Running a business can be a challenge in and of itself, but in today's world where the commonly heard phrase "there's an app for that" really does ring true, it can be easier than ever to run a business while traveling the world. This is even true for those involved in business models where most revenue is made at physical locations, like service industries and retail stores.
The tech world is ever-evolving and new apps are constantly popping up, serving new functions and improving old ones, making our lives as business owners that much easier by enabling us to effectively manage with the simple and accessible touch of a button.
We're seeing a plethora of apps for website management, data management, booking software for appointments, services and just about everything in between. Even apps with mobile capabilities for more sensitive tasks like payroll management and accounting now exist! On every end of the spectrum as a business owner, the tech field has us covered.
Whether a business is location-oriented or not, it is always important that it's left in the hands of someone we not only trust, but more importantly that the person you trust is left with a team that you have prepped for success.
One of the most effective ways to prep your managers and staff for success is to establish operating procedures which are codified, reviewed, and put into practice in order to ensure seamlessness of daily operations. Figure out what your steps of service are, which factors most determine your brand's user experience, and never stop urging your staff to search for new ways of improving steps of service.
Between traveling for leisure and traveling for work, my studio team is my greatest asset in keeping allongeé running smoothly. As a company which relies on our service hours- i.e. when we are actively running classes- our staff members really set the stage for my company's success in my absence.
It is also equally important to keep an eye on overhead and have overhead goals on top priority which will yield for greater financial security.
When a business' day-to-day costs can be controlled, profit margins can be controlled and likely increased. This makes running a business from overseas much more rewarding for the entrepreneur, which can be an even bigger asset to the entity's financial health.
While all of these things are equally important, the one which is likely to have the greatest overall influence is the intervention of technology to help manage, analyze, and organize nearly every angle of the business. The apps we utilize allow me to manage countless aspects of the business from abroad- from point of sale to social media management and client management. Technology can be relative to the rest of the above points as well; if we are able to allow technology to take over any of the operational tasks we can often save/improve in more than one place (i.e. software systems for bookings- can save work time for employees, simplifying SOP tasks and can also save on overhead costs).
Managing point of sale while abroad can offer peace of mind, but can also allow us the chance to track inventory, create projections and evaluate the performance of products. Inventory and re-ordering would likely be a nightmare without the help of the Square app. It updates in real-time, and offers a pretty satisfactory array of reports on various sales stats as well.
Our brand's social media presence is probably one of the more important things I manage on a day-to-day basis, and it's most definitely gotten easier with the implementation of apps like Buffer and Hootsuite. These programs allow me to plan ahead and schedule social media posts, making management easier than ever even while I am traveling.
Lastly and equally as important is our booking software, Mindbody, which helps manage schedules on a live-feed while also serving as our clients' means to purchase class packages and pre-book services. Like Square, this app also has quite an array of performance reports, from revenue projections to retention reports and even marketing analyses.
It's no secret that running a business can take a toll on one's mental health, especially when the sole owner is away on vacation crossing their fingers every minute that everything is running smoothly back home. Fortunately, you guessed it, there's an app for that too. Meditation and fitness apps can be a great option when all you want to do is call and check in on your fully capable team (that you handpicked to work with you for that exact reason).
Simple Habit is a guided meditation app which focuses on what your goals are outside of the guided meditation. The app will offer reminders to meditate during times you anticipate you may need it and will personalize your experience to meet your needs. Most of the mediations are quick, under ten minutes, and will help keep your mental state in good health and will allow you to build the habit of stepping back and finding a place for relaxation. Even simpler is utilizing Spotify's mood playlists. As a dancer, my body and emotions have always been deeply connected to music, and Spotify has a really great collection of playlists for relaxation, mood and energy boosters, and just about everything in between. Find what works best for you. Taking a moment to yourself can help you relax and enjoy the vacation you worked so hard for.
Today's apps make it easy to keep track of what is going on every minute of every day. Like I touched on earlier, technology has assisted business owners with developing a work/life balance so they are in-the-know while away, but still able to enjoy a change of scenery.
With the right tools, procedures, and staff in place, a sustainable business will be able to adjust its model to remain sustainable and secure while you take advantage of having your 'out of office' message on.
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."