The amount of work to be done as an Amazon FBA seller is unending, and at times the potential for profit is limited only by the amount of work we’re able to put into the business and the number of hours in each day. Right now we’re in the midst of Q3 and all the Prime Day excitement, starting to gear up for the big selling season of Q4. There’s tons of sourcing to be done, as well as lots of inventory management to make sure your selling account stays in good order.
Today I (Rebecca) would like to throw out a topic that on the surface appears to be the opposite of what Stephen and I usually cover on this blog Yes, you have a lot of work to do to prepare for Q4, but I also think you need to take a break. You need some rest so you can stay healthy.
Stephen and I are self-employed, so we are our own bosses and set our own schedule. FBA is how we earn our full-time income. Some of you are in the same position, and others of you are doing FBA on the side while working another full-time job. When the potential for profit at FBA is so great, we all can struggle at times with a tendency to keep at it way past the point when our minds and bodies need some down time. We just cannot stop working.
Over time, all those hours of sneaking off to the spare-bedroom-turned-into-office for “just a few minutes of checking in on things” takes its toll. Or all those times when we say, “I’ll just check one more store and see what they’ve got on clearance now.” We get weary. We lose sleep. We lose time with our loved ones. We catch colds more easily. We just need to rest.
In my previous career, I worked overseas with a nonprofit for 10 years, where I got lots of practice for later becoming self-employed. Our organization didn’t have set office hours, and each of us on the team designed our own projects and set our own pace for completing them. My office was in my apartment, and I got used to the kind of life where you have the freedom to work the hours that best fit your personality, as long as you got the job done. One of my most important take-aways from my years at that job was our team’s philosophy on rest. My supervisor was adamant that each person on the team take regular breaks. Not just regular coffee breaks or lunch breaks each day, but true sustained breaks from work. The kind where you shut your mind down and get away from the pressures of the tasks at hand.
Stephen and I have adopted that same schedule of rest throughout the year:
Every week, we rest for one full day. We usually rest on Sunday, so we can go to church, but for others it might need to be a different day.
Once a month, we take a full two-day break, equivalent to a weekend. Again, it might not be possible to take this two-day break on a Saturday/Sunday — hey, it’s hard to miss out on those Saturday morning garage sales! — but we take two consecutive days where we don’t do anything work related. For the record, I’m not saying that we work six days a week all but one week of the month. A lot of times we’ll work Friday and Saturday mornings, but not those afternoons, so it evens out to five days of work, stretched across six days. But once a month, it’s good to take a solid two days of not touching work at all.
Once a quarter, we take a longer weekend off. Sometimes we’ll take a three-day camping trip with the kids, or other times it might end up being a four-day staycation where we just bum around the house and catch up on reading magazines or binging TV shows. Again, by “weekend” I don’t necessarily mean that we stop work on Friday and Saturday, the big garage sale days. This long “weekend” might mean not working Sunday through Wednesday of one week.
At least once a year (or more if possible), we take a longer vacation. One week, two weeks, whatever works best depending on the circumstances that particular year.
Stephen and I truly believe that regular rest is the key to longevity in life and in business. Rest will keep us from getting sick, from burning out, and from sacrificing our family and relationships for the sake of profit. Yes, we need to work hard to support our family and to be able to give to others, but none of it is worth it if we work ourselves into the ground and lose what is most important in life. In the long run, rest is of vital importance.
We’d love to hear from you on this subject. Do you get enough rest each week and throughout the year? How do you weave vacations and leisure time into your schedule?
*This post has been updated for 2019
Working from home sounds easy, but if you’ve done it for any amount of time, you know it can be difficult. In our book, Married to Reselling: Balancing Family Life with Your Online Business, my wife Rebecca and I will walk with you through ways we can all find success in balancing our time with family while working from home.
In this book, we tackle both the business and personal sides of life as a reseller, and we’ll help you explore a system that works best for you and your family. If you’re looking for ways to balance your family life with your online business and find success with both, then this book is for you. We also cover things like budgeting for success, dealing with an unsupportive spouse, involving your kids so they can develop an entrepreneurial spirit within themselves, and so much more.
This was a good blog post and a subject that is normally overlooked. I have been guilty of this and when it happens I usually do get sick or get very grumpy with my husband if I am not taking regular down times. This business can be addicting.
Fab can totally be addicting… but deep down we know that family and rest is more important. Glad this post could be helpful as a reminder of that.
Loved this post. I think everyone, whether in this business or another, whether your own boss or working for someone else, should take a lesson from this. We can all be guilty of feeling guilty when we take time out for ourselves… and we shouldn’t. As you so well pointed out, we NEED to rest and relax regularly. Thanks.
Linda, this reminds me of how the flight attendants remind us to “put on our oxygen mask first before we help others.” It’s important to take care of ourselves properly before we help others. This doesn’t mean to be 100% self focused and selfish, rather taking good care of one’s body, mind, and soul is essential for us to be able to really help others at full capacity.
one thing that we missing is “time together” , thanks this post notice us.
Totally agree. The good Lord knew what he was doing when he mandated a day of rest. My day is also Sunday. I usually work some on saturday but not a lot. I always make sure I am done by at least 3 and dont touch anything until monday morning. I have been doing this with my regular job ( work out of my home ) for decades and it works
Amen! Some people think that if you take a break from work, you’ll miss out on something great… but it’s actually the opposite. If you’re overworked, you’ll miss out on greatness. Rest, refuel, recharge… then get back to work and find success!
Thank you for this – really hits home!
I’m happy this post was helpful!
Hola, soy un seguidor tuyo desde España.
A todos nos pasa que queremos aprovechar todo el tiempo, nunca se sabe que puede pasar mañana.
Debemos ser consciente del fin de nuestro trabajo.
Vivir mejor con nuestros seres queridos.
Saludos desde Las Islas Canarias, España.
Gracias por su comentario.
Eric Lindner says
Great post! Reminds me of the wise words of Ecclesiastes 4:6 “Better a handful of rest than a double handful of trouble and chasing after wind.” Because of a busy schedule, my wife and I have to plan for rest or we are asking for trouble!
My wife and I both make most of our income online so this really hit home. My wife and I are both guilty of the “I’m going to the office for 5 mins” and coming back hours later. It’s hard to make yourself take a break, but from past experience, when I’m playing a videogame or resting is where I get my best ideas. You have to make time to rest and reset. Thanks for sharing.
Sound advice. My wife and I are retirement age and still have three small businesses, one of which is FBA. We learned this lesson years ago but always need to remember to keep priorities straight. Your post reminds me of a definition of “entrepreneur”: someone who is willing to work 70 hours a week so they don’t have to work a 40-hour week.
Keep the faith and up the good work.
Julie Gerbrandt says
Thanks for those wise words, Rebecca. I do some of your suggestions but I think my husband and I need to up our game and get more rest. I think the time away from work also frees up my mind to see the big picture of my business and be able to make adjustments and improvements when I get back to work. Thanks for your encouragement to maintain regular periods of rest!