Pouring From an Empty Cup

Pouring From an Empty Cup

Business ownership is hard! Your friends who don’t own a business do not understand the stress and demand that your business has on you. As an owner, you never stop working. You are in thought mode nearly 24/7 – 7 days a week. When your friends comment that since you are a business owner you can just “write off” that expense, proves they just don’t understand business. They must believe there is some kind of money that magically appears and can just be written off like the expense never happened.

I think about my typical week and how each day builds toward success, and how each day builds into the next. If Tuesday’s requirements don’t go as planned it will impact the work of Wednesday and jeopardize the success of the week. Fortunately, I keep to a schedule and the work gets done weekly, but I took a moment to think about how long I’ve kept this schedule. It’s been almost 10 years. That is nearly 520 weeks of constant demand! No wonder I’m exhausted and sometimes feel like I’m at the end of my rope. How can I pour into myself, my family, or even my friends when my cup is empty?

One might say, just take a vacation! Well, I do that every year. What that looks like is 2 weeks of Hell prior to the vacation and 2 weeks of Hell post-vacation. I claim vacations are necessary but only a temporary fix for an empty cup.  Here are my thoughts and suggestions to begin to fill your cup on a regular basis.

Be involved in something bigger than yourself.

  • As we move into the Spring season, go outside and experience the beauty of creation and take it all in. Walk, exercise, breath, think, and experience the nature we all live in but take for granted.

  • Get involved in your church. If you don’t have one, find one. Serve God and others and see your cup fill weekly.

  •  Join a social club like Rotary or the like. The Rotary motto is “service above self”, so you get to help people alongside others who have the same goal. It’s rewarding and cup-filling!

  • Connect with a good friend and just enjoy each other’s company. I spent the day with a great friend and we shared about work, life, family, goals, and plans. We both walked away filled with inspiration, hope, renewed dreams, and mostly joy.  Do this regularly!


Jeff Whitlow
Lead Coordinator at 1 Million Cups South Bend/Elkhart
Founder and President at Toccoa Coffee Roasters

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