You cannot be your best, if you’re not at your best.
Almost everyone who owns a small business wants to do their very best, be their very best, and give their very best. In this way they hope to somehow separate themselves from the competition or the crowd. Yes, there are other business considerations in a competitive marketplace, but giving your very best is a fundamental principle. Customers and clients need to see a reason to pay you rather than your competitor. But you can’t give what you don’t have.
As a small business owner, I know how important it is to be at your very best, but we can often run ourselves ragged and defeat that goal. Frankly, this is one of my personal weaknesses. I tend to over do it, running at a breakneck pace, neglecting my body and its needs, my mind and its needs, my family and their needs, putting myself in a horrible position — all with good intentions, of course. But as you’ve heard, the road to failure is paved with good intentions.
If an Olympic athlete does not allow for time to rest, time for the right kind of nourishment, time for coaching and mentoring, time to set goals, time to review his/her progress and adjust their training plan as needed, they will NOT compete at their best and highest. World class athletes know this. You cannot be your best if you’re not at your best.
How Can I Stay At My Best?
So with all that in mind, I’ve come up with some tips to help me stay at my best, and I offer them to you for your consideration.
- Physical Health: properly nourish your body (the largest challenge for me), regular exercise (and I don’t necessarily mean a Marine Corps boot camp work out, but whatever you do be consistent), get at least seven hours sleep a night.
- Mental Health: decrease the mindless activities like video games or watching too much television. Increase the mindful activities like reading, journaling, interesting conversation with a mentor or friend, learn a new skill or learn more about a current skill, take a class.
- Spiritual Health: for me this means spending time in meditation with scripture. For you it could mean listening to music, viewing art at a gallery, poetry — anything to feed your soul. (NOTE: Don’t do the first two tips and skip this third one. I believe that this one is more important than the other two.)
Make Regular Deposits Into Your “Bank”
Think of your life like a checking account. You deposit money, you spend money, and hopefully you don’t overdraw your account. Taking care of yourself is like depositing money in your account. Working, creating, managing your life and your business is like spending money. At the end of the day, you want to have money left in that account. You don’t want to keep spending and spending, without making sufficient deposits, because you will bankrupt yourself.
As I said, I’m talking to myself as much as I’m talking to you; take time for yourself and your family. Keep yourself in balance. Don’t overdraw your account because, you can’t give what you don’t have.
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