One of the hardest parts of being an entrepreneur is not developing the skills or finding the right customers. The hardest part of being an entrepreneur is the mental toughness required every day to do your job. Sometimes you are your only cheerleader, your only admin or assistant, your only friend. Even if you have teams of people and a beautifully laid out, functional company structure, this holds true.
As someone who brain rarely shuts down, I can tell you that one of the things I struggle with most is the conversations I have every day in my head. Sorting through the ideas, navigating the necessary steps to move the business forward, checking in on myself, constantly evaluating what the best decisions are for the business. Trust me, the list goes on & I know you get it.
As an entrepreneur, regardless of your industry, you have to be a sales person and also a creative so discipline & focus are often your friend and your foe.
I think self-care is important, but even more important if you are an entrepreneur. If you don't show up to work as the best version of yourself every day, it's not like someone else is going to step in and do it for you.
So if you are required to show up as the best version of yourself every day, what do you need to that? Do you give yourself the care you need to be the best version?
Here a few things I have implemented successfully (& unsuccessfully) to help me show up as the best version of myself to work every day.
1) I set a schedule that works with my internal clock and creative-mind.
Instead of forcing myself to get up at 5:30am & meditate, journal, & workout like every other entrepreneur seems to be able to do, I wake up with the sun. In the winter, it's around 7:30 & the summer, it's closer to 6:00 or 6:30. I am a happier individual when I can wake up around when the sun does so instead of starting my day off pissed at my alarm, I choose to adjust my life and schedule to fit the needs of my mind.
I also adjust the sections/freedoms & to-do's of my day around when I am most creative & most productive. I feel like a better person when I know what I can expect in my day so the first work thing I do is check my email, update our project management platform, & text/email any teammates for updates. I like knowing where things are at and allows me to confidently move through my day.
I am most creative & "free" during the morning so I try to write and create before the day wears on.
2) I workout & walk at really weird, inconsistent times. My only routine is that I do something EVERY day.
As many of you know, I have two beautiful pups & an even more beautiful husband (haha). We usually walk our dogs together every day around 12:00pm for a nice lunch break & refresh. That is about the ONLY routine I have because life is just too imperfect to be able to commit to a set schedule.
My absolute favorite time for a workout is around 3:00 in the afternoon which is VERY inconvenient & truthfully frustrating. I love a good run, bike, yoga, or lift with a rewarding hot shower after, right before dinner. I know..... so weird & so inconvenient. Who takes a shower at 4:30pm????? However, I know how much it does for my mental state, so on days where I can make that happen, (even if it's only 1-2/week or on an off-day) I do!
On days, where I can't get in my best workout, I am known to grab the pups and a podcast or a call with my mom, and go for a walk! I am known to walk at 9:30 at night, 6:00 in the morning if I can't sleep any longer, or even once around the block at random points during the day!
As inconsistent and slightly-overwhelming that it can be for some, it works for me. While I am not committed to a schedule, I am committed to giving myself what I need, WHEN I need it.
3) I eat & drink for my work schedule & my cycle. Personal..... I know.
If you haven't seen on instagram, I will fill you in. Subtle brag, I am lucky enough to basically have an in-home chef and health & fitness guru, IE: "The Hubz". I know not everyone is blessed with this freedom, but there are ways around it when you don't have a personal chef.
Like many things in my life, I have weird routines or lack there of. I like commitments versus routines because life is just too chaotic for me to schedule things I know I won't stick too. Something will come up and I'll be too hard on myself for not being able stick to it, even if the circumstances were outside of my control.
Anyway, I eat & drink for my work schedule & my cycle. I am incredibly keyed in to things like how high-functioning my brain is on certain days, where my stress-levels are at in relation to my caffeine intake, how little energy I have on a given day, how uncomfortable I may feel after overeating the night before, etc.
4) I reward myself every day with life's luxuries.
I'm not talking about all the material things that money can buy. However, money can buy you great skin care & amazing cleaning products. I treat myself to a clean house & great skin-care every day. I have really learned how much my environment affects my mindset. I used to be the person that pushed off cleaning the bathroom, actually putting away the laundry, and finding time to wipe down baseboards. I have realized recently how much a clean house & some sort of inspired interior design does for my mindset. So while by no means is my house perfect, I take little breaks through out my day to spruce up the room I am working in and it has really helped me feel refreshed and motivated in my day.
I also have learned so much about skincare in 2020. I finally started investing (one product at a time) in quality skincare products. I don't have anything crazy, but those 5-10 minutes every morning and every night that are solely mine, I truly cherish. Start small, take a step, & give back to yourself.
5) I set & control my life soundtrack.
Given that I work remote & can generally set the tone for my day, I don't take lightly that I have full control over what type of sound I am listening to all day long. While I don't step into an office, store, or studio full of people every day, it's important that I still feel the hustle & bustle of a good work day. I generally have the TV on, a podcast on, or a Spotify playlist on. I am not perfect every day, but I try to keep the general noise in my life positive, encouraging, inspiring, & motivating.
If I have negativity or drama on the TV all day long, even if I am not actively listening, I notice that I feel more stressed than normal. If I have a playlist on all day that reminds me an amazing social memory, I find that I am not as focused because I am dreaming of the family gathering or college party that once was. (Thank god those days are over, am I right?)
I switch back and forth between a good "cafe music" playlist, Yahoo Finance, interviews of my favorite role models, a sitcom that makes me feel like I am hanging with friends, and sometimes just silence is what is best.
While there is no perfect routine or bulletproof system, it's about commitment. It's about the commitment you make to yourself before you make it to anyone else. It's about giving yourself what you need, when you need it.
Comment below what works for you & any self-care tips or routines that help you show up as the best version of yourself!