Businesses are scrambling to pivot down new avenues, employees are raising concerns, and consumers are living on edge. On top of all that, you want to keep your family and friends safe. As a business owner, this is a lot to manage.
During this time, the temptation to shift every minute of your day to focus on these factors can be hard to fight. But you must never neglect the number one investment you have-- yourself. Most of us don't actually acknowledge this fact.
To show up for your community, your team, and those you interact with on a daily basis, you must first show up for yourself. Focus on how you can become the most reliable and valued asset during this time, and those around you will benefit. Here's how.
1. Build up your mental well.
Consider your mental health like any investment. In order for the account to grow, you must make continued deposits, and in order to keep the interest rate high, you need to review your investments periodically.
There has never been a more important time to value others. Social distancing doesn't mean isolation, it means you take time to foster deep connections with others in new ways. Remain engaged with the people directly in your life and continue to meet with mentors or therapists for support. The conversations I've been having with my mentors and coaches recently have never been more valuable and impactful on helping myself and my business. During times of chaos, continue to anchor into the practices and structures that provide you with a sense of peace.
Block time for yourself to reflect on where your mind is focused and what you need to adjust. Give yourself permission to experience the full spectrum of emotions. It would be crazy to remain optimistic all the time, so use this space to be angry, worried, or confused. Then you can move forward more aligned with where you are living.
Dedicate time to fill up your well of mental strength so that others can drink from it.
2. Emphasize your physical health.
If there was ever a reason to recognize the importance of health, it would be now.
You can either fall into the trap of becoming lethargic at home, or you can get intentional and take action. Begin to double down on eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, and, yes, prioritizing exercise. I have always found working out to be a powerful way to not only feel good physically but to keep my spirits high and reduce negative thought patterns. By blocking the same hour every day in my schedule to exercise I've found it becomes a non-negotiable and something I look forward to.
When you value your health, it not only helps you operate from a better mental and physical capacity, it gives you the energy needed to keep making difficult decisions, executing business ideas, and supporting others during times of crisis.
3. Abandon what was.
Don't try and hold on to the old normal. The best thing you can do for yourself is to adjust to today, adapt to this new normal. Instead of looking at this process in a frame of mourning what was, view it as a clean slate to abandon old habits, to remove negative relationships or business goals you weren't aligned with. Establish a framework to improve your life.
You have likely heard the saying from philosopher Epictetus, "It's not what happens to you; it's how you respond to it." This is a chance to view your present circumstances as an opportunity to invest more fully in your dreams and remove any cascading fear or doubt that once surrounded your vision. Revisit your business plan and investigate whether you still connect to your mission statement and where it can be repurposed.
While you do this, take the time to read reviews and comments from your target audience on various platforms. Pay attention to what they are asking for help on, what they are looking to see more of, and where they crave improvements. What they needed yesterday isn't what they want today. With your refreshed mission in mind, find a solution to the problem that you feel drawn to solve. Invest more in what you want and less in what you thought you had to be.
You will either be a liability or an asset to yourself and your business. Take the time to invest in yourself and become the greatest asset you have.