5min readBusiness 27 December 2019
When I sat down to think about the biggest mistakes I've seen small business owners make (including myself), I came up with a laundry list that went on forever, but a few bigger conceptual mistakes REALLY stuck out to me that can encompass all the little ones.
Mistake #1: They give up before they really get started
When I started my network marketing business in 2011, I remember having a great first month. I was SO excited and my energy was through the roof. Then December came and business slowed down and I gave up. After ONE MONTH, I gave up?! I treated my business like a hobby I only did if it was easy. If it was fun and easy, I'd do it. The second it got a little hard, I threw in the towel. I realized pretty quickly that this wasn't going to bring me in consistent income, and sure as heck wasn't going to let me quit my day job. If I was going to build a six and multiple six figure business I had to ACT like a six figure business owner.
Six figure business owners do not give up when they hit a hard patch. They also don't have a "Plan B" or timeline to have success in their business. Sure, we can have goals and benchmarks we'd like to hit, but if we don't hit our goals by that time, do we just throw in the towel and call it quits? No! We evaluate. What went well? What went wrong? How can we change it for next time? We need to start looking at our "mistakes" "failures" and "pitfalls" as learning experiences that we can tweak for next time.
The entrepreneurial roller coaster is REAL, and if we don't mentally prepare ourselves for the tough times, we're going to give up before we even get started. And the funny thing is, we usually have a breakthrough on the other side of a struggle.
My biggest tip for you to bust through these hard times and not make the mistake of giving up too quickly, is to find the FUN in the everyday. What part of your day can you look forward to? What (inside AND outside of your business) can drive you and give you purpose? Those things will keep you going and find joy in the process rather than just focusing on the destination.
Mistake #2: They try to do everything themselves//zone of genius
For the longest time I wore "figuring it all out by myself" as a badge of honor. I didn't think I needed help to build my business. I'd just google everything, save money, and be good. BOY was I WRONG. Not only would that strategy take me FOREVER, but it's really lonely. Being an online entrepreneur can be a very lonely endeavor, ESPECIALLY if you're trying to do it all alone. Investing in coaching and masterminds have not only helped me have more skin in the game and learn how to have success from someone who's already been there, but it's made the entire process so much more FUN.
I have a community of like minded female entrepreneurs who I can go to when business gets tough. My friends outside of entrepreneurship, while amazing, won't always be able to relate to what I'm struggling with within my business, and having women who truly "get it" has made the biggest difference in my business (and sanity and happiness!).
Even if your first step is to join a free community, seek out help in SOME way! I have a great Free Community you can join here.
Mistake #3: They don't have a life outside of business and make their entire identity and happiness dependent on their business
While I absolutely LOVE my business, it is not my entire life. My business GIVES me life. I am forever grateful for it, but if I based my entire worth or identity on my business, I'd be a basket case. As an entrepreneur we're going to face so many ups and downs and if we ride that up and down emotionally every single time, we're going to be a wreck. I have a pretty smooth flowing business and team operating efficiently and we STILL have things "go wrong" every month. It's just the nature of business and the fast changing pace of social media. If something doesn't go as planned, I don't completely freak out and think my life is over. Is my family happy and healthy? Am I happy and healthy? Great. Then I'm good.
Life will happen. And when it does it can be very hard to show up in our business. If we can separate our business from our personal life and plan ahead for times like these, we can have "life happening" without our business crumbling. And vice versa. If we are having a tough point in our business we don't have to let it completely affect our personal life.
Setting boundaries with our business and personal life is going to be HUGE. I personally don't work weekends or after 5PM most days and my clients know and respect that. Setting boundaries (and actually sticking to them) are what's going to help you create that work/life balance that sometimes seem so elusive. I promise you, it's not :) You can have it too!
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With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.
When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.
Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan
Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.
Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.
The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.
Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits
The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.
With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.
Tip 3: Start slow and strong
If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.
Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.
Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize
In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.
When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.
Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness
From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.
Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.
Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.
A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.
Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition
In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.
If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health
While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.
For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.
While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.