Hi, friends! I’ve got a lovely guest post to share with you today! My friend, Hannah Braime of Becoming Who You Are is sharing how we can take care of our business’ most important asset. If this hits home for you, be sure to check out her upcoming course, From Coping to Thriving, which starts on September 15th. I think you’ll love it!
What is your business’ most important asset?
If you’re anything like me when I first started carving out my tiny corner of the entrepreneurial world, you might be thinking about your website, your products, your mailing list, your social media accounts, or, if you do most of your work online, your laptop.
These are important assets, but in the scramble to build up a business, start earning money, and create something sustainable, you risk focusing on these things at the expense of the most important asset of them all:
How long will your business survive without you? Chances are that if you’re just starting out, the answer is “not very,” which is why it’s doubly important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself during this transitional phase.
As we’re starting out, we tend to give our all to our business. Late night working sessions feel exciting. We’re getting things done! Being productive! The lack of quality leisure time at the weekend doesn’t matter. All we can think of right now is our business baby.
If you’ve ever been on an airplane, you’ll have heard the clear instructions during the safety briefing: put on your own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs.
When it comes to business, however, we do the opposite. We know that it’s going to take hard work to make our vision a reality, so we pour our time and energy into our new creation, not realising that our own oxygen levels are dropping until it’s too late.
We get burned out. We get sick, sometimes really sick. We develop that low-grade depression and anxiety that pervades every aspect of our lives. Ultimately, we find ourselves on the fast track to giving up.
I know this, because I’ve been there. When I started out with Becoming Who You Are, I bought into the glorification of “busy”, and I paid the price personally and professionally. Contrary to popular belief, I found that when I started focusing on taking care of myself, my business started improving too. My creativity grew deeper, my determination grew stronger, and I finally had enough emotional and physical energy to deal with the ups and downs of entrepreneurial life.
Here are four ways to take care of your business’ no. 1 asset:
1. Focus on the basics first
Our sleeping and eating habits are some of the first things to get disrupted when we have a lot going on, but these are the two most important things to pay attention to. Late nights won’t get your business built any faster, and they come with a host of health warnings and long-term issues.
Equally, relying on “quick-fix” sugar and caffeine hits to get you through the day isn’t going to do your body or your business any favours in the long-term. A thriving body is a thriving business; when you’re well-rested and well-fueled, you’ll enjoyed greater focus, make better decisions, and enjoy the entrepreneurial experience a lot more.
2. Get clear on your non-negotiables
We all have our own list of “non-negotiables”. These are the habits that make life work; when we do these things each day, we feel like the best version of ourselves. Everybody has their own brand of non-negotiables and yours might include exercising, meditation, going outside, taking a walk, connecting with family and friends, creative time, and much more.
Make a list of the non-business activities that leave you feeling inspired, uplifted and energised.
Then, schedule them into your day. Remember that these activities are just as important as your business activities, as when you make time for your non-negotiables, you’ll be in a much better frame of mind to work effectively.
3. Develop clear boundaries around life and work
One of the biggest issues that entrepreneurs face is where to draw the line between life and work.
This is especially hard when we love what we do and feel excited to see it grow. Having down time away from the computer is important for our well-being, however, and the only way we’re going to get that is by setting boundaries for ourselves.
I still struggle with this at times and find it easy to slip into a “When I have finished X project, then I’ll be more structured about my work day” mindset. The “If…when…” mentality is a slippery slope that offers glimpses of hope and change in the future but never allows those glimpses to become a reality. Start developing boundaries early in your business and make them a habit.
4. Get support
Starting out as an entrepreneur or freelancer can be an exciting time, and it can also be very lonely.
When we look at our business role models, we tend to assume that they’ve done everything themselves when the truth is that they’ve had support from coaches, mentors and teams for years. Your business will grow much faster, and you’ll feel much happier in the process, if you can form a supportive community around you.
This might be in the form of a mastermind with fellow entrepreneurs, a group coaching programme, or individual support from a mentor or coach. The kind of support you create isn’t as important as having some kind of support network in the first place.
By following these suggestions in my own life, I’ve managed to create a business and life that feels exciting, fulfilling, and aligned with what’s important to me. Shifting your relationship to your business and life might feel challenging at first, but if you apply one of these points at a time, you’ll be in the best position to share your gifts with the world and have an awesome time doing it.
How do you take care of yourself while creating a thriving business?