This blog post is a little different to the usual but I have had it brewing away for some time and after recently attending a conference similar, and all the great posts from mental health awareness week on this subject, it inspired me to sit down and write away. I’ve also wanted to share some great local connections as well as links to articles, books and tips I’ve found helpful in my first year of owning a business.
The conference I attended recently was all about wellbeing in the workplace. It was incredibly interesting. The main focus was being in a working environment, and whilst many aspects were relatable, I really wanted to expand on wellbeing as a business owner, as it can be easy to feel a little isolated when working away on your own and also scary with learning so much new stuff.
As an owner of a small business myself, I have drawn on personal areas but I also wanted to share some amazing links and groups that I have stumbled on more recently, which I will expand on later in this post.
Whatever reason it may have been to start-up, and of course everyone’s situation varies, there is one thing for sure I believe an important factor to being a business owner is mindset and self-care. Especially early on, you’ll have to wear a lot of different hats. From being the accountant, marketing, networker, sales, and of course the skill or craft which is the business. This can take it’s toll if not managed well or you aren’t giving yourself enough rest. Leading to burnout, unnecessary stress and exhaustion. Putting yourself first is key when running a business, because at the end of the day you are your business, which needs to be looked after just as much.
By recognising how important having a healthy mind-set and self care is, it definitely helps feeling overwhelmed and stop the feelings of guilt many of us feel when taking time out. It is easy to keep working all the time, or maybe not look after yourself as much as you should/switch off properly. We’re surrounded by ads or books stating how to make 6 figures in a week, so maybe it is hard to admit when we’re having a bad week, exhausted or feel like we’re just not working like everyone else.
” That’s not to say we don’t want to work hard for our goals, run successful businesses and celebrate our wins, but it’s just acknowledging we make mistakes, life and personal issues, and 1 in 4 of us suffer mental health problems”. (Think Creative Collective)
It’s a subject that is becoming more and more spoken about- that looking after yourself is so important. For more long-term self-care, it’s being aware that is aspect is key to running a business. It’s working it into your work life balance, so for me it’s the gym as my number one during the week. I’ve recently used it as a way to not go on my phone and to take some time out. I’ve personally found when I go I’m way more productive and since working from home a lot of the time it’s nice for a change of scenery. Since being self-employed, I’ve definitely got interested in mindfulness and mind set.
When you work for yourself and there’s no wellbeing structure at work, you have to schedule it in to your working day or week. It’s a topic where at the start you dismiss, because I know I did, and it does eventually lead to unnecessary stress and burnout. It’s almost like you have to be super strict with yourself and to be aware of this. Taking time out for yourself can look different for everyone, from socializing, exercise to mindfulness/meditation. This paragraph from thinkcreativecollective.com is a perfect example:
“Usually, self-care activities are peppered throughout the day, allowing for mental, emotional, and physical stress release. But it is also important to allow for one BIGGER self-care indulgence each week. This is about prioritizing yourself, your worth, and your needs. It may be getting your nails done, getting a massage, going for a big hike, lunch with friends, an afternoon off work, social media time-out — whatever you need.” (The Importance of Self-Care as an Entrepreneur).
As mentioned earlier about mind-set, self-care falls into this, but there’s also so many different parts to this subject.
I’ve also been talking to Natalie from Lykke Events after noticing their stand at the conference that inspired this post! I’m so excited to attend ‘Wellfest’ at the Roundhouse in Derby on Saturday 29th September. Filled with classes, from mindfulness, to yoga, to beauty, it’s great to see this happening in a month or so. After chatting to Natalie at Lykke Events, it was great to find out more about business and mind-set:
“Running your own business is very challenging in every way and during this time I have had to find ways to balance out the stress that these challenges bring both mentally and physically. Health and Social Care is both frustrating and emotionally draining and I was struggling to deal with these emotions alongside family life and having children in general.
It led me to have anxieties about situations that I never had before and that has been difficult, especially when I had in a previous lifetime (or so it feels) twice given up employment to go backpacking in various parts of the world.
I have always been open-minded to alternative methods of support and all things spiritual and for me personally I didn’t feel comfortable using modern day medicine to treat me at times when I dipped, as it just made me more sick. So I knew for me that this wasn’t an option.” -Lykke Events. To read more head over to Lykke Event’s blog.
I’m also a big fan of Carrie Green, the founder of Female Entrepreneur Association, and the branding makes it way more interesting than just scrolling on an article on the internet (in my opinion anyway). Owning a business can be challenging when first starting, so I found stocking up on lots of books helpful, as well as attending local meet-ups.
I’d love to round this post off with some links of what I have found, but I’d love to hear some new suggestions, so if you’d like to add to the recommendations, comment with your name and links below!
I hope this hasn’t been complete babble and does resonate with you in some way and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
My favourite books
Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso – The woman who started fashion brand Nasty Gal.
She Means Business by Carrie Green – My all-time favourite book, this was the first I purchased and I always refer back to it.
The Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba – Not overly expensive, and a straight forward read
She Takes On The World by Natalie Macneill – Another firm favourite on my bookshelf
Local Events in Derbyshire
- Women Rocking Business
- Lykke Events – First event 29th September at the Roundhouse in Derby
- Diamond Initiative
- Think Creative Collective
- Women Who Create