I often wonder how many brilliant inventions, innovations and new products that have been dreamt up by individuals, never make it off the living room couch? Now, there are a lot of factors that go into building a business, from having an idea that answers a need, good timing, funding and having the appropriate space to bring it all together. But one underlying issue remains – where do you start and how do you continue without feeling overwhelmed?
Here are 4 important habits I’ve learnt about keeping yourself happy, healthy and full of purpose-filled drive while starting and growing a business.
Routine, Routine, Routine
Start your day at the same time, every-single-day. If that means you need to get up early, then rise and shine and pump out everything you need in your prime hours. If you’re a late night achiever, then expect to burn the midnight oil. The point is, that through routine, your mind will begin to feel at ease since it knows that you’re achieving X at Y time because that’s when you do it every-single-day.
If you aren’t writing WIP lists (a.k.a. to do list) and blocking your calendar out to achieve those goals, then go grab a pen and paper right now. If it helps, find a software that works for you. From Asana to Taskworld, or the free task app on your phone, you’ve got plenty of options and no excuses.
One of the best rules I ever implemented into my routine is to not check emails, notifications or messages until I have achieved my first task of the day. If possible, try and make it the most important task. This way, if chaos hits and it ends up being a day filled with putting out fires, then you’ve at least ticked the biggest item off your list. P. S. It’ll be life-changing.
Active Meditation… Say What?
You’ve tried meditating – downloaded the app, gone to a seminar – but it’s just not working. You’re not alone. I’m the type of individual that has an active imagination and my brain is constantly brainstorming new ideas or bubbling away at something. To say the least, I really struggled to meditate. As with everything else, meditation is something that takes practice and repetition, but what a lot of individuals don’t realise is that meditation can come in many forms. One of them being, active meditation.
Active meditation is a method that incorporates physical movement to assist in calming the mind. There are different levels of it, spanning from the Osho’s Dynamic Meditation method for the free spirits out there, to simply practising a meditation technique while running.
The most important thing that a meditation practice is meant to instil, is time for your mind to time-out. This will feel extremely counter-intuitive when you’re trying to get things done and working long days, but setting aside time for yourself is what will keep you focused, productive and innovative when it does come time to work.
Find Strength In Others
Whether this comes in the form of your work-wife or work-husband, joining a mentorship program or finding your business tribe, these individuals will be there as both your protective shield and also for those moments you need to debrief.
Talking is a cathartic activity, so share, explore and exchange. From daily problems to creative brainstorming, these guys will help unleash both your reservations and also explore new possibilities.
If you’re unsure where to start, ask someone you respect what they’re doing for support. It doesn’t matter if they’re starting out or have been running a business for 20 years, every single person reached out to another for help and guidance. No one walks this path alone!
Leave All Fraud Fears At The Door
Unfortunately, the impostor syndrome lives in all entrepreneurs and business founders. They are so many ‘ifs’ and ‘unknowns’ that this little doubt monster has quite a bit to feed on. What we often forget, is that we aren’t the only individual dealing with these feelings of doubt.
The good news is, that the above points will hopefully help put these absurd fears (because they are!) into perspective. If they do manage to creep in at certain points of your week, one way to counteract them is to try to leave it all at the door when you walk into your workspace in the morning. It may sound ridiculous, but try to create a mental wall that your doubt can’t climb over. Worst case scenario, it’s still there at the end of the day, but more times than not, you’ll have forgotten them all together!
Starting or growing a business is filled with euphoric highs and dramatic lows. Quite often that also includes being the face of your product or idea, making it even more important to keep your mind healthy and happy. Invest in yourself as much as you are in your business because in order for one to succeed, the other needs to as well.