by Jamie Dougherty
Unless you are a model, personal trainer or adult film star, it’s rare to think about your body as a business asset. More often than not you probably throw your body under the bus for the sake of business. If you are anything like my brilliant clients (and the old me) your thinking goes something like this,
“Time is money and no money is being made while I’m having ME time. I know I should take care of myself but honestly, I want to see the dough rolling in and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all.”
Let me break it down for you. Your body is the physical medium taking you through this life. She is your vehicle, your cruise ship and if she isn’t working properly, nothing will. Sure you will continue to “get things done”, running around with your hair on fire, however managing and growing a business without your body being ONBOARD is like strapping 50 pound weights to your legs and running a marathon. You could technically do it, but it’s going to be slow, seriously painful and absolutely unnecessary. Why make things harder than they need to be?
The answer is simple. Because we don’t know how to be any other way than we currently are. We are driven, passionate women who have stuff to do, impact to make, communities to build. And we see things in black and white. Either we are building our brilliant empire or we are flat on our backs, passed out and drooling, with a teetering wine glass in our hand.
To turn your body into a brilliant business asset you first have to be open to seeing things in the grey area. You know your balls to the wall lifestyle is unsustainable and you tell yourself all sorts of things about how you will slow down when you hit this goal or that number. The problem is the longer you put off making your body a partner in your business, the longer it will take to hit your desired milestones.
Here are my key steps to turning your body into your biggest business asset. If you are the kind of lady who simply wants to take a pill or go on another diet, these steps are not for you. Using your body as an asset that moves your business to unforeseen heights is about changing the way you feed and think about her. It’s a lifestyle shift, a way of existing in your body that will forever change how you experience your work, your business and your life.
Here we go:
Check in – As busy women we only check in with our brain which tells us what to do, along with a heavy dose of judgment and criticism. Lovely. However when we check in with our bodies we are able to access what we really crave without shoulds and have-tos. To check in, start by placing one hand on your heart and one on your belly. (This can be done anywhere so no excuses.) Take 3 deep breaths and notice how your body feels. Are her shoulders tight or her stomach in a knot? What would feed her fully in this moment? Maybe it’s a creative project, 10 minutes of quiet space or dinner. Whatever it is, checking in with your body will always realign you with your purpose, which is why you are in business in the first place.
Eat clean – If you put dirty oil in your car it won’t run very smoothly. The same principle applies to your body. Sugar, caffeine, low quality animal products and processed foods all junk up your system, making it nearly impossible for you to focus and work effectively. Think of junk food as a giant wall you’ve got to hurdle over to make your business work. By eating local fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, organic meat and just a touch of dark chocolate the wall will come crumbing down on its own, making your work easy breezy.
Move your ass-et – Moving your body is essential to feeling light, sprite and connected to your business. The problem is we think it has to be a head-throbbing 2 hour ordeal we hate. NOPE. Make a list of all the ways you find pleasure in moving your body. Dancing, kayaking, stretching and long walks all count as exercise and will do wonders in giving you the mental space to get pumped for your brilliant biz. (P.S. The best business ideas always pop up when exercising so leave the office ASAP.)
Get vitamin D and P – That is, vitamins deserving and permission. When you give yourself permission to put your body first, you are better able to serve your clients, family and community. Think of it like air oxygen masks on a plane. You must first put yours on to assist those around you. However, permission only works when you believe you deserve it. All too often women believe they don’t deserve the kind of success they dream of because they aren’t good enough. Someone is always better, right? Granted someone may be better but that does not degrade your own business contribution. Every time you put your body off or say something snarky to her, remember that you’ve given her permission to deserve being cared for. And when you give your body permission to deserve, your business automatically gets the same treatment.
Quell the comparison commandos in your brain – Comparison sucks the life out of your body and business. When you get wound up about someone’s thin thighs or newest business success you, immediately spiral into self doubt and fear which paralyzes your body and business. Turn that comparison into collaboration and reach out to women you admire and silently hate for no other reason except they’re totally killing it. You will be shocked by how much lighter you feel physically and the strength their support lends your business.
Be the mama you need – You are all sunshine and roses to everyone else but when it comes to yourself, Cinderella’s step-mother looks like an angel. To get your body onboard with your business you must treat her with the same love, kindness and understanding that a mother does a child. Mothers instill a sense of belonging, comfort and strength. In being the mama you need, you build a self-created, unshakable foundation from which your body and business can’t help but rock it out.
Jamie G. Dougherty, Food & Body expert and founder of JamieLiving.com, empowers overwhelmed, mission-driven women to get their bodies onboard for their big plans. She has been featured on Martha Stewart Radio, Crazy Sexy Life and ABC’s View from the Bay, is the author of a wildly popular blog and is the creator of the Freakin’ Rad Fall Cleanse, an 10-day online program for overwhelmed women wanting to feel satisfied and stress-free instead of like a stuffed turkey this holiday season. To learn more about Jamie’s upcoming Fall cleanse enrollment, sign up for her free updates at JamieLiving.com.