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Fuel Your Success: The Undeniable Importance of Rest for Entrepreneurs

A fellow entrepreneur made a post that said: “Nobody ever told me that entrepreneurs don’t get to take real vacations.”

Lord, it struck a nerve.

Separately, my wife recently told me: “If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t be married to an entrepreneur.”

Ugh. Imagine the horror.

All in the same month, my doctor said: “Girl, you gotta slow down because you are flaring your Hashimoto’s and we don’t want any issues.” But then I said, “Well can you give me a couple ideas of how other entrepreneurs slow it down?” and she just looked me like:

“We in danger, girl”

And all of these experiences had me thinking…what does REST look like for an entrepreneur?

Leave: well we don’t always have a leave policy especially if we are sole proprietors, own a small family business, or have mostly 1099 contractors.

No email Fridays: Generally, our emails are from eternal folks like clients, customers, partners…and less from our staff. So in a country where people are used to fast–fast food (like microwave dinners) and overnight shipping (looking at you Amazon)–asking someone to wait for an email (so you can rest) is rather uncommon… and it can lead to the entrepreneur feeling anxious in thinking about how many emails they will return to when they go back to work, and/or if their delayed responses will impact their reputation or working relationships.

Slow days: Umm who and how does an entrepreneur have a slow day? I mean, isn’t one of the given and required traits of an entrepreneur, able to hustle? It’s quite common for entrepreneurs to have “a moment” and then, in that moment, get innovative and add a new service, product, marketing tool, etc. So a slow day MAY mean, few emails and no meetings but then one battles with a creative mind and a ton of ideas. And even if one is not “chasing” money, there is something they want…and maybe want more of “Slow who?…we are cheetahs not turtles.”

And since I’m an entrepreneur AND a therapist, all of this got me thinking even more.

How does this affect the entrepreneurs actual ability to rest? Because we need rest. Our bodies need rest. But our lives have not been conditioned or reinforced in resting. In fact, many of us are “successful” because of the grind. But now, the grind is killing our bodies, our relationships, our time with spirit, our…us. And sometimes, it even damages our relationships.

So instead of doing intense research, I did an observational study and reviewed my anecdotal notes (aka my journal and memories) of the entrepreneurs in my life and realized that entrepreneurs rest differently.

We rest at events when we don’t have to talk, sell, or network.

We rest when nobody knows us and won’t ask us what we do for a living.

We rest when the convo is not about AND will not be about work!

We rest when our minds can escape reality for a bit…maybe in a book or a good movie…or a catnap (and it’s not always planned but it should be!).

We rest…alone.

But these are restful boundaries that many people don’t think about and respect. They think it’s cool to be an entrepreneur (it is!) so people want to talk about it all the time, ask questions, and show interest (all of which we appreciate!) but it is not rest.

So, Entrepreneurs, next time you need to rest–say it aloud, manifest it, and demand it.

And folks, next time you talk to an entrepreneur, ask them… are you resting today and if so, how can I help?

Smooches y’all.

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