The importance of balancing strategies in equestrian business pursuits.
Horse Business eZine – Equine Business Marketing Tips for the Busy Business Owner
The high trotting email newsletter that delivers ideas, insights, inspiration, and practical marketing information specifically for Equine Related Businesses.
April 2007; Issue #4 Joni Solis, Editor
Hi, This is Joni Solis with your April’s newsletter about why balance is critical!
One of the marks of a great rider is their incredible sense of balance. Some come by this naturally, but most spend years of practice perfecting their ability to balance in the saddle. When the horse zigs they zig, and when the horse zags they zag and remain centered.
This same balancing ability that is so necessary to horseback riding is also incredibly vital to the success of your equestrian business. You like me are most likely involved in the horse industry because of your love of horses. This is great and an essential element to success, but unless you have taken lessons in running a business you may be like a new rider that takes a tumble with the first sharp turn the horse takes. You need to learn balance for your business too.
It seems the nature of horse businesses that they require a lot of hard work which may include barn and yard maintenance, buying and hauling shavings and feed, horse training, trailering, and riding, horse doctoring, record and bookkeeping, business marketing, and the list goes on and on…
If your passionate about your business and horses then you are more likely to find yourself a workaholic. But a success life involves balancing business work with time for family, rest, and fun.
Are you riding lopsided?
Clues to an unbalanced life…
- Feeling totally exhausted more than a three days a week.
- Increased irritability and grumpiness over minor issues.
- Confusion and fuzziness over where you are and where you are going.
- Getting into a rut — you do and redo certain jobs and start neglecting or avoiding others.
- Lack of any sense of improvement or enjoyment in the business.
You have to stop and take a deep breath and study on how to get your life in balance. Start by considering how to divide your twenty four hour day to include Work, Rest, and Play. Remind yourself that each is off equal importance. Studies have shown that when balanced, each area improves the other. So if right now you are working too many hours and you add a little play time and rest time your work productivity will actually improve.
“It is best to rise from life as from a banquet, neither thirsty nor drunken.”
Your business tack that needs to be in balance…
(set and maintain a regular schedule for each one of the following)
- Work – horse training, coaching, producing the products for sale, etc…
- Maintenance – buildings, stable, arena, yard, stalls, fields, whatever
- Marketing – balance the maintaining of current customers to the rounding up of new ones
- Record keeping – testing and recording then reviewing the results
- Bookkeeping – learn to do it right or hire someone
- Planning – (this one seems to be the most neglect item)
designing business systems for increasing efficiency overall business planning
– drawing the road map to a better, more profitable tomorrow
Take the time to climb to the top of the hill and survey your herd. Get an overall picture of where you are and where you want to go and how you are going to get there. Don’t just take step after step, working and working but have no idea you’re traveling in a circle or even spiraling downwards. To find success you must travel in the direction of success.
Strengthen your sense of awareness – what are you thinking, what are you doing, what are your goals/plans, what steps in what direction do you need to take?
and last but not least is…
‚ÄúThe more balanced our lives, the more serene we feel.‚Äù – Ann Smith
To help me bring more balance into my life I am always trying to discover new ways to work more efficiently. This way I will not feel as guilty when I stop working in the evening and take time off from work for the weekends – you might be able to tell that I am a workaholic. I love my work and have a hard time moving on to the areas of rest and play.
To help me improve my work day productively I purchased a digital record. I walk my three dogs twice a day, morning and evening and the walks last from fifteen minutes to an hour. While I am walking and enjoying my dogs and nature I also build my to-do-list in my head, contemplate business plans, or consider subjects to post to my blog. My thoughts can go into an extended trot and travel a good distance, but by the time I get back home, do my chores, and finally get settled at my computer I have misplaced a lot of the good thoughts I had while walking.
Luckily I am able to walk and talk at the same time so now I can work as I stride along with my pets by recording my thoughts – multi-tasking. I can then replay the audio as I type on my computer. I even have thoughts of making the recorder even more valuable to me by buying headphones with a microphone so that I can record my thoughts with both hands free. This will allow me to work as I am doing some of my chores like cleaning the ponies’ yard, weeding the garden, or watering the plants.
Another way I can use the recorder is to record positive affirmations that I can re-play as I work and reprogram my mind to focus more on what I want to show up in my life and less on what I don’t want.
The first step to balance is to take note of what you are doing and thinking, then see if it is leading you to something better or just running you ragged. Then figure out what you need in your life to create balance and set your intention on adjusting your actions to achieve it. It will require you to embrace change and this can be scary, but so worth it in the long run. Believe in the possibility of balance and success and you will achieve it.
“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.” – Brian Tracy
“Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” – Robert Fulghum
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving” – Albert Einstein