Want a healthy business that you’re happy to work in? You need to take care of yourself from the inside out first.
One of the best things about my job as a copywriter is getting to know the people behind some incredible businesses. In the last month, I had the pleasure of getting to know an amazing lady with a vision to help women love themselves from the inside out.
It’s no secret that I believe the best way to reach our ideal clients is to share our brand’s unique story in a meaningful way. In getting to know Astarea and her vision for Love Yourself Healthy, it has made me realise that the same ‘inside out’ principals apply to running a successful business.
Business is a tough gig
Every morning you show up knowing that you’re responsible for making things work. The success of the business depends on more than just your brilliance as a writer, a designer or coach. You need to know how to articulate your brand, how to find clients, manage finances, manage multiple projects and all while trying to maintain the inspiration and motivation to keep going.
It’s enough to put any sane person off.
You and I both know the business world is staunchly competitive and stressful. If you don’t look after yourself and learn how to manage your fear, your doubt and your guilt about making mistakes, then the chances of crashing and burning are pretty darn high.
The odds are even stacked against you. In the third quarter of 2016, Australia’s credit reporting agency, Dun and Bradstreet, reported an 11% increase in the failure of small businesses. So how do you keep up the momentum and make it work for you?
You determine what your boundaries look like
When you are setting up your business there is a lot of groundwork to do and there is a real danger that you’ll begin living in your business, instead of working in it and living your own life. Astarea has seen the negative effects over and over.
“I was often amazed that whenever I worked with businesses they complained about having no time, no space, always busy and I’d always ask them where the balance was, where was the time to just step back and breathe or pause?”
It’s important to have boundaries in place to give yourself some downtime to refresh and relax. I’ve been freelancing for a little over 6 months now and I must say that when I began, I really didn’t expect how steep the learning curve was going to be.
I know have ambition and motivation in spades. But it wasn’t enough. I was stressed by trying to get so much done. I was working late nights and getting up early with the kids so I was tired. Then I felt guilty because I was cranky. I felt guilty for eating dinner at my desk while I finished my work, while my family sat behind me at the table. I felt chained to my business and even though I love what I do – it was wearing me down.
So with Astarea’s gentle pushing, I’ve determined which tasks I need to complete to grow my business and I’ve scheduled my time to get it done…
But then I got busy, and life outside writing got even crazier and all my plans fell apart.
To have a healthy business you are happy to work in, you need to love yourself first
In researching how to write for Astarea’s business, I signed up for her Love Yourself Healthy Online Challenge. While I explored her business in those six weeks, I realised that often our motivation to be healthy and happy takes root from a belief that we aren’t good enough. So we work hard to make ourselves feel better by torturing our bodies with self-hating exercise. Or we slave away at work, putting in long hours because we feel like we aren’t shaping up like we should be.
And women are the worst. We expect so much from ourselves in every area. If you work too hard and find success in your business, I’d bet you’re beating yourself up for not spending enough time with your family – instead of celebrating your successes.
You can’t achieve the things you need without balance, sure, but Astarea taught me that it goes much deeper than this. She made me realise that loving my business meant loving me first and each time I’d scheduled my time before, work always came first. I always put myself second in the equation.
“Balance is really important I feel. Necessary actually. Otherwise, we just keep going, don’t stop, it gets stressful and when we are stressed nothing gets done. It’s a horrible cycle to be caught in.” Astarea Rae.
The trick is to look inwards
Before you schedule your time you have to be honest with yourself and write down what you need to be happy. Ask yourself:
- How will you get a good night’s sleep?
- Can you work weekends or do you need them (and afternoons) free to be with your kids?
- When can you factor in relaxation/down time?
- When will you exercise?
- Who can help you achieve your goals?
Putting yourself first is always going to yield better results for your business, but cut yourself some slack because I’ve learnt it takes a little while to form these good habits. With a little help from Astarea, you’ll be able to love yourself healthy in no time.
Over to you. How do you achieve balance when working in your business?