WHY SELF-CARE IS YOUR NUMBER ONE BUSINESS PRIORITY

Are You Risking Burnout By Sacrificing Your Health?

This is a guest post by my friend and self-care coach, Mel Noakes. The former Head of Experiential Marketing for Sony Digital, Mel specialises in helping women to balance professional success with personal health and happiness. Find out more about Mel here. You can follow Mel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Life as an entrepreneur is busy, noisy and can be exhausting too.  There are so many things vying for your attention, new skills to learn, marketing to do, clients to serve, emails to respond to and sometimes you can inadvertently forget how important your own well-being is.

Why Committing To Self-care Should Be Your Number One Business Priority

And here’s the thing, It’s so easily done because the external noise is so loud, so pressing. It demands your attention.  You think that growing the business is your number 1 most important priority and so you sideline yourself, sacrifice your own self-care, to focus on the important business of running a business.

As an entrepreneur running your business is your number 1 priority right?  Wrong!

Don’t forget that YOU matter.  If you ignore that and what truly nourishes you it’s little wonder you’re so tired and demotivated all the time.  Because when you ARE your business, you can’t afford to let yourself go. You have to give your brain and your body the resources they need to support you in your business, even when you feel there just isn’t enough time.

So next time you think you can save the world without thinking about yourself remember you need to put your life mask on first.

1. Define Your Version Of Success

Success.  Is there another word in the entrepreneurs dictionary that could evoke such emotion and mixed response? No doubt you’ll have seen hundreds of “6 figure business” / “overnight success”, “How I went from pauper to millionaire in just 1 easy step” style stories.  But eth reality is, there is no one size fits all.  Success is often much like the fisherman fable – already accessible.

So what is it that you want your business to do for you?  Who do you want to serve?  What freedom do you want it to provide?  How do you want it to make you feel?  What kind of life do you want that to enable?  What do you want to be doing with your time?

Define that and then it’s easier to manage your time and stay focused.

I teach my clients to manage their diaries in a simple way to tell if they’re staying aligned to their “success” criteria. I ask them to define up to 5 key “success” indicators across their life – so maybe spending time with friends and family, personal growth, financial independence – and I ask them to assign a colour to each area.  In their diary they simply highlight each appointment / task with that colour.  At the end of each week look back and review – were you on track?  Were any areas neglected that need to be elevated?

2. Rest, Break And Renew

We recharge almost every machine we own but refuse to recharge ourselves.  I have heard many entrepreneurs and freelancers run the story “any hour not billed is a wasted hour” and they take this to the extreme.  If you don’t recharge your batteries how long can you really run for?  Even Duracell batteries run out.

  • Schedule breaks in your day which could be stopping for lunch and eating away from your desk. Having a cut-off point in the evening where you power down your tech and yourself.  This will allow you to be more productive and focused for the hours you do work.
  • Take regular holidays. Holidays give you space to think, to reconnect to your loved ones – and it’s actually better for you and your business.  It doesn’t need to be a trip to the Maldives (although that would be lovely!) it can be as simple as switching off your phone and going on a walk near where you live.  Taking a trip to a local beach or city near you and spending a night or two there – switching off allows you to switch back on with more energy and clarity!
  • Build in time for exercise and daylight. Why do I say that?  Sitting behind your computer at your desk all day is bad for your health.  When you work for yourself you’re even more passionate, more committed and more connected to the outcomes and so can work far longer hours than expected.    Go outside and get some air and sunlight and make sure you get your heart pumping at least 3 times a week.
  • Sleep – no brainer right? But sleeplessness has become some crazy badge of honour.  Yes you have got time to sleep, in fact we all do.  I get you’re busy but you simply can’t function at the level you need to without it.  Get your duvet ready!
CLICK HERE to start planning your 2017 budget and map out your financial plan for the year ahead.

3. Hydrate

Another obvious one and yet so many of us are chronically dehydrated. Without a water cooler to chat over many entrepreneurs fail to stay hydrated.  Your brain is made up of 75% water and so it makes sense that failing to keep yourself hydrated results in decreased physical and mental capacity.

Buy a beautiful water bottle or glass for your desk and make sure you fill it up with the amount of water you need for the day.  Remember, if you drink caffeine or work out you might need more than just 8 glasses (2 litres) a day.

4. Get Your Shopping Delivered (No Really!)

We live in a hyper connected, mobile, always on world.  Yet often I see time poor clients who are too busy to sleep apparently spend hours in the supermarket.  Outsource things that can make your life easier, being a martyr won’t make your business any more successful or you any happier.  Getting your shopping delivered saves you time, means you have wholesome good food to eat and means you don’t have to worry about long queues in the supermarket.

5. Ask For Help 

Thinking you have to do it all on your own to prove a point to yourself, to your family or friends is counter-productive.  Learning when and who to ask for help is one of the best things an entrepreneur can do.

Battling with yourself and a task that you simply don’t have the skills or knowledge to do can dent your confidence and morale.  Yes, there will be times when you can’t afford to out- source things, but usually within your network, there will be someone that could either help directly or offer some advice and support.

Struggling silently is a recipe for disaster, puts a huge amount of stress on you and your body and means it takes longer for you to move forward.

6. Celebrate The Wins 

The journey of being an entrepreneur can only be described as a roller coaster.  There are highs and lows, twists and turns but it’s also exhilarating and exciting.

Taking time out to celebrate the wins, no matter how big or small, keeps you motivated and committed.  This also helps you to see how far you’ve come rather than always focusing on what’s next.  A simple gratitude or success journal is a great resource to have by your side to track the journey and in years to come will be a testament to your success.

7. And How Should You Celebrate?  

Make a list of 50 things you love having or doing. At least once a week treat yourself to one of those things. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it should be something that lifts your spirit and makes you feel good.

Committing to your self-care is the best investment you can make to your business and to your life.  Which of these practices will you take forward from today?

CLICK HERE to start planning your 2017 budget and map out your financial plan for the year ahead.

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Questions: Have you ever found yourself at risk of burn out? What are your favourite self-care tips?

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I’m Denyse Whillier, a London based business coach and consultant. I guide entrepreneurs from across the globe to achieve profitable, scaleable growth and create businesses that are Built To Succeed™. Built To Succeed™ is my proven success system, developed during my 8 years in the trenches as a CEO, 25 years’ experience at senior leadership and managerial level and training at Cranfield School of Management, the UK’s leading business school. It’s this background that sets me apart and helps my clients to get BIG results.

I’d love to start a conversation. Simply use this link to arrange an informal Skype coffee chat. There’s no hard sell. Just solid advice and a straightforward, honest assessment of whether 1:1 business coaching (or business consultancy) would be a good fit for your business, the results you can expect and how to get started.

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