5 fundamentals every entrepreneur should never compromise on.
Running a business, leading a team, working your finances, managing a project it can be exhausting, so taking note of your health and those who are supporting you is essential to maintain your business strategy and to make sure it adds value and is sustainable.
If you are in business, whether as an entrepreneur, a business owner or leader, many of you will neglect to build your own personal resilience that enables you to push through obstacles and hold your nerve until those goals are met. Whilst business success is measured very differently looking after your health and wellbeing is fundamentally the same.
Here are our top 5 tips to help support your personal resilience when in business.
1. Build the list of people you know
When we started Kinbee, we didn’t really understand the power of the ‘freebie’ after all, why would someone work really hard on something and then give it away…for free? But we read some amazing research (2014) that showed that sales within Costco jumped 600% after testing their market with free samples.
We soon realised that Kinbee needed to create a brand showing ‘who and what we are’ so that people come to know, like and trust what we do; we needed to offer ‘added value’.
But why is this my number 1 'fundamental' to never compromise on? Because the sleepless nights reduced when our customer base started to increase. We realised that we could build our ‘who do you know list’ (customer base) with just some very carefully put together products that would shout out about our high quality standards, creative minds and unique experience without us having to speak to 1000’s of people.
2. Building strong habits
All managers, leaders and entrepreneurs have a large workload and that often sees them juggling several projects and tasks in one go…a recipe for stress and anxiety if not managed properly.
When we started our training, qualifications and consultancy company we relied heavily on the use of social media to build our customer base and to raise the profile of our brand but I 100% underestimated how time consuming this really was.
We had no choice but to implement some consistency within our lives. Like every entrepreneur, there were days when we would work for 20 hours and whilst we didn't really struggled with doing the work there was no consistency, no habits, no regulation and that meant no discipline. By bringing morning rituals to our days, we have became more focused on the actions that needed to be taken and then by introducing strong habits we are able to finish at a time that meant rest, less anxiety and time for doing other activities.
3. Live a healthy lifestyle
Too many entrepreneurs take for granted their own health; with the business needs often coming before their own personal wellbeing needs. Ultimately if you do not look after yourself at some point it will catch up with you and then you are fit for nothing!
A few years back I had an appalling work/ life balance…my energy levels were so low that I would fall asleep on the sofa next to my children! so the thought of cooking a proper meal or exercising wasn’t even present in my mind.
Once you understand the importance of taking care of your body and mind then you will start to form new eating habits but fitness and emotional wellbeing habits too. What exercise does is allow time to socialise, have ‘me’ time, give space to think and boost our happy hormones!
By reducing my sugar levels and taking time away from the laptop has not 100% eliminated my stress levels (I am an entrepreneur after all) but it has helped provide more focus and allowed me to enjoy the journey instead of worrying about the destination.
4. Have a plan with goals but make sure they are actioned
Having a plan and setting goals will help you to stay on track. Forming these goals into an action plan provides a pathway to your vision but often people don’t set appropriate plans and become too ambitious.
Now I am guilty of big thinking…known for not doing things small, lightly or without challenge! But one lesson I have learnt over my 20 years in business is that when you set goals too high without a realistic plan you get overwhelmed and then start to mentally ‘beat yourself up’ when you don’t achieve them.
Write down your ‘vision’ but make it real and not just a dream. Plan BIG and action those plans!! Think about what your vision is for your business (or department) and what that looks like in 5 years and then work backwards to 3years, 2 years, 1 year, 6months. Too many businesses fail after the first year and a big contributing factor to this is the leaders inability to plan properly so remember be realistic with your resources, skills and time.
5. Take time for family
A great man once said “Don’t miss anything”. Don’t miss the school events, don’t miss the rugby matches, don’t miss the theatre, don’t miss making memories!
When I first started out in our first leadership roles, it was fair to say that I missed too many family events thinking that I was showing dedication and leadership skills. But what I now realise is that I was leading my team to think that work was the priority and in all honesty, I would have been upset if one of my team had prioritised work outside of work hours!
There is a balance between work and family and that is something that every leader and entrepreneur should master. Another reason businesses fail is because of burnout and the strain it can have on their families so become the master of time management. We use a diary to plan the week and plan around key times that our families need us, now that’s not to say we don’t work when the children are around but by making sure we have allocated time for them they know that when we are working it must be for something really important.
Not every leader, manager and entrepreneur will be successful. Some will choose other things over their business but you have to ask yourself what is success to you?
To me it is flexibility to manage my own life…its seeing the people I work with grow, thrive and succeed…its choosing what projects I want our businesses to work on…and yes there is financial value to my success but being able to be home when my children are back from school and to trot with my rambling group once a week that is far more important to my success.