I’m writing this month’s article from my fitness and detox retreat in Spain. I’ve been planning on doing this for a while since one of the perks of being independent is that I don’t have to ask my boss for annual vacation. In fact, a quick chat with hubby to let him know that I would be on fabulous “zesty” form when I returned was all that was needed to convince him to take care of the kids for the week and wish me a safe journey and a fun week.
I believe it’s so important to stay in great shape as a small business owner as any “sickies” will directly impact profitability. Even if you’re not getting sick, the truth is it takes a lot of energy to run a successful small business especially as in the early days you find yourself doing far more than perhaps you’d originally planned from marketing to selling, financial management, coordinating with suppliers and providers to delivering the services to clients, as well as staying on top of the admin that is necessary to keep the business running smoothly.
It takes stamina to run a small business and some give up because they simply can’t maintain that level of energy and commitment over the longer distance. Physical and emotional energy are so intertwined and having a physical outlet for the inevitable stresses and frustrations that build up will really help keep you motivated and in a generally more positive emotional state (yes, that's me training with my pink boxing gloves in Spain!).
Your own physical health and fitness is essential to build a solid foundation for your business. If you are currently viewing physical health and fitness as a “nice to have” or something to pay attention to once you’ve got your business up and running you might want to think again as this could cost you considerably longer term. I see business owners getting jaded, burned out and lacking in energy for their personal lives when they aren’t prioritizing their health as a part of their business plan.
Here are some quick tips to start incorporating health goals into your business life:
- When you set quarterly goals for your business include one that will cover health and fitness so that it gets your attention too. Consider getting a kickstart to your day with a cardio workout before you start checking emails. This will give you a great energy boost and leave you free to focus on your business knowing that you’ve already started your day with physical activity.
- Partner with another small business owner and exercise together. One of my close friends also runs her own business and we have become power walking buddies. It gives us a great workout and we get to use each other as sounding boards to share our latest business ideas or work through dilemmas together.
- Set physical goals that will also benefit a local charity or cause that’s close to your heart. It can be really motivating to be part of a larger team of people working to make a positive change in the world and it naturally gives you some accountability too. Plus you get to personally benefit from a goal that will increase your own fitness levels and the joy of contributing to enhancing the well-being of others.
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© 2012 Vanessa Shaw
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