Startup Diaries: Rest for the Weary Business Owner

[Startup Diaries is a new original series of articles from Yahoo! Small Business Advisor that chronicles the day-to-day and week-to-week struggles of a variety of startup and new small businesses.]

Art Cardenas owns The Fit Pit, a fully equipped professional boxing gym in Austin, Texas. The gym, which opened in January 2011, is still growing and now has plans for expansion. 

Today I spent a restful day relaxing at home. The day consisted of attending church services, watching football, making chicken soup, and reading. Sunday is the only day that my business, The Fit Pit Boxing Gym, is closed. It is the only day that I am physically not there. It was not always like this.

During my first year of business, I would often find myself at the gym cleaning, doing maintenance, and catching up on bookkeeping. My way of thinking was that the gym needed my undivided attention seven days a week, even though it was closed on Sundays. I changed that practice beginning in 2012 and now rest on Sundays.

I am aware that a majority of businesses, large and small, are open seven days a week. I can certainly understand why. Owning a business takes dedication and sacrifice. Sacrifice can take the form of working seven days a week, the premise being that hard work equals success.

Why did I change the practice of working seven days a week? I realized that I physically needed one day to rest. Being a boxing trainer is a physically demanding occupation. By the time that Saturday comes around, I am exhausted and the aches and pains associated with the sport are at a heightened level. The reality is that if my physical condition is compromised because of a lack of rest, then my business will certainly suffer.

Have there been any negative consequences associated with not working on Sundays? There has been some monetary loss. At times there have been potential new clients inquiring if I can do personal training sessions on Sundays. In fact there have also been a few potential clients requesting personal sessions on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. I guess fitness, for some people, does not take a holiday.

I have learned that for me, being a full-time boxing coach and business owner requires that I get enough rest. This has translated into better decision-making on my part, which is a benefit to my business. And of course, a well-rested me means a healthier private trainer for my clients. I can't wait until next Sunday.

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