10 Tips To Stay Sane as a Business Owner
Being self-employed can be tough! We start our businesses because we’re passionate, creative, motivated and have a beautiful gift to share. But the reality of creating products and services, effectively marketing your business and continuously making sales – without any financial security, is enough to test the bravest person’s mettle.
I’ve been in business for a long time now and have navigated my way out of the pit of despair many times when the results seem far away and the faith warning light flashes nearly empty!
Here are top 10 practical tips to stay sane as a business owner from me and some inspirational women in our community. Would love to hear yours too, feel free to share in the comment section below!
1. Connect with your vision of your fulfilled life and business.
Rather than focusing on being successful, focus instead on what will make you feel fulfilled in all aspects of your life, not just business. Create a crystal clear vision of how you would like your lifestyle to be and how it will feel to live like that. Connect with the energy of who you are in that vision and bring those feelings more and more into your daily life. You can include your family, friendships, health, finances and hobbies as well as your business.
Use the information that your vision gives you to guide your decisions and where to apply your attention. If you need help with getting clear on your vision, check out the My Fulfilled Planner.
Business is just one aspect of your life and success is relative. You get to choose what success means to you. For some it’s six figures and living in their dream home. For others it’s about having a business that provides flexibility and freedom. Of course these two things are not mutually exclusive and you can have both. But it’s worth calculating if your dream lifestyle costs £100k a year or £100,000,000 a year and use that to create your goals, vision and a business model that aligns with what’s important for you, not what you “should” want compared to someone else’s dream.
Avoid the frustration of striving and never arriving by noticing the good in your life today, as you work towards your vision. In the planner there are monthly and quarterly reviews to help you reflect on your journey celebrate your wins along the way.
Allow your vision to guide you on those days where it feels tough and trust that everything you want is possible for you to receive. Celebrate every little milestone, don’t wait until you have arrived, because when you get there you’ll probably have a new vision and goals anyway!
Charlotte Jenkyn at https://creativegoddessclub.com agrees.
“As a creative business owner I have stayed sane by ensuring that I’m trusting my own intuition when it comes to ideas / strategies and not thinking I have to or “should” do something that others are doing when it doesn’t feel good for me. This is also what I teach my clients in the “Clarity” stage of my Action Takers coaching program when supporting them in starting their own creative business.”
2. Get Organised
Minimise stress by getting organised in your business. Simplicity is a super power!
Tune in – are there any hotspots in your business that cause uneccessary stress? Does paperwork stress you out? Is onboarding new clients a bit of a nightmare? Are you keeping on top of your bookkeeping so you know the financial health of your business? Is your workspace uninspiring and filled with clutter? Is your inbox full of crap and causing you to miss important emails and opportunities?!
You don’t have to fix everything in one day, but pick the area that is causing you the greatest amount of stress and impacting your income and start there. Create processes and templates to streamline the way you work and get support where you need it. Choose one area to focus on each month and steadily things will feel less overwhelming and you can do more of the work you enjoy.
Clear out clutter, again start small if you need to and give yourself time. Move towards a calmer, clearer way of working and you’ll feel more spacious and energised.
Use this one page action planner to choose 1-3 areas to focus on and plan out your next steps to getting organised in your business.
Being organised is one of my natural skills, so if you do struggle in this area, come and reach out in the Healing Business Academy Facebook Community if you have any questions or are stuck with how to get organised and streamline your business.
3. Set Boundaries
Set boundaries around your time- and stick to them.
I love creating a “default diary” which means creating regular time blocks. It can ensure that you allow enough time to work on the projects most important to you, otherwise it’s easy to find yourself serving everyone else’s needs and not having much room left for yourself. Can you relate? If so, get in the habit of blocking out regular time in your diary for relationships, hobbies and your health as well as work projects. I also use colours so I have an easy visual to see what kind of mix I have in my week. I have a purple “keep free” appointment that I use weekly to create spaciousness and give me time to catch my breath. School stuff is yellow, volunteering is green, work is blue, social is pink and health is purple. It gives me a way to make sure I have balance in my weeks – and when everything was one colour my weeks looked overwhelming!
If there are projects that you just don’t seem to be making time for, tune in and see what’s not working and what can be improved? For example, you may need to block out a whole day or a whole week, rather than a morning to really get in the zone. Being able to batch tasks makes better use of your energy and can help you to feel in flow more often.
Create energetic boundaries, this is especially important as empaths and highly-sensitive people. Become aware when you are taking on other people’s stuff and have a practice where you can cleanse, ground and release anything that is not yours to hold.
4. Create A Profitable Business Model
Make life really easy for yourself by creating a profitable business model that is sustainable.
Tune In: does your current business model (what you are selling and how you sell it) allow you to reach your income goals? If you are over-giving and under-charging read this blog so you can bring your giving and receiving into harmony.
Creating an aligned business model is module 2 in the Create Your Aligned Strategy Course if you’d like more help with how you can design your business so it works for you in an easeful way.
5. Have A Clearly Defined Marketing Strategy
A Marketing Strategy is simply a plan for how you can consistently attract your ideal clients and enables you track what’s working and what’s not working so that you can refine and improve as you go along.
Winging it will only get you so far. It’s not possible to leverage your time or money when you are making it up as you go along and constantly changing your mind, offering or audience.
If you keep changing what you’re doing or scattering your energy too thinly with lots of different offers for lots of different people, you will inevitably scatter your results too. It will be harder to make significant progress. Notice if scattering your energy and not following through is a self-protection / sabotage pattern for you. If it is, invest in support to help you release these barriers to being visible, attracting more clients and making more money.
6. Focus on Sales Before Content
Making sales is a win/win because it means that you get to support more people and create a transformational impact in their lives. And you win because you make more income for you and to invest in your business.
Don’t get too emotionally attached to the outcome if people buy or do not buy. Remember, it’s business not personal. Your job is not to convince people to say yes. Your job is to effectively communicate the benefit of working with you, show your offer to as many people as you can and ask them for a decision. By tracking your sales and marketing metrics you can make improvements and bring even more reliability to your income.
If you have been focused on creating content first and making sales second, it’s time to switch that around. Make sales your number one focus in your marketing and allow that to inform you what content to create. Otherwise it can be easy to get carried away with making content but sales becomes an afterthought. When this happens it can lead to feeling like you’re giving a lot but not receiving value in return. That can deplete your energy and affect your mental health. Give content that leads to sales so you can receive in harmony. Share your offers enthusiastically and feel energised by the impact you facilitate in the lives of your clients.
7. Manage Your Money
Being stressed about money sucks can affect your mental health as a business owner.
Firstly, the biggest act of self-care you can give yourself is to extract your self-worth from your current income or bank balance. You are perfect, whole and complete exactly as you are, so please do not define yourself based on how much money you have or don’t have. You are so much more than that! Focus more on what you have and what you want, than what you don’t have and raise your vibration around money.
Secondly, you can make life easier for yourself if you learn how to effectively manage your money. Not spending everything you make and keeping some cash reserves gives you flexibility and stops desperate or lack vibes from bringing your energy down. Knowing the financial health of your business can help you to make informed decisions and stay on top of any tax you need to pay. Keep surprises down to a minimum by knowing when subscriptions (especially annual ones) are due and put money aside in advance so the money side of your business is stress-free. Enjoy watching your money grow and cultivate an environment for it to thrive.
8. Take Calculated Risks
We’ve all got regrets and have made mistakes in our business. When it comes to investing in your business it can be beneficial to take risks, as long as you look before you leap. Resist the urge to be impulsive. Give yourself time to tune into your intuition and make strategic decisions.
There are some marketing techniques used by others which can make you think it’s now or never, but make sure your decisions are aligned with your vision and not just shiny distractions that take you away from your priorities.
Invest from a place of strategic alignment and safety and it will take the stress and pressure off. For some people, taking big leaps gives them the motivation to really step up and rise to the challenge. For others, it creates too much stress and can have a detrimental effect, especially if it doesn’t work out the way you first expect and you don’t have a safety net in place.
It’s not a mistake if you learn something from the experience, so feel free to let go of any regrets or disappointments for any risks you took in the past that didn’t quite pay off in the way you’d hoped. Notice what you learned from it and let go of any shame that may be cluttering up your energy field and holding you back from taking calculated risks in future.
Understand what kind of investments you need to make to take your business forward, whether in the form of coaching support/outsourcing, business growth or back office improvements and whether you would benefit more from a big leap or incremental gains approach. Decide what kind of safety net you need to give you reassurance and take the pressure off it having to work -or else.
Make investment decisions from a centred, grounded and aligned energy, rather than being impulsive and reactive to someone else’s marketing techniques. Invest and take risks on your terms, aligned to your vision that take you in the direction you’d like to go. Notice any patterns in your previous investments and learn from your experiences.
9. Use a Mind, Body, Energy Approach
Building a business, creating wealth and living your most fulfilled life is a personal development journey and we often have to clear out layers upon layers of conditioning to truly step into our power.
Having an idea is one thing, but executing it and turning it into a profitable business requires resilience, adaptability, courage and a lot of self-compassion.
Having a mind, body, energy approach can help to support you as you move forward. My favourite techniques are shiatsu, EFT Tapping, guided visualisations and journaling. Having a good dance in the kitchen, walking in nature, making time to be creative and belly laugh with friends are all ways you can keep your mental health in good condition. Listen to the messages from your body and respond to those nudges it’s telling you. Make time for your wellness otherwise you’ll have to make time for illness.
Jacqui McGinn at jacquimcginn.com says,
“To stay sane in your business make sure you set aside time for coming into your body, listening to emotions, making space around thoughts to notice them and maintain a spiritual connection. Then notice when you get too in your head (without berating yourself for it!) and give yourself space to come back into the body and heart.
I recommend doing the deep dive to heal your deepest wound and the protection around it so you can stand strongly in the truth of who you are and show up authentically. This is far less draining than putting masks on!”
10. Surround Yourself With Positive People
Take a personal inventory of the 5 people you spend most of your time with on a regular basis.
Do they drain or inspire you?
Do they support your vision with encouragement or sow seeds of doubt?
Consciously cultivate your inner-circle and seek out like-minded people who understand your journey. Spend less time talking to the doubters about your business. It’s not that you have to cut them out of your life, simply be selective about what you share with them about your business.
Is your behaviour feeding their doubts too? Are they coming from a place of love? It may feel like they are trying to dampen your enthusiasm but be objective and see the positive in their contribution. They may be worried about you and are trying to warn you about something outside of your awareness. If what they are saying is triggering a reaction in you, use this as an opportunity to heal that sore spot of yours. What is the healing opportunity here?
Read more about surrounding yourself with positive people with this guest blog I wrote for Ces at Inspired to Inspire
I trust you found this helpful in supporting your mental health as a business owner. You are your greatest asset in your business and it is so important for you to look after yourself. Make your health a priority and watch your business flourish in a sustainable way.
Which tips resonated most with you?
Here are some coaching questions to reflect or journal on.
What has been your biggest realisation from this blog about what you can do differently to support your mental health?
What’s your next step and when are you going to take it?
Come and share your intentions!
Come and share with your intentions on how you are going to prioritise your health for some external accountability and cheerleading at the Healing Business Academy Facebook Group or drop a comment below. Would love to hear your top tips for staying sane as a business owner.