Part I: Your #1 Priority
Imagine a solopreneur or a small business owner with a very small team, who is still the heart and the brain of their company. What should be their priority?
Probably, they are responsible for marketing and sales, maybe for part of the operations or admin stuff. What should be their number one focus? Cash flow?
Paying taxes on time?
The prospecting and sales processes?
They all are crucial areas; however, their #1 priority should be self-care.
You see, the most frequent problem I encounter as a business coach is how little regard solopreneurs keep for themselves. Which I say, is totally upside down.
If you are the heart and brain of your business, you literally ARE your business. Without you, it will die. If you don’t function at the high level, your business will not function at the high level.
Or rather, it may function well for some time, but in the long-term, lack of self-care will get to you, and then it will destroy you and your business. Sometimes, the time horizon can be absurdly long (at least for our instant gratification culture), but in the end you will collapse, and your business will collapse too.
I once coached a woman who had run her business successfully for two decades before her body gave up on her. She wasn’t able to move from her bed for a couple of months, and recovery took her another few months. During that period, she wasn’t able to work. Her revenue dried up. Her business was in as bad condition as she was.
This is not a lonely story of a single burned-out solopreneur. It’s the recurring story with most struggling and failed entrepreneurs. Yes, a cash flow problem or regulatory issue could have been the final blow to the business owner, but the same entrepreneur would easily have brushed off such a blow… if they prioritized their self-care.
Prioritize your self-care, and the chances of your business’ survival skyrocket. Why? Because in the end, your business is only as strong as you are. Whatever can put you out of commission — health problems, relationship drama, mental state, spiritual struggle — can put your business out of commission.
On the other hand, if you are strong in each of the above areas, business struggles can barely scratch your armor. Your cash is low, but your health is great? You can work for 10–14 hours a day, 60–80 hours a week for a few weeks and generate some business.
Your taxes are overdue, but your relationships are strong? Your friends and family can lend or give you money.
Economic environment is bad, but you have a deep sense of purpose drawn from your spiritual beliefs? You will keep going no matter what.
Part II: Self-care Makes You Bulletproof
Part III: The Solopreneur’s Self-care Framework