When you have different versions of the same conversation with several people within a couple of weeks, I do think it's time to pay attention... Allow me to share the gist of it: Even though social media marketing plays a vital, unavoidable and totally necessary roll in running a start-up, the world - your world - will not fall apart if you forget to post, internet gremlins cause a technical problem, or you just really need to take a break from it all.
The honest truth is that nobody cares.
As an entrepreneur (and a fairly new one at that), I have come to realise that emotional or mental burn-out happens faster and easier than I could have ever imagined. The constant struggle to find balance is exhausting. Balance between work and home (because let's face it -- it's hard to distance yourself from work when your work space and home space are one and the same place!). Balance between focusing on deadlines and long-term growth. Balance between finding the time to do it yourself and the money to outsource an aspect of your business. Balance between stability and chasing a dream. Balance between what makes you happy and turning that into something that puts bread on the table. The list goes on and on...
Now, add to this precarious balancing act a nice, big, steaming pile of pressure to constantly produce content so as to be able to surf the digital tsunami alongside multi-million dollar companies that are making it look like child's play... Of course we tend to forget that these guys have entire departments managing their marketing; teams of people that create content; thousands at their disposal to outsource a lot of the nitty-gritty, time-consuming crap that is necessary to keep the ship afloat, but so often kills a one-man-circus start-up within the first few years of opening its doors.
Back to the "nobody cares"-thing:
Harsh as that may seem, it is such an important lesson to learn as a small business owner (and human!). Don't get me wrong - of course we all have those incredibly loyal and die-hard fans that love our products, service and content. But if a brand that you adore stops creating content for a while (even a huge, established, well-known one!), there won't be time or space for you to even notice... Our lives have become so oversaturated with a constant flood of digital content, that it is really, really easy to get lost in it all. Overwhelmed. Burnt out. Both as creators and consumers.
So the lesson here is that even though it doesn't feel like it, there IS space and time for us to unplug. And we should. Regularly. If only to prove to ourselves that the ship won't sink if the crew take a break once in a while. It doesn't matter if you're sailing aboard an expensive luxury yacht with twenty decks and a jacuzzi bar, or paddling along in an inflatable rubber rowboat. Nobody cares. And nobody cares about your self care except you. Without it your ship will sink, even if your social media marketing is surfing with the big boys...