As small business owners, many of us have had to temporarily close, alter our business models or even change our services altogether. Life has given us enough lemons to make many years worth of lemonade.
You know the most frustrating part about lemonade?.....It tastes sooo good. It's refreshing, and on those hot days, it hits the right spot very well. Now, this is where it throws a curve ball.
It is packed full of sugar which has an adverse effect on our health. While it may seem like a good idea at the time, that yummy, flavourful lemonade ends up doing more damage to our body in the long run.
I don't know about you, but I’m in a place where I’m giving a good thought about life’s lemonade...tired of sugarcoating the lemons life throws at me and making the best of it.
No matter how sweet it may taste or how satisfying it feels, I must have the mental fortitude to choose the better and more beneficial option. More than that, I have the power to conquer and own the situation....... and by that I mean eating the lemons for real.
So, I'm going to be showing you how you can start modifying your lifestyles and grab the end of 2020 by the horns.
As 2020 has worn on, everything from our businesses to our lifestyles have changed. I know when I look at myself and the things I am doing now, my life doesn't resemble the life I had just one short year ago.
But this goes past the observable changes. I am mentally a different person. If you look at yourself in the same light, I'm sure you would agree that the same is true for you. Our battles are mental.
But, here is where I have to not let the battles control me. I have found ways to sharpen my mind and strengthen my mental resolve. The best part is.....you can do it too and I'm going to show you how.
Before we get into it, this is going to be the first video in a three-part series. You can read Part 2 and Part 3 after this.
Study. It's Brain Food
How are we suppose to know what the right diet is? If I want to diet, how am I going to know which one is best for my body? I have to study; consult/learn from professionals and people who have done the same thing that I want to do.
Just like our bodies, our minds need to be nourished and fed. Gaining knowledge and wisdom doesn't usually happen by way of some random epiphany. You gain it by either seeking it out or by paying close attention when it is presented to you.
If you ask any successful person what positive habits a person should develop, every one of them will say “reading”.
It is the fastest and most efficient way of gaining new knowledge and retaining that knowledge. It improves memory, helps the reader to focus, sparks imagination, improves our communication and even helps to develop our language.
Being an entrepreneur is still an ever-changing thing. So, we have to make sure we study these changing aspects.
There are also other ways to feed our brains. I also get some of my knowledge by listening to podcasts or by watching videos such as this one.
Remember, as I covered in one of my previous videos, there are plenty of people out there with a wealth of knowledge that they want to share. I like to do what I can to learn from them the same way that you are learning from me right now.
The best part about gaining knowledge is that you won't lose it if you apply it. I think of it in terms of the Grand Canyon. I can listen to people describe to me how beautiful it is. I can watch documentaries, look at pictures or watch videos on it.
Yeah, I've gained knowledge. But, none of this compares to what it is like to experience the Grand Canyon first hand where you can see the grandeur, smell the air and feel the wind.
The same is true for anything that you learn. Gaining the knowledge is great. But applying the knowledge is priceless.
Find The Quiet
Modifying your mind is something that takes incredible resolve. Our mentalities are largely based around repetitive acts and habitual thoughts. What do you do every morning? Maybe you get up and grab some coffee.
Then, maybe make some breakfast before showering and getting ready for the day. You may have a routine for when you come home from work or before you go to bed.
But, there is another routine that a lot of us have that seems so natural, we forget about it completely. We get tied to our phones. What's happening on social media? Has anything happened on the news today?
I even have to be honest with myself when it comes to things like social media and the news. So much of it is noise......and how much of it is really positive?
In addition to this noise, we have all types of things going on in our businesses that act as noise as well. Yes, much of this is going to be part of what comes along with small business ownership.
But, objectivity can reveal a lot. Everyone, including myself, has been guilty of bringing personal stresses into the work place. It affects morale and productivity, not to mention relationship with employees who could catch the wrong end of an emotional outburst.
This is like being in the heat of a summer day. We have jobs to do and tasks to complete.
When we have the sun beating down on us, it soon becomes all we can think about. Our energy slowly disappears and our work ends up suffering. This is especially where our decision-making becomes key.
What are we going to reach for to drink?
So, fighting this problem requires reprogramming your brain. It is time to find the peace and quiet that you so desperately need.
Let's call it “fasting”. But, instead of fasting food or drink, you will fast media. Step back from social media and news. Unless your business as a social media presence, try turning it off. It will seem very awkward for a while, but that awkwardness will fade. This is the point where we must choose to reach for the water instead of the lemonade.
Finding the quiet place in your mind is key. So, let's establish some healthy habits that will help us calm our minds and focus.
Sleep. It is incredibly good for you
In a perfect world, time wouldn't exist. We could simply do everything that needs to be done as it needs to be done and then call it a day. But sadly, we only have so much time in a day.
Although we try to get as much done within that time as possible, we know that we can't always do everything necessary in a certain period of time.
So what do we do? We take time away from our rest in order to work. I'll be the first to raise my hand and admit that I struggle with this as well.
Sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our minds. It is a crucial time where our brains reset and store information.
But, how often do we tell ourselves, “I have to get this done. Sleep can come later.”? It becomes so easy to do and after a while, it becomes habit.
Our businesses depend on us being sharp-minded. While it may be possible to operate, it gets harder and harder to be alert and level-headed. But sleep isn't one of those things that can be ignored forever.
Your body cannot go without sleep. If you ignore it for too long, your body will force you to stop and demand for that break, and when that happens, you’ll come to realisation of the MAIN vehicle behind your achievements - YOUR BODY.
Establish a healthy sleep schedule and force yourself to go to sleep at a certain time each night. Listen to your body because it will let you know what it needs.
As business owners, our minds are the most important tool that we have. Everything in our businesses runs because of our visions and our ideas. But, it's not a one-time thing.
No one starts a business and then just lets it ride. It is an ever changing and evolving process that requires constant education and mental edification.
Let's continue to modify ourselves by feeding our brains. It's not just the first step in taking control back and refusing to drink lemonade, it is learning that even though lemons are pretty sour....they're edible.
Don't forget that this is only the first part. Part two will discuss our physical health. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.