Hustle versus self-care can be a sensitive topic because – if you listen to some people – there is a bit of shaming that happens if you’re not working hard enough, or fast enough, or you’re not getting enough done. At least according to their standards.
Did you not go into business for yourself, in part, because you wanted to be able to do things your way?
When you first start a business it does require a certain amount of hustle and a certain amount of effort. Anyone who has worked for a start-up company will tell you that you can be working 60-80 hours a week, easily.
In 1999, while working for Telus, I lived out of a suitcase while we opened 31 stores in 6 months. I worked from 7 or 8 in the morning until 10 or 11 or night because we were in start-up mode and you really needed to hustle. The same thing was true when I first opened my own business – I often worked from 7:30 AM until 9:30 PM. I put in a lot of time.
That type of effort is only sustainable for a certain length of time before you face burnout and resentment.
When you are on all the time and you don’t take care of yourself, eventually you stop enjoying your business. When you stop enjoying what you’re doing, you are not as good at it either.
What is needed is balance and you need to know that balance is different for every single one of us.
Five things really matter when it comes to balance and self-care:
1) Get Enough Sleep
You need six to eight hours of sleep a night regularly because if you don’t get a good night’s sleep you can’t be productive for yourself or for your clients.
2) Eat Well
Pay attention to food, and pay attention to how it makes you feel. Don’t skip meals – you need to be well fuelled in order to make it through your busy days at the top of your game. I’m not a dietician, I’m not going to tell you which food you should or should not eat, but I will say that food is important. It gives you energy. You need energy to focus, you need energy to hustle, and you need energy to be effective. Try to make healthy choices because the quality of your fuel is as important as the quantity.
We often sit in our chairs for many hours per day. We need to get up and move! Go for a walk, move your body, and get some fresh air. You may not have time for full-on workouts every day, but at least try to get in a short 10-15 minute walk. Exercise makes us feel better about ourselves, and when we feel better we do better.
There are two things I do that really impacts on my own mindset – the first is meditation, and the second is reading. If your mindset is not in the right place it will be really hard to be effective. Think of it as feeding your mind, or energizing your brain with new information. Meditating helps me quiet my mind, focus, and get clarity around what I want. Reading keeps me sharp, teaches me new things, and keeps me motivated. Paying attention to your mind is a really important part of self-care. Mindset is so important that it is a major part the event I used to hold in Ottawa every year – Money, Mindset & Marketing.
5) Take A Break
When you’re an entrepreneur there is rarely a time when you can completely unplug – personal life and business life often intersect. If you’re starting to feel a little bit worn down it is especially important to take a time-out and recharge. Whether it is a full day or an afternoon try to disconnect for a little bit and just focus on another area of your life.
So what about hustle?
My team often jokes about “working at the speed of Lisa” and the truth is, I am fast!
I’m fast at getting things done, at assimilating information, and at times I can accomplish more in a day than some people can accomplish in a week. I can do this because I focus on what needs to be done and I delegate to get it done.
It’s important to think about how you hustle – how you show up. Do you dilly dally and waste time? Or are you planning your day and mapping out what you need to do each day?
A planner can be used every day to keep track of all the tasks that need to be done or that need to be delegated to others. The trick with a planner is that you have to look at it. Everyday! You have to stay on top of the things you need to do and that you’ve asked others to do.
You do need to hustle, you need to work smart, AND you need to work hard when you’re building your business. If it was easy everyone would do it and everyone would be making tons of money. Look at how you can practice self-care better so that you can hustle and be a better steward of your business and a good leader for your team.
Leave me a comment and let me know what you do to work SMARTER instead of HARDER.
Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.