Self-Care and Entrepreneurship
Last month, I was honored to be invited to Creative at Heart to speak all about self-care for entrepreneurs. It was such a great experience and I was so thrilled to talk with some creative business owners about how their health and wellness is vital for the success of their business.
If you’re a creative business owner, when you read that, did that resonate with you? Well, I’d like to argue that if you own a business, it cannot survive and thrive if you don’t take care of yourself.
As the CEO of your business, you have a duty and responsibility to make your health and wellness a priority. If you want your business to thrive and succeed, you need to be your best self. You don’t want to run yourself into the ground for the sake of the business. That’s not sustainable. And if you run yourself into the ground, your business won’t survive it.
Dr. Stuart Brown --who is the founder of the National Institute of Play--says that “when employees have the opportunity to play, they actually increase their productivity, engagement and morale.”
This is primarily talking about a workplace, but it means the same thing for us.
Think outside the box for what “play” means. It can be listening to music, going for a walk, reading, dancing, working out...etc.
When play is made a priority, people work better. The facts show that.
So, let’s start to think like CEOs. Let’s make better decisions for our businesses.
Have I convinced you to start adding self-care to your business? It should be a PART of your business, not separate from it. As a CEO, you need to make a decision to make space for yourself to play in order for your business to flourish.
An exercise I like to have people do is write down your perfect day. Get specific about what you would eat, what time you would wake up, who you would be with, where you would go, etc.
Once you’ve finished that, look through that and determine what things in that “perfect day” can be distilled down into weekly or daily things that can be added to your routine.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say your perfect day includes sleeping in. Create a “rule” or routine where you can sleep in on Fridays. Or never schedule client meetings earlier than 10am. Newsflash: you’re the business owner, you get to make the rules!
Let’s do one more example.
Let’s say your perfect day included going to a concert. Create an amazing playlist for each day of the work week. This makes a really fun business task (creating the playlists) and then each day you have something to look forward to!
Do you see how you can take something BIG and distill it into something smaller to make it more attainable to do on a daily or weekly basis?
It might seem overwhelming, so I’ve put together some ideas for you and hopefully they will help you add self-care to your life AND business on a daily or weekly basis.
Ways to add self-care to your business:
Have set work hours
Only take on clients that will mesh with your core values
Don’t work at night
Create space during work hours to have fun and be creative
Don’t be afraid to take a day off
Be willing to end work early if you’re fatigued
Learn how to say “no” to things
Keep your workspace clean
Get enough sleep at night
Take the weekend off
Have good music playing when you work
Start your day without work (have a good morning routine)
Turn off notifications on your phone
Make work fun...build a business that gives you life!
Way to add self-care to your life:
The first step is really finding and discovering things that bring you life and give you energy. The list I put together here is what I can think of, but it might not be what jives with your personality type and what gives you life and energy. So, you first need to take time to discover what you actually need in order to rest and reset.
Some ideas that will hopefully help you get the ideas flowing:
Make time for your relationships
Exercise (schedule it!!)
Make home cooked meals
Listen to uplifting music in the morning
Read for pleasure (no business books!)
Schedule vacation and days off
If you’re dating or married, make time for date nights
Play with your kids (if applicable)
Buy flowers for your home or office
Have a fun tradition (Friday night pizza, donuts on Saturday, hiking on Sunday…)
Listen to podcasts when you drive
Go through the Starbucks drive thru before errands
Pay attention to what your body needs, give it rest when needed
The goal here is for you to create a life and routine that GIVES you life, not one that drains you. Obviously life is tiring, work is tiring, but at the end of the day you still want to be smiling. You still want to be excited to go back to work on Monday. You want to feel hopeful and joyful. If your business feels like a burden, you don’t need to quit. Maybe you just need to reevaluate your priorities. Maybe you need to make time for fun and play. Maybe you need to sleep more.
Do yourself a favor and take care of the most valuable asset to your business: YOU.