When you first start a business, all you can think about is every little detail you have to create to get the business going, and you forget to think about yourself – you completely forget about investing time in yourself. This evolution from employee to entrepreneur is where you feel like there’s a new world to explore, and you’re the ruler of it. But again, what you forget to do is think about yourself. Invest in yourself so that you can reignite your passion for your business, which could be a crucial factor in determining your business’ success.
When you have to serve every function in your new business, you may forget to build your own skills and abilities. Your focus is elsewhere after all. Most new entrepreneurs believe that their time and effort are better invested in their business than in themselves. Any extra hour will be spent improving their startup.
This approach is misguided because entrepreneurs forget that they are the face of their business. An entrepreneur must represent their brand well if the products or services they sell are to be successful. This is why every entrepreneur must invest time, energy, and money (yes, money) in themselves. Contributing to your long-term well-being can have many benefits for your business as well.
You must learn how to invest in yourself. It isn’t intuitive. Read on to find out what it means to invest in yourself, why you should do it, and how you should get started.
Let’s start investing!
Why It’s Important to Invest in Yourself
Investing in yourself means preserving your health, growing your knowledge, handling/relieving stress periodically, and pursuing happiness by living a life of purpose. These might sound like lofty goals to pursue when you have a jam-packed schedule. I mean, who has time to dedicate to themselves when they’re trying to survive this cutthroat capitalist world? We’re all too busy trying to earn the money necessary to survive and support ourselves.
This is most likely how a new entrepreneur who’s unconsciously inching closer to the inevitable burnout thinks, but running a business is an incredibly stressful endeavor that will take its toll on your physical and mental health. So, when you are not investing time in yourself, you could be leading yourself towards some adverse consequences.
Learn New Skills
So how do you continue to invest in yourself? Well, you could start by learning new skills. Entrepreneurs need to constantly refine their skill sets to remain current. Ensure that your personal skills are up-to-date by investing some time, effort and money in yourself.
Higher education provides a learning environment that can stimulate innovation and creativity in you, so going to school to pick up specialized skills is always an option. Alternatively, you could also teach if you’re already an expert. This helps refresh your knowledge. If you don’t have time to study or teach, consider earning a certification to stay updated on the latest topics and trends. Pursuing self-improvement will help you bring new insights to your work.
Give Your Brain a Break
A busy mind has many thoughts, emotions, doubts and fears running through it. A clear mind is needed for creative problem solving. You can give your brain a break from all the stress it is usually in by meditating or practicing being mindful.
A simple way to stop your mind from buzzing is mindfully noticing what is around you. Engage all senses to ground yourself in the moment. You can also relax through meditation. Sit, inhale and focus on your breath. Your mind will naturally wander. Gently redirect your attention until your focus is only on your breath again. Sometimes, giving your break can be as easy as stepping away from the screens, getting a good night’s sleep or even drinking more water!
Go on and drink some before you read on. This is a simple example how to invest in yourself.
Give Your Body a Break
Now that your mind is rested, it’s time to take care of your body. If you’re running your business all day, you are most likely neglecting your physical health. It’s hard to motivate yourself to go to the gym and make the right diet choices. Just be active regularly if you don’t have the time to adhere to a fitness regimen every day.
Good physical health doesn’t have to be the result of a strict fitness routine. You don’t have to dedicate yourself to a workout schedule. Even walking around for half an hour can alleviate mental fatigue. It should be a nice change of pace. Many successful entrepreneurs have spoken about making fitness a priority because fit leaders have more energy and are therefore more productive. They’re also more confident and so can lead their team.
Explore Your Creativity
Tap into your creativity so that you can come up with new ideas for your business. Constant innovation determines the fate of many modern startups. Don’t worry if you’re more startup-minded than creative, though, because it is a skill you can activate through practice. We’re all creative, but many of us haven’t found the right outlet to express ourselves.
You have to find an activity that suits you through which you can use your imagination. You could write, paint, or play music to tap into your creative side, but remember that you’re not trying to be an artist, so it doesn’t matter what you’re putting out. What matters is that you have used your mind imaginatively thereby developing the crucial capacity to think creatively. Creative thinking is a must-have skill because it helps you find new opportunities for innovation and optimize your business.
Invest in yourself so you can find your next great idea.
Work on Networking
Investing time in yourself does not mean that it can’t be related to your business at all. Finding the time to socialize can also be viewed as a networking opportunity that will advance your business.
Invest time in yourself by building a rich network of close personal connections that can be lifelong assets as you grow and move forward professionally. Alternatively, you could consider joining a coworking community so that you can find ambitious entrepreneurs like yourself who can mentor you, be your confidante, or seek out your advice.
You’re your own best investment because, without you, your business wouldn’t exist. Expand your potential by investing time, money and effort in yourself. Remember personal priorities should occasionally trump business responsibility, which are always going to be there waiting for you. Classify your tasks, duties and responsibilities and find time every week to invest in your knowledge/skills, mental and physical health, creativity, and relationships.
You may not have “me” time every day, but do not let work consume all your time and energy, such as on the weekends. You, and your stakeholders (whether they be employees, customers, suppliers or investors) should respect your personal time.
While we have been talking about downtime that helps you unwind, you can also spend some of it engaged in meaningful, value-adding activities.
Investing in yourself can lead to you becoming a more well-rounded person. You have to start investing time to think about what you want for your personal future. During the first few years of building your business you forget what makes you happy and start to think about what makes all your customers happy. Although it’s great to think this way because it’s the mentality you need to succeed in your business, at the same time it can become too easy to forget about yourself.
Balancing personal life and entrepreneurship is incredibly hard.
It’s one of the hardest tasks you’ll have to achieve as an entrepreneur… but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Let’s start with a simple task. It’ll only take a few minutes. Ready?
The simple way to start to build a balanced life is to add a personal appointment on your calendar. This appointment is a blocked off 20 minutes of your day where you click “do not disturb” on your phone.
You power off all electronics and you close your eyes. You begin to think of all the positive things you’ve done so far for your business, and then you think about all the positive things you’ve done so far for your personal life. Then you think of all those challenges you had to overcome and think of the feelings you felt when you overcame them. This is the highlight of those 20 minutes. This feeling for that one moment will empower you to become a better person after the personal meeting is over.
Want to Take the Challenge?
I challenge you to schedule a 20 minute appointment every day on your calendar. This appointment title is: “My Time”. And during your time you will think about where you are today and the amazing things you have done to get yourself there. Then think about the amazing things you want to do in your lifetime. It is going to revolutionize the way you think about your whole way of life and business. Then let me know how great you feel after 30 days!