Today's post is from Sophie Crooks, a Tasmanian based blogger and coach. She has important insight to share on the importance of self-care for entrepreneurs. The topic is very timely as I'm starting to re-prioritize self-care in my own life. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
As an entrepreneur you are most likely familiar already with the concept of Return of Investment or ROI. For those that aren’t you are probably already applying it but just by a different name. Do you look at your to do list each day and pick your priorities depending on which ones will reap the most profit or rewards in return for your dedicated time? If so then you are running your business by the Return of Investment principle.
It is a great practice for women running an online business. We are so surrounded by distractions and things that seem important, maybe because other entrepreneurs are doing them, but aren’t really that important to our own unique business and brand. Keeping your primary focus on what will have the biggest ROI for your business is a major key to entrepreneurial success.
But while the ROI actions you take in your business are undeniably important, there is one mistake I see women make again and again and that is to think of Return of Investment as purely short-term profits. What will make you money in the next week, month or year. Maybe you even have a five or ten year plan of the things you will do to keep that financial freedom rolling in.
That is awesome! Do not stop doing that.
Instead I’m encouraging you to make a tweak to the ROI principle, just a simple mindset shift that can take it from being a great money success tool to a great life success tool.
Limiting your ROI plans to purely money making activities will hold you back in the long run. You need to begin to think of self-care as something that will have an equal return of investment to any actual work you do on your business.
As a woman seeking success in her business you want to do it all. Accept every opportunity, win every potential client over, give everyone the help they want.
So you start doing as much as you can. You get up extra early, work late, skip the gym, and fuel yourself on sugary snacks. You ignore the book you’ve been dying to read on your bedside table, you rush through your showers, throw on whatever clothes are quickest and easiest. You let the clutter build around you, your yoga mat collect dust and ignore those new meditation tracks on your phone.
Your focusing on the tasks that will bring in the profits and make your business a success money wise, but is the picture of your life pretty?
Return of Investment can cover many things. By thinking of it as purely about money you can quickly find yourself stressed, experiencing low energy and bad nights sleep. The face in the mirror may seem suddenly haggard, or a task that used to be no problem is now making you out of breathe.
This situation will quickly lead to you resenting your business. I’m guessing you got into this work to create a lifestyle that made you come alive. Instead without prioritizing self care you can quickly feel like you’ve been dragged back into the rat race. If you keep pushing along this path you’re risking complete burn out or worse, a major health crisis.
Entrepreneurs that don’t see self-care as something that will yield a return of investment eventually learn the hard way when a mental breakdown or health issue leaves them unable to work for months at a time. Having to disappear from your business for months will have a far worse effect on your ROI than just taking a couple of extra hours a day for self care.
Imagine if you prioritized self care as much as your most important business tasks. What would it be like if each morning when you planned your day you listed time for getting some fresh air and exercise, time to make that healthy lunch, time to finally have that long overdue hairdressers appointment, time to relax with that book. How excited would you be about your day if these tasks were side by side with emailing that sponsor, writing that guest post and working on your upcoming webinar.
When you practice regular self care as a ROI activity your energy will improve, your mental state will be more calm and focused, you will feel confident and sexy when you look in the mirror or take that time to dress in nice clothes. You won’t feel instantly stressed as you sit down at your desk because you take the time to declutter and organize. When you look at how healthy and relaxed your fellow entrepreneurs seem you will no longer resent them and wonder how they do it because you’ll be healthy and relaxed too.
It pays to take care of yourself. Even if it seems okay to let the self care slide because money is coming in, that flow requires your consistent love and attention and you can’t show your business consistent love and attention if you don’t show yourself also. The more you practice self care the more returns of investment you’ll find as you grow in energy, confidence, health and mental calm to be able to handle anything that comes your way.