Being a business owner is awesome, right?
The flexibility. The fact we answer only to ourselves. The satisfaction that comes from all the little wins we amass over the course of a day or week.
Being a business owner is also hard.
Everything is down to us and we need to be across a whole lot of ‘stuff’ to ensure our business is a success. Yet, a lot of us are making our business lives harder than they need to be. (That’s me, speaking from 11 years’ personal experience here. Subtext: Don’t be me!)
What are some little things we can all do right this second to make business life just that little bit easier? I reckon these three are good places to start:
1. Get better sleep
When the going gets tough, sleep tends to be the very first thing we sacrifice. Which is kind of crazy when you think about it. Sleep is essential for our bodies to regenerate and our brains to function optimally. Which makes sacrificing sleep to get more work done the falsest of economies.
We also need to look at the quality of sleep we’re getting given anxious minds don’t make for restful slumber.
What helps reduce anxiety? Exercise, meditation and mindfulness. All these things help quieten a racing brain and contrary to popular belief, none of them require huge amounts of time.
- Exercise could be as simple as walking for five minutes around the block 3-4 times a day.
- Meditation can take the form of breathing in for four seconds, holding that breath for four seconds, then breathing out for four seconds.
- Mindfulness is simply the art of taking a moment to ‘notice’ something. Notice the colour of the sky on a rainy day. Notice the smell of your coffee before you take a sip. Notice the way your child’s face lights up when you walk in the door.
All these small periods of time in the day can add up to something big from a ‘managing anxiety’ point of view, and help ensure the sleep you get at night is deep and restorative.
2. Change how you think about problems
A few years ago I came across this saying and it totally changed the way I approached business challenges:
“The same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg.”
Basically, it’s saying everything comes down to what you’re made of, your strength of character, not your circumstances.
Once I realised this, I stopped feeling aggrieved when it seemed like the universe was just dropping one thing after another on my head and got busy showing I had strength of character by:
- Controlling the controllables.
- Rolling with the things I had no control over.
- Focussing on dealing with the ‘now’ rather than yearning for that moment in the future when life would be ‘easier’.
3. Remember opportunities are like buses
The more lost or pressured I’ve felt in my business, the more I would go looking for the ‘answer’. You know what I’m talking about. That ‘one thing’ that, if we could just identify it, would make all the difference to our business operations. Like magic!
And nothing resembles a ‘one thing’ quite like an ‘opportunity’. An opportunity to speak at a conference. To collaborate with someone you admire. To do a podcast interview.
As one-offs here and there, these opportunities are fine. En masse, they are not only crushing from a time-management point of view, they take you away from your core work – generating sales and doing the work in your business.
So remember, opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one around the corner. The more you feel the need to say ‘Yes’ to everything that comes your way, the more likely it is you should be saying ‘No’.