Taking Care of Yourself

Home Blog Taking Care of Yourself

By: Miriam Lieber, Lieber Consulting

This time of year we are all busy running our business and searching for more hours in the day. In running a small business, it often feels like most of your time is spent putting out fires, addressing the most pressing needs of the moment. At some point, you have to stop and say, when is it time for me? The answer is simple: You have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of others. In business, you are always looking for the return on investment. If you choose one or more ways to invest in yourself, you are actually investing in others. That is because as a leader in your organization, staff will model your behavior.  You pave the way for others who work under you. If you feel tense, they feel tense. If you are energized and inspiring, they will feed off those behaviors. The notion of lead by example is real and your staff’s perception is their reality – you have to exhibit the behaviors you want others to emulate.

Making Time for Self-Care

When (or if) you listen to the security instructions flight attendants announce on each flight, they always tell you to don your oxygen mask first before helping others. Simple yet symbolic instructions, there is truly a subliminal message here – how can you take care of others if you don’t first take care of yourself?

Once you choose to make time to invest in yourself, there are a myriad of ways to do this. It might be as simple as reading an inspiring book, attending a class, exploring your creative self, working with a group of other small business owners to develop your talents and more. As mentioned before, this sends a message to your staff that you continuously want to expand, learn and grow to stay vibrant, relevant and to address the broader needs of your business and consequently, your staff. This is quite a powerful message, one that others will want to mimic as they see you embrace change. You must first give yourself the space and time to grow. The first step is to block off time in your schedule for self-care.

Once you dedicate the time, below is a select list of ways to invest in self-care:

Set Goals

Establish some short and some long-term goals. They can be based on the activities mentioned herein and many others – read an inspiring business book, meet with each leader and/or staff member in your business for a one-on-one session, attend a webinar/seminar or class. Whatever the goal, make it achievable and set a time frame/deadline by which you want it completed. Write it down and post it in front of your computer screen (via virtual sticky and/or to do list). Include a due date so that you do not let it fall off your radar screen.

Trust Yourself

Listen to your intuition, and trust your gut, which allows you to make better decisions. Do not become easily swayed by those who do not know or understand your values and needs. Stay focused on how you feel which will help you zero in on your staff and how they feel. After all, a gut feeling typically comes roaring back until you address it. Whether personal or professional, trusting in yourself enables you to trust others. Top of FormBottom of FormInvest in building your confidence by developing your core values and mission. As a role model for others, if you believe in yourself they will believe in you too. This confidence can then be shared with others.

Read and Listen

To further build your confidence, read educational articles, magazines, and/or books and listen to podcasts. This type of learning allows you to see how others do things that you admire or intend on doing yourself. It also helps stretch your imagination, creativity and more. Further, it allows you the space to expand your horizons, reaching for new ideas and ways of thinking.

Attend teleconferences, seminars and workshops to not only learn from experts in your field (and other fields too) but to meet colleagues and other business owners, leaders and staff in or outside your industry. Taking the time to engage in other ways of doing things and meeting people who might suggest your next big idea is worth your while. This is truly part of investing in yourself.

Be Good to Your Physical Self

To take care of yourself, you must also take time for your physical health. Take a gym class, hire a trainer, do yoga or Pilates, or even take a brisk walk at lunch. Take time to eat right for your physical health. When I had a hard time healing after surgery, I invested time in meeting with a nutritionist who helped me understand the benefits to bulking up on protein. I firmly believe that effort helped my wound to close, enabling me to return to health. For most people, taking time to embrace your physical health will help you feel more energized and more prepared physically to take on the next challenge.

Invest in a Mentor or Coach

Not only do you need to maintain physical health, but invest in yourself by collaborating with other leaders and/or mentors to help you grow yourself and your staff. A coach can assist you in putting all of the strategies and goals listed above into action. A coach is your partner in success. It is their job to assist you in creating and implementing your success plan, so you can become the best leader that you can be.

I can promise this: When you invest in yourself, a world of opportunities will open up for you. And, if you have a business where you sell your services, you must know that no one will invest in you until you invest in yourself first. As a mentor for leaders in the HME world, I have watched my clients grow in ways they never imagined they could grow. They accept challenges and work to develop the people from under them, keenly understanding that they are only as good as those who come after them.  A comment for one of my mentor clients explains how valuable a mentor/mentee relationship can become: “I am so grateful and honored to call you my mentor. You are a powerhouse of knowledge. Anyone that interacts with you is inspired. Thank you!”

Invest in yourself by setting short and long-term goals. First, take care of your needs, emotional and physical, before helping your staff. Become the best version of yourself by trusting yourself and your convictions and by reading and listening. Learn from those around you – seize every opportunity to glean off of others and their exemplary behaviors. Work with a coach/mentor to motivate, inspire and to model the behavior you want your staff to emulate. When you are the best version of yourself, you can help your employees grow and you will be a magnet for others!

Hear me speak at Focus Conference on Sunday, February 3
9:45 to 11 a.m.: How to Make Operations and Billing a Success in Today's Environment: A Best Practice Approach with Miriam Lieber and Ronda Buhrmester
2:30 to 3:45 p.m.: Tapping into the Customer Experience for the Mastectomy Patient




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