by Makeda Pennycooke | Featured Contributor
The start of the New Year brings with it an opportunity to start over with a clean slate. Whether 2014 was a great year for you, or you couldn’t wait for it to be done, 2015 lies in front of you filled with so much possibility.
Being a business owner is hard work and at times stressful, even when times are good. My wish for you is that whatever comes your way in 2015 you will be able to handle it with as much ease and grace possible.
Here are 5 things you can do to make this year different:
1) Make self-care a priority
I know you know self-care is important but, as a fellow entrepreneur, I also know how hard it is to make it a priority. There are so many things you want to do for your business to see it grow and if you’re a solo-preneur you’re the only one who can do it.
But the fact that you are so important to your business is the number one reason why self-care has to become a priority.
I suggest finding daily (go for a 20 minute walk during lunch), weekly (take a day off from social media each week) AND monthly (take a day to disconnect from all technology including your phone) rituals of self-care that you can incorporate into your schedule.
Take some time to figure out what self-care rhythms you need and then give yourself the gift of making those things non-negotiables that you work everything else around.
2) Stop playing the comparison game
I believe the comparison game is the most dangerous game that women entrepreneurs unconsciously play. Instead of being focused on what you need to be doing, you’re focused on what the person next to you is doing, which ultimately robs you of the energy you need to do your work.
You have to stop telling yourself that the woman over there is better than you at _____ (fill in the blank). Instead recognize that you will serve people in ways that are uniquely you. You will attract people that the woman or business down the road will not attract.
Your unique gifts and wiring make you perfect for the people YOU are meant to serve. Keep your eyes focused there and you won’t have time to worry about what the business down the road is doing.
3) Get support around you
This is a big one. I know you’re Ms. Independent and can do whatever you need to do to make things happen. It’s what makes you a successful business owner. But being independent doesn’t mean you have to go it alone.
Everyone needs support. Whether it’s other entrepreneurs who understand the unique challenges you are facing or someone to help hold you accountable to your plans, having support around you can make all the difference for you both personally and professionally.
4) Trust your gut more
Your intuition is the greatest gift you have been given as a woman. Every woman has it but if you’re like a lot of women, you’ve been taught not to trust yourself.
Yes, there are people who can give you advice, those who’ve been at it longer than you have but that doesn’t negate your ability to know what’s right for you. You know when something doesn’t feel right or feel true for who you are or for the direction you want to go with your business.
Trust your inner knower. Take the advice of the experts but use your gut as the filter to know what fits and what doesn’t. You know so trust yourself.
5) Stay flexible
Goal setting is important. You should have goals and you should have a plan for reaching those goals. But it is equally important that you remain flexible so that when things change – and they will – you don’t get thrown for a loop.
Change is the only constant in this world and even the most well thought out plans invariably has something happen that requires a shift. As a business owner, staying flexible is the only way you are going to hold onto your sanity and in some cases your courage.
It’s hard when things change unexpectedly and it’s easy to spiral into a negative place. But if you can stay flexible and remember that it’s normal and part of the process, you’ll be able to navigate change more easily.
I believe this year is going to be a great one for women leaders and entrepreneurs. Use these tips to help you experience your best year yet in 2015.
Here’s to you rising into your greatness!
Makeda Pennycooke, Women’s Leadership Mentor and Coach
Makeda Pennycooke is a mentor and coach specifically supporting women leaders. I have 15+ years experience leading and developing teams, including six years serving at the executive level. I believe women are being asked to play by rules that don’t work for them and many women feel stuck living a life that isn’t right for them. After spending too many years letting other people’s opinion decide how I should live and lead, I am now committed to empowering women leaders to redefine leadership on their own terms.
In my spare time, you might find me curled up with a book in my favorite recliner; wandering around in pursuit of beauty behind the lens of my camera; or attempting to further my budding relationship with yoga.
I believe chocolate makes everything better, and life should be filled with moments that make your heart sing. I love the ocean, sun-kissed days and a good cup of steaming hot tea (always tea, never coffee). I can be found sharing tips and inspiration for women leaders at www.makedapennycooke.com Let’s be friends Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook