5 Ways to Practice Self Care as a Small Business Owner


5 Ways to Practice Self Care as a Small Business Owner

Running a small business is a dream for many people, and while you may never regret your choice to build your own empire, and rightly so, there are certain things you need to remember. Self-care is an important issue that often gets left on the sidelines for small business owners, after all, there are only 24 hours in a day, and we could really do with about 50. If you are also a parent, you instantly up the pressure on yourself, and it is even more vital, you take the time to look after yourself. Here are five ways you can practice self-care; you might be surprised how much things improve when you do.

  1. The word is ‘No’

Believe it or not, it is actually ok to say no. Clients are often more understanding that you initially panic they will be and saying things like ‘No I cannot do that this week but I would be more than happy to do it next week’ are often so much better received than you think. There is no point taking on too much and running yourself ragged as the quality of your work will slip, so create a manageable workload plan and only take on what you can handle with room to negotiate.

  1. Take a Break

The number of small business owners that not only confess to working weekends and evenings but also never daring to take time off for fear of what might happen is scary. We are only human, and recharging is so important for self-care, so book vacation or if funds are tight a staycation but whatever you do stay away from the office.

  1. Catch Those Zzzz’s

Sleep is essential, and we function better with it, rather than without. The temptation to keep working or catching up on housework is huge, but it really is not going to help in the end. A business is a marathon, not a sprint, so you need to put measures in place to rest regularly. Leave the phone outside the bedroom and focus on resting and not worrying about the day job.  

  1. You Really are What You Eat

Eating on the fly can seem like the only logical move to make when you have a to-do list that reaches the floor, but the downsides are huge. Firstly this tends to mean you reach for rubbish food and stockpile on empty calories, and secondly, your poor digestive system finds it hard to process. Stopping for just half an hour to eat healthy food, sat at a table, will make all the difference.

  1. It is Ok to Ask for Help

So, finally let’s be clear; asking for help is not a failing. Whether you ask an in-law to feed the kids one night a week, or need to hire a cleaner, you are not a superperson. There is only so much we can do, and if you earn more in an hour than a domestic cleaner the argument is pretty much made for you – spend the time you have wisely and take care of yourself.

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3 Tips to Break Through Mindset Blocks in Business


3 Tips to Break Through Mindset Blocks in Business

Here is the problem that you will face when running a business. Something a lot of people don’t realise is that when it comes to mindset blocks, there can be a lot of things stopping you from reaching your best.

As a parent entrepreneur, time is even more precious. Therefore, you have to work past these problems quickly. Thankfully, this is completely achievable if you know how to overcome mindset blocks. Let’s look at three tips here and now.

Find a Different Perspective 

Perspective is so important. You have to be able to look at things in a different way to solve problems. Sometimes, our viewpoints as individuals aren’t the best reference points for making a judgement or solving a problem. Therefore, it could be really important to look at your business from the perspective of an outsider.

By learning how to look at the situation in a different way, you can learn how to work past a mindset block, because it doesn’t exist for the person you are looking at the situation as. When you take away the inside viewpoint, and the investment of the owner, you sometimes find a solution.

Take a Creative Holiday

It’s safe to assume that as a parent business owner, the chance for breaks doesn’t come around that much. When you’re not working, you’re looking after your kids. However, this doesn’t leave any time for you. You don’t get to recharge your batteries and refocus your mind.

You need to take a creative holiday from time to time. It just needs to be a few days away from the office and away from the demands of your business. It might give you the inspiration that you need to break through the mindset block if you’re doing something completely different.

Develop Small Habits

Small habits can be a godsend. You often underestimate them and don’t think they’ll be any help to you, but cultivating a small habit that you can do every day can be a real help. It’s these consistent effort that yield the biggest rewards because you convince yourself slowly that you can overcome this block.

Start by doing tiny things every day. They could be taking five minutes for yourself, or it could be answering all your emails first thing. Whatever you do, be consistent with it. It should start to help you overcome your block by convincing your brain that change is possible.

In conclusion, there’s a lot of things that you can do to overcome a mindset block within your business. They can be a massive issue, and a lot of people don’t know how best to tackle them. However, if you are consistent and determined, you’ll soon find that you don’t need to make a grand sweeping gesture or anything. The best results can come from doing small things and pushing yourself to be better than before. You can do anything you need to do, just make sure that you are trying your best and that you don’t give up.

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How to Overcome Mindset Blocks


How to Overcome Mindset Blocks

Mindset block can be a particularly damaging thing. It’s natural to want to push forward and strive for the best, but when you have a mindset block it’s difficult to do that. When you’re a parent entrepreneur, it becomes even more challenging because you have to try and overcome this block at the same time as doing everything else, like looking after your kids and running a business.

To try and give you a hand with this, what we thought we would do is take a look at some of the different things you can do to make sure you overcome a mindset block when it strikes.

Identify The Problem

The first thing that you’re going to want to try and do is identify the problem. A mindset block can be a tricky thing, but finding the source is the best way to make sure you overcome it.

This involves some introspection. You need to look deep within yourself and identify what the problem is. What can’t you visualise? What piece of the puzzle is inaccessible to you? If you don’t know what the mindset block is, you can’t begin to break it down. If you’re struggling, try talking to a partner or a trusted friend. They might be able to help you out.

Take a Small Action

Okay. So you’ve identified the problem. You understand what the mindset block is, the form it’s taken. But how do you go about breaking that block, and overcoming the challenge that has been put before you?

Well, what we find is that small, consistent actions are the best way to overcome mindset blocks. Let’s take an example, and say that your mindset block is going out and socialising. You’ve been raising your kids for all these years, you’re running a business, and so you don’t know if you can make time for social interactions any more. A small, consistent action might be just to go and get a coffee every day. Or wander down to the local shop every other day. It’s just about doing something that slowly starts to break down that block.


Reward Yourself and Do More

The final step of the process is to reward yourself. You have made a deliberate effort to change the way that things are at the moment. That is incredible. Well done! Reward yourself with something that you think will make you happy. You have to celebrate these little successes if you want to tackle the big stuff.

And speaking of the big stuff, it’s time to do something else. Identify another small and consistent thing you can do to overcome the mindset block. Incorporate it into your daily routine, and move on. Keep pushing in the right direction, and you will get past this.

To summarise, getting passed a mindset block is a difficult thing to do sometimes. We are not denying that they can have a profound impact on a parent entrepreneur. But you have to try and keep pushing. You have to try and be brave. Only you can overcome this barrier. You can get support from your friends and family, and we encourage you to do that, but the final push is down to you. And you can do it, but you just have to believe in yourself first.

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*Affiliate links are included, this means I will receive a commission for products you purchase through my links, at no additional charge to you. All of the products I recommend are things I have used myself and love.

International Women’s Day 2019


International Women’s Day 2019

Every year in March an event known as International Women’s Day takes place with a theme or focus for women who work in the world of business from solo entrepreneurs to those who work in multinational companies and every lovely lady in between. This year the event takes place on the 8th of March, and the focus is #BalanceforBetter, which is all about building a gender balance in every industry and business area recognising that both men and women have a different but equally valuable skill set to bring to the arena. ‘A balanced world is a better world. How can you help forge a more gender-balanced world? Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.’ (IWD 2019).

Each time there are various events linked to International Women’s Day, and if you can take part in any of them, I would encourage you to do so as you will gain loads of insight and experience that will help you in your own professional journey. On the website, you can see where the events are being held and the details you will need to attend. Women are an integral part of any business and should be encouraged to hit their goals and dreams rather than set in competition against male counterparts or worse still other women. Whatever our walk of life should be promoting and supporting each other, as the famous quote says, a flame does not burn brighter by extinguishing others around it.

Women who run small businesses are discovering the unique pleasure that comes from another type of balance in their lives. The balance between home and work that comes from being your own boss, and while this can be a challenging journey it is one that thousands of women embark on, and importantly succeed at through all walks of life and with a massive variety of skills, through many different businesses and industries. Running a business brings a degree of freedom that you do not get from working for other people, the time off to attend appointments and school events, the ability to work in the evening having spent precious hours with the children. It might not be the easiest road but the value women in business bring to industry is something we should not overlook. It is essential that we acknowledge and support these women, whether this is supporting them by sharing their work or creating peer group mentoring support with others in the same boat. Women in business will always hold a significant importance which is why events like International Women’s Day exist.

My own journey has been one of learning, failing and getting back up, and most importantly learning to fly and succeed. This adventure is something that I have been supported in by lots of other women and had the pleasure of offering my support to many more. I would like to thank all of the women who have been involved in my story so far, it has been a pleasure and a privilege working with each and every one of you.

3 Tips how to handle rough days


We’ve all had days that involve a cascade of things going wrong here are 3 tips on how to handle those days.

In this video, I give 3 tips on how to handle rough days.

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5 Simple Ways To Practice Self-Care As A Parent Entrepreneur


5 Simple Ways To Practice Self-Care As A Parent Entrepreneur

Self-care is vital when you’re a parent entrepreneur. It can be so challenging to try and make sense of things when you’re always dealing with all the trials and tribulations which come from having both a business to run and kids to bring up.

Thankfully, there are a lot of simple things that you can do as a parent entrepreneur that aren’t that difficult and will help your self-care. To make sure that you’re not neglecting your self-care, we’re going to be taking a look at just a few of the different things that you can do here.

Make Time For Fitness

While it may seem like something of a novelty, you do actually need to make time for fitness. We know that a lot of parents can lose weight or get fit just from the time they spend rushing around, but this isn’t the way to practice self-care. It’s worth making time to go for a walk by yourself or with your partner, even if it is just once a week. Making time for fitness also boosts your energy levels.

Meditate

Meditation has a range of benefits for the human body. However, what’s important is that you’re using this time to rejuvenate your spirit and care for yourself. If you don’t have time to meditate during the day, perhaps you could get up earlier or do it before you go to bed. However, it’s definitely worth looking into.

Clean Up Your Space

There’s a school of thought which suggests that the space we have is a representation of our mind. If your space is cluttered and untidy, then it’s an indicator that perhaps you’re not doing as well as you could be in self-care. Try cleaning up and reorganising and seeing the difference it’ll make.

Say What You Feel

Reaffirming your connections and bonds to people is an essential part of the self-care process. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but it can be crucial for making yourself and your partner feel good again. As a parent entrepreneur, you don’t want to take anyone for granted, so make sure you always say when someone’s essential or valued.

Express Gratitude

A large part of self-care is understanding what you have to be grateful for and expressing it. If you are thankful for something or someone, make sure you acknowledge it as much as you can. Tell that person or write it down, and you’ll see it makes you feel good too.

Overall, these are just a few of the different things that you can do as part of self-care as a parent entrepreneur. It’s never easy to manage your business, your family and your spirit all at once, but it’s worth doing. Otherwise, you can’t enjoy as rich and full a life if you’re not looking after you while looking after everyone else.

How to Stop Anxiety Telling Yourself That You’re Not Good Enough


How to Stop Anxiety Telling Yourself That You’re Not Good Enough

Being a freelancer or entrepreneur can be tough, if you are a small business, it might just be you, and that can be pretty isolating. Add to that the pressure of trying to work and bring up your family and you can sometimes find the anxiety voice in the back of your head challenging everything you do.  Often we worry that we are not good enough, perhaps you feel torn between the need to earn a living and the urge to be with your children more often or maybe you feel you cannot compete with other businesses in the area.  Whatever your fears are they can become genuine and leave us feeling second rate.  So just how do you stop anxiety telling you that you’re not good enough?

Don’t Sweat the Size Difference

Ok, you are a one man (or woman) band, so what?  Just because you know of other larger companies in your area that do the same as you, doesn’t mean your business is not valid. Some clients actively prefer the personal touch that comes with dealing with the same person consistently; they seek out the small business.  You need to remember that you have your own set of unique selling points and that is your advantage.  You need to focus on your services and offering them to the best of your ability, and you will find there is a massive amount of customer loyalty out there.

Bad Days Happen

However, with that in mind, even doing your best can lead to a bad day.  Bad days happen to everyone. It doesn’t matter what line of work you are in, whether you work for yourself or are a faceless soul in a sea of thousands in a giant corporation, it happens.  People make mistakes; customers are foul, this is just life.  Try not to beat yourself up if you screw up.  Try and remember that a problematic client might actually be dealing with something awful at home.  Bad days are not a reason to throw in the towel, so try and shrug it off with that old adage that ‘tomorrow is another day’.  On the subject of making mistakes, the best tactic is to own up, apologise, correct and move on.  People generally understand that things sometimes go wrong so just be brave and move on.

Find Support

The third tip is to ensure that you have support.  It can be a lonely world, so whether you find other freelancers and working parents in a similar boat and create a networking group, or whether you have friends and family happy to step in, use your support.  It can make all the difference in the world if you can voice your concerns to another person. They will be able to help you see why the anxiety voice is wrong and why you are doing an excellent job, but that is something we struggle to do for ourselves, so be sure to build in support somehow.

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How to maintain self-discipline daily


How to maintain self-discipline daily

Keeping yourself grounded and disciplined can be difficult when you’re a parent entrepreneur. Parents especially have to manage their own temptations alongside a business and a family. Therefore, it can understandably become very difficult to do so. As people, we’re presented with a lot of different temptations. It’s a very liberal society where not a lot is restricted to you. This can make it really easy to lose track of what’s important and to give into temptation. To try and help, we’re going to be looking at a few ways to maintain some self-discipline.

Remove Temptations In Your Path

It’s hardest to ignore something when it’s right in front of you. People often struggle with temptation the most when it becomes a case of having to maintain yours all the time. Parents will often find that if there’s something there that’s tempting, they’ll be more likely to give in if they have to look at it all day. To try and prevent this, you should endeavor to remove the temptation from your life. This can extend to both your professional and personal life. You want a brand new item for your office, but it’s frivolous? Sign out of sites like Amazon and eBay. You want to just stick a ready meal into the microwave at the end of a long day? Don’t keep them in the house. It’s little things like this that will help you to maintain self-discipline. The more work you have to do in order to get something, the more chances you have to stop and change your mind.

Be Fair With Yourself

When trying to maintain a sense of self-discipline, whether as parents or the owners of a startup, try not to be too harsh with yourself. In spite of all the efforts you may go to, you are still a human being. All the limitations and personal weaknesses that you may be prone to are completely natural. Therefore, you can’t beat yourself up too much or be too harsh on yourself. Remember that motivation is a large part of maintaining self-discipline, so try and reward that motivation. Have a treat, whether it’s going for a nice walk or some chocolate. It’s important to be fair to yourself when it comes to maintaining self-discipline. Otherwise, you won’t be able to keep up whatever you’re trying to do.

Overall, maintaining self-discipline can be tricky, but is an important part of life whether you’re entrepreneurs or mums and dads. It’s not just important for us, but also for our kids. They look to us for guidance on what to do and how to do it, and we’re setting them an example all the time whether we know it or not. Therefore, it’s so essential that you try and look strong for your children, but also to prove to yourself that you can be strong as well. Life is as much about proving things to ourselves as well as anyone else.

#PIB52 3 Reasons why you need to stop stressing about work-life balance


3 Reasons why you need to stop stressing about work life balance

One of the hardest things to consider when you are a parent who has to head out to work is how to get the right work-life balance. Spending enough time with your family and enough time focused on earning money is hard. Now if you run your own business, you will need to spend plenty of time focused on making that a success. Now that being said it does not mean you should stress about work-life balance.

Thanks for listening!

 

#PIB48 Why you should devote time to self-care


Why you should devote time to self-care

Although you are a hardworking and ambitious entrepreneur with a goal to conquer the world, a little bit of me-time won’t hurt. This episode looks at why you should devote time to self-care.

Self-care is engaging in activities and behaviours that have a positive effect on your mental and physical health. There is no one thing or even a list of things that encompasses self-care. It’s different for each person. We are here to encourage you to take a little bit of time for yourself, away from the hustle of running a business, and the strain of taking care of your family.

Links mentioned:

The 7 Day Self-Care Challenge for entrepreneurial parents

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Parents in biz Twitter

Thanks for listening!

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