Summer is officially here. With nearly half of 2021 behind us, and with most industries slowing down in July and August, now might just be the perfect time for some entrepreneurial reflection.
We spend a lot of time talking to business leaders about what it takes to grow your company. And that work isn’t for the faint of heart—even with a strong business operating system to support you and make things easier.
But at the end of the day, you are not your business. You’re a person, a physical, mental, emotional, social, and even spiritual being. Hobbies. Activities. Meeting up with friends. Remember that pre-pandemic life you led?
It’s time to get back to the business of being you.
If you want to be a happier, smarter, more productive person—at work and everywhere else—then you’ve got to prioritize taking care of yourself.
I’ll be honest that I need this advice as much as any other entrepreneur. Like many of you, some things on this list come more easily than others. We are learning, growing, and encouraging each other together.
Basic Self-Care for Entrepreneurs
Sleep. Getting enough sleep affects everything from concentration and focus to mental health and even longevity. Basic sleep hygiene—and letting go of lack of sleep as a status symbol—is one of the most important choices you can make to support your health.
Water. You already know that you need plenty of H2O to survive. Although back-to-back Zoom meetings may be tough on the overly hydrated, it’s worth it to be physically and mentally sharp. Drinking enough water can even out your mood, reduce anxiety, improve concentration, and boost happiness.
Meditation. When you don’t have time for meditation, it’s a sure sign that you need to meditate. This practice has become so user-friendly that there’s really no excuse not to sit for at least a few minutes each day. Download an app like Headspace or Calm, tee up a 5-minute guided meditation, and make it part of your morning routine.
Exercise. Frankly, exercise is what keeps me sane. When you’re working aggressively, you’ve got to have an outlet to reduce stress and blow off steam. Whether it’s yoga or running or weightlifting, find some way to move your body and relax your mind. (Incidentally, you’ll probably get some of your best ideas during your sweat sessions!)
Breaks to think about the business. Make time to routinely step back and think about your business in a creative, unstructured way (strategic planning sessions are awesome, but that’s not really what I’m talking about here). Sometimes you need to let your mind wander in order to break out of your habitual thought patterns and identify new possibilities.
Breaks where you DON’T think about the business. Remember vacations? Make sure you start taking them again! Trips, vacations, rest, breaks: whatever you want to call it, that downtime where you are occupied by something other than work has huge benefits. Increases in productivity, mental motivation, concentration, and even peak performance are all linked to taking time off and getting away from your usual activities.
Yes, you’ve likely heard all of these tips before.
But keep in mind that knowing what to do and actually doing it are very much not the same thing. Today may be the day you needed that nudge to get back to the gym, get to bed a half hour earlier, or book your next vacation.
My hope is that you’re motivated to take care of yourself simply because you want to be a happier, healthier, human being. Will doing that also make your company more likely to succeed? It probably will.
And that’s the beauty of it: taking care of yourself isn’t actually a sacrifice or a tradeoff. It’s a win-win situation that benefits both you and your business.
Looking for help getting back to the business of being you? Contact us to see if our consultants or resource network can support you.