In managing a startup or small business, it’s easy to get caught up in work 24/7 and let everything in
your life take a distant back seat. I’ve been there. When I started NuKitchen, one of my first businesses, I toiled away relentlessly for months on end without any real breaks and never coming up for air. To the detriment of my relationship- at the time- and my health, I was headed down a spiral that only seemed to be getting worse. I thought I was just being focused and I wasn’t going to let anything veer “me” off track. However, my interpretation was grossly skewed.
Fortunately, I was able to find support and recognize that to be successful, I had to be successful inside and out. I needed to open up and be receptive to people, ideas, and inspiration. By giving myself time to go to the gym and exercise just a couple of times per week, I was able to get my energy back and stay at a healthy weight. (In my anxious state, I lost far too much weight… yes, worrying & anxiety combined can burn a lot of calories but will ultimately wreak havoc with your body.) And, forcing myself to go to at least 1 networking event a week, helped me discover new ideas and stay on top of industry trends. I joined EO, the Entrepreneur’s Organization, which provided a great support network since all members are growing young businesses.
I also read a book called Integrity by Dr. Henry Cloud, which has been transformative. This is one of many standout books that helped me assess the areas in my life that were “lacking”- whether it was cash flow or securing the right partnership deal to propel the business forward, it all came back to me and my attitude.
The result of being “whole”? I was able to successfully tackle business issues that plagued me. When I was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy and contemplating taking the next Greyhound back to Wisconsin (where I’m originally from), I was able to think about what it would take to put my business in the right place that included raising capital, outsourcing key parts of my business, and bringing on the right staff. I transformed these vexing challenges into solutions, which ultimately helped me run a better, more profitable business. I really did open up and was receptive to people, ideas, and inspiration to be ‘whole’ and succeed. My life is far from perfect, however, I am more aware of the need to maintain ‘wholeness’. Whenever I find myself veering too far off track, I just bring myself back.