BYOB Be Your Own Boss: When it rains it pours..but the sun always comes back out.

by Ari Takata-Vasquez

 This is a part of our BYOB: Be Your Own Boss series. Read past entries about being friends with a shop owner , morning rituals, and doing the work when you don't feel like it.

Last week, was a challenge to say the least. Latham Square’s construction marked a year and to celebrate, the city decided to replace the sidewalk in front of the shop. As a result, I was closed for 4 days as they jackhammered, framed, and poured new concrete (my apologies to anyone who stopped by looking to shop and was disappointed). Now, as a small business, losing a week of revenue can be tough, but to make matters worse, I came down with a cold that turned into bronchitis. When it rains it pours, right?


Now that I’m back at the shop and feeling much better (shout out to Alexander Fleming for Antibiotics), my eyes are open to the things I was taking for granted— my health and my shop. These things aren’t givens. These are things I should wake up everyday and be thankful to have. After realizing how nice it is to be at the shop I built and to breathe like a normal person I’ve found a renewed enthusiasm for being at work!


Whether you’re self-employed or at a job, it’s easy to lose perspective when you’re inundated with the day-to-day tasks. Once you’re on that hamster wheel of emails, meetings, calls, networking events, oh and the actual work, it’s hard to get off the wheel and take a step back. Here are a few tricks to help you break out from the day-to-day banality and see how wonderful things really are:


1.Write a note to your teenage-self

Remember that awkward, self-conscious teenager you once were? Write them a letter. It sounds corny, but it really helps to verbalize your accomplishments when you write them down. I’m sure your teenage self wouldn’t have thought you’ve done half the things you have. It can help you gain some distance and perspective.


2. What was your last milestone and what’s your next one?

Remember how tough getting to your last milestone was? Before you got that promotion, reached a new sales goal, or a personal achievement it felt like it was impossible, but you did it.- don’t forget that. It can be easy to remember our failures rather than our accomplishments; after all science says pain aversion is more powerful than pleasure seeking, but remember you have done things you didn’t know you were capable of. Remind yourself of this daily, make it your mantra.


3. Who can you help?

If you’re in a position to help someone you’re doing pretty good. Think about it, you’re in a place where you not only take care of yourself but also can offer up your knowledge, skills, time, etc to other people who desperately need it. Getting out of your own head and volunteering can help you realize how much you have to be grateful for. Not everyone has food to eat, a place to sleep  or friends/family for support.