The Importance of Self Care As An Entrepreneur
We all know that it can be difficult to work for yourself and that stress and burnout are real concerns. As an entrepreneur, you often have to deal with unusual working hours, time pressures, risk of failure constantly looming, irregular money coming in, limited social interaction, employee pay, and keeping a clean, tidy, safe and healthy environment to not only ensure productivity but prevention of dis-ease and illness in the workplace.
It's a lot of responsibility not to mention stress managing a business and the finances of others. If you don't meet payroll your family don't eat, your team don't get paid, and your business don't run properly. This requires you to practice self care, healthy eating, and stress management to prevent burnout, and both mental and emotional stress.
The number of new small business owners and entrepreneurs is rising every day, and prioritizing your self care is an integral part of success as a business owner. Self care is any activity that you do voluntarily which helps you maintain your physical, mental or emotional health. It can help you feel healthy, relaxed and ready to take on your work and responsibilities. Sounds like something we all need, right? But I wonder how many of you are engaging in enough self care to balance out the incredible stress that comes from running your own business especially those of you who travel for work like mobile notary and loan signing agents, commercial cleaners and professional organizers, and nutritionist like myself. We spend 90% of our time serving others, but how much time do we spend ensuring our own health is suitable to perform our services. You are your biggest asset in your company. Don't you deserve the same love, respect, and care taking you show your clients and customers?
I Am A True Scanner!
A scanner is some one with lots of talents and interest who refuse to choose. The late Barbara Sher coined the term Scanner in her book, Refuse To Choose that deals with people who have so many interests they're unable to choose only one she named them Scanner.
Why I am a Scanner and refuse to choose?
Well for starters, I am a entrepreneur that wear a lot of hats. I am a trucker wife, mom to four, I own and manage my home, care for a dog and cat. Nurture and manage a long distance marriage. All while running seven different businesses (if this isn't a scanner I don't know any other way to explain who I am). I am the owner of Spiced Life Conversation art wellness studio and botanica, Sage by spiced life conversation a organization, commercial cleaning, mobile notary and loan signing company, GuttyGirl Ink a publishing and media company, GuttyGirl Lifestyle a licensing company for home decor products, Avon by Nikki a self care, beauty, skincare, and wellness company, and The Light of Day Inc our nonprofit outreach and Ms Nikki Worldwide our parent company that bring structure to all this creativity running out of my scanner consciousness. In our culture, we tend to celebrate the ‘hustle’ and reward those who don’t have the time to sleep and who are too busy building their empire to rest and relax. Strolling social media I too fail for this nonsense perception of life. Until I I relapse in my own binge eating disorder and health issues in 2013- that forced me to stop counseling and take care of my own health due to burnout and neglect. This abandoning your own needs for the hustle is overrated. It's also SO unhealthy and creates an expectation that people simply cannot meet. It results in confusion, burnout, stress, health problems and poor mental health. Self care can help the entrepreneur in many ways. And I'm not saying this because I am a nutritionist, or wellness and leadership coach but because it is the truth.
How Self-Care Helps the Entrepreneur
IT IMPROVES CLARITY AND CREATIVITY.
A calm mind is a clear mind, which allows for more creativity and inspiration to hit. As a scanner I tend to get very frustrated and overwhelmed while trying to multitask, doing a million things at once throws my engird off. Honestly, I'm not in the best mindset to be creative, organized, and successful in my goals. Therefore, I choose to connect with God and my ancestors every morning to stay centered and grounded. Therefore TAG Session are non-negotiable. Tag Sessions means-Time Alone With God!
IT BOOSTS PRODUCTIVITY.
So much research supports the idea that taking breaks and practicing self care actually improves productivity, I agree. Even when I am super busy, 10 minutes away from my computer, phone, in between clients sessions, or loan signing, I choose to practice some breathing, stretches, meditations, or go for a walk. It can do wonders! It's also why I choose to keep cleaning offices. Cleaning offices serves a big purpose for me. One, it helps me stay in shape. Two, its my me time alone when I get to just serve humanity and listen to my music in peace. Music is part of my self care plan as it heals the soul just like art, writing, and nature does. Some music just lifts your vibes and make you feel good.
IT IMPROVES MENTAL HEALTH.
One of the biggest contributions to mental health problems is stress. The psychological, emotional, and physical effects of prolonged and severe stress can be concerning, so taking the time to prioritize your self care is vital. Let's be real, not many of us suddenly have lots of time to indulge in looking after ourselves, so make it a regular part of your routine. I literally had to take a full year off to have difficult conversations, learn about nutrition, and to create a wellness and prevention plan for my health issues and eating disorder relapse. is not going to happen by wishing, hoping, and just thinking about it. Don’t wait around to be inspired — plan for success by having a list of your favorite self care activities on hand. Write your suggestions in your planner, stick a list on the fridge, include them in your weekly routine.
Mountains to Climb Along The Journey
Along your journey of self care you may need to consider taking steps towards emotional healing if you, are like me and tend to bottle up difficult emotions. Grief, sadness, anxiety, depression, addiction, unhealthy obsessions, anger. We tend to hide them in the deep parts of our minds and continue living under the pretense that they are gone. These bottled-up emotions grow bigger over time and start manifesting in our daily thoughts and behaviors. At some point, it feels too overwhelming to handle. That tipping point is a signal showing that we need emotional healing. For some people like me if we miss the signs we tend to create addictions such as escaping with food to avoid dealing with the stress, pain, and difficult emotions we are feeling. Don't do this!
Stop for a second to think about your own life. Are there any things you are doing that are getting in the way of your healing or participating in a self care routine, such as alcohol or drug abuse, being in abusive or unsupportive relationships, self-destructive behaviors such as blaming and shaming your self or others, and not taking good care of yourself? Think about the possible negative consequences of these behaviors, not only how they can effect your life and relationship, but your business's and reputation as a business owner and leader.
I hope that this helped.
"A business can't run if the person running it doesn't have enough energy to continue forward. Take a break and come back stronger."
-Nikki LeToya White, Ph.D