It is critically important that you understand how to have BALANCE in your life as a nurse practitioner entrepreneur. I discussed this in a previous article that you can read HERE just for your information, but today I want to talk more about why it is important to take “YOU” time as a nurse practitioner business owner. If you do not, then not only will your business suffer, but your health and personal life will as well.
I will preface this with my personal story about not having enough “me time” when I was in hustle mode as I was getting all my businesses up and running.
It took me approximately 3 years of constant hustle to get to where I am at today (a financially independent nurse practitioner). I started an opioid addiction clinic (that I ended up closing), my medical cannabis clinic, my men’s health clinic, the telemedicine HRT practice that I sold, a property management business, and The Elite Nurse Practitioner within the span of 3 years WHILE working at an urgent care (article HERE about how I did it). It was tough. I did very little else but work and hustle. I sacrificed more than you can imagine. Was it worth it? You’re damn right it was, but it was hard. I was burning out quickly…
What I realized very quickly was that I was not taking enough “ME” time during those 3 years. The only time I would have “ME” time was when I went on vacation essentially. My mental health took a toll, but I continued to exercise and workout, so I did not experience a physical toll like many others do during this hustle (it is VERY important you exercise and eat right as a busy entrepreneur!). Not having enough “ME” time really began to affect multiple aspects within all of my businesses. I saw this. It concerned me. I knew I had to change something, or everything could collapse around me. Therefore, I decreased my workload at the urgent care and eventually quit all together. This helped, but it was not enough… I still was lacking adequate “ME” time.
To make a long story short, this produced times of depression and anxiety in my life. I was no longer having fun. I was doing nothing but work and hustle. The sacrifice was well worth it, don’t get me wrong, but it was beginning to tax my soul. My family, friends, and business colleagues could see the “tired” in my soul. I felt it and I knew I something had to give…
Listen, you MUST hustle and work your ass off if you want to develop multiple income streams, a powerful niche practice, and a financially redundant life. No one is going to hand this to you. There is no way around this… It can take many years to get there but learn from my mistake and don’t sacrifice as much as I did because it can be done just as well (or even better) if you take enough “YOU” time and find that balance. So, how did I fix this problem?
BY SETTING BOUNDARIES!
You must give yourself clear boundaries about when work is done and when play time begins. It is difficult to mix them together. So, try to keep these separated as you continue down the path as a nurse practitioner entrepreneur. It is VERY important! When you are doing nothing but work, your performance eventually decreases, and you lose what should be motivating you to build a successful business: your FREEDOM!
Remember, you want your business to work for YOU, and not you working for it. This totally destroys the “YOU” time you need to recharge. Keep that in mind as you structure and grow your practice.
If you cannot recharge from work, then your overall performance will decline. Everyone reading this has taken a vacation at some point in their adult life. Don’t you ALWAYS feel more productive when you get back into the swing of things? Isn’t your mind “fresh” to tackle the tasks in front of you? I know it is for me and this is just another reason on why it is so important to take YOU time:
It can actually IMPROVE your performance!
I have given myself strict boundaries when it comes to work and being an entrepreneur. This is actually somewhat of a recent thing, but the results have been well worth it. I feel like I am overall just more productive, smarter, and motivated now that I am giving myself more breaks.
One of the most important boundaries for me is sticking to a work schedule. I start work at a specific time and end work at a specific time. I try my best not to deviate from this and it has done wonders for my personal life. Sometimes though as a business owner you have to deal with fires in your practice after hours, so keep that in mind.
Additionally, you need to learn how to just say NO. You need to learn how to pick your battles wisely as a nurse practitioner business owner. Sometimes it is better to turn down opportunities than accept them. I am 100% serious about that. An example:
I was recently approached by the local methadone clinic in town. They have figured out a way that allows nurse practitioners to be the medical director. It has always been the job of an MD but I guess some recent regulations have changed (I do not know the details). I worked for this practice in a part-time fashion a couple years ago and helped get their buprenorphine program up and running. Well, the medical director they had was leaving and they wanted me to come take over. Like, they were practically begging me (this is what happens when you provide VALUE and understand your WORTH folks). They even offered me $120 an hour as a 1099. Pretty enticing right?
The problem was that this would do nothing but negatively impact my life. Where am I going to find an extra 20-30 hours a week to dedicate to this? I am not if I value my sanity and the “ME” time. I told them no… If I had said yes, then my businesses and mental health would have suffered. When would I have had time to develop more courses and help all my nurse practitioner sisters and brothers succeed? I wouldn’t have… This is NO BUENO for me.
The point of this article friends is that it is very important to ensure you carve out enough “YOU” time in your life as you venture down the path of being a nurse practitioner entrepreneur. Don’t do what I did… Try to set this up appropriately from the get go as it will not only benefit your mental, physical, and spiritual health, but it actually will enhance your overall performance. Simply do this:
Create a hard schedule of when work is and when play time is, and STICK TO THAT!
Learn how to say NO.
If you can integrate these 2 principles into your life and find the “YOU” time, you will be much better for it. I promise 😊