The Oxygen Mask: Help Yourself Before You Help Your Business


For many entrepreneurs, their career and small business is their baby. They dreamed of it long before it came into existence, they worked hard to prepare for it, they made it a reality and, for many, it requires an intense devotion and constant commitment to keep it alive and healthy. Despite the inclination to give it, literally, everything you’ve got, it’s important to realize this one thing: You must give yourself permission to care for yourself or ultimately, your business will suffer.

businessOwning a small business can take its toll, emotionally, financially and socially. You may miss dinners with friends, birthdays, soccer games and skip important events for the sake of your business. Over time, the long hours take their toll and you may experience burnout and mental fatigue. Self-care should not only be a habit, it should be an integral part of your business strategy. You are in no position to accomplish goals in a constant state of stress and exhaustion. Show yourself the patience and kindness that you may reserve for others—press “pause” when you need to, and be honest about your limits.

businessSelf care means something different for everyone. From wellness retreats to bi-weekly book club meetings, self-care should provide you the opportunity to take a mental and physical break from your career obligations. Find out what self care means for you, then commit to implementing these habits into your life. These habits help you maintain a baseline of good mental and emotional health, even while navigating some of the more complex aspects of entrepreneurship.

businessA stewardess instructs airplane passengers to put their own oxygen masks on before they help others in the event of an emergency. Self care is like your oxygen mask–take care of yourself, and you will be in a much better position to care for your employees and business.

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