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Have you heard about “quiet quitting,” this trend that the business press is freaking out about? Observers are saying more and more workers quietly are refusing to go above and beyond. They’re not answering emails after hours. They’re saying no to overtime. They’re doing just what is required, and no more.

This trend has the likes of Kevin O’Leary (of Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank fame) foaming at the mouth. Of course, corporate barons long have been banking on employees doing more than they truly get paid for. Others, like Arianna Huffington of Thrive Global, say quiet quitting is “a response to a very real problem — the global epidemic of stress and burnout.

Quiet quitting is not just in the corporate world

I’m seeing business owners – women and men – quietly quitting too. With the financial hardship and fear from the pandemic, coupled with the labour shortage and the stampede back to normal, I see many Business Sisters are DONE with hustling and being “#BossBabes” and “#GirlBosses” and all that this mindset entails. Could it be that we’re finally seeing the rejection of “hustle culture”?

Too exhausted to care or getting better with boundaries?

There’s evidence that it’s the latter. Some business owners in Québec’s renowned tourist destination, les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, have decided to shut down right smack in the middle of the season. I’ve noticed more women entrepreneurs getting away with their families this summer, and GOOD FOR THEM! Europeans have been doing it for years. Maybe we’re just catching up.

As with any major trend, it could be an opportunity to re-think how we do business, collectively and individually.

Questions to ask yourself as business owner:

  • When are your peak customer times? Do you keep track of your most profitable days? Your most profitable hours in a day? This might help you re-think your opening and closing times, especially if you’re in retail or personal services.
  • Does is make sense for you to close when everyone else does? Monday is an off day for many hair and esthetics professionals. Could your small retail outlet benefit from special opening hours on a Monday, even if it’s once or twice per month? Perhaps you could then close on a Saturday or another day of your choice.
  • Are you asking and engaging customers about your opening and closing hours? Maybe you don’t HAVE TO stay open as long as you have been.

Time to rethink business models

Collectively it might also be time for us to chat about business models and collaboration:

  • Have you considered discussing opening and close times, or vacation times with other business owners, even competitors? What if all diner and café owners got together in your small town to talk about who stays open and when? I’m not suggesting collusion and price fixing here, but rather a good heart-to-heart about what makes sense for our small towns so we can all be more profitable and have a life!
  • What if these conversations extended to sharing other resources, like service staff, bookkeeping or social media help?

What Do You Think?

Are you also seeing that quiet quitting is not just in the corporate world? Do you see it in small business too? If so, is that a good thing?

I’d love to hear your thoughts here! How can we do business differently so that we can all thrive as rural women business owners?

Leave a comment below!

Thanks for reading!

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