In a world where instant gratification is creating a faster-paced lifestyle than ever before, we often forget to really appreciate the things that bring us authentic joy through the beauty of simplicity. Carina Evans, the founder of Podium Pet Products, explains 5 ways entrepreneurs can reconnect with themselves through simplicity.
Consider setting yourself targets and rewards
By setting a few simple targets it’s easy to fall back in love with these things. For an instant, why not promise to stop drinking in the week? Not only will this reduce any reliance on alcohol as a form of relaxation, but it will make that end of the working week drink sweeter than ever. Or why not think of Friday as your transitional day, a time to step back from the hustle and bustle of the office and catch up on those ‘I’ll do it later’ jobs whilst at home. Straddling the work and home lines will make that Friday night transition into home life a more organic and enjoyable experience. Plus, you’ll quickly learn that the office doesn’t implode without you, that the endless to-do list will get ever shorter, your team will feel trusted as they take on more ‘Friday responsibility’, and you’ll get to finally balance out the infamous work/life conundrum.
Place ‘me’ at the centre of your importance
Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of not taking enough “me-time” for both body and mind. For many entrepreneurs, it’s hard to switch off and the fear of not staying up to date drives the constant need to be on the go. However, a simple switch to new forms of information can keep the grey matter working without it feeling like constant work. Self-help books, motivational podcasts and TED Talks are all a great way of staying connected with both your professional mind and also wider, thought-provoking topics. Brenee Brown & The Power of Vulnerability or ‘8 Ways to Declutter Your Brain’ by Theresa Puskar are two superb places to start.
Valuing ‘self’ often leads to a desire to change or tweak yourself. This need for self-development is great but it’s important you are not tempted to change yourself all at once. Make the change slowly, introduce little steps to a new you by learning how to implement and integrate this change into your everyday life. It’s important to not expect too much of yourself either, as this pressure will be less than conducive. Be happy with being you.
Be kind and forget the agenda
Being an entrepreneur can be incredibly self-centric and is best embodied by a need to always achieve. Losing something, whether a deal or negotiation, a client or potential new business lead should not be a soul-destroying event. Instead, learn to lose and stop punishing yourself, use these moments as a key milestone in your personal and professional development.
Being kind doesn’t have to stop at home, however. Why not look at ways to add good deeds into your day? Remember the joy of giving back and look at whether you can give back in a way that enhances not diminishes your day-to-day. It might be investing your time or something financial to a person or organisation that means something to you. It might be supporting rising stars, or simply undertaking a small gesture which brings a smile to another. Being kind isn’t about having an agenda, it’s about being kind to yourself and in turn showing this kindness to others. It isn’t about grand gestures, grabbing headlines and adoring fans, instead, it is about those little moments that increase those warm and fuzzy feelings that are yours and yours alone.
Learn to listen to those closest to you
It is so easy to ride roughshod over others’ emotions or second guess what those closest to you are saying. However, your nearest and dearest will know you better than you know yourself, and they will be by your side every step of your entrepreneurial journey. Whilst they might not be the captain steering the ship of your dreams, they will provide you will an honest perspective when the way ahead is unclear. It is important therefore to continue to listen to what they have to say. No judging, no advice, just listening. They may not have all the answers, but they do have your best interest at heart so take the time to listen and appreciate their viewpoint.
Enjoy the great outdoors
It might sound cliched but get outside. Whatever the weather, pull on the boots and the jacket and just go. Get cold, get hot, get muddy, get lost, get at one with nature and listen to what she is telling you through your gut. Taking the time to get outside (without being glued to your phone) is the perfect opportunity to breathe, take stock and listen to your inner voice, allowing it the time to talk to you through the power of the world that surrounds us. Easier said than done in most cases admittedly, but once you have made that extra special effort to travel outside your city or to go outside your comfort zone, you are likely to be rewarded.