10 Tips to Increase Your Emotional Fitness as A Small Business Owner
We have ‘fitness’ or ‘capacity’ measurements for many areas of life. Driving, our physical health and scaling tall buildings in a single bound are just a few. Just because you want to start a business, have always dreamed of running a business or have business in your blood from generations past does not mean you are emotionally fit or ‘e’ fit for business.
Unique problem solvers.
Being a successful Small Business owner means having some unique characteristics. Dedication, flexibility, and the ability to see market place opportunities are the lifeblood of success. Small Businesses can adapt to change far better than our bigger counterparts and often with a great deal more creativity. Generally more connected to our customers, big on relationships and prepared for the buck stopping with us, our significant strengths are fueled by passion, dreams and generally a big dash of pure guts. However, we may need more than the above because there is a flip side.
The flip side.
Small Business ownership also carries its own unique set of stressors. Limited or unrealistic budgets, under resourcing, smaller teams and a management burden that can fall outside of the owner’s original love of their craft, are just some of the multiple issues faced. Relying solely on the ‘dream’ will take you so far but too often poor personal planning, naïve expectations and a lack of emotional literacy place owners under extreme emotional pressure.
It can be dangerous out there.
Walking the tightrope of emotional pressure with the turbulent and unpredictable winds of Small Business blowing around us is potentially dangerous stuff. While there is growing awareness of the impacts of mental health in the workplace, there are fewer resources and support mechanisms available to those in the Small Business sector.
Ready or not.
So, are you emotionally fit for business? What is your current state of emotional fitness? The following tips provide an emotional fitness roadmap for beginners and also the more experienced business owner.
Top tips to fit.
Here are 10 tips for staying on top of your ‘e’ fitness as a small business owner:
- Consciously engage with who you are. You are yourself before being a business owner. Your business does not define you, you define it.
- Be as committed to your emotional fitness as you are to filling orders or chasing leads. Daily stress release techniques will help you stay relaxed and productive. Connect often to the big ‘why’ of your business to keep yourself on track and motivated.
- Scheduled in dream time, exercise and social time.
- Create a ‘celebration culture’ by giving the wins more attention than the losses.
- Design a simple stress assessment tool such as a rating out of 10 will signal when you need to take a break. Anything above 7 for more than an hour or so and you need to jolt the circuits by getting support, deep breathing or going for a brief walk. Even ten star jumps at this point can defrag your stressed brain.
- Determine a period of time in which to work and then make sure you switch off. Break often.
- Watch the negative self-talk. Acknowledge it then let it go.
- Determine your fitness to communicate with your team when things are tough. Be aware of your emotional state and keep yourself accountable.
- Connect with support networks and business mentoring services and get professional advice on how to handle stress before you need it.
- Recognise that a week or day rarely represents the true situation of your business. Maintain perspective and don’t sweat the small stuff.
As the leader in your business you set the tone. Designing a culture of emotional fitness will enable energetic and creative renewal, unique solutions and increased adaptability and productivity as your team cares for themselves so they can take better care of business. It will also negate the exhaustion and burnout risks associated with being less resourced. There is life outside of your business, stay anchored to who you are in a way that makes YOU sustainable.
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