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Resourceful Designer podcast: Offering tips, tricks and advice for starting and growing your graphic or web design business.

What happens to your business if you don't take care of yourself?

Running a home based graphic design business offers you the freedom and flexibility to work when you want and the way you want. But what if you don't take care of yourself and you get sick? What becomes of your business?

In this episode of the Resourceful Designer podcasts, I discuss how you need to take care of yourself if you want your graphic design business to prosper.

As designers, our clients rely on us to give their projects our undivided attention. But how are we suppose to do that if we're dashing to the washroom every few minutes or if we have a headache so bad that we can't look at our computer screens? The answer is we can't.

Face it, when we're under the weather our business suffers.

So what can you do about it?

Have you ever heard the term “prevention is the best form of medication”? It holds true for us designers. If we take care of ourselves both physically and mentally we won't have to face this dilemma that often.

Although there is no guaranteed way to keep you from getting sick. There are things you can do to help minimise the occurrences. Try to eat healthier meals and snacks. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Exercise to keep your body fit. Make sure you get enough rest. Wash your hands!

It's not rocket science. We've heard all these tips many times before. But if we don't follow them, they won't help.

We graphic designers often feel that so much depends on us that we neglect our own needs. Don't' make yourself sick because you're trying to please everyone else.

Working too much can make you sick.

There's nothing wrong with working long hours or working all hours of the day. Setting your own hours is actually one of the benefits of running a home-based graphic design business. However, problems start when you do it every day and all the time without setting time aside to take care of yourself.

Set time aside during your busy workday for yourself. Get up and stretch. Look out the window. Go for a walk. If you can afford it, be a bit more creative and go for a massage or get a manicure. The point is to rejuvenate and refresh yourself. Because if you run yourself into the ground you won't be able to accomplish anything and your business will suffer.

If you find it too hard to make time throughout your day, try setting larger periods of time aside each week. Take Friday afternoons off or break up your week with a Wednesday morning sabbatical.

But I don't have time to take time off.

Trust me, it's more important to take care of yourself than it is to check things off your to-do list.

Your health forms the base of your business. If you're not healthy it suffers. And when you are suffering nothing gets done on your to-do list. Even if you don't have the time you can still take care of yourself by starting your day with a good breakfast.

Why not schedule a workout or meditate before starting work? Not a morning person? lunch time is a perfect time to exercise. Not only will it help you stay fit, but it will also give your brain time to process what you did that morning and prepare it for the afternoon tasks to come. When you're healthier and stronger, you'll be able to better serve your clients and family.

And don't forget what I talked about in episode 42. It's OK to say no to things that take up all your time. You don't need to do every little task that family and friends ask of you. Determine what really needs to be done and say no to the rest.

How do you take care of yourself?

What do you do to stay healthy and ensure that your business isn't interrupted by sickness? Leave a comment for this episode.

Questions of the Week

Submit your question to be featured in a future episode of the podcast by visiting the feedback page.

This week’s question comes from Sara

My pricing packages state that printing or other vendor expenses are charged separately. How do you best charge for those items after the hours have been used? Do you also give a list of hours to the client of how they were used? When you give estimates, just give them in hours?

To find out what I told Sara you’ll have to listen to the podcast.

Resource of the week the Resourceful Designer podcast

To celebrate the one year anniversary of the Resourceful Designer podcast on September 30th, which is also International Podcast Day, this week's resource is the podcast itself. If you know any designers that could benefit from the show please share it with them. Simply send them to resourcefuldesigner.com/subscribe where they can subscribe via their favourite platform.

If they ask you what a podcast is, take the opportunity to introduce them to this wonderful medium of podcasts by showing them how to subscribe and listen to the show. And make sure you tell them to leave a review for the show in iTunes once they've listened to it.

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I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com