Looking After Your Mental Health As A Small Business Owner
So throughout the week I’ve been sharing some tips on how I try my best to look after my mental health while doing this business thing. For the record, I am NO experts in this field (and you should DEFINITELY go see one if you feel you need to. It’s really hard but it does help), this is something I’ve got personal experience with so I wanted to share some of my own strategies for staying sane (well, as much as possible anyway!)
Now this blog has taken me a while to write, because honestly, it’s super hard to think about this stuff let alone talk about it. On the internet! But it needs to be said, so here it goes.
Set Boundaries. Seriously.
We’re all so accessible these days and it’s easy to be ‘on’ 24/7, but for me, but I know this just isn’t healthy. So I set really clear boundaries with all my clients around when my business hours are (ie. when their projects will be worked on and when I’m contactable).
This means we get to have a break at night and on weekends, and when we do come back we can be on our A-game. And you know what? None of them have ever had an issue with it. And if they did? Then they’re not our people anyway. Which brings us to our next point.
Get Really Clear On Your Ideal Customer.
Okay, don’t judge, but when I first started out I wasn’t actually 100% clear on this. I knew the type of people I wanted to work with and for, but just didn’t really know how to keep it streamline to maintain that vision.
Practice Saying ‘No’.
Now I say ‘practice’ because it’s not as simple as just waking up one day and being able to say no to people. It’s HARD! Especially when you’re the kind of person who just genuinely wants to help everyone on the planet (guilty). BUT – you can practice, and slowly but surely, it does get easier over time.
The most important thing I’d want everyone to remember is that saying no is not the end of the world either. You might feel like the biggest pain for saying no to someone, but the majority of the time it’s not going to be a big deal to them at all. Once you see this, you’ll start to find it gets easier and easier.
Tell Imposter Syndrome To Eff Off.
If you’ve ever felt Imposter Syndrome sinking in (and if you say no, you’re either lying or you need to be our mentor), go make a folder on your laptop and name it your “I’m the sh*t” folder. Now every time you get a happy email from a client, or a raving review or any other kind of compliment or kudos – take a screenshot and put it in this folder.
And next time that self-doubt hits? Take a look in that folder, and read through every little thing in there, until you feel that imposter syndrome go *poof*, faster than a fresh bottle of vino at 5pm on a Friday. Try it!
Put It In Perspective.
When you make a mistake, or something shitty happens, ask yourself this: Is this going to matter 5 minutes from now, 5 months from now or 5 years from now? Most of the time, it’s probably not going to matter in the long-term. This can be a good way to really put things in perspective.
Once you’ve done this, you can allocate an appropriate amount of time to processing it. And if it is something that will take more than 5 minutes to fix? Then you can examine what happened and think through what can be done to fix it or prevent it in the future.
Tune Out Negativity.
Now to clarify, I know not every interaction in life can be 100% positive (and nor should it be) we need people to challenge our ideas and give us constructive feedback. What I’m talking about here is negativity for negativity’s sake – and that is something that definitely serves no purpose! It’s something we all have to deal with from time to time (sadly) but I do have a few tips that we employ….
1. Be careful who you let in your circle. This includes clients, colleagues, friends etc. None of us are 100% cheery and amazing 100% of the time, but some people just have a permanent bad attitude (and usually you can spot it from a mile away). Never be afraid to distance yourself from them wherever you can.
2. Ask yourself why that person is being negative. Most of the time, it is simply them acting on an insecurity.
Maybe they try to micromanage you – because someone else took away their sense of control. Maybe they troll your social media post – because they’re jealous of your awesome content. Maybe they fly off the handle when you say no to a discount – because they feel insecure about their finances.
You never know what is going on in someone’s head when they say nasty things, so *try* not to take it personally. And if it’s someone close to you, maybe ask if they’re okay.