Taking care of your business is taking care of yourself. First.
Opening a business is a crazy, scary, exciting moment. Whirlwind. Mind-boggling. Constant state of freaking out. You’re working over 100 hours a week, sleeping 4 to 5 hours a night. And let’s be honest, the sleep is not rejuvenating - it’s more of a fight with sheets and pillows for a few hours while your mind is actively thinking about next steps or items you may have missed or forgotten.
I know. I have been there. Opening a business is hard. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done. And the most rewarding. But in the meantime, we have to remember our health.
What? Our health? How in the world can you take care of yourself mentally and physically while taking care of all that other stuff?
It’s not a matter of how - it’s a matter of need.
I recently underwent a major surgery. A surgery that required weeks of downtime to heal and restore. Although it was hard to imagine myself stopping for that long, it was also exactly what I needed. Not just for the physical aspect but also the mental.
During my recovery, I ate. I slept. I ate some more and sometimes I worked on a puzzle. I didn’t get to read as much as I wanted because, well, I just fell asleep again! I watched a lot of TV. But I also reflected on what the hell got me here in the first place.
It was years of mistreating my body. Mistreating my mind and soul. I was working for companies that didn’t care if I left or stayed. I was dispensable to them and to myself. Why didn’t I take care of myself sooner? Why did I feel I didn’t have the time?
Because I was selfish. I know, it doesn’t make sense. Being selfish IS taking care of yourself first. But my care was misconstrued. I believed that taking care of others; my family, my job, my home, was top priority. They needed me. I needed them to need me. Work. Laundry. Clean. Buy food. Pay the bills. Have fun. Ugh - that one… have fun. I used to think it was my job to make sure everyone else had a good time and that everyone was happy.
Everyone but me. I was hurting. Physically hurting. And instead of going to professionals, I worked. I did laundry. I cleaned. I made sure the electricity didn’t turn off. I bought toilet paper. I planned vacations. I helped the kids when they needed it and when they didn’t know they needed it. Or I at least tried.
And then one day, I couldn’t take it anymore. I got myself into the doctor and it was the best thing I have done for myself in a long time. He fixed me. I then I fixed myself.
It’s still a process - the physical healing. Therapy is constant and will be for awhile. But that’s okay. The severe pain is gone. It’s gone!
Fixing myself will always be a process. As it should be. We should always be growing and learning. And I am definitely headed in the right direction. A direction I didn’t think I would ever take. An entrepreneur. I realized I didn’t want to work for a company anymore. I was tired of the struggles and I was more talented than sitting in an uncomfortable office counting down my work hours. I didn’t want to waste my time anymore.
The past few months have not only been healing to my body, they have been healing to my mind and soul. I know I have a lot of work to do. And I know I need to continue to work hard to be successful. I know I am going to hear “no, thank you” and “this is not at all what we want”, but I also know I am doing it for myself.
Yes, taking care of yourself is top priority. Being happy and healthy IS the right thing for your family and friends. Be the best version of you. Then you can fully focus on your business. You need to rejuvenate. Take that walk at night. Go see a movie. Spend an evening with your girlfriends. Do something for yourself. Get out of your own head. Work will always be there - especially when it’s your company. Your life. Make sure you’re treating it well.