Your Business’ Health Depends on Your Mental Health

There’s no denying that it has been a whirlwind 18 months and, for business owners, the demands have been non-stop. From closures to staffing to supplies to mandates, just keeping the doors open is an 80-hour-a-week job. But no one can keep that up forever.

As Growth Coaches, we see burnout all the time, but the crises surrounding COVID-19 have brought it to a fever pitch in a way we haven’t seen since 2008. It’s time to take a stand for your own mental health and the health of your business. Just like with your regular health, you can’t wait until you’re dying to ask for help. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

First of all, a public service announcement: if you are truly struggling in a way that’s impacting more than your business, please reach out to mental health professional. While we are passionate about business and the way your mindset impacts your company, we want you to get the right help. With that out in the open, here’s where we start with our clients and with our own businesses…

Step back. Before you can even assess your current situation, both mentally and with your business, you have to be able to see the forest. You have to get out of the trees. We know it’s hard – you’re short staffed, your supplies are running low, you’ve lost your best manager – but it’s critical that you find a way to step away from your business and take an objective look at your successes, your challenges, your goals and your shortcomings.

The next step comes down to mindset. Are you swimming in the challenges? Are you forgetting to celebrate your successes? It’s easy to pity yourself and use something like COVID as an excuse, but businesses have always had to focus on change, growth and challenges to be successful. It’s time to retool your mindset and, at The Growth Coach, we suggest creating 90-Day Goals. Don’t waste your time worrying about how close we are to the end of the year or what you’re going to do in 2022. Just think about the next three months.

Now that you’ve taken a step back, gotten your mindset in order and created goals, it’s time to trust your team and empower them to help you reach those goals. And, if you can’t trust them to run the company in a way that helps you meet those goals, it’s time to take a look at your staffing, your systems and your leadership.

And that brings us to balance. We know starting a business is crazy. We know the last year and a half has been unprecedented. We know you are killing yourself to keep this dream alive. But we have to ask you something… What’s your why? And what’s the point of all of this if you lose everything else in the process? We understand what it’s like to have a dream and to sometimes feel like it’s slipping through your fingers, but we’ve seen too many business owners find themselves burned out and miserable because they didn’t focus on creating balance.

If you’re having trouble with keeping your business healthy by focusing on your own mental health, your local Growth Coach can help. Find them online at https://www.thegrowthcoach.com/find-a-coach.

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Dear Business Owner: You Need a Vacation

You need a vacation. Not a checking-my-phone-all-the-time-because-I’m-home-anyway vacation. A real vacation. A get-the-heck-out-of-dodge vacation. A night-time-at-a-campfire-in-the-wood vacation. A day-drink-on-the-beach vacation. Whatever strikes your fancy – and you feel like you can do safely – go.

Getting business owners and entrepreneurs to take time off to recharge has always been difficult, but when you tack on 2020 and the way we’ve all learned to work from anywhere, people are having more trouble than ever unplugging. What makes this even more interested is that the COVID-19 pandemic gave us a fresh perspective on spending time with family, traveling and truly appreciating every day… so what’s the problem? Why can’t we just take our own advice and go?

Sure, finances might not be what they were in 2019 and maybe you’re not as well staffed as you were 18 months ago, but at The Growth Coach, we think the real issue is the same as it’s always been… Business owners are so entrenched in the day-to-day operations of their business that they don’t feel like they can get away to relax and recharge. Sound familiar? If this strikes a chord with you, we have some suggestions to help you get to the beach, or the woods, or wherever you want to be on your next vacation.

First of all, you need to hire and train great team members. It’s important to be able to delegate your work to someone on your staff, but if you don’t trust your team to run the business without you, you’re not going to relax anyway. So start at the bottom, find the right people to run and staff your business and onboard them with the right training and systems. Make sure they feel like they can operate the company without asking you 1,000 questions every day.

Secondly, delegate the work and trust your staff to run the business without you. We know it’s hard, but half the battle here is making them feel like you are confident in their abilities. Create systems they can use and trust them to use those systems in the best way possible. The bonus here is, once those systems and leaders are in place, you’ll find that you’re able to take more time out of the office to build your company rather than run the operations in the future.

Thirdly, practice. This is more for you than for your team. If you’re having a hard time imagining how the business can operate without you for a week or two, try taking the afternoon off. Try taking a long weekend. Try calling in sick and seeing how it goes. This isn’t a test for your team – don’t make them nervous. This is a low-risk way for you to reprogram your brain into realizing you aren’t always the lynchpin.

So why is taking a vacation so important anyway? When you are deep in the everyday operations of your business, you aren’t able to step back to see the big picture, you can’t take time to imagine and innovate and you aren’t your most creative self. You’re going to burn yourself out. Vacation is as important for you as it is for your business and your employees. If you don’t feel like you can take a trip – or even a long weekend – this year, it’s time to connect with your local Growth Coach.

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Four Ways to Engage Your Employees and Improve Your Business

While the last year has impacted businesses and individuals in a million ways, there’s something in the undercurrent we’re all starting to realize – the pandemic has helped us get back to seeing people as people. They’re not numbers. They’re not cogs. They’re individuals with their own motivations, successes, challenges, strengths, weaknesses and needs. As we get to whatever our new normal is going to be, treating those people as individuals is more important to employee engagement, retention and the bottom line than ever. So how do you help everyone be their best? Here are four ways to get started:

The Thank You: In the fast-paced world of business, we sometimes forget to say thank you to our managers, teams, employees and partners. Sure, they are doing the work you’re paying them to do, but if you show your appreciation, chances are that they’ll do that job even better. When was the last time you took someone to a (safe) lunch not for a business meeting, but just as a genuine thank you? When was the last time you thanked someone openly in a meeting for something great they did? Taking the time to say thank you makes a big difference.

The Note: While a verbal thank you is awesome, taking the time to create a handwritten thank you note can go even further. Write it yourself – don’t have your assistant do it – and call out the specific things you are thankful for. A simple “thank you for all you do” is great, but it gets old quickly. Sometime like, “thank you for the work you did to make our campaign a success” is much stronger and, if you can call out specific tasks that your team member did, that’s even better.

The Team Gathering: Depending on your individual company, you might not be ready to have a company party – and your team members could be spread around the world – but what can you do to get them together for something more than a meeting? Could you or your managers host small group parties or get everyone together for a happy hour, even on Zoom? Many companies have been doing this throughout the pandemic, but as we return to a more regular working environment, it’s important not to lose out on the togetherness our teams have built while we were apart.

The Conversations: This often goes unnoticed, but as we see more of each other, take time to truly talk to people. How are they doing? How is their work going? How is their family? How are they doing with coming back to work? Is there anything the company can do to make the new normal feel, well, normal? The conversation between leadership and employees is a three-way success story – you’ll get to know your team members better, they might give you some great ideas for improving the workplace and they’ll appreciate that you took the time to have a real conversation that’s not just about the next project.

If you need more ways to connect with your team or your culture is struggling post pandemic, we can help. Find your local Growth Coach at https://www.thegrowthcoach.com/find-a-coach.

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