, ,

Mental health tips for business owners

There is a lot of focus about good mental health for employees at the moment, so I’d like to focus some attention on the mental health of business owners. As a business owner, you’re juggling many things, especially if you’re running your business by yourself and have to do everything in your business.

Staying fit and healthy is crucial to the success of your business – without you being well and able to carry out your weekly tasks, you will have no business. Doing exercise, drinking water and getting fresh air are the basics aren’t they, which we all know about. But what about your mental health? Whilst your walking are you trying to fix the problem “that customer” has? Or are you worrying about not having enough money to pay your supplier at the end of the month?

Can you see? Just because your taking exercise, doesn’t always mean your mental health is being improved, and can often mean you’re not in the mood for your business.

Business owners share their mental health tips

mental health tips by business owners for business ownersMany people set up their own business to share a passion they’ve discovered when they’ve been helped by something. My very own Business Cheerleading Club was set up in response to needing a supportive place to be understood as a business owner and share the ups and downs we have each week with other business owners who know what it’s like. The support for each other, and your business, within the club is amazing, and fills me with joy to be helping others find the right place for them to grow their business. Knowing you have the right support helps you be in the right frame of mind to run your own business and support your mental health.

So I asked some business owners to share their mental health tips, not only from their own experience, but also from what they do in their business:

 

elaine clark

 

 

 

Elaine Clark

SafeguardingKidz

As a counsellor and therapist working with children, young people and adults,
many with bereavement, loss, post abuse, trauma and mental health issues, I fully understand that staying mentally strong yourself as a business owner is important.
It’s draining for me, so whilst I teach relaxation, meditation and visualisation methods to my clients, so that they can use these mental health tips and tools in their daily lives, I have to ensure I do this for myself.I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful part of the country, overlooking a river, which is calming for me.My mental health tips for business owners are:
Knowing. how to love yourself, keeping time and space for yourself each week is paramount to keeping yourself healthy on every level.
karen peddie

Karen Peddie

Karen Peddie Holistics

I’m a Reiki Master Teacher and EFT (Tapping) practitioner and both are excellent for helping people to become calm and balanced.

I suffered with anxiety, stress and depression for many years and I can honestly say I am calmer now than I have been for over 20 years. I now help others to feel better about themselves and my clients tell me they feel very relaxed after a treatment.

One lady told me she had not had a migraine since their  treatment last week, when previously, they were getting them every day. That’s how wonderful Reiki is!

My mental health tips for business owners are:

Find what works for you to stay relaxed, then practice it, and make sure it’s the first thing that goes in your diary

nick haines five institute

Nick Haines

Five Institute

My work at the Five Institute and beyond is based on the central premise that our inner and outer solutions for good mental health, wellbeing and everything else we do should be designed around each individuals nature, needs and worldview.

Although that is neither an original thought or anything but common sense, some of the tools we have such as The Vitality Test are an original and unique way to achieve that end.

I’ve suffered myself with both anxiety and depression. In my teenage years, the lack of understanding as to who I am as a person resulted in the treatments and suggestions doing more harm than good.

Later it became obvious to me what went wrong, but at the time it was a mystery to the professionals concerned, and highly distressing to me.

My mental health tips for business owners are:

Learn and understand what’s right for you. If something doesn’t feel or seem right, try something else. We’re all unique and it may take time, but stick with your desire to be mentally and physically healthy

emma launchbury bras4mums and bra lady cambridge

Emma Launchbury

bras4mums & Cambridge Bra Lady

My business is bras4mums/BraLady Cambridge and I help women feel more confident by fitting them in supportive and comfortable bras, specifically maternity & nursing bras through bras4mums.

Having struggled through two pregnancies and breastfeeding wearing the wrong sized bras, I trained as a bra fitter. My third pregnancy and subsequent breastfeeding with my youngest was transformed by wearing properly fitting bras.

“I’ve always struggled finding nice nursing bras in my size (H) and found it all quite depressing! Looking at her website gave me hope. Emma came to my house to fit me which was so convenient with two kids in tow. She brought a large selection for me to try and was so friendly. I found the perfect bra and it has transformed how I look and feel. Breastfeeding doesn’t mean you have to wear horrible bras. I recommend using Emma’s services to anyone wanting a comfy stylish bra.”

New mums have a lot to deal with in the early days/weeks after giving birth but having properly fitted bras can make such a difference to them. It is one less thing for them to worry about and often enables them to feel more confident about breastfeeding because they are comfortable and well supported by their bras.

My mental health tips for business owners are:

Make regular time for yourself. If you don’t look after yourself, then your business will ultimately suffer as you eventually burn out.

What are you doing to maintain a good mental health whilst running your business?

There are so many ways of improving and maintaining a good level of mental health, as our business owners here have shared. I believe that you need to find what works for you. It can take time, especially if you’ve allowed your business to take over your life.

When I’m working with a client, I always say, “small steps”, and we’ll look at what can easily be added into a daily and weekly routine to start getting the balance right again.

You won’t be alone if you’re struggling to find the right balance in your life, and feel anxious or concerned about your life and your business. Just re-read what the business owners have shared above! Sometimes it just takes us a little nudge or knock to take us “over the edge” to make us realise it’s time to make a change.

If you need some support to work out what’s right for you, feel free to contact me and let’s explore your options.

If you’d be happy to share what you do in the comments below so that others can benefit from your experience, that would be wonderful.

 

, , , , ,

Can your children teach you to believe in yourself

I believe children can teach you to believe in yourself. Here’s why:

Today my eldest son, age 16, started his GCSE exams. He walked out of the door having had a good night’s sleep, a good breakfast inside him, and having done his paper round and had some exercise and fresh air. He was calm, relaxed and confident, having packed his bag yesterday.

He totally believes in himself and his ability to do the best he can in his exams, which stretch over the next 5 weeks (one week off for holiday/revision in the middle). Yes, he could have done more revision, but as he reminded me, he made choices about how to manage this time.

It’s not just about  mindset. It reminded me that so often as a business owner you don’t always believe in yourself. But you should.

Just like my son, you’re ready for the next step:

  • you’ve done your preparation work & researched your market with the products and services you’re selling
  • you’ve got your systems and structures in place to take payment, and your ready to supply the customer with what they want
  • you’re fit and healthy, and making time for you within your weekly schedule to maintain your mental and physical health
  • you’ve got your daily routine to ensure that nothing is missed in your business
  • you’ve got your business and life goals in focus, and you’re working towards achieving them

3 tips to ensure you believe in yourself

  1. Ensure your personal core values are also within your business values. If they aren’t you’ll feel that your business isn’t totally a part of you. Yet it is. You are your business, so you must ensure your values are incorporated into your business. If you don’t believe in yourself how can you expect your customers to?
  2. Keep track of your business numbers and don’t let anyone distract you from your business. You know you and your business best. If you can’t afford something this month that you think will help your business in the long run simply be honest with yourself and put a bit of money aside towards it next month. Don’t be distracted by special offers, or experts saying you “have” to do something. You know what’s right for your business. Don’t jump in. Take time to think about it before making a decision
  3. Have the right support team cheering you on. Whether this is your understanding family, a group of friends or a focused business support group, or more likely a combination of support, when you’re struggling to believe in yourself, they’ll remind you how special and talented and focused you are. It’s easy to forget why you’ve set your business up, but your business cheerleading team will keep you on track, and boost you when you need it.

What else can our children teach us as business owners?

children help you believe in yourselfAs parents we teach our children lots of things, and we hope to inspire them with confidence, so they grow up to be sure of themselves, and believe in their abilities. So isn’t it fascinating that when they turn round to us and say, “you’re great at that Mum/Dad”, that it inspires us and confirms what we know deep inside? That we’re doing a good job as a parent, and a great job as a business owner. Those simple words remind you to believe in yourself.

I’m sure there’s lots of other things our children can teach us. I’m often blown away by what my boys teach me. It’s a collaboration isn’t it? Learning together so we benefit from each other. That’s why I love the Business Cheerleading Club so much I think – a collaboration of business owners, learning together, just like my family 🙂

I’d love to hear what your children are teaching you and how you’re using that within your business. Let me know by leaving a comment:

, , ,

How we think has an impact on our business

Did you know that how we think impacts on how we communicate with others? You know that each one of us is unique, so does it make sense that each of us thinks in our own unique way?

Each of us thinks in a different way, but how do others know how we think? Yes we communicate, but we generally communicate in the style to suit us, not our listener, so will what we say come across in the way we intend?

Thinking, learning and communication are linked so closely aren’t they? Yet, do we really understand how we think and use that to our advantage in our business and personal lives?

Understanding how we think

I had a wonderful conversation with Helyn Connerr who shared some insights into how we think differently from each other. She called it a “cognitive model” of thinking, learning and communicating. Her Mercury Model describes 12 different ways the mind thinks, we we all fit into.

The Mercury Model accurately describes how our minds tick. It’s all about individuality in thinking and learning. Helyn Connerr

how we think and communicate

 

You may have yourself experienced difficulties at school, where you didn’t ‘learn’ in the same way as your peers. We all know of stories where children are “tossed out” or “written off” because they come across as disruptive in the classroom, but later turn out to have an entrepreneurial streak and are seen as a “success” later in life (we want talk about what success is here. I’ll keep that for another day!).

If you’ve ever felt unfulfilled in a job you’ve done, or you’ve been misunderstood, even by those close to you, you’ll now what it feels like to want to shout out “that’s just who I am, I can’t help it if I think this way. Why don’t you understand me?”

What would you do differently in business if you understood your mind better?

This isn’t about auditory, kinesthetic and visual learning styles. What we’re talking about here, is something much deeper. I’ve learnt myself that the Mercury Model is a quick and easy way to assess yourself and others, and then be able to use that understanding of how your mind ticks, to communicate in the right way with the other person.

How we think involves:

• The learning environment: including noise, temperature, familiarity, safety or colour.
• The nature of the information itself: like traditional/innovative, significant or abstract.
• The delivery: for instance repetition, fun, fast/slow pace, visuals or interaction.

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Albert Einstein

What tools do you currently use to develop your team? Do you consider mental dynamics? It’s not something I thought about before I was introduced to Helyn’s work. An example Helyn shared in our conversation of a team she worked with who had four similar minds working together and they couldn’t generate new ideas as they always looked at information in the same way. She thought the idea was amazing, but those 4 similar minds couldn’t make it work.

To understand your own way of thinking, you will need to take a look at the books Helyn has written, as there’s too much to share in this space. I can assure you though, that understanding how we think will change your perspective in all areas of your life and business, so a little investment in money and time will reap rewards.

Fish can't climb trees tells us how we thinkHelyn suggested Fish Can’t Climb Trees for business owners. If you’re also a parent, you may also want to look at Learning without Tears (which was my first introduction to the Mercury Model). You can also work with Helyn one to one, or get her involved with your business or work team, if you’d like to understand how everyone thinks in a holistic way.

Helyn will be sharing further insights in a Business Cheerleading Club workshop later this year.

I’d love your thoughts on your understanding of how we think & how you currently manage this in your business. What have you learnt from my conversation with Helyn that you’d like to explore further?

,

How clear is your website message for your audience to understand?

Getting your website message clear enough for your audience to understand is crucial to getting people to stay on your website long enough to see if you’re the right business for them. This is often one of the biggest challenges business owners face with all their marketing – is my message clear to my ideal customer?

Who is your audience?

As with all aspects of your business, this is the most fundamental part of all of your marketing – offline and online. Without a clear picture of who your audience is, you won’t be able to accurately use the right language for them to know you’re talking to them.

There’s lots of ways of getting really clear about your target audience, and we recommend Thoranna’s “Target Groups Untangled“, for a step by step guide. If you prefer to listen, then my interview with Thoranna has some excellent pointers for getting really clear who your target audience is.

How do I keep my website message clear?

is your website message clearIf your website message is clear, your audience will know they’re in the right place and continue to see what you offer, and if it’s right for them. During my conversation with Tim Gray, we spoke a lot about keeping it simple, from your website structure, to the words you use on your website.

Tim spoke about colours on your website too, and his article about the psychology of colour is fascinating, and well worth considering when you’re reviewing your website, and if it’s talking to your ideal audience. It’s not only colour that can be off putting for a reader, but the images and videos you use too.

Let’s look at an example:

If you’re a holistic therapist serving an area local to your home, then your website message needs to include the following:

  • Who are you & why do you do what you do
  • What you do
  • How it can help
  • Who you help (be really clear who your ideal audience is. If it’s women, say it. If it’s teenagers say that)
  • Where do you help people
  • How do you do your treatments
  • Your price
  • How people can contact you and also book an appointment

Think about it, and apply these questions to your own business:

  1. Does your ideal customer know exactly what they’re looking for? they may not know that your treatment can help their particular health issue
  2. Is your ideal customer scared or unsure about their current situation? you may need to reassure them with a story of another customer you’ve helped
  3. How have other customers found you? What were they looking for? Were they your ideal customer? use the analytics you have access to & your records to see if your website is attracting your ideal customer, or someone else. Do you want to change the words you use?
  4. Can your customer find what they’re wanting easily from any page they happen to arrive at on your website? Does the menu make sense to a lay person not fully aware of the terms you may use in your business or industry if they are totally new in searching for help in this area?

Tips for keeping your website message clear

Just like for all your marketing, get others to help you and sense check what you’re doing. Do you have a group of friends, or a network of business owners who understand your target audience enough to be able to give you good feedback? Use them. We’re doing this all the time in the Business Cheerleading Club, sense checking each other, and giving honest feedback.

Keep it simple. From the structure of your website, to the words and images you use, and the twiddly bits you add. What does your ideal customer like to look at and read? Do they like watching videos, or are they more readers to glean information before they make a decision? Are they busy and need to find what they’re looking for quickly? Keeping all your marketing simple will ensure that everything ties together when your customer sees your message in other places.

Ensure your website structure is easy to navigate, using terms your target audience use themselves in their everyday language.

Use words and phrases that your audience will understand without jargon they may not have heard of yet. Be explicit in your language. Remember you are writing your words for a HUMAN reader, not a search engine robot. 

Use headings and sub-headings to make the information easy on the eye and easy to find what you’re looking for as you scan text quickly.

Does your website look inviting and friendly? Is that what your ideal audience is looking for? Or are they looking for clinical and factual?

What questions do you get asked most? What questions are your audience looking to answer? Add these questions, and their answers to your website to help your ideal audience find what they’re looking for more easily.

Be yourself. You are your business, so you want to ensure the audience knows who you are, so they can relate to you and your business.

We all know that businesses grow and things change all the time. If you sell products you may have some products which sell  out that need removing, and new products going on to your website. Keeping that up to date can feel like a full time job in itself, let alone checking your website message is still clear for your customer.

Yes, your website message is important, just like all your other marketing messages. And marketing is just one part of your business. Yes, your not alone in thinking this is feeling a bit overwhelming. So, get your friends and network to help you. Find the right people to check your website message with you. The Business Cheerleading Club is a great place to ask for that support, and work with others to make any changes you may need.

Or, you can work one to one with me to Get your Website Working.

What have you done, or are doing, to get your website message clear for your target audience? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

, , ,

How do I get the right business mindset

“Mindset is the key to everything” Lottie Moore,

I’ve learnt a lot about mindset over my time in business. I think we can all learn from watching children as they learn how a business mindset can develop to support our business growth.

business mindsetChildren as they learn are honest with themselves and others. If they’re trying to do something they won’t stop until they do it. Think of them learning to walk. How many times will they fall over before they find their balance?

So why do business owners think that running a business is easy and they won’t fall over at the first hurdle?

I can’t answer that question, but I can help you create the right business mindset to make your business journey as smooth a ride as possible.

How do I create the right business mindset for me?

We are all different, so what works for me won’t necessarily work for you. However, from my experience, and that shared by Mindset expert Lottie Moore during an interview, there are things you can do to help yourself create the right business mindset for you.

I am assuming you’re in the right business & you have a passion for what you do. That’s the starting point!

  1. Have your plan and EXPECT it to work
  2. Be prepared to knock on doors & go out and do it. TAKE ACTION.
  3. DO OR NOT DO. There is no try” maybe a mantra from Star Wars character Yoda, but it’s true.
  4. Choose to STAY POSITIVE in your business even if you get a little knock back, or things don’t go quite to plan
  5. Surround yourself with people who will AFFIRM you for who you are and your brilliant skills & SUPPORT you in the right way
  6. Celebrate every little success with your cheerleading team

If you’re having a bad day

And you will. It’s perfectly normal in business, as in life, to have bad days. Lottie suggested these tips to get your business mindset back to where you want it to be:

“Expect the best, prepare for the worst” Firewalker mantra

  1. Ask yourself, “have I got a reason, or have I got an excuse?”
  2. Adopt an entrepreneurial spirit – Don’t linger on the things that don’t work. Learn and move on
  3. Step up and go for it
  4. Replace “try”, with “I AM GOING TO”
  5. Replace “if”, with “WHEN”
  6. Put on some great music
  7. Take responsibility for your successes & when things go well
  8. Write down what you’re grateful for. Have a gratitude jar to remind yourself of a great day
  9. Be proactive in creating your own mood for the moment, the day, and your business
  10. What are you good & passionate about? That’s what you need to focus on & get support on the other parts.
  11. Invest in the best you can afford. Low cost monthly clubs, like the Business Cheerleading Club are great & you meet wonderful people.
  12. Mix with people who will support you and encourage you to grow your business
  13. Learn from the questions others ask in your support group. You learn what you didn’t know you did’t know!
  14. Think about the language you use. Change a word and see if it’s more positive for you
  15. It’s OK to say, “I haven’t got the money for that this month”, or “things aren’t great at the moment”, or “this is hard”
  16. Give yourself a break, you’re doing a great job 🙂

Celebrate what you want to replicate. Lottie Moore

lottie moore talks about business mindsetCreating your business mindset is one thing, and maintaining it can be something else. You’ll probably learn something else from the conversation I had with Lottie. It’s only half an hour long, so you can listen whilst you’re washing up!

What do you do to create the right business mindset for yourself? Let me know in the comments below.

 

If you’re a coach and want extra support, Lottie’s Coaching Success Academy we talk about is another option for your own support and business development.