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  • Kim Keys, LCPC

Self-care and the Self-employed

Updated: Jan 14, 2020

Attention business owners and entrepreneurs! Self care is no longer a luxury for you! Your life and the success of your company necessitates it!

Let’s start with The Big 3:

Diet: Don’t feel like you have to go overboard or nail that diet you planned to do two years ago. Just focus on feeding your body nutritious food consistently! I know, I know… you wake up and get your coffee and sit down to hammer out those last SEO steps that have been sitting on your task list for a week. Next thing you know you’re having a SUPER productive day, you’ve finished your action plan for that new client, written three blogs and it’s 3pm and you’ve had four espressos and some jelly bellies. NO! Remember, your business needs your brain! Feed it! I've found it helpful to set reminders with an alert that goes off to remind me to eat and move my body. You may also find it helpful to cook in ‘bulk’. Yep, food prep. When I’m on a roll with content I don’t want to stop those creative juices from flowing, so if something is ready that I can just grab and heat up, I’m more likely to do it! Stock up on healthy, easy to grab snacks! Nuts, fruit, and single-snack bags of veggies are a fast and easy way to be sure your body is getting steady nutrition all day.

Exercise: This one is for your brain too. We know that the brain works most efficiently

by alternating hemispheres every 30 minutes. That’s a super scienc-y (i.e., nerdy… sorry… did I mention I’m a complete nerd?!) way to say that stepping away from something is one of the best ways to ensure it’s quality. I've found it helpful to use that time, like when I’m running trails or trying not to fall off the elliptical, to listen to podcasts that help me grow some new entrepreneurial skills! Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income is one of my favorites!

Sleep: I don’t know about you, but I can’t count the number of times I’ve been on a roll and look up and it’s 2am! EEK! Our bodies and brain (assuming you are an average adult over the age of about 26… under 26 you need MORE sleep) need 8 hours of sleep every night to function at their best. That means you need 9 hours of laying-down/lights out time since it takes most of us a good half-hour to enter into any kind of sleep state. Of course, if you’re like most entrepreneurs, I know your brain goes a million miles a minute and it’s hard to shut it off… so you may want to allow an hour or so extra. If you struggle with sleep, check out our blog "4-step panic plan" and read a little about diaphragmatic breathing and using meditation to support sleep.

Another sneaky trick to make sure you are practicing self care is to schedule your self care. In the same way you would schedule a meeting with a prospective client, SCHEDULE your run or your yoga class or your wine time with girlfriends/cigar time with the guys. There is one very important rule to this: YOU CAN'T CANCEL. You can MOVE self care appointments, but you may not cancel.

Obviously, the most challenging aspect of your busy life, as you’re building and running your business, is creating the TIME! I encourage you to find time-saving resources to help you. Apps that speed up social media interaction or spending that money on a phone service to take care of answering and scheduling for you. For me, the solution to this was hiring a biller!

Your time is your most valuable resource as a business owner. Protect it as fiercely as you do your bottom line.

Make your self care a KPI (key performance indicator) and measure it regularly. At the end of each quarter, when I’m going over my expenses and evaluating the KPI of the business, I also check in with my self care patterns.

Be in the moment. It’s easy, when you have so many hats to wear, to forget to be in the moment. When we are successful in this we can give our full attention to each detail and

increase effective management of them. We also know that relationships are the key to a successful business and, as a person whose business IS relationships, I can tell you, one cannot have a quality relationship without being attentive and intentional with each moment and each person.

Reminder, self care is the key to creativity, positivity, and productivity. It is THE most valuable component of your business success. So as 2020 gets rolling, remember to place your physical, mental, and emotional well-being at the top of your priority list and then watch as your SMASH your yearly goals!

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