Running a small business is a lot of work. Since you are typically the only person running the show, or have a few amount of people, it means wearing a lot of different hats, all the time. Plus, it's work you love, so it's easy to want to work on it ALL THE TIME. You have to be careful to not use all that gusto up in a short time and inevitably burnout. I have a really hard time with this. really. So, I've had to work hard at making sure I balance my work with my need for rest. I certainly do not claim to be an expert on this, as I'm still learning, but here's a few things I've found helpful:
I don't know who ever said you shouldn't mix business and pleasure, but I do. And it's good. I find it to be quite relaxing. Since I never really 'leave' work, I could potentially work all the time. One of my most favourite activities is watching shows. We don't have cable, so there's a few shows i have on dvd. So, since I watch the shows over and over again (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars), and know the plotlines of each episode, it allows me to sit on my bed and get work done at the same time. I often have an arrangement of snacks and a hot drink. This way I feel very relaxed and productive. Business + Pleasure!
This may seem like a no-brainer, but remember that part about loving what you do, plus being your own boss? Well, this means that you can find yourself always working, without giving yourself some intentional downtime. This is different from relaxing while still doing some work; this is about doing something unrelated, and just for you. I try to have one day of this per week, but it doesn't always work out that way. Sunday is often a work day because that's when a lot of buying trips happen. Mondays, even though we are closed, is a chance for me to do things in the shop while no customers are there. So you see, it can be hard to find a whole day a week to dedicate to time off. If this is too challenging a task, I encourage you to plan a few days a month. Plan a daytrip, a trip to see friends, or a day of watching movies (without your work infront of you:) I often like to have these days away from the house as there can be too much temptation to work at home.
Find a business campanion. I simply cannot imagine doing this job alone, without the support of my mom (and family). Being able to have someone to bounce ideas off, discuss concerns, and talk about goals is so important. Plus, you'll feel less alone in your dream. Your business campanion can come in many forms: a business partner, another person in business that you can talk to, or a best friend or partner that can offer up feedback. Whatever form your business campanion takes, it's important to have one!!
These are just some of the things i try ('try' being the operative word). I hope it helps. Just remember friends: day-by-day :)