Use Self Care to Grow Your Business + Prevent Burnout as a Woman Entrepreneur

If you're in the healing, helping and wellness fields, chances are you have a deep desire to facilitate change and encourage others in their healing journey. In fact, many of us in these fields came to yoga, massage, meditation, acupuncture, therapy, coaching or integrative medicine because of personal crises. Your passion and enthusiasm for healing may have even eclipsed your own personal needs at times.  Maybe your own self-care has slipped to the extent that burnout is a common occurrence (or at least a recent memory).

My own healing journey began at age 17 with meditation, Ayurveda, healing essential oils and Buddhist studies. Over the next several years, I added yoga, pranayama and Western nutrition to the mix of self-care supports to maintain a mindful lifestyle.

I support other women healers and helpers who love to empower their own clients to embark on healing journeys because I, too, have experienced the power of integrative self-care.

Did you know that self-care is a powerful strategy for business success?

Self-care is essential for avoiding burnout and overwhelm and for maintaining healthy work-life flow. In my work with other conscious women healers and helpers, I support the discovery process for finding one's optimum self-care supports for overall balance and ease —in life and business.

Over the years —and through much trial and error —I've developed a set of essential self-care tips for conscious women entrepreneurs in the healing and helping fields who are often wearing many other hats: mother, caretaker, volunteer, social activist, artist-by-night.

1) Take care of you first

Pretend I'm wearing my best flight attendant uniform right now and reminding you to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others in crisis—bring that into your business as well. YOU are the heart of your business. Take time for precious self-care, commit to your practices, emphasize appropriate nourishment and sacred rejuvenation. In the Buddhist tradition, the Oxygen Mask Law is summarized in the teaching of bodhicitta: the wish to be free of suffering so that you may support others in freeing their own bonds as well. As a healer, helper, or spiritual entrepreneur, your business exists because of your deep wish to support others, to empower others, to help others awaken. Give that gift to yourself first.

@@ YOU are the heart of your business @@

In practice: Eat something nourishing, put your feet up, greet the day with meditation, take a savasana (or a day off).

Mantra: "My business thrives when I nourish myself and tend to my own basic needs first."

2) Treat money as energy

The sooner you accept that money is energy, the faster you are able to direct your energy appropriately. When you accept that the act of attending to your money-energy is itself an act of self-care, it is much easier to make friends with your finances. Just as you breathe into the tight areas of our body in a yoga posture, or channel your strength for the last miles of the marathon, you can learn the direct the money-energy of your business with rigorous intention.  If you are frustrated with your current financial situation, get out your last 3 bank and credit card statements and see where your money is actually going. Start treating it as any other energy source. More in, less out is a positive energy balance. Decide how much money you actually need to remain in financial ease —and if you are unsure of what that amount is or how to earn it, get the support you need right here.

@@ Tending to your money-energy is an act of self-care in biz@@

In practice: Make friends with your finances. Take a look around at the places money energy is “leaking out” —in business and in life —and stop the leaks! Consider eating at home more often (because you’ll eat better that way, too! See tip #1), skipping the $5 mega-drink from the coffee shop and choosing a home-brew instead. There are many ways to honor your current financial reality without depriving yourself —and shifting the money story from one of lack to one of abundance is a supreme act of self-care.

Mantra: "Abundance expands when I direct the money-energy in my business appropriately."

3) Treat time as the resource it is

Your time is sacred, precious and finite so use it effectively by staying focused on the services, offerings, tasks, hobbies and causes that light your heart fire. Anyone who has time to obsessively check in with their Instagram (or Facebook) feed has time to build a sustainable business.

Treating time as a resource also means you prioritize your home, work and life endeavors ensuring that the most important things get done. This is the essence of values-centric business —and probably one of the reasons you went into business for yourself, too! ...so get clear on the tasks that will truly leverage your business efforts and let the others fall to the wayside (or delegate it).

@@Life is too short to spend on work so get clear on your values to grow your biz@@

In practice: Prioritize the tasks that will leverage your business —these are the tasks that pave the way for business growth and the ones that bring dollars in the doors.

Mantra: "I respect myself enough to treat time as the non-renewable resource it is."

4) Build the right business for YOU

Building the right business for you begins by looking at your strengths, passions, and skills. If you love to learn, study and teach, then you'll be happier in a model that allows you to share your intellectual endeavors in that arena. If you ache to connect people in larger, group experiences, a business model where you plan or attend conferences, festivals or retreats will ultimately provide you more satisfaction. If you are passionate about your hometown community, a strong local presence (opening a yoga studio, wellness center, or building a local private client base) may be a good fit.

@@Building a business that is right for you at all levels is an act of self-care@@

In practice: Identify your talents, passions, skills and strengths and commit to bringing them fully into your business.

Mantra: "By aligning who I am with what I do, my business becomes an act of sacred self-realization."

5) Create Daily Rituals that Support Long-Term Success

Our daily habits matter because every day counts in business. What you do with your most productive hours within the day may make the difference between building a profitable business or burning out. And what you do (or do not do) today may affect whether your business has working capital in six months —or whether you are closing the doors.

Internalize this truth: what you do this year will affect where your business will be in 3 years.

But which actions DO we take? What exactly IS the next best step? When is enough, enough? Most importantly, how do you keep taking baby steps forward on a Big Vision plan when our motivation flags? Or when life gets crazy? Or when the little one comes down with a fever? How do you keep going when you have just endured a life-shifting revelation?

Here’s my solution:

@@Focused, daily actions result in long term business health@@

I call this a business dinacharya. Dinacharya is the Sanskrit term for a series of small daily practices that allow for greater ease in body, mind. Drawn from Ayurveda, dinacharya is a method of framing your time in the space of a day to align individual and universal energies.

The principle of dinacharya is that small actions, taken daily, have a cumulative and exponential effect.

From a highly pragmatic view, dinacharya is the foundation of your health—and, in my view, the health of your business. Healthy daily habits invite harmony, wellbeing, and longevity —in business and in life. While dinacharya for our physical health includes practices like movement, mindset, connection, spiritual practices and communication, a business dinacharya includes customer service, client work, group classes, checking email, social media, and financial elements. Your business dinacharya also needs to include preventive, supportive and goal-directed measures to ensure you are staying on course with your business vision. (You DO have a business vision, right?)

As a conscious entrepreneur, you crave a certain lifestyle —and you want to build a business that supports that lifestyle. You want meaningful work, creative rest, time for your practices, and sacred space for the values you treasure. There's only one way to make this happen —you have to build a business that reflects your values at all levels.

In practice: Have a clear picture of what actions are necessary to move your business forward and what actions are necessary for keeping the proverbial doors open. Usually those are two different categories.

Mantra: "Focus is practical magic —and my small focused actions have a cumulative and exponential effect"

Need some support determining the right actions to take each day? My proverbial door is wide open for you, darling.

Ok, now tell me: what did I forget? Do you have self-care tips to share? Let us know in the comments below —or head over to the Conscious Entrepreneur's Kula and share there!