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As entrepreneurs, I know that we are all dedicated to our brand. So I’m not going to spend our time on the value of dedication. We know what it is – and how important it is.

But I think that it can be easy to begin to lose our grip on that dedication as other things slip into our lives as the years come at us – full force. We find ourselves in different stages in life and in different areas other than where our business is focused.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the newness of new groups, and activities. We join a new library group for our kids – and volunteer more time than we have to cater to group activities. It can eventually add up to being just too much.

I found myself in similar scenarios when my kids began playing sports, and joining other activities. I coached multiple teams, I headed up different areas of organizations where we were involved, I went and gave all of me and all of my time. Which took away from time that I had already promised to my entrepreneurial efforts – which in turn were a promise to help take care and provide for my family.

So, I was cheating a big promise that I had made – and taking from that promise and giving it to other activities.

Coaching t-ball, and softball were a lot of fun. But maybe I shouldn’t have devoted myself to several teams in one season. Helping to tend to organizations where we are involved can be a real blessing – but it’s easy to volunteer for too much.

After a few years, my stress levels were off the charts. Something had to change. Quickly.

Taking a step back, learning to step away from and to turn down offers – I’ve found that creativity (that had long been elusive) has returned. A joy for what I do has filled my spirit again.

Take a look at your entrepreneurial plate. Is it full? Or do you have the availability to volunteer for one activity on top of your already busy schedule? It’s important to give back – but perhaps that’s what your brand does and you need to remain dedicated to its goals.

Most likely, not everyone will understand why you have to say “No, thank you”. Especially if you are self-employed. Somehow, your schedule seems wide open to others who don’t share the experience. But give them grace and a smile when you have to turn down opportunities handed to you.

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