Back to the Salon – Business & Personal Wellbeing: Can We Have Both?
2020 was many things, but for all of us business owners it was the year where everything changed for us! Look at the things we do now and how we live today: that’s what we call our ‘new normal’…Could we have believed this if we had been told it in March 2020? I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have. Change – even good change – is hard for us at the best of times. Monumental, life-changing events can rock your world, and that’s when you are involved in the decision or have an element of control over it, so the fact that we had life-changing events sprung on us with next to no notice, with no input from ourselves or element of control, and with no realistic timescales or horizons to focus on – it is little wonder that most of us are fatigued, worn-out and feeling degrees of anxiety about what lies ahead and how we strive forward to the future.
BUT – hang on – despite the fact that we would have been disbelieving in March 2020 if we had been told about the 12 months to come – we have come through it all! It’s often said that resilience is lived by experience, not taught out of books and I truly believe that to be the case. There are so many training courses out there that talk about ‘business resilience’, but actually the truth I believe is, you can’t teach that stuff: you live it. Resilience is not a set of skills that you acquire, it’s the reality of putting one foot in front of the other, day after day and week after week, and taking your team with you. Even when you don’t have all the answers.
We have come through probably the toughest year ever as business owners, and although we have much to do to rebuild and refresh in 2021, I think we should be not just proud of what we have come through as business owners, but quietly confident that we have GOT THIS. Instead of it being a struggle to get back, how about realising that we have major opportunities for change in 2021 and beyond for a better business and a better life! What we learned in 2020 can really help us achieve the life we want for ourselves and our families.
These things might sound way out of your reach just now, but we know that we can do way more than we ever imagined we could.
Are you thinking about any of these just now?
- Getting all your clients back in
- Finding new clients
- Coping with price increases – both yours and from your suppliers
- Building the business up financially after COVID
- Being ready for another lockdown if it happens
- Keeping my team together and motivated
- Earning more money
- Changing the hours that I work to suit me and my family
- Returning to the business I love, and feeling confident about it
- Where do I start??
Let’s get started owning our ‘new normal’ life...
You are your Business – but it’s not just you, but your family too!
We are the face of our business, we are its heart and soul. We drive it, protect it, nurture it, and as much as the business needs us, we need the business. But we always have to remember that it’s not just us who are living the life of this business, but our loved ones too. Our families and friends are either directly involved or they are there in the background, supporting and cheering us on.
We have to prioritise a positive culture around how we run our businesses. We know that it’s not a 9-5 ‘job’: we take it home, take it on holiday, it’s at the dinner table, in the car, at the school gates and in our communities. We know it’s a big part of who we are as people, but it’s also how we pay the bills, put food on the table and provide for our loved ones. We don’t want to let them down.
So, we need to be able to share both the good times and the bad with the people closest to us. It’s way too easy to say “Everything’s fine” or “Oh, it doesn’t matter” because we don’t want to worry them or we think they won’t understand. But they are living the life of the business too, so whenever you can – involve them.
Share your worries, share your wins: these folks are the most important to you and it’s not a weakness to open up and tell them when things are not always going to plan. It’s one of the strongest things you can do. Remember, not everything you try will work out – and that’s 100% okay – but you should never try and deal with that on your own! It’s about coming home from the business on the flat, rubbish days, and know your family and friends are right there with you!
Who Cares for You?
I think before lockdown happened, most of us business owners just ‘kept going’ as that’s what we know, that’s who we are – many of us are ‘the strong ones’ in our own circles. It’s part of our make up as business owners to have a relentless, energetic passion for new ideas and growing our businesses. Ideas come jsut as we are falling asleep at night, or as we’re driving into work! But we also know how to fix things, work around issues, turn up regardless of how challenged or tired we feel, to help and encourage other people around us in the business. In other words, we always put the business first and sacrifice whatever is needed to get to the next stage, fit in more appointments, grow the business and secure our futures. The last 12 months has changed this in so many ways, not least that we have had a realisation that there’s so many things we just do not control. That leads us to ask the question…who cares for us as the business owner?
Thinking back to March 2020, if you had been told then that you would still be dealing with the effects of lockdown over a year later, it would have been mentally and psychologically challenging deal with that. As it happened, we dealt with what was in front of us, and change and uncertainty became a regular part of our everyday lives. Now, that’s not something we want as a permanent feature, but it does give us both confidence and hope that we are far more resilient that we ever dare to realise, and that’s something that gives us confidence going forward – that our greater days are still ahead of us – we must hold on to that every day!
As Hair and Beauty bosses, you look after and nurture clients and their self-esteem all the time. You are also consciously supporting the team you love through a positive work environment, good communication and securing employment.
Right now, self-care is probably one of the most important investments you can make in your business. It’s okay to admit you are exhausted by the effects of the last year: business worries, closure, losing clients, home schooling, changing rules and keeping your skills up-to-date. It’s really tiring physically, emotionally, mentally. If we don’t prioritise our health and wellbeing as business owners then our businesses and our team are likely to suffer too.
Remember why you went in to business: it’s generally to live the life you dream of for you and your family, doing a job you love with clients you love. You need to be at your best to get there! So, whatever that means for you, now is the time to give yourself permission for self-care – and on a regular basis too. Don’t be distracted by what other folks are doing: if yoga is not your thing, find what is! Maybe it’s cooking, reading, exercise, cleaning or some or all of these. We are unique and have our own ‘safe spaces’. Make sure you visit your safe space as a priority – your business will thank you for it!
Finally, happiness is most definitely an ‘inside job’. Find your happy zone and never compare yourself to what everyone else recommends. It’s your life and you deserve to live the best version of it!