5 Reasons to Give Yourself a Break

I was recently speaking with one of my dear clients: a very bright, multi-talented woman, who also happens to be a former investment banker turned entrepreneur.

She quit the corporate world a couple of years ago to set-up her own business and spend more time with her two small kids. However, as a new business owner, the freedom and financial prosperity that she dreamed of turned-out to be far more elusive than first anticipated.

Before we started working together, my client felt like she was running herself ragged as much as if she were still working in banking.

Hours can be super long as an entrepreneur, especially in the beginning stages of your business. I often hear business owners say that they put in as much 20-hour days, sometimes 6 or 7 days a week, in the start-up phase.

Now, as a mum, my client obviously couldn’t work non-stop even if she wanted to. But between business hustle and family responsibilities, she was consistently self-sacrificing her wellbeing and quality time with her husband. As a result, she was frequently falling sick and her marriage was suffering too.

One of the first things that I taught her was the importance of Self-Mastery to succeed as an entrepreneur. And Self-Mastery starts with knowing what’s really important for you and taking good care of yourself.

If your wings are broken, your business will not fly!

Once my client got clear on her priorities — not only for her career, but also for her life — she started managing her diary in a completely different manner.

She blocked time in her calendar for sports and relaxation. She agreed with her husband to have a non-negotiable Friday date night every week, even if that just meant staying at home and watching a movie together while their kids were asleep.

She basically reorganised her schedule around her core values and desired feelings for love and health.

Obviously she also blocked time for work — 2-hour blocks at a time for optimal efficiency. And because she now has specific times allocated to focus on certain tasks, she no longer worries and beats herself-up for not getting something done sooner.

Knowing that she’ll get to it later, she’s able to fully enjoy her recreation & relaxation times. Her stress levels are much lower and she again feels more connected with her spouse.

If you’re wondering how her business is going now that she’s given herself some slack, I’m happy to report that she just booked two new coaching clients last week with minimal marketing effort.

Why? Because clients want to work with someone who’s balanced, not drained. Someone who’s ready to give her best. Clients want to be inspired and supported by you. They don’t want a coach or consultant who’s a walking mess.

And if you work in corporate, that’s applicable to you too. Your colleagues and employers want you fit, happy and healthy — both mentally and physically. That’s why so many big companies now have wellness centres right in their office facilities.

So if you’re tired, give yourself a break! Listen to your heart and take time off to rejuvenate both your body and soul. In the words of Bryan Dyson, former CEO of Coca-Cola:

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. They are Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls — Family, Health, Friends and Spirit — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.”

Guilt-free playtime will benefit you, your family and your business. Here are five reasons why…

1. Improve your health

Your body heals and restores itself best while you’re sleeping. That’s when the anabolic processes (of building-up your organs and tissues) are most active, and your immune system can work its magic without major diversions of energy.

So if you’ve been feeling a little bit under the weather, it’s imperative to take some time off and simply rest. Long weekends and vacations provide great opportunities for a lay-in.

2. Connect with those you love

Put work aside for a few days — or at least a few hours — and give your undivided attention to your family and your friends. Just like flowers, relationships need to be watered with care. If you neglect them, you’ll regret it!

3. Get in touch with your intuition

When we’re running off our feet to get things done, it’s hard to stop your mind chatter and listen to your gut. Slow down, notice how you feel, and give some space to your intuition.

It’s often when we take a break and go do something totally different that our best insights pop-up out of the blue.

4. Uplevel your performance

Maybe you can hold the fort for a few months with little sleep and time for fun. But in the long-run it’s not sustainable, and it starts affecting your performance in everything you do, including work.

Vacations were invented for a reason. You need that time to reenergise, reorganise your ideas and replenish your creativity. Just because you’re an entrepreneur and paid holidays are not part of your package, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take any.

Structure your business in such way that you can make money while you’re sleeping. Automate and delegate as much as you can, as soon as you can afford it.

5. Embody a premium personal brand

Self-care and self-worth go hand in hand. And self-worth is closely correlated to how much money you’re able to make.

To develop a premium personal brand that consistently attracts high-end clients, you must groom and respect yourself inside out. If you don’t believe in your own value and treasure yourself, nobody else will.

Over the coming weeks, I will continue to share with you my best tools to build-up your Self Mastery muscles so that you can thrive both in business and life. So sign-up for the bi-weekly eMagazine and stay tuned to future editions.

Now I’d love to hear from you. What are your top self-care and relaxation routines to stay sane in stressful business times? Let me know in the comments below. And if you liked this article, please share it with your colleagues and friends.

Originally published at www.elsaalexandra.com June 26, 2015. Written by Elsa Alexandra.

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About investing in community-driven cos + supporting our underestimated founder/investor fam. GP @thecommunityvc Scout @lightspeedvp Frmly @backstage

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