As you know, I'm a super cheerleader for people who want to make their healthy biz dreams come true, and do all I can to help make that happen – but I caution you that it could totally ruin your health. Having been in business for myself since 2008, I have learned this firsthand. I bite off more than I can chew on the regular. Though I would never work through the night, I have had countless sleepless nights due to work.
I went into all of this wanting to be a nutritionist. I wanted to teach people how to cook and inspire a passion, love and joy for it. But I couldn't do that on the scale I was driven to without also becoming something else. I also became a business woman. Alongside that, I became a course producer, a video editor, a photographer, a writer and author, a manager, a marketing director, a CEO, and an HR department. I've learned how to hire people, and unfortunately, also had to learn how to fire people. I've also learned how to run payroll, locate discrepancies in monthly bookkeeping, analyze opportunity costs, and truly maximize my time to spend it doing the things that are of greatest value (meaning, stopping busy work and doing more big and deep work).
I have learned how to ask for big things and be okay with not always getting them. I have also learned how to pace my ambition, let things go, and most importantly, recognize that I am not the best woman for every job within my company. I have learned how to ask for and accept help. I have created a whole lot of freedom in my life in the process. I can work from anywhere most of the time. That is awesome. I have also learned that my efforts can directly result in increased income. That's a nice perk, too.
Most importantly, I have learned that all of this also requires very firm boundaries and self-imposed limits. Yes, I can work from anywhere, but even better is being on holidays and not having to work. Can I work from the beach, or the forest or the mountains? You bet I can – however, that means missing out on beach-time, forest-time and mountain-time. Can I work longer hours, evenings and weekends and generate more revenue? Yessireee – and by doing so, I'd be creating a dramatic imbalance in my life, and missing out on the time in between which is what life is all about.
I can do all of the jobs I outlined above, and I have and enjoy them all. That doesn't mean I should do them all and for this reason, I have also learned how to delegate and manage a team. Sometimes I do it really well, sometimes not so well. I am still learning all of it.
Running your own business can be the greatest thing in the whole world. Pardon the brutal honesty here, but the very same things that can make you succeed, can cause you to destroy your health, your personal life, your wellbeing and your truest sense of fulfillment and happiness.
It's true. Pay attention.
Having a business you love, that gives you a sense of purpose and makes you feel like you are making a difference, is a huge contributing factor to total health. The challenge is that too many people allow it do the opposite. Finding that fine line can be the greatest business lesson of all.
Here are some strategies I have employed to help me keep it all in perspective and maintain balance and happiness in both my work life and my home life.
5 Tips to Ensure A Healthy Body and A Healthy Business
1. Set Limits
Dream big. Really, really big. In all things. Then decide what you are willing and not willing to do to make that happen and stick to it. Are you not willing to work past 6:00pm? Don't. Are you determined to take one full weekend off a month? Do it. How about every weekend? Count me in! When working with companies, are you willing to endorse them because their values work with your values? Do it. Are you not willing to endorse a product, despite the moolah because they offend your values? Stick to it. Your reputation, sanity and breathing space depend on it – and so does your health!
2. Take A Break
Make it a priority every day, every week, every month and for a good chunk of time every year to completely disconnect. You must give yourself space to maintain your sanity or none of the joys of rocking a big business, and life dreams, will happen. A proper lunch break also falls into this category. Take time every day to get nourished!
3. Pause For The Wins
It can be easy to get caught up in the go-go-go of it all. Set yourself some manageable milestones along the way. You won't go from 0 to 7-figures, from one sale to a thousand, or even from one customer to a loyal tribe overnight. It takes time, persistence, discipline and the self-motivation to show up every single day and do something to move it all forward. And so we set milestones, benchmarks and goals to hit along the way. When we hit those marks, we have to celebrate. Take a step back and celebrate getting from A-B, B-C and so on. Take a break to celebrate the wins, and then show up again the next day to get on with it.
4. Find Your Inspiration Tribe
These friends don't have to work beside you, or even in the same industry. These friends are other people also rocking out their own life dreams, who understand why you can't be out late on a Saturday night (with a deadline looming), and why you are driven to keep learning, growing, challenging yourself and getting better. Find a tribe of people who inspire you, who share openly and honestly, and will take your support as much as they lend their own. This isn't an accountability group. If you want to make this work, a lot of the accountability is up to you to work out. This is a group that shows you where you can do more, be better, grow and learn. These social interactions are fuel for every cell in your body and are vital to keep you inspired to keep going.
5. Keep Fuelling Your Life
You cannot sacrifice sleep, real food, real fun, fresh air, nature and hydration for your business. Your business will only ever be as healthy and thriving as you are. As you are getting going, your energy level directly affects the energy in your business. You set the tone. If you burn yourself out, there will be no more fuel in the tank to keep the engine of your business humming. When our health suffers, all aspects of our lives suffer. Make your health a habit, tune in and take the breaks, the rests, the trips to the market, you need to have the food, rest and recovery that we need to truly feel well and to thrive.
I have been doing this for nearly twelve years. I have made many, many, many, costly mistakes. I have worked 20 hour days. I have learned to say yes! And mean it. And I had to learn how to say no, and be okay with that too. Running your own business is really flipping hard, and at the same time, but also, for me, the greatest thing in the whole wide world. I wouldn't trade it for anything, but also wouldn't wish it upon anyone who wasn't ready to take on all the adventure and the unknowns that comes with it! With over a decade under my belt, I feel like I am only now finding my groove, finding the balance, sitting with the inspiration and letting projects take the time they need. I think I've gotten better at caring for my business and for my team – but I think it's happened only as I've gotten better at caring for myself.
I can't say I loved every minute, but the bits that I didn't love, I definitely learned from and I am healthier for the whole experience.
What is your best tip for keeping healthy when other stuff seems determined to get in your way?