As we near the end of the year, I find it's a great time to reflect and take some time for yourself. In my last article, I talked about ways to prepare your business for the new year. It's also important to prepare yourself personally. If you want to grow your business and be successful, it all starts with you.
The idea of self-care isn't a new one, but I find it's worth repeating for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Our lives are filled with pressure--both professionally and personally--and it can be easy to overlook your personal well-being in favor of putting energy into running your business. However, if you're not in a good place (too much on your mind, too much to do) you won't be putting your best effort into your business and are unlikely to succeed. Here are a few ways to focus on yourself:
- Take a moment. We are constantly rushing to get things done, always rushing to reply. Ultimately, we are moving too fast, which can add to the sense of being overwhelmed and can lead to mistakes. Step back and put some thought into what is being asked or what is happening. Only after you've taken the time to consider the scenario should you react. Taking a moment to breathe and think can make a huge difference in your attitude and performance.
- Use helpful tools. There are a wealth of books, online programs and apps that can help support your self-care. An app that I really enjoy is Calm to help with breathing exercises and other techniques that help get you to a better place. Others must agree because it's one of the top apps right now in the iTunes App Store.
- Ask for help. Don't be afraid to involve others in your plans for wellness. Talk to your family, friends, and colleagues. They know you well and might have some great ideas that you haven't considered. Additionally, they can help keep you accountable if you set a specific goal for yourself.
- Find outlets outside your business. It can be tempting to put all your energy into your business. The notion of giving 110 percent is a familiar phrase, but we all have limits and only focusing on your business can lead to burn out. Look for a hobby that is entirely separate from your business. Whether it be exercise, reading a new book, learning to knit: the break from your business can help reset your mind. And when you're done, you can come back reinvigorated.
Taking the time to focus on your well-being in addition to that of your business will help you be mentally, emotionally and even physically ready to handle the demands. For organized people and overachievers, it may be good to schedule this time in your busy schedules, forcing you to take the time for yourself. Try out some of these methods and you will surely feel better and it will help your business thrive.