself through the work I do in the web design world. Yet, there’s a point when it becomes not fun – when I feel too busy, too stressed, too drained… and life just overwhelms me. I felt that a lot through the late summer and fall of last year. I was struggling with my workload. There was never enough time. Never enough sleep. I was too busy and couldn’t keep my head above water.

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Taking a Step Back

A few months ago, I wrote about growing my business and how I had come to a fork in the road.  I needed to figure out how to manage my growing business with my family’s needs, while maintaining my sanity.  I’ve implemented a few measures recently: hiring some help and enforcing a stricter email policy, to name two.  But, it’s still not cutting it.  Even though I hired someone, I continued to take on new clients and new work, while still maintaining the 40-some websites I already support.  It’s hard to turn down new work; I love meeting new people and learning about their businesses and how I can help them.  I also love the creative challenge of designing a new website.  But bringing on a new client is a lot of work and it’s very time-consuming.

Because of this, I’ve decided to temporarily stop taking on new clients.  This means I won’t be taking on any new website design work or even taking over sites that just need maintenance and occasional updates.  I did not come to this decision easily.  But, after mulling this over for a couple of weeks, it feels like the *right* decision.  At least for now.  I don’t know how long this hiatus will last.  At least 6 months.  Maybe a year.  Maybe more.  I have some definitive things I’d like to accomplish before opening the new-client door again.

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