While there are countless ways to better yourself, developing good habits is often relegated to quickly cast-off New Year’s resolutions. Enter, Self-Improvement Month, also known as: September.
The iFundWomen Coaching Staff hear all manner of healthy habits that the amazing women in our network have mastered - or are working on themselves. Growing a business can be all-consuming. In the midst your business-building brilliance, we also recognize it’s critically important to take time out for yourself and the things you care about.
So, in honor of Self Improvement Month, we humbly present to you, 5 Healthy Habits Every Entrepreneur Should Cultivate:
1 . Ask for Help
Running your own business is hard work. The most successful entrepreneurs know what to tackle themselves and when we to ask for help. What matters is that things get done - not that you did it all yourself. You don’t have to be the expert in everything, but it can be uncomfortable to put yourself out there and admit you don’t know it all. Or to make the decision to invest in yourself and your development financially. Whether it’s hiring a coach to help with your crowdfunding and business strategy, asking your network to invest in your campaign, or outsourcing your social media strategy to an expert, asking for help is the surest sign of strength.
2. Build Community & Seek Out Mentors
If we could offer one piece of advice to every person out there, it would be this: Build Community and Cultivate Mentors. Yes, you’re extremely busy. Yes, there are a million more urgent things in front of you. But building community and seeking out mentors are two of the best things you can do for yourself and your business. Whether it’s broadening your network in real life through organizations like the Six Degrees Society or GirlSpace Co-Working & Day Care or connecting with like-minded women online at Covey Club, forming new and different relationships exposes you to different perspectives and approaches to solving problems. And if you’re looking for role models to aspire to become, SWAAY Media is a great place to follow and be inspired by groundbreaking women.
3. Avoid Context Switching
For some people, this is the hardest habit to commit to. Whether it’s endless notifications on your phone, incessant email checking, or a co-worker popping by in-person (or on your screen) to ask about an urgent issue, staying focused on just one task seems almost impossible these days. But every day we hear more about the downside to all our multitasking - it turns out that 98% of us are in fact terrible at it. For all we’re doing, we’re accomplishing far less: studies say multitasking cuts our productivity as much as 40%. So how do we get back to single-tasking? Some of our favorite personal productivity techniques include batching similar tasks together and setting limits, which all starts with organizing and scheduling your time. Tools like the Pie Life Planner can transform how you manage your time. Instead of checking email all day long, pick 2 or 3 times to power through messages - and then close your browser or better yet, sign out of your account. Turning off all non-urgent desktop and phone notifications can be life-changing in terms of keeping you focused on the task at hand. And using apps like Tide can help you block off dedicated periods of time to focus your energies on that truly mission critical task.
4. Exercise your Mind and Body
Still with us? Fantastic! Now let’s get honest about some serious self-care. As an entrepreneur, it can feel like the world will crumble if you take even a second for yourself. But we all know the opposite is true. Healthy living is all about making time to nourish your mind and body so that you can come back refreshed and ready to conquer the world. And the entrepreneurs on iFundWomen make it easy to take care of yourself from head to toe.
Thanks to Francine Steadman Krulak and some incredible rewards from Buddha Booth, you don’t have to look far to find a quiet space in the midst of all of life’s noisy places. Maybe you prefer to burn off all that stress with a killer run. The Brass Betty team has you covered with some amazingly stylish (and functional) sports bras.
And if you’re like some of iFundWomen team, you just want to treat yourself to some mood boosting scents from Adoratherapy or an at-home spa experience with luxury skincare products from Gilly’s Organics.
5. Unplug: Shut it Down
Whether it’s an hour, a day, or a week - disconnecting is an absolute must. While we sense there are negative consequences to being ‘always on’, few of us take steps to truly disconnect. But when we take the time to step back, research and experience show us incredible things happen - our stress levels go down and our brain gets a much-needed respite from all that hard work. Recognizing those opportunities for cerebral siestas allows you to access different parts of your brain and that will benefit you greatly when waking up on the refreshed side of the bed - you’ll be more likely to turn problems into challenges and make better decisions throughout your day. The point is - whether it’s a trip to an off-the-grid bar like Drunken Money in Bocas del Toro, Panama, finally sitting down to get through a few pages in a great book, or enjoying the great outdoors with your four-legged friend, courtesy of Waggin’ Trails Dog Park - taking time offline to reconnect with family, friends, and yourself is the healthiest habit of all.
As entrepreneurs, our personal mind & body health tends to take a backseat to more pressing matters, like keeping our businesses alive. The truth is that nothing should get in the way of carving out relatively small amounts of time to unplug, relieve stress and step outside of the hustle bubble in order to reset and refresh.