Being self-employed and running your own business can be hugely rewarding. If you’re not careful though, it can take over your life. If you’re spending your time obsessing about the next opportunity to deliver your elevator pitch or pass out your business card, you could be ready for a break.

The success of your business (of course) depends to a large extent on your commitment to promote yourself in every way you can. Passing out those all important business cards to direct visitors to your website; attending business breakfasts; making presentations; and generally getting your name out by seeking out every opportunity possible is essential, but there is a limit to what’s healthy.

One of the most appealing things about being self-employed is the flexibility it brings. Being able to take your kids to school and be there for them when they come home or being able to go to the gym mid-morning or mid-afternoon are typical luxuries that self-employed people appear to appreciate most. That said, in order to be effective; in order to be efficient; there has to be an order to how you structure your work time.

When you’re starting out, it may well be that you allocate 2 or 3 hours a day to business promotion and, or networking; an hour or so to getting your systems in place and the remainder of the day to actually “doing the job” for which you will be financially rewarded. Either way, there’s huge benefit in applying structure to how you work from Day 1. It’s essential that this structure contains a start and finish time. A time when you work and a time when you relax.

If you have failed to structure your working days and working weeks, you could find yourself burning the midnight oil, setting your alarm for the crack of dawn and still not achieving your business objectives. If you’re in this situation, it’s absolutely essential that you take a step back from your business, even if it’s only once in a while.

You need to get away from your obsession with handing out those business cards in order to see where new opportunities might lie and to get your business back into perspective. How you step back from your business varies from person to person of course, but no matter whether it’s wild swimming in Scotland; skydiving or knitting that floats your boat, it’s important to do it and to chillax from time to time. You’ll be amazed at the benefits you gain, both emotionally and business-wise.

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This post was written by Marcus, founder of, a website that helps musicians find resources such as music contracts