ll archives: You Started a Business! Do These 3 Things.

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You’ve just started a business! Congratulations! You are in for one of the most exhilarating times of your life - and you’ve probably already figured out that “exhilarating” can feel like a roller coaster: up, down, and all around. Though you probably have all the to-do lists and Trello boards and Google spreadsheets organized, I have one question for you: do you have a plan in place to take care of yourself?

When you’re a one-woman show, as you go, so goes your business. It’s critically important to take care of yourself, and articles (like this one) that remind you to do so are not kidding. Even in my short time as a business owner, I’ve seen multiple businesses crack as fellow ladypreneurs got sick, got stressed, and got generally weighed down by the pressure. And a lot of this boils down to self-care.

Here are three tips to taking care of yourself during a period in your life when you are probably not inclined to do so:

Schedule a weekly date… with yourself

I know, you’re crazy busy and you don’t have time.

Make time. You make time for your business, right? And for the most important relationships in your life? Well, you are the foundation of your business, and if you aren’t running properly, your business isn’t running properly -- or at the very least, at the fullest capacity it could be. Which is doing a disservice to both yourself and your clients/customers.

Therapy

If you were preparing to run a marathon, you’d probably see a doctor. When taking on a task that requires gargantuan levels of mental and emotional energy, like starting a business, why wouldn’t you call in a professional who can help guide you through the morass and help you find the tools to deal with stress? There’s a horrible stigma in the United States around mental health, and the only thing that stigma “helps” is everyone’s pride that they are doing just fine, thank you very much.

Consider therapy a professional investment. Partners, friends, and family members are wonderful, but they have a limited capacity for advice, especially relevant advice. Therapists, on the other hand, do this for a living: they work with entrepreneurs (and other super-stressed people) all the time. They can help you spot areas to work on and manage before you’ve got a forest fire case of burnout/breakdown on your hands. Plus, you’ll probably work out some other life areas in the process.

Tip: Stumped on how to find a therapist? Psychology Today has a great search tool to find therapists, psychiatrists, and therapy groups in your area. Profiles list areas of specialty (like LGBTQIA+, for example) and often include insurance providers.

Make a list of all the reasons you started this business

Tack it on the wall, or somewhere you’ll see it. Having a daily reminder of why you did this is a great encouragement on the tough days.

Tip: Add to this list on the good days.