How are you building a support system for yourself?

The coming months are a very busy season for many of us both professionally and personally. To prepare for that time, I’d like to offer a few suggestions for you to maintain balance during a time that can feel overwhelming. The foundation for true success in business is self-care and the support system you create for yourself. Where is your business if you are not in good health? You need to take care of yourself to keep that money coming in.

As I look back, one of the first ways I began to incorporate self-care was to get a housekeeper. Returning to a clean home after a long day at work meant I could spend time with my family or working on my own business. It was a small, but consistent, way to give myself some space and time for relaxation and reflection. I would have otherwise spent this valuable time and energy cleaning rather than working on a passion project.

Physical Support

What is one small way that you can give yourself more support? The idea of a housekeeper may seem high-end, but perhaps it’s possible through a trade-off. What if your daily Starbuck’s treat could be pared down to once a week? That opens up $20 a week for you to put towards something that offers more lasting effects.

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When I first started my business, I did most everything on my own. I was still employed at another firm for the first year while my venture began. After many years of building my own practice, I got to a place where I could begin outsourcing. One thing I sorely needed was an update to my home office. (My home office allows me to better balance my family and work roles.) This is where I spend a good portion of my day and where clients come for in-person meetings, so it is about both self-care and my professional reputation. Instead of trying a makeshift solution by asking an employee to help me improve and organize, I invested in a professional organizer. She helped me sort through the clutter that had built up, and together we created a beautiful space I can be proud of.

There are many other ways for you to create a personal and professional support system – these often complement each other. It could be a book club, a professional group or creative circle such as Carolyn Scarborough. It could mean investing in a marketing professional or creative coach.

Mental and Emotional Support

Are you surrounding yourself with positive people and energy? It makes a huge difference in your overall outlook. I remember sharing with someone that I joined a belly-dancing class, and they commented that I must be doing it to lose weight. While I was hurt that the first thing they considered was weight loss, I responded with the truth. I chose this class because it was relaxing, different, and a whole lot of FUN!

Make a mental note of the naysayers around you. Be aware of the underhanded compliment. The highly critical person may sound really smart, but they are really lacking in emotional intelligence. They are draining you of good positive energy. You may want to move yourself away from those with energy draining ways.

Be aware of negative self-talk. It is sometimes more detrimental because it comes from within.

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Surround yourself with positivity, and find places where you can spread a positive outlook with others as well. Are you offering those around you thoughtful, constructive commentary? Are you the positive energy that draws people in and supports them and gets this support yourself? Perhaps you are the one who needs to adjust your language to be more uplifting and solution-oriented?

Create Support Systems for Yourself

Remember that YOU are the center of your business, and not the product or service provided. What is good for you is ultimately good for your company growth and development. Creating a support system for yourself is ultimately good for the success of your company.

Your support system is based on your needs – from your physical space or physical body to your emotional balance and spirituality. Reflect on what you may need to keep joy and balance in your life, because it is what will keep the business running.

I’m a huge proponent of self-care, and I have worked hard to incorporate these concepts into my work and life. This concept of creating a self-care system was first introduced to me by life balance coach and speaker, Renee Trudeau. I’ve attended her retreats, and the ideas really resonated with me. Renee shares her self-care practices on her website and through events. In a post from earlier this year, she talked about the 5 Self-Care Practices for Uncertain Times.

Spread the Holiday Cheer with Self-Care

As we head into the holidays, consider if you are surrounding yourself with positive energy and positive people. We live in a society that rarely stops to reflect and demands instant feedback or response. From a professional standpoint, that can create stress and anxiety and ultimately detract from your greater purpose. Caring for yourself is truly the first choice in caring for your business and your clients.

Happy Holidays!

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