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7 Ways to Avoid Your Personal Crap Hitting the Business Fan

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7 Ways to Avoid Your Personal Crap Hitting the Business Fan

Sometimes, life just sucks. Maybe right now one (or maybe even pretty much every) aspect of it is hitting the proverbial fan for you, big time. Emotional overwhelm has made a snug home at your doorstep; and you wonder how on earth you’ll get through the next hour, day, week at least modestly sane. Let alone drag your business and all the responsibilities that demand your attention along against a killer tide.

Surviving in The Business of Life (and Death)

One of the biggest worries for us business owners is how a personal crisis, emergency or other all-consuming occasion may affect our business – and therefore our livelihood (and that of our staff, suppliers and family) and our overall sanity.

I’m here to tell you that it will be ok.

Whether you need to have a timeout – physically, emotionally or mentally – because of a wedding, funeral, illness, birth or any other one of a myriad of possible reasons, you need to remember that we are all human beings first. And most of our species are actually nice people, with similar experiences and concerns. So if you follow these steps, believe you me, you’ll breathe a lot more easily, and quickly:

1. Acknowledge That It’s Not Business As Usual

Perhaps the hardest part is to admit and accept that things are not feeling quite right just now. Don’t try and argue with your emotions; you’ll spend a lot of energy and lose anyway. A small matter may throw you majorly, while a major life-event leaves you wondering at the small impact, it seems to have on your equilibrium. Whatever you feel, it’s ok. See the matter clearly, say hi … and be with it.

2. Be Proactive In Your Communications

To business: nobody likes to be ignored, so don’t just let the unanswered emails and phone calls pile up. Send a message to your clients, suppliers and colleagues in advance if you sense there might be a demand on your time and resources that will make your response time worse than people are accustomed to. Remember, too: nothing is ever as urgent as it seems at first.

3. Be Open and Honest About Your Distraction

We often tend to try and portray an invincible business persona that is unrealistic to maintain. Because life just isn’t all neat and tidy and we are people under that business attire. So be human; be open, be honest about what is taking you away from business. A quick sentence will do: remember that this is still business, not a circle of close friends. It may be a joyous occasion or something sadder. Either way, people will understand and be sympathetic. When I got married and went on honeymoon my clients celebrated the happy occasion with me – and most meetings and conversations could wait another week or three.

4. Offer Useful Solutions and Choices

Give your contacts practical, easy alternatives to meetings / calls / standard processes that allow you some breathing space, yet show you respect and understand the urgency matters have for them. I, for example, am writing this from overseas where I’m spending precious time with a dying, dear relative. I’m working shorter hours from early in the morning (to bridge hours of time difference to my usual time zone). I’m conducting meetings via Skype, or we move the less urgent ones to when I’m back in Sydney. My office manager and team of writers have taken on some conversations I would usually have, but that I’m not crucial to. These small steps leave my clients covered and happy, and me free to spend important personal time away from my business.

5. Show Gratitude for the Kindness Shown To You

Do ensure you let your connections know that you appreciate their understanding and help during an unusual time for you and your business. After all, this disruptive matter is not their issue, yet they are being supportive of you. A simple ‘thank you!’ goes a long, long way.

6. Break Done Mountains into Molehills

It’s easy to get flustered and overwhelmed by the pressures of an out-of-the-ordinary situation. Be gentle with yourself: declutter the vast stack of responsibilities and go through each challenge one bite at a time. Get extra rest, meditate, get a dose of nature or exercise. Creating a short list of must-dos for each day and doing them first up will produce breathing space to tackle the less urgent matters (or got for another nap). Do ask for help: move non-urgent things, decline insignificant offers, and delegate as much as you can. And you might even keep that routine up after all is back on track – a win-win!

7. Some People Don’t Get It – That’s Ok

And one final thought. If, despite the consideration you show during a challenging personal time, a contact still grumpily puts undue pressure on you, it’s time to consider whether you really want to do business with them. Ask yourself: are they actually aligned with your core values?

Without compassion, reflection, trust and respect our lives – and business lives – can become empty and stressful. You, and we all, deserve better than that.

Do you agree? How do you cope with clashing demands in your personal and business lives? Leave your tips and insights in the comments!

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“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"



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  • Deb
    Reply

    Love this article Daniela. I have found the same thing. We are all human beings and our clients do have empathy for our situation. In fact I have found that by being genuine and open, my clients connect to me even more because I am real 🙂

    • Daniela Cavalletti
      Reply

      I could not agree more, Deb: being real – making yourself vulnerable and human – can be scary, but it leads to much deeper relationships. In life, and in business. I’m glad you found the same thing happening for you with your clients.

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