Hats – how many do you wear? Are you a mother, wife, businesswoman, bookkeeper, marketing manager, tea maker and cleaner – to name but a few! At times I have loved wearing many different hats and at other times I have hated all that is required from me. Over the years I have learned how to juggle the many hats that I have to wear and today I would like to share my top 5 tips with you.
Top tip #1 – Just be you
One of the most important things that I have learned is to be authentic. Just being you is the best way to do business, it takes the pressure off you and everyone else. Once you get over the fact that you can’t please everyone and that not everyone will like you, then you are free! It really doesn’t matter what people think of you or your business. What matters is that you are being the best possible you, running a business with integrity and generally doing the best you can with all your hats. The rest is not your problem, it is other people’s perception of you and I have learned that they usually project their issues onto me. Unless someone really knows me and loves me, they may not speak about me. I am not perfect and neither are you but almost everyone will have a different opinion of you and if you take it all on board you will very quickly lose your identity and become a wild concoction of everyone’s opinions of you. Just be you!
Top tip #2 – Just be happy
I have learned that happiness is a choice, it is not just a nice warm fuzzy feeling that you get bit it is so much more. Life and running a business can be really difficult at times but that doesn’t need to rob us of our happiness. Learn to practice being happy. Sometimes I can feel a frown on my face as I am working so I just start smiling. That simple action changes everything. Then I look at what was causing me to frown and put it in perspective by asking myself the question, “Is it really that bad?” to which I always reply, “No of course not”.
Top tip #3 – Just do what you want
I have learned that I can’t and should not do everything. My favourite saying, which went on last months greeting card, is, “You can do anything but not everything!“. Something that I have to keep telling myself over and over and I am one of those people that tend to take on too much. So now I narrow down what I want to do and what I should be focusing on. The things that I am not good at or hate doing I need to either outsource or find a way to stop doing them. Outsourcing is a wonderful thing as you can hand over what you are not particularly good and what you don’t really enjoy to someone who is not only brilliant at it but also enjoys it! It’s a win-win and when you are a brand new start-up business you can still outsource, just do a skill swap with someone so that you both get what you need. This is where the Women’s Business Club works extremely well – we love to support each other and together we can get so much more done than we could ever do on our own – see greeting card number 1 😉
Top tip #4 – Just do it
There are some things that you simply have to feel the fear and do anyway. Although many things can be outsourced there are others that you really need to do yourself or you will never unleash the woman that you can be. Still the same you but an even better version! My biggest success story is that I went from being an extremely unconfident introvert who found it difficult to speak to people, (I couldn’t even eat in public I was so shy), to a passionate public speaker! Huh! It was not easy but I knew that I had to and wanted to overcome it – so faced the fear and got up and spoke to groups of people despite the fear. For the first year at least I suffered from horrible stage fright with symptoms too unladylike to mention. If you want to know how I did it, join our Speakers Club.
Top tip #5 – Just breathe
My final lesson is a really important one. It may seem simple and even silly to some but learning to breathe has changed a lot of things for me. Firstly, I learned to breathe from my diaphragm. A simple, subtle change but it really helps. It is a natural and relaxed form of breathing and in the rushed, stressful world that we live this can make all the difference. When I notice that my shoulders are pinched up then I can pretty much guarantee that my breathing is shallow too, all the signs of stress which is bad for your health and bad for your business. We must slow down, calm down and breathe. I also learned about breathing and meditating which has so many benefits I could not possibly tell you about them in this little space. Finally, I learned about using breathing to help me sleep at night! Seriously, invest some time in learning about breathing, it will change so much and make it better.
Find out some more useful life tips in my book, I Did it in My Pyjamas, where I shatter some excuses and share how I manage to build a business despite great challenges.