The Reclaim Your Life Series for Busy Entrepreneurs
This is the next of a new weekly series. At the end of each post, look for the Take 5 for one easy way to infuse more wellness into your busy life.
By Paula Grieco
Being an entrepreneur can be lonely. …Especially if you are bootstrapping your business and haven’t quite reached that first traction point.
But hard choices have to be made because an entrepreneur’s two big resources – time and money – are extremely limited. For most business owners, family, business, (and walking the dog) come first, leaving little time for anything else. (Though hopefully because of this series, your own health and wellness, also makes the top three. Cue #reclaimyourlife )
If you have big plans for your business, something has gotta give. And what often falls to the bottom of the list is making time for business and personal friendships.
Even if you lean toward introversion, you know what a bad idea too much alone time is.
Research shows that a business owner’s likelihood of success increases significantly when surrounded with personal support and allies.
We don’t need to read the studies to know this; just ask any biz owner that has spent too many days working diligently at their computer in their sweats…and started to go to that dark place. (I am sharing from a friend’s experience;-)
Balance is overrated, but spending time in relationships that are mutually enriching is about more than balance – try sanity, survival, and yes – success.
Street translation: Our girlfriends are everything. And big ideas come to us and deals get done over a glass of wine or coffee.
Whether your dance card is already overflowing with best buds or you crave more meaningful friendships, while you are building your business…here are some ideas to infuse authentic connections into your regular routine:
- Follow your authenticity. Many of the woman that I work with share that they felt guarded and were unable to be authentic in their former corporate life and that took a tremendous toll of their well-being. I know that was true for me. Don’t replicate that in your own business though. Forget “she would be a good person to know”. Instead, reach out to people (those you know and don’t know but admire) based on sincere respect and interest in the person’s work and/or fondness for them personally.
- Get personal. Make your business relationships – those with vendors, customers, and advisors – personal. That doesn’t mean hanging out on the weekends with a customer necessarily, but it means working with people that you like, can trust, and that you can be yourself with.
- Schedule a soul dates during working hours once a month. If this seems like a luxury to you, we need to talk. Make a list of five people you adore and also adore you. Now email the one that bubbles to the top of the list and schedule a date. Talk biz or kids or the meaning of life; whatever, you like best. I promise you will come up with a solution to a big problem, the next paragraph in your book, or a new business idea at lunch or during the commute to and from your soul meeting. If you don’t have a list of five people because you have been heads down growing your business for a long time, I get it. Start by looking for an opportunity to get to know someone a little better by going beyond, “how’s the weather”.
- Use technology to let people know you care. I send texts with little love emojis, etc. to my kiddos almost daily. Why not do the same with business connections and friends? A quick FB message or text with some personal love and encouragement added can make your day and someone else’s.
- Don’t be relentless. When it comes to making human connections including professional relationships, I don’t push it. My general rule is to reach out once, maybe twice as the email struggle is real. If I don’t hear anything, I let it go.
We know girlfriends make our life better, but they will also make your business thrive and make you healthier too.
Even though I included five ideas in this post, I know that lists like this can feel burdensome on an already overloaded schedule. So start with this: for the next 3 days send a love text to a different friend or colleague. Continue once a week. You will enrich your own life, may give someone who has been chained to their desk an added boost and who knows…create and cement a new BFF.
Paula is an Empowerment Entrepreneur and Writer. She works with individuals of all ages and businesses to help them intentional design and achieve a life that reflects who they are and what matters to them. Her flagship program, Reclaim Your Dreams for Busy Women, is offered to individuals, in group workshops, and soon to be online. See Program and Coaching Offerings for information on all of our services. She has published two books Take 5 for Your Dreams for Teen Girls and Reclaim Your Dreams for Busy Women as well as an e-guide Body Brave. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’d love to hear from you.
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