Entrepreneurs often post about their successful businesses and happy personal lives on various platforms, giving the impression that they have it all figured out. However, what if someone is struggling with their business or personal life? What does self-care for entrepreneurs look like in 2024?
Under Performing? Your Entrepreneur Self-Care Might be Missing
On March 9, 2023, Forbes Business Council asked me to share my advice on what to do if a high-performing employee is struggling with their work. My recommendation was to start by engaging with the employee and trying to understand the root cause of the issue. Is it a personal challenge, a lack of tools or support, or a disconnection from the overall vision? It’s crucial to identify any underlying cultural problems or if the employee feels unappreciated. Throughout the resolution process, it’s essential to provide steady support. It’s important to note that these issues cannot be fixed instantly. This approach makes perfect sense for quality leadership.
However, it’s curious that despite knowing this philosophy, truthfulness, and great advice, we often find it challenging to apply in our own lives. We may think we have it all together, but what do we do when we find ourselves off our own game for whatever reason? And why is entrepreneur self-care so significant anyway?
Off Our Game
If we are off of our game, it can definitely negatively affect our company’s culture. When asked, again by Forbes, what actions I would take to secure our company’s culture as it scales, I suggested, “Growth and expansion require your team to develop strong leaders. Their master skill set will be more than the tasks of their direct job objectives; it will reinforce the culture across their teams. Keeping your eye on the ball means keeping your eye on your people. Meet with HR regularly. Know the atmosphere. Keep the vision and cross perspectives reinforced across expanding teams. Avoid silos.”
From the 30,000 ft view, it’s sometimes easier to come up with strategic planning and intervention than it is actually to apply it at ground level. Consequently, that must be intentional within our company culture and within our individual entrepreneur self-care. But what if I am just plain old weary?
In my blog Paradoxes of Entrepreneurialism, I discussed that sometimes what’s happening on the outside may not be exactly what’s happening on the inside. “And inside, you’re dealing with your self-esteem and doubt. You don’t want to fail. Everybody is afraid of failure. No one wants to disappoint the people who trust them. So, there’s this intense tension. You are in a constant pressure cooker. While facing and dealing with your doubt, you must simultaneously inspire, encourage, and overcome the suspicion of those around you.”
In January of 2022, Dr. Steve A. Brown wrote a blog about 14 ways to overcome feeling weary for leaders. Some of the most impactful ways for me personally were:
- #4 Get moving
- #5 Eat well and stay hydrated
- # 11 Get something fun on your calendar
- # 13 Add an extra day off for a few weeks in a row
- #14 Change up your workspace
Recharging is Part of Entrepreneur Self-Care
Furthermore, in a 2016 Harvard Business Review, Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan share their tiredness in an article Resilience Is About How You Recharge, Not How You Endure. They stated, “The key to resilience is trying really hard, then stopping, recovering, and then trying again.” Great insight and advice that definitely applies to entrepreneur self care.
So, stop it! Exhale. Regroup. Take the rest of the day off. (Yes, you actually can). Recharge. Reprioritize. And then get back in there!
Entrepreneur Self-Care and Being Thankful
Entrepreneurship can be a demanding journey. However, being grateful is a secret tool that can help entrepreneurs take care of their mental health. Gratitude is a choice that successful entrepreneurs make to flood their bodies with good endorphins, optimism, and hope.
According to Jason Aten, gratitude is also self-perpetuating. When you choose to be grateful, it changes the way you perceive things and makes you more appreciative of other things. Check out this recent Inc. article about the significance of gratitude.
“Gratitude begets gratitude. That’s why I call it exponential gratitude—it has a multiplying effect. The more we practice gratitude, the more capacity we have to be thankful and the more easily it comes. The most powerful thing about exponential gratitude is that, instead of looking at our own ambition or comparing our success to others, it helps us see the value in what we already have. We start to examine the way we think about circumstances and make a choice to be thankful instead of envious or regretful.” Jason Aten
I suppose being grateful while going through some hard times might feel counter-intuitive, but those who know, know how well it works and how it has adjusted their thought life. So, give it a try! Your world will be grateful you did! Pun intended.
In summary, we are all human. We are all going to hit some walls, stumble on some pathways, and blow it once in a while. And it seems the harder we live; the more are the possibilities of becoming tired, weary, and uninspired. So, as you descend into another year of developing the leads, satisfying the investors, creating a positive work environment, and stopping by the store on the way home for that one ingredient missing for dinner, know you are not alone in that heavy sigh.
Entrepreneur (that’s you) self-care is good, positive, and, more than anything else, necessary for success. Don’t neglect it. Don’t underrate it. And don’t underestimate its impact on everything you are connected to, including the dog. You got this; take care of it!