By Linda Harris, CPA, ’16-’17 AFWA National President
I knew early in my high school years that I wanted to go into accounting. What I did not envision was owning my own practice. It really has been a good fit for me – ownership has allowed me the independence and flexibility to pursue some of the other passions in my life – like AFWA.
While there are a lot of positives to business ownership, there are many challenges as well. Beyond providing service for my clients, I also have to find time to pay my bills, run my payroll, manage my cash flow, and so on. Especially during tax season, that additional work adds to the stress of the season. Managing personnel is the most challenging. Finding quality people and having to manage different personalities and styles can be interesting to say the least.
Through my years of practice, I have found several outlets to help me manage the stress of owning my own business. And what it comes down to is being a little selfish when it comes to me.
- Put time for yourself in your calendar: I pre-schedule massages for every other week during tax season. That way, the time is already blocked out on my schedule. Once the season gets crazy, I can see this time blocked out for myself and work the rest of my schedule around it.
- Take a break before things get busy: Around the 15th of March, I plan a night off. For example, my husband and I may go to our favorite resort for a night away. I come back to work refreshed and ready to finish the season. It may be only a 24 hour get away but it does wonders for my attitude.
- Find what gives you satisfaction: Find what you enjoy and escape to it. I have a number of outlets – retail therapy, my little trailer, and spending time camping with the girls.
We as women do an outstanding job nurturing our families and the rest of the world. We tend to ignore the most important person – ourselves! It took me a long time not to feel guilty about that hour-long massage. I finally came to realize that I work hard and I deserve it! I’m always going to care and nurture those important to me, it’s who I am. But I can’t forget to take care of myself from time to time, nor should I feel guilty about it.
So, when work and life get busy, find just one thing that will make you happy, schedule time in your calendar for it, and don’t feel bad about it. I promise you’ll be glad you did.