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Let’s face it, as entrepreneurs we’re busy trying to make our impact in the world, while also keeping our personal world in order. Running your own business requires a lot of work. And more often than not, we let business and work take priority over health.
But without your health, you’re only going to be a shell of you could be. As I remind every entrepreneur I coach or speak to, it’s important to run your body like you run a business. You wouldn’t take short cuts with your business and you shouldn’t do it with your body. After all, these two entities have a synergistic relationship.
Being a fit, happy and productive entrepreneur requires a focus on more than your physical fitness. Our mental and emotional fitness play a pivotal role as well. Here are three simple, but powerful tips to improve your mental and emotional fitness.
1. Don’t let business achievement define you.
In the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey, there isn’t a raving fan club providing you validation. I was writing in obscurity for over a year before I received my first opportunity to write for a publication.
Entrepreneurs such as Daymond John, who many know as the guy on Shark Tank, worked for years in seeming obscurity. Years before he arrived on the scene, he was hustling on the streets while working at Red Lobster. If he had placed his identity 100 percent on the success of his business then, he wouldn’t have lasted to become the success we know him as today.
As an entrepreneur, it’s pivotal that you don’t place your self-worth on the achievements of your business. At the start, it’s important to be process oriented, not outcome oriented. You can only control the effort you put in each day, not the exact result or outcome it creates.
Understand that you’re a human being who is separate from your business. The business may be your baby, but it doesn't dictate the currency of your self-worth. Take some time each day to reflect upon all the things you’re proud of in your life.
2. Don’t allow limiting beliefs to guide you.
“I’ve never been good with fitness.” “I’m too busy to exercise and eat clean.” “My genetics don’t allow me to lose weight.” People actually believe such disempowering thoughts about themselves -- even the most hard-driving, can-do businesspeople.
Maybe it’s your past shortcomings or fear, but addressing the limiting beliefs that are circulating inside your brain is pivotal to improving your mental fitness as an entrepreneur.
Take some time to reflect on your beliefs. Where did these invisible scripts come from? Are they valid? Are these really your beliefs? Or are they beliefs programmed into you by external sources such as the media, family, peers or friends?
3. Don't let your relationships suffer.
Your emotional fitness helps you manage, even excel, amid the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. With great emotional fitness comes a strong inner peace that allows you to stay connected to your true identity and to make the sound decisions for your business and health.
But, when you’re running a business without a set number of hours and schedule, it’s easy to lose focus on your emotional health. One key area for optimal emotional fitness is with those closest to us, whom we often push away without even noticing. It’s not from lack of love; we often just take them for granted while becoming obsessed with our companies.
One of the simplest ways to enhance your business and health is to have powerful relationships, especially with your partner. It’s pivotal to pick out a partner who understands your lifestyle and will be there to support you.
Knowing that you have a unique lifestyle and view of the world means that you can’t just choose anyone as most people do. You have extra criteria that you have to be watchful for. While this may shrink your pool of potential partners, it provides a better chance of having a successful and powerful relationship that enriches you instead of draining you.
Instead of keeping your partner in the dark about your business, let them into your world. Set aside time to focus on connection with them and nothing else. Plan for holidays and weekly date nights, making sure to mark them on the calendar.
It takes a lot of energy, strength and dedication to start and grow a successful business. But, you can't do this without focusing on your emotional and mental fitness. Your health equals your wealth.
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Kathleen, Founder and CEO of Grayce & Co, a media and marketing consultancy, can help you develop a brand strategy, build marketing campaigns and learn how to balance work and life.