People say one of the hardest things you can do is run your own business. I’ve been running my own micro business for over 10 years now. Yes, I can agree that is sometimes the case. It also is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever done.
Being self-employed is my choice, as it is yours, and for me making the decision to go alone was one of the best thing I ever did. The burning ambition to be my own boss simply would not go away, even though this was a high-risk move to make.
During the 10 years I have suffered the ups and downs of working as a consultant. The inability to talk to someone about an issue, having someone to check an email before it goes out (when I’m feeling frustrated), and of course the famine and feast cycle that comes with bringing in work. The shocks and disappointments, the feelings of scarcity and the constant learnings are our new norm.
Making consistent improvements to enhance the business is critical toward its success and sustainability. Yet people forget that THEY are the business, and you need to look after yourself. Success is, on the whole, dependent on the strength of a person’s state of mind and their ability turn up for work, come what may. Anyone who is self-employed has to work incredibly hard, constantly learn and adapt and manage challenges on their own.
Over the years I have employed the use of valuable tools that have allowed me to develop a mindset that enables me to look at issues as simple a point in time and something I can work through. Paying attention to when you are feeling low is critical to the long-term health of you and your business.
World Mental health day
The other day I spoke at a safety conference, and aligning with World Mental health day they focused on mental health issues in the workforce. I was pleased that my message was in synergy with the other speakers, we all shared a similar thing, from a different angle. The reality is we are the business, and we matter.
Here are my tips on keeping you and your business thriving:
- Pay attention to what is happening for you. If you feel stressed or overwhelm then take time away from your desk.
- The act of walking allows you to work through issues easier.
- Keep abreast of what is happening around you – Events and changes in the global landscape have an effect on your business. Stay current on trends and issues happening in your industry and local community.
- Have a daily mediation – even if it is stopping to smell the flowers for a couple of minutes.
- Believe in yourself and your ability
- All humans need validation and a sense of belonging. Try to connect with real people in a face to face environment, as well as online.
- Build on your self-esteem so that when you are confronted by unexpected challenges they don’t seem so enormous
- Limit time on social media, so you can get the work done, and also so you stop comparing yourself to others. Others who often are putting up a happier/more successful/more something face then they actually are. The perfect lives shared online by beautiful people can trigger our emotions of fear, vulnerabilities and pain.
- Take a break. Sometimes the best way to improve your business and reignite your passion is to take a holiday. Don’t underestimate the potential value of spending some time away from your work.
- Keep going forward, you will start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Taking care of your own health is pivotal to your business.
Over the years I know the levels of my success have been achieved through understanding myself and what has triggered me, and more importantly, how I can support myself. This awareness of situations that can impact my resilience, knowing how to protect myself from certain experiences and how to manage the aspects of myself that could damage negotiations have helped a great deal. The road however is never at an end, and the journey continues daily.
Paying attention to your own wellbeing and mental health is an asset in your business that is more important than any other. Celebrate your wins, but also understand your losses. Everyone is human. Micro business owners are just the same as everyone else. We have the same needs and desires. Business is tough, but also incredibly rewarding.