The concept of self-care, once familiar only to the followers of self-improvement gurus and yoga teachers, is so mainstream today that everyone from your grandmother to your auto mechanic has their own self-care routine.
We've all heard how important things like journaling, meditation, and socializing for our own personal self-care. But what if we took this idea of self-care and applied it to our brands? How can we improve our relationship with our business, and improve them at the same time?
Here are a few ideas.
Assess how much you really love your business.
No matter how passionate you were about your business when you started it, it's easy for your work to become routine over the years.
If this has happened to you and your brand, it's time to re-assess where you stand. Is your business something you still love? Are you still truly committed to it?
If you are, celebrate that success - it can be something as grand as giving out bonuses to the employees who've helped you get to where you are, or something as small as giving yourself a glass of champagne after dinner.
If you find that you're not still in love with your business, that's ok too. It simply means that it's time for change. Maybe you need to revisit your company's mission. Perhaps you need to start guiding the company into a different direction.
At the most extreme, you could decide that it's time to say goodbye. That means finding someone else who will love your business and take it into its next chapter, freeing you to work on your next passion project.
Focus on growing your business with love.
Growing your business with love can be challenging - especially when, thanks to analytics and social media, every failure is immediately in front of you.
However, it won't help your brand if you focus only on the things you're doing poorly. Digging too deeply into the "why" of every single disappointing blog post, or each negative comment online, can end up paralyzing you, making it very hard for you to take any decisive action for your business.
Instead, try to give yourself a balanced picture of your brand. There are things you do well and things that you don't.
By bringing these two things together, not only will you be able to love your brand, instead of endlessly criticize it - you'll also make more informed, more successful choices about what will work for your customers. You'll be looking at the whole picture, instead of just one part.
Love your customers.
While loving your customers might sound a bit different from loving your business, it's really not.
Your customers are the reason your business exists. You had the idea, and you put in the effort to grow it - but without your customers, things would have ended there. Truthfully, loving your customers is an act of self-love for your brand.
What have you done recently to show your customers how much you appreciate them? Are you engaging with them in a meaningful way? Have you sent out coupons "just because"? Offered a sneak peek of your newest product? Made yourself available for a free consultation?
These are just a few options, but you'll know what's right for your customers and what will resonate the most with them.
Push your brand toward higher levels of authenticity.
When you love your business, you want to share it with the world. You want people to know what you stand for, what your values are, and why you do what you do.
As an act of self-care for your brand this year, try pushing your company toward even higher levels of authenticity. Embrace transparency, even on the things that are uncomfortable. Foster your connection to your employees, and work toward helping them feel connected to your business. Take calculated risks and accept what the results show you.
If you can do all this out of a sense of love and appreciation for your brand, you'll be able to move forward with gratitude, confidence, and a reignited passion. For more on leading with care, read my post "How Can Female CEOs Empower Their Female Employees? By Doing These 3 Things."