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You don't have to be available 24/7!

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

You really don’t! This topic is one that has been on my mind for months now! We live in an instant society these days and over time, our mindsets have been re-programmed that everything has to be instant. Well may I remind you; life is not a drive-through.

I am very goal orientated and quality over quantity will always be my approach. I love serving people to the best of my abilities. But at some stage we have to stop and ask ourselves if we are serving at the cost of ourselves.

Being a small business owner always seemed so much fun before I started FIT BEST Training. I knew that it would be hard work and that most of your work would be behind the scenes. But I could honestly never have fathomed that it would be THIS much work behind the scenes! This is not me complaining! Oh hell no! I love being self-employed, growing a teany tiny business and hustling to reach my goals!

But being a small business owner means that there is no structure below you to whom you can delegate tasks and help carry the workload that you face every day. And most people will never realize how much effort you put in, and I’ve learned that that is also fine.

I still remember back in January 2020 when Nadine and I attended a course and we discussed business related things, and she just sat there one day looking at all of the content and said “oh my word! I didn’t even know about half these things.” And I laughed and thought to myself – I must remember that when I write the blog. Yep, back then I’ve already had the topic on my mind. Well, fast forward 9 months and I’m finally writing it!

We all have so many things in our lives that keeps us busy on a daily basis. And we’ve gotten so used to instant connections, response and service – that we seldom (unknowingly) expect an immediate response. This was such a big thing I had to deal with, and I am still dealing with it!

With FIT BEST Training I aspire to inspire. I honestly want to leave people better than I found them. I want to help people to the best of my abilities. And although I love that about myself. I also had to learn to take a step back and realize that I is not my job to be everywhere, help everyone and burn myself out in the process. When FIT BEST was just starting out, staying connected to my clients was easy – as there were literally only a few! But as time progressed, we’ve been blessed to grow continuously. Which obviously means more people, more messages, more enquiries, more everything – whom I have to attend to.

At first, I was so hard on myself. I would constantly feel that I was letting people down when I did not respond to their messages immediately. And I’m not someone who like to do things half-heartedly. So responding to enquiries, etc is something I put my time and effort in. First impressions DO last!

Unfortunately, it reached a point where I would wake up in the morning, grab my phone, start responding to messages – without even getting out of bed! Literally! Every! Single! Day! I would set my alarm earlier so that I would have at least 45 minutes to an hour to respond to messages before I need to get ready for the rest of the day’s events.

And once I finished work, whether it was giving class, coaching swimming, doing forensic investigations or personal training sessions – I would grab my phone once again and start responding to the day’s messages and emails, checking in on clients, etc. To the point where I would sit with my phone the entire night until I go to bed.

This is no life! And I am thankful that I have reached this point and came to this realization. I am goal driven and strive for excellence in everything I do. But I simply realized that I can’t do either of the fore mentioned if I burn myself out!

I spoke to Marli, who was one of our former brand ambassadors about this quite a bit at a stage. Because we both went through the same mind space at the time. Where we felt like we have so much to do and we don’t manage to get around to do it all. And then we end up feeling guilty that we’re not responding and it’s just a never-ending terrible cycle. So we continue to burn ourselves out in an attempt to "get ahead" and being there for everyone else except ourselves.

And I remember the one day I made her a voice note… The poor soul is the one who probably listens to the most of my brain farts! Haha… Usually when I send her voice notes ideas pops into my mind and she has to listen to the unfiltered information as I sift it through my own brain (verbally). We have a unwritten rule where we give each other 3-5 business days to respond to text messages. Tiny shout out: I’m forever in debt to you for always listening and your pure heart!

But anyway, what I wanted to say about that… We spoke about life being so busy and the stress we place on ourselves. And I said to her (brain fart) I’ve come to a place to realize that we need to be able to not feel bad or guilty about not returning promptly when life gets busy. It’s the fine line of that you don’t have to be available 24/7 without being rude or unprofessional. And when I said that, I thought to myself… hmmm I am preaching to myself but anyway!

The point I’m trying to get across, is that we should never underestimate the importance of taking a step back. If you fail to take time off and take time for yourself – you will burn yourself out! And a burnt-out person cannot serve others. So, by learning to take a step is not only good for you – but also good for the people around you!

If you have sent me a message to which I haven’t responded (in longer than 3-5 business days) – pop me another message and say “hi, answer me dammit!” – I won’t be offended haha.

We need to remind ourselves that the person on the other side of the screen is not an automated robot. That person also has a life of their own. They also have personal matters to attend to. And they don’t live and breathe their business even though they put their heart and soul into it.

Let’s all have a little more grace and understanding for one another. But most importantly – have some grace for yourself! You are doing the best you can and it’s time to lay down those heavy burdens that you’ve placed on yourself to always be there for everyone!

You want to be there for everyone, but sometimes it is okay to step back and not be there for everyone! You can't pour from an empty cup! Remember that!

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