As a female entrepreneur, you’ve probably done some pretty insane things in the name of “getting the job done”. Whatever you did probably made complete sense in the moment. After all, you did it to build your business, meet a deadline, or avoid letting someone else down, right?
Richard Branson said, “Entrepreneurs work 100 hours a week so they don’t have to work 40 hours for someone else.” But you can’t live like that forever. It’s just not sustainable.
Look, there’s nothing wrong with a little hustle when you need it, but that kind of logic is exactly why you find yourself doing bizarre things like:
- Eating dinner over the sink or in the car as you rush from one client appointment to the next.
- Pulling all-nighters and sacrificing sleep, then only getting dressed if you have a webinar. And then even then, it’s probably business dress on top, PJs on the bottom.
- Going to conferences around the world… where all you do is arrive, attend a conference in a generic hotel, and then fly home.
It’s not cool to treat yourself like that!
Self-care isn’t just about getting manicures and facials. It’s about giving yourself the time and space to live your life as a well rounded person. It’s about treating yourself the way you’d treat your best friend.
Entrepreneurship makes it way too easy to ignore self-care
If most of us are honest, we’ll admit that we weren’t too crash-hot at self-care even before we started our businesses. Let’s face it: our culture and society just doesn’t encourage us women to take real care of themselves.
At least as an employee, though, you get natural, built-in boundaries between “work time” and “not work time”. There often aren’t a lot of other advantages to working for someone else, but at least there’s that! I think your boss would notice if you didn’t shower for days at a time! Once you start working for yourself, though, no-one else is responsible for your boundaries. That makes it so much harder to keep you from working 24/7 because there’s so much to do!
And it often just seems natural to prioritize your business now and figure that you’ll look after yourself later – once you become “successful”. But trust me when I say that I still struggle with this stuff, even though I don’t have to work as hard now as when I first started my business.
Self-care really is a mindset problem rather than a logistical one.
The most common self-care mistakes that female entrepreneurs make
If you watch TV ads, you could be forgiven for thinking that self-care is about which brand of shampoo or air-freshener you buy.
The truth, of course, is that self-care is about looking after yourself at a deep level in a number of areas. Here are some of the fundamental self-care mistakes I regularly see female business owners making.
- Skipping meals, eating way too much junk food, or constantly hitting the caffeine to get you through the day.
- Going short on sleep, working late into the night (if you’re a morning person), or getting up way too early for client calls (if you’re a night owl).
- Ignoring your body’s need to pee because you “just need five more minutes to finish this job”.
- Discounting your inner alarm bells and taking on clients that you really don’t want to work with.
- Regularly standing up your friends or family to meet a business deadline.
- Giving up your hobbies and other non-work interests because you just “don’t have time”.
(Hey, I love my business as much as you do, but I think we can both agree that they really shouldn’t be our only hobbies!)
- Neglecting your meditation, journaling or other spiritual practice.
- Forgetting to take time out to connect with whatever form Spirit/Source takes for you.
- Feeling as though you need to do everything yourself, and refusing to allow the Universe to help.
Key Takeaway: You ARE Your Business
Here’s a fundamental truth: there’s only one resource that your business truly can’t do without, and that’s YOU. If almost anything else in your business breaks down, you can find a way forward. It might be a pain in the butt, but you can do it.
If you drive yourself to the point of adrenal fatigue (or just to the point that you can’t do your best work), it’s a lot harder to bounce back. I’ve met many entrepreneurs who’ve had to abandon their life’s work because the Universe practically forced them to rest with a major health problem or accident. We don’t want that to happen to you!
That’s why deferring your self-care “until you become successful” is the quickest route I know to burn out. And the paradox is that it actually stops you from being successful.
What self-care strategies could you start using TODAY?
Here are a few practical ideas for you to try out:
- Implement “no working” days: For example, I took Mondays, and then Fridays, out of my coaching calendar back when I was doing 1:1 work. That allowed me to batch my coaching sessions and left space for creativity (or even a sneaky movie date) on the other days.
- Get clear on your working hours. I used to get up at 5am to coach international clients. It wasn’t good for me – or them – because I wasn’t at my best. It’s okay to say no if an arrangement doesn’t work for you. Plus, if you work too late at your computer, it can have a knock-on effect on your sleep. Clock off and stay off.
- Implement boundaries with your clients. Tell them when they can reasonably expect a response from you and wean them off instant gratification.
- Invest in some help. Hire your first assistant and actually get them to do things for you! Start with whatever tasks stress you out the most, and give yourself permission to do the work that feels good.
- Lastly, upgrade your lady mafia: surround yourself with women who are kind to themselves and who will inspire you to treat yourself like the Lucky Bee you are.
Need more inspiration?
Perhaps the thing that makes prioritizing self-care so difficult is that you often don’t know what you want.
One of the best ways I know to practice self-care is to start by creating your vision of your ideal life. Once you’re clear on exactly what you want to manifest, you’ll be much more motivated to take the little actions to help you achieve it.
Culled from: Luckybitch.com