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How Are You Really? Mental Health Tips for Small Business Owners


As May continues to speed past us, I want to encourage you to take a moment to consider and care for your mental health. Last week an elementary school friend and classmate and her family were taken from us. I was undoubtedly shaken last week as I took time to begin processing what happened, to grieve, and then find ways to support the family.


During this time I was not at my best, and I was so thankful for clients that understand we are all still human behind our expertise. It made me consider two things:

 

  1. Make sure I am checking in with myself regularly and seeking help as needed to manage the challenges of life. Things get busy running a business, managing relationships, maintaining your health, and pursuing things that matter to you. In all of the juggling it can be convenient to just "push through" or say "I'll deal with it later; it's not that bad." or to push off the most improtant things until "next time". This reminded me of something my father tells his girls often -"Life is short. LIVE." Living includes getting the care you need to be your best self. MAKE THE TIME.  

    1. Practical Tips:

      1. Make time to spend with God daily. This one habit will influence every area of you life. Making God priority, and choosing to spend time with Him daily, will improve your outlook, resiliency, clarity, faith, and ability to use your expertise.

      2. Schedule your physical and mental health appointments on your calendar. Protecting your health is a nonnegotiable. Find a method that works for you, and encourages you to book and keep your appointments. I like to schedule mine in the afternoon and take the rest of the day off, or mid-morning followed by a nice lunch before I get back to work.

        1. Bonus Benefits: I'm not rushed at my appointment, and I'm even more productive in the morning knowing that once I leave the office I'm done for the day!

      3. Utilize and engage help. You do not have to do it alone. God calls us to community to lighten the heavy loads and to celebrate toghether in good times. Allow your brothers and sisters in Christ to bless you through your obedience to these verses. This could be hiring out editing of your new book, subscribing to a laundry service, learning how to use AI to help with routine tasks in your business, or taking advantage of an offer for your kid's to stay the night with a close friend. Support comes in all shapes and sizes; determine what you need and ask for help from trusted sources.

      4. Keep your promise to yourself. You won't always be able to stop immediately and address issues that arise. However, be sure to schedule time (automate reminders on your calendar), and keep your promise to yourself, to address it in a timely manner.

  2. It matters how you build your business and the clients you choose to serve. Having margin in business is what allows you to take care of yourself, adjust, and pivot as needed when life happens - because it will happen. Also, choosing the right clients - those that are as compassionate as they are passionate about their causes and bottom lines - makes a tremendous difference when things happen beyond your control and uproot your normal schedule. Just make sure you communicate clearly, early, and with alternatives to keep your projects on track.   

    1. Practical Tips:

      1. Create margin in your business. This could be by setting days for meetings, not overbooking yourself, adding bufffers between meetings, adding a 10-15% time and budget buffer on projects to account for contingencies, or making sure you have SOPs (standard operating procedures) in place to keep the business running no matter who may be out or unavailable.

      2. Use your intuition and data. Pay attention to how you feel working in certain environments, with clients, and on styles of projects. Note if they increase your creativity, productivity, peace, or profitability or detract from it. Then make plans to adjust accordingly. God gave you this vision, steward it wisely.


One additional way to care for yourself is to get in community with other believers that can uplift you during difficult times, celebrate with you during your best moments, and add laughter and companionship to all the moments in between. This is one of the primary reasons we work so hard to curate creative ways for you to connect and network with other Christians in Business. We would love for you to join our community of Christian CEOs and Corporations!

 

I hope this month is full of discovery, creation, connection, and making time to care for yourself. Make sure you do at least one thing to celebrate the amazing privilege it is - and all the work you do and sacrifices you make - to be a small business owner! Celebrate + take care of YOU!


With Joy In Purpose,

Dr. Lorin R. Carter


 

For additional tips on how to navigate your journey as the CEO of a small business, visit the link below for our on-demand training.


For 1-on-1 support, book a Clarity Call to find out how we can work together to support your development as a leader and the growth of your business.



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