>>>Self-care: the essential building block of your business
Tell me, what’s critical to a solopreneur’s success? Is it a steady cashflow? Is it consistent leads? Is it profit? To me, all of the above are important, but they’re missing the mark.
They’re focused on one thing; growth and making money. They’re not focused on the person behind the bottom line.
The most essential building block to a solopreneur’s business is self-care. When that person isn’t performing optimally, the business is impacted. It’s as simple - and as difficult - as that.
I love food. I love community. I love freshly baked bread. I love fresh air. I love travel. I love road trips. I love kindness. You’ll find more of my loves right here, but you know what I don’t love? The message that entrepreneurs need to be on the hustle 24/7 at the expense of all else as they build their business beyond 6 figures. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt!
In my role as a holistic business coach I share my hard-won wisdom about building a successful, sustainable business and living a life you love. You see, I’ve been in my clients’ shoes building successful
businesses, and I know firsthand the impact of a lack of self-care has on a person.
I come from Australia’s foodie capital, Tasmania. Food has always been my passion, so much so that I made it my career and completed hospitality studies before opening a beautiful food space in Western Australia.
I loved the business of giving people fabulous food as well as access to the region’s best producers. However, I was working 18+ hours a day running my business, and eventually found myself sleeping for a grand total of 3 hours per night.
Yes, my business was wildly successful, in fact, successful beyond my dreams, but clearly a lifestyle like mine, focused solely on work, wasn’t the ideal.
I moved from Perth to Melbourne, where I reentered corporate life. I’d been headhunted to apply my skills, knowledge and expertise to transform a business to reach it’s next level of growth.
Farewell 18 hour days at the restaurant, but hello 12 hour days in a skyscraper in the middle of the city! The balance was clearly still lacking and my health and wellbeing suffered from it.
Something had to change…
I decided to make a return to running my own business so I could have greater control over my workload and my output. I took all my expertise and knowledge about establishing systems and processes to build successful, profitable businesses and I launched my business as business coach.
Almost immediately, I built a terrific client list. Working one-on-one with people requires some fairly decent levels of vibrancy and vitality.
Thanks to my foodie background, I’d always taken care of myself through nutrition and fresh, healthy food, but when my partner Edwin was diagnosed with a brain tumour, I threw myself body and soul into researching the absolute ultimate in healthy living and wellness, beyond simple nutrition.
This is where I first came across the concept of self-care in any depth, and I was immediately fascinated and intrigued by how a self-care system could impact upon not just an individual but a business. I set myself up as a test bunny, measuring my sense of energy and vitality against my business stats.
Here’s what I discovered:
When I included rest in my schedule my outputs accelerated dramatically.
When I put boundaries in my business in terms of start and finish times, my focus and productivity increased.
When I reached for a homemade, nutrient-dense raw treat of chocolate and hazelnuts instead of a muffin, my energy levels pushed me through the (usual) mid-afternoon slump.
When I walked every morning and moved my body regularly throughout the day - actually getting out of my chair and stretching - my whole body experienced less aches and fatigue.
When I put myself to bed at a decent hour (hello, nanna!) I woke feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
When I had clarity about my vision and my mission, my sense of flow was much greater.
Bottom line: the impact on my business of my incorporating self-care was staggering. Across all measures, my business had improved. More importantly, my work was enjoyable yet sustainable.
Using myself as a test case showed that when I didn’t give myself self-care, my focus and energy suffered. Self-care had to be as essential a measurement in my business as all of the other stats I was tracking.
My professional and my personal life transformed with this knowledge - and I couldn’t help but wonder what would have transpired had I had access to a mentor in my early working life that helped me to look beyond the standard performance and business KPIs and measures, but one who helped me holistically; mind, body and soul.
I decided to be that person for other women in business and my business coaching approach shifted to include self-care as the essential building block for a successful business.
A diagnosis like my husband’s certainly has the power to throw things into perspective. For me, living a full, fulfilling and dream-filled life involves work I love as well as a fabulous lifestyle of wonderful food, travel, friends and family.
This means saying no to lots of things, but saying yes to a whole lot more. There is nothing like the feeling that comes from self-nurture, and the flow on across all areas of your life is remarkable.
If you feel like your balance is out, if you know your self-care is lacking and it is impacting upon your business, please reach out. I’d love to help you renergise your business and live a life you love.
To your success…