Article by Jane Tweedy, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre


Like many small business owners, I have huge demands on my time – working part-time, setting up two businesses while winding down another, studying, family, and volunteering in the local community. Taking care of me didn’t factor into my day.

Firstly, a shout out to the wonderful staff at Nepean Hospital for making my unexpected stay as comfortable as possible. Secondly, why did I end up there in the first place, and how do you avoid that?

You’re not behind – you’re where you need to be right now

One of my clients was late to a large networking event and when he got there his wife wanted to go to the ladies. He stood waiting at the entry desk rather frustrated. However, someone in his industry who runs a business with a collective of people also registered late. This chance meeting continued into further discussions, which led to him being part of this organisation in an outsourced capacity, a perfect outcome for him. If he had not have been ‘late’, he would likely not have made that connection.

Changing your mindset to forgive yourself for ‘being behind’ and acknowledging you are where you need to be, helps you to get out of a rut. The cycle needs to be broken.

Progress not perfection

For small business owners (coming out of the corporate world especially, where they were experts in their fields), small business can be overwhelming. When starting out you’re regularly performing every function. Be realistic – even superheros would struggle it get it all done. Focus on doing priority tasks, and moving forward. The polish can be applied later.

Plan ahead

The easiest way to go nowhere fast, is to fail to plan. When I set myself a task list and stick to it, I can smash things out. But when I’m vague, other ‘busy’ work tends to creep in and I can get to the end of the week with none of my key tasks done, even though I was super busy and ‘achieved’ a lot. Of course this leads back to that feeling of being behind. We have to break the cycle! Plan each week and day ahead so you direct your attention and energy to focus on what is most important.

Don’t forget about you

Without you, in many case your business will cease to function. Therefore, you are its most important asset and need to be maintained. Maintenance comes about through looking after your health. Yes, healthy eating and some exercise must fit in your busy schedule. It needs to be non-negotiable. We also need to allow ourselves enough rest and time to recharge – both on holidays, and in small doses every single week.

Trust me, ending up in hospital is not fun. Learn from others on this one and employ some self-care.

Need help?

Need help in prioritising and planning so you fit in what is important? Please make an appointment to see one of our business advisors for up to four hours business advice at no cost with no catches under the NSW Government Business Connect program! Book now!