When something comes up four times over the course of two days I know it's serious. Entrepreneurs are lousy at taking care of themselves.

* Entrepreneurs routinely work long hours.
* Entrepreneurs often beat themselves up for not doing enough or not doing it well enough.
* Entrepreneurs have a misguided belief that they are the only person who could possibly do "it" right.
* Entrepreneurs feel guilty spending time relaxing when there's so much work to do.
* Entrepreneurs spend their day worrying about what they missed or what they "should have" done.

The problem is that when you don't take care of yourself there is nobody to take care of your business. I was speaking with one client who told me that she was totally burned out. She works a full time job and her business was her ticket out, yet no matter what she did she just can't get herself excited about her business.

Another client I spoke with told me that there is so much going on in his life. He's running three successful businesses, going through a divorce and has a contract to write a book. He's incredibly excited about the book and he knows it will lead him to his next big venture. The book is due, but he doesn't have the time or energy to devote to it.

Let me be very clear here. I'm not saying that as an entrepreneur you don't have to work and work hard. What I am saying is that when you take care of yourself, your body and brain will work better, and you'll enjoy what you're doing.

Here are the solutions my clients and I came up with. Try them out. You may just find that by nurturing yourself, your business will grow in return.

1. Schedule mini vacations. It could be a three-day weekend, or just a random day off once or twice a month. It doesn't have to be expensive and you don't have to go anywhere. Simply think about things you haven't done in a while that you've been meaning or wanting to do. Go for a walk in a park. Sit on the beach for a day. Wander through a new store in town. Read a book simply for pleasure. Go to a movie or try a new restaurant. The options are endless

2. Spend time with friends. There are lots of types of friends. What I'm talking about here are the friends that nurture you, not those that you really "should" get together with but those whom you "want" to get together with.

3. Nourish your body. Get enough sleep, eat foods that nourish you and get exercise. The better you take care of your engine the better it will work. Enough said.

4. Take a one-hour break every day. Step away from your work physically and stop thinking about it. Take the time to laugh with someone or cry if you need to. Make yourself a nice lunch, or go for a walk with a friend. Leave work behind.

And most important…

5. Give yourself permission to play. Playtime is creative time. When you let yourself play and don't worry about perfectionism the fun will come back. You will find yourself excited and motivated to do the work you want to do.

Want to know what happened with the clients that I mentioned earlier? The one with the full time job spoke to her boss and scheduled a one-week vacation in July and a three-day weekend each month until then. My client with the three businesses and a book contract took four days away from work. He gave himself permission to let other people worry about the day-to-day workings of his businesses. He spent the four days writing. To his relief and amazement everything was still working when he got back.

How can you nurture yourself?

Author's Bio: 

Carrie Greene is a speaker, trainer, coach and author of Chaos to Cash. She helps entrepreneurs cut through the confusion and chaos surrounding them so they make decisions, stop spinning and procrastinating and make more money. Free resources at http://www.CarrieThru.com and http://carriethru.com/programs/chaostocashbook/excerpt/