Time and again, I see this struggle. A savvy business owner who seemingly has the perfect formula for success. They work hard, manage their finances well, surround themselves with talented people, understands strategy, builds their team, focuses on efficiencies and has a solid marketing plan, yet still somehow the business is still struggling.
A tremendous amount of energy is being expended every day, in the effort to focus on the most important aspects of their business, leaving the business owner exhausted, often frustrated and increasingly dissatisfied.
As their coach, I say things like, “What if you got 8 hours sleep every night?” or, “What if you took a regular day off” or, “What if you spent your mornings exercising and meditating?”
I follow with, “How would this impact your business?” Their response is almost always, “Yes, I would be sharper, smarter, more focused. I would make more money and save time. I would better manage my people and be more relaxed in my communications.” Yet still they hesitate.
What is this about? Why do we think we are expendable? Why do we think we have to suffer to win? What is this idea that 70% of our presence 10 hours a day is better than 100% effort for 7 hours of our day? How could we buy into the idea that feeling good isn’t important for maximum productivity? I think we have gotten used to it. We have gotten used to being stressed, overworked, tired, on deadline, surviving. I also think, in some ways, it’s easier. We can check out.
When we ignore our well-being, when we ignore our bodies cues, and when we live in reaction, we become addicted to the adrenaline (stress) needed to make it through the day. We learn to disconnect from how we actually feel. Our minds race with the next thing and the next thing, and right now somehow this moment is never, ever good enough.
Being present requires a willingness to be still. It requires the ability to be comfortable in our own skin. Presence requires a profound ability to accept what is occurring in the moment. Presence requires an appreciation for space. Presence requires a willingness to leave the past behind and wait for the future. Presence requires your ability to BE good enough. Presence allows for real thinking versus mind chatter. It allows for responding versus reacting. Presence allows for intuition and connection to all things. Presence allows for creativity, innovation, fun and a sense of flow. Presence allows for oxytocin, serotonin, and those feel-good emotions that combat stress and strengthen the body.
Presence allows for leadership, and not just management. You are “Factor X”. You are very possibly the missing ingredient in your formula for success. How willing are you to handle the most important aspect of your business, YOU? How willing are you to be rested, relaxed, at peace and satisfied? What beliefs about yourself would you have to give up to regard yourself as the most important responsibility in your life? How would you have to see yourself? Yes, you are that important!
So how do you start? My clients have discovered it starts the night before. Just get to bed on time. Getting to bed early enough so that you can wake up and exercise, read, meditate, spend time with family, prepare your food for the day and so on. Before you dismiss this as impossible, think about what you could bring to your work day, if you showed up to work every day filled with energy, presence, joy, relaxation and focus.
If you have already mastered your morning, congratulations! Now find some space in the middle of your day to stop and take some deep breaths. I am talking about closing your eyes and doing nothing but breathing for 5 minutes.
Lastly, leave your work behind each day in time to enjoy a hobby, or spend time with your family and friends. I believe you own a business so that you can have a great life. If that’s not how you are doing it, change it. You’re the boss!
Are you interested in enhancing your formula for success? Check out Leadership Training: Being in the Flow.
Alicia Marie, Founder and Managing Director of People Biz, Inc., has become a national leader in the field of leadership development. She founded People Biz, Inc. in 2000 with the intention of providing total personal and professional development solutions for individuals, teams and organizations. She specializes in creating customized programs based on desired outcomes that include learning vehicles such as training, professional coaching and consulting.