This article is a guest post by Sam Vander Wielen
Have you ever thought you’d get to self-care later after you finished one more project, blog post, book, launch, etc.? I know I have! But I learned the hard way self-care needs to be incorporated along the way, not once you’re burnt out and exhausted.
As an entrepreneur, it’s vital you incorporate self-care into your daily routine, whether you have 5 minutes or 5 hours. You might be thinking, “That sounds great! But I really need to build my business right now. I’ll get to self-care later!”
Today we’re chatting about how practicing self-care as you build your business can actually make you a more successful coach and help you avoid the dreaded entrepreneurial burnout.
What is Self-Care for Entrepreneurs?
So what do I mean when I talk about self-care for entrepreneurs? Self-care isn’t always about lighting candles and practicing meditation. It can be! But it doesn’t have to be. There are so many things you can do to incorporate self-care into your daily routine. Yet we all have such different needs and goals.
The common theme amongst a healthy self-care routine is finding what fills you up. What leaves you feeling better than when you started? What activities, experiences, places, people, or things give you more of the feelings you’re looking for in your life? What makes you feel most connected with your purpose, vision, and goals? What makes you feel most like you?
For me, self-care is about practicing what makes me feel most like me. After spending 5 years absolutely miserable as a corporate attorney, I felt so out of touch with who I was. I spent so much time trying to conform, help others, and be something that felt so disconnected from my core that I’d ignored my true hopes and desires. So, at least for me, my self-care practice focuses on connecting (or re-connecting) with who I am, who I want to be, and what kind of business I want to run.
Here are 6 ways self-care helps you build your business, boost your confidence, and soothe your soul, all at the same time:
1. Motion Changes Your Emotions
You can change (or shift) your emotions through motion. Motion looks different for everyone, but it’s vital that we continue to move our bodies as we build our businesses.
Think of some type of movement that lights you up: walking, Barre class, yoga, running, etc. Prioritize that type of movement in your day, especially each time you feel emotions creeping up that you’d like to change.
Movement is a great outlet for you as you build your business. Instead of sitting at the computer screen all day ready to toss your MacBook out the window, take it out on the streets or in a class. Movement is a much healthier way to shift our emotions.
2. Boost Your Creativity
Incorporating self-care into your routine can actually boost your creativity and give you new ideas for service offerings, products, or projects. Think about it. You don’t usually come up with the best ideas sitting at your desk, stressing, or scrolling through Facebook.
What got you where you are in the first place? You probably realized you had a passion for health, wellness, and food by talking about it with others, cooking, trying new classes, and experiences.
If I stop having fun or doing anything for the pure purpose of cultivating joy, I have trouble coming up with new ideas. When I feel myself lacking creativity, I schedule in some playtime.
Step out of your head and away from your desk to boost creativity, create new experiences, and bring more joy into your life.
3. Social Connections
There are 2 big reasons focusing your self-care on social connections can help you grow your business: clearing your mind and market research.
Social self-care helps you stop or slow down all of those “I have to remember to send out that newsletter to my email list. and then I want to set up a new funnel… OH! and I have to post on my Facebook page today, too!” thoughts.
Talk to others who maybe aren’t coaches, don’t have an online business, and don’t know what an email sequence is. It can honestly be so refreshing to get away from this world and hear about what’s going on in others’ lives.
Focusing on making social connections through your self-care can also help you build your business through market research. You don’t necessarily have to plan it this way — but pay attention to what your friends and family say about your area of expertise (food, exercise, etc.) Ask follow-up questions like “what challenges are you facing with fitness? how do you think you could overcome that challenge? what would be of use to you? are there services or resources you’re looking for but can’t find?”
Sometimes, as wellpreneurs, we’re so deep into what we’re doing, that we forget what people’s pain points really are. Something that’s easy for us (food prep) might be so foreign to the people we’re marketing to. Using your social interactions with others as market research is a great way to naturally and organically pick up on market trends.
4. Your Clients Can Relate
Sharing your motivation behind practicing self-care can be really motivating and make you more relatable to your clients. When I’m feeling stressed or anxious, I take a walk. I usually share my experience with my followers, and I get so many “me, too!” responses.
You can also talk to your followers about your struggle to find balance and incorporate self-care into your routine. Chances are they’re struggling to incorporate it, too. And although they may not be entrepreneurs, they can relate to learning how to balance, how to find “me time,” and how, somedays, it just doesn’t happen.
5. Be Your Fullest Self to Be Fully Present
By prioritizing self-care, you’re coming to each coaching session, blog post, webinar, etc. as more present, full-version of you. And that’s what your clients want and deserve anyway, right?
I know people struggle with thinking of self-care as selfish. But when you think about it, self-care actually helps you, your clients, partner, kids, friends, colleagues, etc. It’s not selfish at all for you to be the best version of you.
All of the activities that come along with self-care also make you a more interesting, wellpreneur. You’ll be able to offer insight, examples, and experiences about new classes, places, and people that wouldn’t of otherwise — offering another boost of reliability to your clients.
6. Networking + Business Connections
As an attorney, I learned an awesome business tip about organic networking and client development. My old firm encouraged us to join teams, groups, boards/organizations, or volunteer places we felt truly and naturally passionate about.
You can easily incorporate self-care and networking at the same time. Love animals and have been thinking about volunteering at a local shelter? That’s a perfect example of doing something that lights you up, while also making connections in the process. Let me explain.
One of my coworkers donated much of his time and resources to March of Dimes. He didn’t just attend an event now and then. He got really involved and volunteered much of his time and expertise to the Board. In doing so, his name was naturally volunteered overtime someone from the group (and there were hundreds!) brought up her need for an attorney or someone who did legal work.
So go to that class, join the club, or get involved in the local organization you truly love. People will naturally get to know you and what you do. And each time they’re out and about , and someone says, “I’d really love to work with someone to learn how to cook healthy meals/fit in quick exercises/meditate,” your name will be the first that pops in her mind and out of her mouth.
And truly, there’s no better (and cheaper) way to advertise you and your business than that. All while doing good and prioritizing self-care at the same time.
Fitting Self-Care Into Your Busy Schedule
When starting your wellness business, you may quickly find that time is not something you have a lot to spare. For this reason, self-care often takes a backseat if it is not entirely left on the side of the road. So, how can you fit self-care into your busy schedule?
Making your own lifestyle changes and finding that work-life balance is key.
Your Physical Health
We aren’t saying you have to absolutely find time in each day to exercise because, as entrepreneurs, we know that just isn’t always possible. Instead, smaller and more frequent bursts of exercise can actually be beneficial – even if you just break for a few minutes to do some jumping jacks or run around the block.
Your Mental and Emotional Health
Self-care, as an entrepreneur, also means taking care of your mental and emotional health as well. Anxiety and higher levels of stress often plague entrepreneurs as they work to build their business and find success. However, if you fail to take your mental health into consideration, you will find that your wellness business can suffer as a result.
Regular meditation can help improve your overall sense of well-being and can also help lower your blood pressure and improve your concentration and focus.
Focus on Nutrition
Our diet is one of the most overlooked aspects of our health and is something we need to consider when finding time to practice self-care. As entrepreneurs, we tend to work long hours, and we are always on the go. For this reason, we need to find a diet that works best with our schedule, so we don’t eat unhealthily.
Financial wellness often requires a strong self-care routine. You need to take a more holistic look at your current financial situation and then take the time to make your money work for you to achieve financial wellness in addition to physical and mental health and well-being.
Avoid Negative Self-Talk
It is also beneficial to remain positive even through adversity and challenges. Avoid negative self-talk that can bring you down. To do this, keep in mind that your thoughts and feelings aren’t always reality, contain your negativity, shift your perspective, and remember to breathe.
Self-care is important for both your professional wellness as well as your personal health and well-being. It is all about finding the right work-life balance and finding the self-care strategies that work best for you and fit best into your hectic schedule.
Sam Vander Wielen is a corporate attorney-turned-entrepreneur and health coach. Through Sam Vander Wielen LLC, she helps women confidently create businesses and content they love by protecting themselves with DIY legal templates and resources. When she isn’t helping boss babes build their online empires, she’s usually drinking coffee, at the beach, or watching the Bachelorette because Rachel Lindsay is the bomb. You can catch up with Sam on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest.