As an entrepreneur, your business is made up of many moving pieces. The parts should all work together in a harmonious and synergistic fashion. However, if you don’t focus your attention on all the parts that make up the whole, your company could falter. And one of the most important parts is the effort you put into your self-development.
You probably encountered at least one or two burned-out, frustrated bosses over the years. Or, you’ve worked for managers who were nice but uninspiring. In both circumstances, your leaders weren’t evolving in a healthy way. Even if their companies were profitable, they could have been much more profitable had they worked on themselves.
Right now, you’re heading up one of the more than 31 million businesses pushing the American economy out of Covid’s fog. This means you have to stay at the top of your game to make smart choices and inspire those around you. In simple terms, you have to make sure all the parts of your life are working toward your and your company’s success. Below are three places to begin.
1. Power up your visualization skills.
Athletes don’t just spend their time working out physically before a game or match. They set aside valuable minutes replaying what they want to happen in their heads. By the time they get on the floor or field, their visualizations seem so real that they frequently become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Mark Lachance pushes for entrepreneurs to embrace visualization techniques in his book, The Lucky Formula. Lachance explains that after he began putting “mental rehearsals” into practice, he began to enjoy a higher degree of consistency in his work outcomes. To outsiders, your newfound “luck” born out of visualization might seem like magic, but it’s not.
As Lachance writes, visualization is merely another useful tool. Nevertheless, it’s a powerful one that’s worth mastering. So set aside time to follow his practice of identifying and describing what you want in detail, visualizing it emotionally in the first and third person, and taking actions to make it come true. You’ll go into every important circumstance from client calls to merger negotiations with increased control, determination, and confidence. After all, you’ve been-here, done-this before.
2. Stay stingy with your personal time.
Have you begun to burn the candle not just at both ends but in the middle, too? You might wear your exhaustion badge proudly, but you’re putting your mental health at risk in the process. You’re also making it impossible for you to perform your leadership duties at full throttle.
Human beings are not able to function on all cylinders 24/7. They need both micro and macro breaks to recharge and refuel. For you, this means carving more time for fun activities, downtime, and yes—even extended vacations.
Is it difficult to pull yourself away from an always-on mindset? Certainly. Yet it’s critical for your business that you’re not depleted emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Your tasks are high-level and therefore important for the future of your company, team, and customers. Don’t sell yourself short by shorting yourself on pleasurable moments away from the hubbub of work.
3. Declutter your private world.
Clutter may be eating away at your professional acumen, and not just physical clutter. When your private life is cluttered with too many calendar engagements, you’re pulled in a million directions. This makes it difficult to know what’s critical and what’s not.
To be sure, it can be tougher to declutter your life than it is to declutter a physical space. However, it’s worth the psychic energy. Systematically pinpoint everything that feels like clutter in your life. For instance, you may want to start with your weekly or monthly obligations. Do you dread some of them? Maybe it’s time to step aside from active board work or appoint someone else to take your place on a committee.
Aim to reduce your physical and psychological clutter piece by piece over the coming quarter. You may be surprised at how much better you feel when you’re not overwhelmed by superfluous, extraneous stressors that add no value to your ability to lead.
Running a business requires you to be at the top of your game. Consequently, putting a premium on your personal needs is smart, not selfish. It’s also a good way to navigate your organization through the unpredictable waters of a post-pandemic world.