by Dez Stephens
Most entrepreneurs hope to make money outside of someone else’s control, someone else’s payroll. They might have left the corporate world for something more meaningful. They might be searching for something special to fulfill their career dreams.
Entrepreneurs commonly focus on one thing, and it’s typically money. They continually strive to replace a full-time income with a self-earned paycheck. This focus can lend itself to financial tension and create a lot of unwelcomed stress.
Other entrepreneurs focus on the hustle. Either way, this one-sided targeting can get them in trouble because it’s just that – one-sided. This can lead to major imbalances in their professional careers and even their personal lives.
Taking care of oneself as an entrepreneur is vital to success. Without it, the whole system collapses. This might entail taking a walk and getting some fresh air when a break is needed, or even getting a weekly massage or acupuncture treatment.
Walk the Talk
It’s vital as a holistic entrepreneur to live the way that we would recommend to others. If we don’t take great – not just good – care of ourselves, we are not leading by example.
Caring is Daring
When we focus on self-care as a daily regimen instead of a once-in-a-while activity, we are purposefully nurturing the most important thing in our business – ourselves!
Pampering is Powerful
Sometimes we downplay the benefits of a great massage or getting some fresh air on a nice walk. Turns out that these simply practices are powerful when it comes to how much they can impact the quality of a workday.
Many entrepreneurs work from home and it’s easy to get isolated emotionally and mentally. Taking care of these needs is so important for overall health and well-being.
The Holistic Rule of 10
An easy way to make sure that entrepreneurs care for themselves is to implement simple self-care activities. These include getting proper rest, hydration and movement each day.
10 Hours of Sleep Daily
Humans are well-designed to sleep for 10 hours each night, but very few do so. Sleeping in a cool dark room is ideal, and a great night’s sleep does wonders for having the energy needed to get through a workday.
10 Glasses of Water Daily
Staying hydrated helps the mind stay clear and the body look great stay strong. It doesn’t matter how big the glasses are – just get them down.
10 Minutes of Movement Daily
Movement can include ten minutes of stretching or jogging in place or a walk around the block. Better yet – high energy for 2 minutes, then low energy for 1 minutes – repeat 3 times.
Each of these practices have a “10” in them so they’re easy to remember. Ten hours of sleep, ten glasses of water and ten minutes of movement. These can easily be scheduled into everyday life.
As many entrepreneurs know too well, working for yourself is the hardest work they’ll ever do, so it’s important to optimize physical, emotionally, mentally and spiritual health.
Many entrepreneurs find meaning in their work. They are driven by their passions and are inspired by their dreams. The ones who succeed are likely to be the ones who take a holistic approach to life and the work they love.
Find Some Purpose
Holistic entrepreneurship is about finding a purpose in what you do. We don’t need to be grandiose about it. Sometimes it’s as simple as finding meaning in the everyday small tasks.
Purpose vs. Presence
We don’t have to “go to the mountaintop” to find a purpose. All we need to do is to get quiet and clear. Being present is something so basic yet, for some, something so elusive. When we get present, we can much more easily sense purpose.
Personal is Professional
As entrepreneurs, we kid ourselves that we have a personal life and separately a professional life. These two worlds are constantly intermingling so it’s imperative that we seek our purpose in both. Gratitude for both helps.
This means treating a life as a whole – not in separate parts like recreational time, community connections, physical wellness, emotional stability, spiritual groundedness and mental clarity.
Instead of being “all in” professionally with a neglected personal life, entrepreneurs can find a beautiful balance between their work and their time away from work.
Life as a Whole
Entrepreneurs who pay attention to both their personal and professional needs tend to thrive as self-made business owners. When someone puts too much effort into their career without nurturing their relationships or caring for their bodies, they quickly become unproductive.
Holistic Means All Parts
Living your life and running your business “holistically” means that you are paying close attention to all the moving parts. Your business is a living-breathing entity that is always responding to the ways in which you treat it – so is your personal life.
Notice What You’re Noticing
Take a moment to observe what you’re observing. Notice the bodily sensations. Notice your breath. Notice your thoughts. Notice your feelings. Notice any resistance – any comfort or discomfort. This awareness will help you pay attention to the things that need attention.
Whole and Hole
When we get intentional about all the parts of our business and life, we might find some missing parts. Maybe you realize that you’ve neglected your physical health or your friendships. Maybe you notice you’ve let go of some favorite hobbies. The awareness this brings is the first step in creating the holistic balance you naturally crave.
The whole purpose of entrepreneurship is to succeed financially and otherwise without having to rely on others. This is also true in all areas, not just financial.
When entrepreneurs implement simple healthy practices, they are much more likely to make it through the hard times that are inevitable with the harsh-yet-fun reality of working for themselves.
Dez Stephens is the Founder & CEO of Radiant Health Institute, a social enterprise and prominent international coach training school that certifies individuals to create vibrant, professional, private practices as holistic life coaches, wellness coaches and business coaches. She is a certified life coach, master trainer and marketing strategist. Dez is also co-executive producer of the documentary film, “End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock” highlighting Native women fighting to keep clean water on their Native lands in North Dakota and beyond.