You can’t pour from an empty cup. And you can’t help others be the best version of themselves without being in a state of wellness yourself.
Running your own business is all-consuming and will take up every minute of your day if you let it. For those in service industries, particularly health coaching, it can be incredibly draining. We tend to take on board the troubles of our clients despite all our training to the contrary.
If big companies are developing wellness policies and working changes for their staff, isn’t it time you created some entrepreneur wellness practices to do the same?
Because, ultimately, if the work you do is important, it means you are too!
How do I develop an entrepreneur wellness regime that works for both me and my business?
The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all wellness programme. With so many aspects to wellness, and each equally important, focus on the areas you know you struggle with. I would recommend starting by introducing positive changes incrementally and making them habits one at a time.
#1 Physical Wellness
It’s amazing how a minor improvement in physical fitness and strength can improve endurance in other areas. Even sitting at your desk becomes more bearable when you strengthen your core and eat foods that don’t leave you feeling bloated and sluggish. Your focus improves when you have plenty of sleep and eat the right nutrition.
So if physical wellness is your weak area, look at prioritising the following:
Exercise should be a mix of cardio and strength. Remember to stretch before and after vigorous exercise. Click here for the NHS’s recommendations for gym-free exercises.
If you’re relatively sedentary, particularly in the current climate, start with walking. A pretty location will distract you so that it hardly feels like exercise.
And if the weather is keeping you indoors, pump up the volume and get your groove on. Thirty minutes of crazy dance moves will get your endorphins and blood pumping properly, to help you physically and mentally.
It can be hard to find the time to eat healthily, so try prepping in advance and stocking your fridge. When you need a snack, something that is quick and easy to grab will always win out, so make it easy for ‘busy you’!
Sometimes improving your diet can take just a few minor adjustments that make a huge difference, like swapping a daily sugary latte for a black coffee or green tea.
Fill your home with houseplants that help purify the air by producing oxygen, and also make sure to control your noise exposure, it can exhaust you without even being conscious of it!
Top Tip: Look at multitasking. Listen to a podcast whilst walking that will help you in your business, buy a standing desk or yoga ball and be active whilst working. Physical wellness doesn’t always have to reduce your productivity!
#2 Psychological/Emotional Wellness
Maintaining emotional or psychological wellbeing is a three-step process. Firstly, we have to learn how to be in touch with what we are feeling. Then we need to understand what is causing us to feel that way. Lastly, we need to take steps to influence our emotions and responses positively.
Introspective activities like meditation, yoga, or journaling can help calm the mind. Consciously acknowledging how we are feeling is the first step to seeing patterns to our behaviours. Establish a regular morning or evening routine and don’t allow anything to interrupt it. Even if it means being awake when the rest of the family is asleep, the benefits will override the inconvenience.
Finally, commit to making changes in your life to protect your emotional wellbeing. If a particular part of your work is draining your energy, try to outsource it. Perhaps a particular client is disturbing your peace of mind – refer them to someone more suitable. The energy released will allow you to take on another two clients.
Top Tip: Check out Cheryl Richardson’s book “The Art of Extreme Self-Care” for some fabulous introspection worksheets.
#3 ‘Social’ Wellness
A sure sign that we’re neglecting our wellbeing is when we are placing work before our relationships. Make a list of the people you come into contact with weekly. Divide them into the people you love and who love you versus everyone else. And look at the time spent with the two groups. Are you happy with it?
And is the time you spend with your loved ones quality time? Or are you answering clients’ text while you’re at the dinner table? Time with family and friends should be a non-negotiable.
If you’re feeling stretched too thin between work and home, try some of the following techniques:
- Set boundaries in terms of when you respond to clients. If you don’t respect your private time, they won’t either.
- Schedule in date nights. It’s an oldie but a goodie. But insist you take turns organising.
- Commit to being truly present. Put away your phone. Take advantage of everyday activities like driving the kids to school to make real connections.
- Make physical exercise social too with a regular game of tennis or golf. Or invite a friend to join you on your walks.
- Just say yes, occasionally. If you decline invitations too often, you’ll stop being invited. Make time for friends – treated properly, they’ll outlast your business.
Top Tip: Get a ‘work phone’. It will help you to split your focus and know when it’s work. It will also help create a boundary when you leave your work phone at home you’re truly present with your loved ones.
#4 Financial Wellness
Money can be a constant source of worry when you run a service-based business. Revenue can dry up overnight if you fall ill or if the economy dips. Practice financial self-care by living frugally and saving for the proverbial rainy day.
Ignoring or abdicating your finances is the worst thing you can do as a business owner. As scary as it may be, knowledge is power. Knowing where you stand is the first step to caring for yourself financially.
Track your finances over three months. What comes in, and how does it get spent? From this you can work out a monthly budget, distinguishing between essentials, luxuries, and savings. That way, if your revenue dips, you know what you need to give up.
Top Tip: This is the perfect time to also look at supplementary income opportunities like turning your coaching into a series, or standalone courses that don’t need your input. That way you can start earning with minimal effort. This is the first step to financial freedom.
#5 Professional Wellness
It may seem odd to raise professional development when I’m talking about pulling you away from your 24-hour grindstone. But as professionals, a significant part of our identity is tied to our ability to perform well at our chosen career.
The danger of being too focused on our business is that we forget the joy we find in our profession’s practice. Commit a minimum number of days a year for your professional development. I’m talking in addition to your regular reading or viewing, so you can look at where you are in your career, where you want to be, and how to get there.
This will keep you passionate and motivated, avoiding you from stagnation in your profession which can have a knock-on effect in the other areas of entrepreneur wellness.
Top Tip: Committing to attending a conference in an area you’re passionate about will be something to anticipate. Mixing with fellow professionals can reignite your passion and give you the energy to reinvigorate your practice. Right now, conferences are mostly online. Post-pandemic, choosing an exotic location and mixing it with a holiday after could be just the ticket and break you need. Business trips are also a great tax write-off too.
How to prioritise entrepreneur wellness – 3 tips for success as a health coach:
- Set goals in all aspects of your wellness to keep you focused, and take every part of yourself into account. Don’t set extreme professional goals that are going to forgo every other part of your life. You’ll be burning the candle at both ends and the cost is steep!
- Add wellness into your calendar. Make an appointment for yourself so you can block out the time and stick to it. You are just as important as your clients so you shouldn’t be rushing to find time to look after yourself.
- Be prepared to say no. Sometimes we have to say no, turn down a client, or even be real about parts of our businesses that are more of a hindrance than a help! It’s okay to say no to things that no longer serve you.
Looking after ourselves is a lifelong endeavour, and the sooner we start, the better our lives will be going forward.
Remember, nobody on their deathbed ever wishes they’d worked more. So, in building your health coaching business, make sure you’re not tearing the structure of yourself down in the process.
If you’re needing help finding the time and need to outsource, drop me a message and I’ll see how we can prioritise you and your business, and stay productive at the same time.