Be a little selfish: Take care of yourself to take care of your business
Danna Korn, Co-Founder & CEO, Sonic Boom Wellness
Entrepreneurs are forced to move a mile a minute. We carry an entire business on our shoulders, with a constant stream of employees coming to us for guidance (not to mention feeling responsible for the livelihood of all these employees – on top of wondering if we’re actually going to make it, or end up financially ruined ourselves). It can all become incredibly overwhelming incredibly quickly.
Spare yourself a lot of tears and frustration (in and out of the office) – get healthy and happy for the sake of your business. Here’s how:
- Start your day with success. To preserve our sanity, we must condition ourselves to endure the daily entrepreneurial grind. Instead of letting days snowball into an endless streams of meetings, emails, and phone calls, begin each day on a positive note – exercise, meditate, write down some positive affirmations – and build on that positive momentum throughout the day. Allowing yourself to feel good each morning fosters feelings of accomplishment, motivation, and inspiration to carry into the tough schedule ahead.
And think about it: When has waking up at the last minute, rushing into the office, skipping breakfast, or jumping directly into a slew of unopened emails ever made you feel empowered and in control?
- Take time off to do things you enjoy. Yes, I said it – take time OFF! It may sound counterintuitive to take time off to benefit your business … but it works. My co-founder (and husband) and I enjoy doing many of the same activities – mainly extreme athletic challenges – so seeking out a rush of energy-boosting endorphins has always been a natural escape for us. But making ourselves escape to do the things we love has taken some getting used to (and some convincing from our mentors).
Setting aside time for a four-day weekend (hello, ski season!) is tough as an entrepreneur because you’re acutely aware of everything not getting done while you’re away. But it’s important to have the occasional distraction of a getaway. You’ll be even better rejuvenated after a day of physically exerting … make that exhausting … activity. Nothing takes your mind off work like an adrenaline-pumping adventure. But it doesn’t really matter what you do – take a knitting class, go fishing, have dinner with friends, walk your dog, practice yoga – so long as it calms your stressors and lets your mind escape to non-work-related thoughts for a while. And either way, never let yourself feel guilty for taking a day (or three) off.
- Make your health a priority. Yep – you’re busy. You might think you don’t have time to eat well, so you end up grabbing whatever garbage is most convenient on the run. Or, worse, you “reward” yourself with a giant tub of ice cream (or bag of chips … or mug of tequila) when you finally get home after another long, crazy day. But that convenience-focused diet paired with inactivity (think plopping down on the couch after “working hard” all day, even though you weren’t really that active in a physical sense) results in a sluggish, less-motivated, less-inspired leader for your team. Plan meals ahead of time and try to exercise a few times per week (at least!). The healthier you feel, the more energized and focused you’ll be at work (you’ll sleep better too!).
- Adjust your goals. As business leaders, we think big. But big thinking often means big pressure. Keep dreaming big – just shift to thinking long-term while functioning short-term. Each day, focus on a series of short-term goals that will lead to the bigger ones. Saying, “I want to lose 10 pounds by July” is great – but it doesn’t inspire action. Instead, say, “I will exercise for 15 minutes at least 4 days this week” or, “I will swap out one unhealthy snack for a piece of fruit today.” These are tiny, attainable, sustainable goals that will get you closer to your main goal (losing 10 pounds by July). The same rules apply to your business. Instead of saying, “I want our company to grow b3y X% this year,” you’d say, “Today I will reach out to three potential partners” or, “I’ll attend two networking events this month to increase our visibility.”
Don’t let your busy schedule get in the way of doing what’s best for you. Take care of yourself mentally and physically to keep your business thriving.
[Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
About the Author
Danna Korn is the Co-Founder, CEO, and Chief Energizing Officer of Sonic Boom Wellness in Carlsbad, CA