One thing I learned the hard way is… Becoming an Entrepreneur is a TOUGH job! To say that most entrepreneurs work their tails off is definitely an understatement.
When I was in “The corporate world” I caught myself complaining about my 9-5 hours, little did I know that becoming an entrepreneur was a 24/7 occupation.
Serving clients on the East Coast at 2am? Sure why not!
New team member Skype call during dinner? Ummm, I guess so?!?
You see, having your own business is a never ending job, especially if you want to be successful. Unfortunately, it’s VERY easy to forget to take care of your health in between meetings, phone calls, masterminds and team training.
Don’t get me wrong, working for yourself is AMAZING however it can be a tough transition. As a business owner, one thing that I remind myself of DAILY is the old Airplane safety speech:
The reason I remind myself of this daily is because, if I myself am not in the best shape I can be (mentally AND physically) how can I be able to properly serve others?
The answer is… I CAN’T!
Don’t get me wrong, I might be able to fake it for a while but in the long run, I will cause more damage than good.
DON’T YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR STAFF OR TEAM RUNNING ON ALL CYLINDERS?
Well, trust me when I say, the speed of the leader is the speed of the pack! If YOU yourself are taking steps towards living a healthy life, the culture becomes infectious to your team!
You see, I haven’t always been healthy… the words “routine”, “exercise” and “meditation” might as well have been Chinese… I simply could not understand it.
I was 80 pounds overweight, depressed and simply LOST! I had just begun to work for myself and was clearly in over my head.
Waking up late (because I didn’t have a boss to tell me otherwise) stopping for a quadruple latte, grabbing a fatty bagel with cream cheese, rushing to my office only to arrive overwhelmed and under motivated.
As my days went on, I was stressed out!
I was ordering greasy takeout and eating at my desk day after day. As my days ended I went home EXHAUSTED, had a glass or two of wine and literally fell into bed.
What kind of life is THAT?
Unfortunately, It took a trip to my Dr. to get me to open my eyes and realize that I needed a serious change if I were EVER to have a successful business and a healthy happy life.
Carrying 80 extra pounds not only had me in the dumps mentally, it was also a horrible example for those working for me. I knew I had to make changes, and I needed to make them FAST!
I suffered for years, but you don’t have to!
Here are 6 tips that will help YOU get the ball rolling to a Happy, Healthy, YOU!
1: CREATE A DAILY ROUTINE:
It is often said that it takes 21 days to create a new habit so don’t get frustrated if this new routine takes some time to get used to, especially if you have been operating the same way for your entire “entrepreneurial experience”.
The most important part of creating a new routine is realizing from the beginning that you are going to have “off days”.
You will experience days that you where you feel rushed, stressed or simply “off” and guess what? That’s OK!
Remember, baby steps are better than no steps at all! If you fall off one day, DON’T GIVE UP!
Simply hit the “reset” button and give it another go.
I understand that as an Entrepreneur that no two days are EVER the same yet giving your best effort to have a clear planned out routine for your day will help to alleviate stress, create healthy patterns and streamline your daily process once you truly get the hang of it.
WHAT DOES A DAILY ROUTINE ENTAIL?
Planning time out for YOU while also managing to be productive.
Here is a great example that you can tailor to your own personal business and time availability:
For myself, I set a list of things that were both personal and professional that I wanted to work on, my list was LONG and I realized that it would take longer than 21 days to get on the right track but I was willing to give it a try.
A few things on my list:
- Get up 1 hour earlier (Or… get up 1/2 hour earlier and go to bed 1/2 hour later)
- Work out min. 5x/week (1 hour workout, even if it has to be split up to ½ hour morning and ½ hour evening)
- Five Minute Meditation daily (this is done in the morning before work so intentions can be set for the day)
- Make my bed every day
- Min 4 hours/day, 5 days/week solid, focused work
- Read every day- personal growth and/or educational book (1/2 hour reading per day or audio program)
- No junk food, no fatty food, no candy, no beer, no drugs. Coffee/tea OK
- 1 Salad per day
- 1 Protein Shake per day
- Prep food for the week every Sunday
- Weekly Date Night
Those are just a few examples, and remember those are MY examples.
What I encourage you to do is find 3-4 new habits that you feel will be a positive influence to your life.
Everyone’s list will be different, just take a few minutes to find items that work for YOU. And TRUST ME, these items will change once you start using them daily, and that is a GOOD sign!
Oh and if you are wondering, “what in the world does making your bed have to do with anything?” Let me explain.
Making your bed takes approximately 2-3 minutes in the morning but can create a HUGE change in your day.
You see, days as a business owner can be LONG and tiring but nothing feels better mentally and physically than getting into a nice clean and organized bed! I don’t know about you but after a long day, coming home to a messy room and bed creates anxiety and sense of not being organized. Who wants to come home to that? Not me!
Try it, you will thank me later.
2. PLAN AHEAD:
This is something that saves me day after day! I have to admit, I am guilty of using “I didn’t have time” as an excuse to stop by the local Wendy’s and grab a burger while in between meetings.
Let’s call a spade a spade here… Hitting up the vending machine is, well…EASY! But trust me, making this a habit day after day ADDS UP!
By planning out your week ahead of time, you save yourself from making bad decisions on the fly. Here are a few things to help you get the ideas rolling.
- Have healthy snacks on hand– Purchase healthy snacks such as unsalted almonds, trail mix, Organic snacks or fruit are excellent options
- Have water handy– I have a water bottle that sits on my desk at ALL times that I am sitting there. Not only is water essential to a healthy lifestyle but it also helps to curb those unnecessary cravings that come during the day. Water aids in healthy hair, skin and overall energy.
- Prep meals ahead of time– I spend about an hour on my Sunday evenings prepping my meals for the week, proportioning my meals into protein, veggies, and snacks.This will take some time to get used to but it is a LIFESAVER! Having a prepackaged and proportioned meal waiting for you in your office fridge (or kitchen if you work from home) helps you to continue your workflow without having to stress over when and where to get a meal for the day. One thing that I am guilty of is eating lunch at my desk… if at all possible DO NOT DO THIS!Eat in another room, outdoors etc.
3. CREATE A POSITIVE WORKSPACE:
Surrounding yourself with a positive workspace is essential to staying healthy. If you are going to spend numerous hours in the same spot, why not make sure that spot is somewhere that evokes happy/positive feelings.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Miniature electric waterfall for your desk– These provide a calm sound which emulates nature and helps to calm the mind
- Add a live plant to your office– Live plants are known to increase air quality, reduce stress and help to create additional sound barriers in small spaces.
- Post positive affirmations and quotes throughout your office– Whether you chose post-it notes or purchased prints, being surrounded by positive words induces positive feelings and can also increase productivity
- Listen to personal development audio or soft upbeat music– Listening to upbeat and positive noise in the background while you work will work wonders for your subconscious mind! (refrain from talk radio and news, these tend to be negative)
4. MAKE TIME FOR EXERCISE:
- Schedule time to work out at some point during the day– Don’t worry, it’s OK to take baby steps. The reason that a lot of people fail when it comes to creating a new exercise routine is that they try to do too much when first starting out. You wouldn’t sign up for a marathon without proper training first would you? The answer is NOStart off slow by taking a 15-minute walk during your lunch break, after you feel comfortable with that, bump the time up to half hour of exercise in the morning before work or after work, perhaps when the kids are home from school… make it a family affair!
- Workout FROM your desk– Don’t get me wrong, some days are simply too hectic to leave the office, a workout seems nearly impossible! If you simply CAN NOT currently find the time to leave your desk, my suggestion is to workout IN your office! There are several isometric exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own desk! Check out this cool list that I use http://greatist.com/fitness/deskercise-33-ways-exercise-work
- If you can’t leave your office… at least leave your desk– Every time you have a phone call, take that call standing up, and walk around to get your circulation going! Another option is a stand-up desk, at first, I thought that these were simply a fad but once reading about all of the amazing benefits, it is something that I have chosen to purchase for myself. Stand up desks also help with better posture, circulation form body movement and let’s face it… you are always “ready for action” if you are up and on your feet!
5: GET SLEEP:
I have to be honest, sleep and I are not exactly on the best of terms since I made the decision to work for myself. I had always dreamt of having a team all over the world and when it actually happened, I had NO idea what I was in for. I hear people say all the time that “sleep is for the broke” and “ I can sleep when I am dead” That might be true, however, let me tell you a few other things about sleep.
Here are a few tips on how to get better sleep, whether it be 4 hours per day or 8 hours:
- Avoid alcohol prior to bed– Although a nightcap with coworkers might seem like a good idea, alcohol-induced sleep does not truly allow REM sleep so you are more likely to wake up feeling equally tired as when you went to sleep, not to mention dehydrated.
- Silence your electronics– This has always been a hard step for me. For many years, I was always the person with my cell phone under my pillow each night. What I did not realize is that every buzz, every beep every new email, text or phone call was interrupting my sleep whether I realized it or not.
- Try to go to bed at the same time and set alarm in the morning– I know a lot of people will say, “Tar’Lese, I work for myself! I don’t NEED an alarm clock” I understand this, however, this goes back to step #1 which is creating a daily routine. Trust me, once your body gets used to the changes, you will ask yourself why you didn’t start sooner.
- Spend time meditating before bed– This was hard for me in the beginning, I simply could not get my mind to “BE QUIET”. Regardless of what the definition of “meditation” is to you, the goal is to quiet your mind and be present in your current situation. Practice breathing deeply, visualizing positive and peaceful thoughts, use sound therapy CD’s to mimic nature…whatever will calm and quiet your mind.
6: SLOW DOWN AND TAKE A BREAK:
Don’t forget to take time for YOU!! I know that many of us feel that if we are not giving 100% to our business 24/7 that it will somehow fall apart, although it might FEEL that way, a few minutes away from work can actually be GOOD for you.
- Learn to delegate activities– Delegate activities to others instead of taking everything on yourself. Not only will this build morale in your workplace, it will also allow you to focus on other tasks. I have always had a hard time “letting go of power” yet once I realized that there are simple tasks that others can do faster and better than myself, my life got a LOT easier.
- Take a break– Remember, it’s OK to shut the phone off every once and a while, no one is going to die if you take five minutes outside to grab a breath of fresh air.
- Take time to show gratitude– Throughout the day, I take several “breaks” to take a few quick minutes to write down things that I am grateful for. I call those that I am appreciative of, shoot a text to someone to let them know that they are doing a good job. Not only does this make ME feel amazing but I am also able to share happiness and joy with others
Remember, the road of entrepreneurship is about balance, the Ying and yang, the good and the bad. It is important to make sure that you’re not only investing your time into making money and booming business.
Invest time and energy into your wellness, and YOURSELF.
Once YOU are feeling energetic and healthy, you would be surprised at how easily other aspects seem to simply fall into place. The money will flow easily and effortlessly!
Best of luck, it’s time for me to take a walk outside and grab some fresh air, I have a BUSY day ahead of me.
Thank you to Craig Clemens and Mike Goldberg for introducing me to the 27 Days Of Excellence Challenge which introduced me to many of these amazing tips above, you have changed my life forever.