Self-Care for an entrepreneur may sound Greek because entrepreneurs are terrible at taking care of themselves. You are struggling with virtually everything especially when starting up. Be it meeting investors, doing pitches, handling finances, marketing, raising funds, logistics, human resources, etc. You literally have no time to take a breather. You have to work round the clock, putting your time and energy, to see your business bloom. Just like me, you understand that for those who keep moving towards their dreams, their dreams are also inching closer towards them. However chiseling your vision as startups at times can take a heavy toll on you, your health, and your business. Your shine will dim, your drive will fizzle out, and eventually, your spirit will be crashed.
If you have ever found yourself attending business pitches late into the night, sleeping in your office because you need to get your reports completed by morning, or only snacked the whole day without having a proper meal, then you know who I am talking about. You sir, yes you! With this article, I will show you how to practice self-care. It happens to many entrepreneurs when we’re so focused on the startup/business that self-care flies right out the window.
What you need to understand as an entrepreneur is that other entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses mastered the importance of self-care. They understood that even if the world was burning, they had to create time for self-care (exercise, meditation, reading, nature walk, etc). Self-care allows your light to shine brightly, or to continue shining in the first place. These six practical steps are a major dose for you to practice self-care, and help you start managing your well-being from the inside out. Practice these actionable tips, and I bet you, you will be happier, healthier, and ready to take care of business.
- Read books/seek knowledge
It’s so true that passion will get you to the peak but it takes a great wealth of knowledge and wisdom to retain you there. With this in mind, it’s necessary to remember that personal development is an ongoing mission and the only way to stay sane is by constantly sharpening your skills and knowledge.
Books such as ‘Care Package’ by Sylvester McNutt III, ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ and ‘The 5 Am Club’ books by Robin Sharma, ‘Shallow End’ by Chris Mureithi and Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Tipping Point’ are good place to start. Knowledge is potential power because when you apply it in your life, you’ll see massive results. Whatever you choose to read, be selective on what will help you achieve your self-care goals.
- Take time off
You’re much like a high performing race car, a well-oiled and sophisticated machine and your mind is the greatest wonder of the universe. Just like race cars make pit stops for quick service, tire change, etc, you too should take some time to exercise, take a mental health day, travel, take nature walks and appreciate the beautiful flora, fauna, and the fluffy clouds, sleep enough and cry if you have to. This time off helps you to focus on yourself, refill your lantern and re- strategize. You’ve probably heard countless times that too much work without play makes you dull, as an entrepreneur it’s advisable to take days off where you don’t make work-related calls or attend work-related meetings. In the ancient world it was called the art of kaizen – constantly improving your body, mind, and soul. Decades later, the art of Kaizen is still applicable and relevant.
- Pamper Yourself
As busy entrepreneurs life can get hectic, days can get crazy, schedules can get tight, and before you know it you’ve forgotten to take a moment for yourself. By pampering yourself, you’ll be making up for all that. Jack Kornfield once said that if your compassion doesn’t include yourself, it’s incomplete. Envision yourself in the Spartan version and show up like that person. You could do this by starting healthy routines such as self-care, self-compassion, and self-awareness. I know you’ll nod in agreement with me that people do business with people they know, like, and trust. When you put yourself first, you become that person.
- Establish healthy boundaries
“Good people, strengthen themselves ceaselessly” – Confucius.
There comes a time in your life that you have to clearly state what and who to allow into your circle, because, if you fail to do so you’ll be allowing any and everything this is a common trait for those with weaker boundaries. When you don’t have control over circumstances they will control you.
Your business partners and the people you work with will respect your boundaries when you enforce them, and respecting their boundaries while at it. Truth is, people who invade your space are not thinking about you or how pushing the limits of your boundaries will affect you. So, don’t let them.
- Delegate roles
Getting the right team as you start your business isn’t an overnight activity. You will meet people who’ll disappoint you, use you for fame, and even milk you dry by stealing from you. All these experiences are meant to make you problem-proof or solution-oriented.
You could outsource a reliable HR professional to get you the right personnel on whatever terms, and you can delegate roles based on their strengths.
- Know your clients
Finally running a business isn’t showbiz. You won’t hype everyone. Know who your clients are and pursue them by marketing your products or services on the magazines and newspapers they read, on the social media platforms where they are. This way you will be sure to penetrate the saturated market place.
Remember, if you lack clients, you will suffer major frustrations. If your clients aren’t happy, neither will you. And that is not good for your self-care.