Love Your Business: Guest Post #14

All month long join me here as I welcome amazing contributors with one thing in common
we love our business {blog/shop/etc} and we want you to love yours too!
To keep up to date with this series view all posts here.

My name is Elise Ostermann and I am currently the Art Director/Co-Owner at “Hey, Sweet Pea.” Our business specializes in branding development and custom websites/blogs. We are now six months into being small business owners. Scott (my fiancĂ©) and I are busy planning the future of our business and so excited/humbled by our company’s success. We’ve met some of the most fantastic people and have been given some of the most amazing opportunities. We truly love what we do.

Some of the questions we get all the time are, "How do we balance everything? What does balance look like? Do we have any balance tricks we can share?" Let me first say, we are by no means balance experts, especially me. Running a small business, planning a destination wedding, moving across the country (from California to Texas), and all the other “life’ things are very stressful and can make it constantly hard to find balance. But we have definitely learned some small tricks that have helped us balance our lives somewhat and keep our heads above water. With that said, here are my TOP FIVE BALANCE TIPS.

1) HIRE PEOPLE TO HELP: Small business owners tend to want to do EVERYTHING themselves. Don’t do it. One of the BEST things I learned over the years was delegating. It’s important that you learn to delegate. Know your company inside and out, but then hire people to help run the parts of it that you can’t do yourself or that you don’t have time to do. I currently have two design assistants and a business assistant. The designers help with our flow of design work; the business assistant runs the emails, the schedule, the invoices, etc. Initially, we have hired these people as only part time employees. In addition, find an accountant and attorney early to help guide your business. They will be worth their weight in gold! My belief is that we all specialize in something and that it’s important I find people I can hire to perform the tasks at which I’m not as good, or I don’t know about. On the same note, actually hire people and pay them for their work. If you need an extra pair of hands, don’t look for a free intern. Look for someone you can pay to do the quality work/assistance that you need.

2) MAKE A SCHEDULE: Our business assistant makes a weekly schedule for me. She assigns projects to each day, tasks to complete, and meetings. Without that schedule I'd be lost. Seriously. Knowing what I need to accomplish for the day (or even what needs to be accomplished that week) has tremendously helped with work flow, progress, etc. Make sure you don't schedule yourself with too much, though. Adding too much to your plate will only overwhelm you and slow you down. Leave room in your schedule for emails, lunch, exercise, or just taking short breaks. Make sure your schedule allows for adequate time off, such as weekends, and evenings. The schedule should help you and your business, not burden you. In addition, schedule YOU time in. Not just personal YOU time, but professional time. We schedule a few hours every week that I can think about and work on projects for our business itself. It's so easy to spend time focusing on just your clients/products and not focusing on what you can do to make your business better. 

3) SET UP PHONE BOUNDARIES: Something I learned rather quickly was cell phone boundaries. I love my iPhone. I carry it with me everywhere. But the moment it becomes a burden and not a tool, my life quickly spirals out of balance. I only have specific emails sent to my phone, such as personal emails. This helps me separate my home life and work life a lot easier. If I don't see emails come in from clients I can actually rest and enjoy my time off. In addition, I limit the amount of time I spend on social media platforms via my phone. Even though apps make social media on the run so easy - it can also throw off your work/home balance. Also, if you're wanting time with your family or significant other... leave your phone in your purse or the other room. Often, when Scott and I go on dates, I hand him my phone at the beginning of the night. It not only makes him really happy, but it takes the distraction away so I can focus on enjoying him more.

4) TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST: Eat healthy balanced meals, find time for naps, exercise, and full nights of sleep. Take the evenings off, as well as the weekends. If you don't place YOU as the first importance, your business and your personal life/health will suffer. I believe your business is only as strong as you are. So if you're a small business owner, who's overworked, exhausted, and unhealthy, your business will start to take on those same traits. Set aside YOU time. Learn a new recipe, take time to try that new personal project, or make yourself a cup of hot chocolate. You'll thank yourself down the road.

5) LEARN TO SAY NO: One of the hardest things I ever had to learn was saying no and setting boundaries. But if you can learn to set boundaries with clients, friends, or whoever, you will be able to achieve a much more balanced life. If that means turning down a project/client, if that means achieving your goals slower, or if that even means stepping away from negative friends/colleagues, learn to say NO. Some people feel guilty saying no. Others don't know when to say no. Whatever saying NO means in your life and with your business, start saying it. You will never regret taking time to play dress up with your daughter instead of returning an email. You will never regret making your husband smile instead of making a client smile. In almost every circumstance when it comes to life/work balance, you will never regret saying that simple word. It has the power to revolutionize your life.

Thank you to JUST LOVELY THINGS for asking me to be a part of this amazing series! I know Heather loves her business, we love our business, and our hope is that you will love your business as well. 

About the Author


  1. Wonderful tips! Thank you. Its so hard to say no when customers need an "emergency" tutu for their little girls birthday.. :)

  2. Fantastic tips. I've been struggling with the phone boundaries a lot lately.

  3. Love these tips! Especially learning to say know. That's the hardest...
    xo Heather