Just because you work for yourself doesn’t mean you need to do life alone. Being an entrepreneur is the most gratifying experience, but it can often be a lonely road. You live in your head and dream up ideas that others don’t understand. You have a motivation in you that is always go, go, go and rejection doesn’t scare you. When you fail, you pick up the next idea from your notebook of random thoughts and start again. It’s a life where you’re always on a high.
Being in this frequent high state requires some time surrounding yourself with other people at your level. It requires getting out of your home, your head, your routine in order to be successful. It requires you to rely on others and others to rely on you. In our world today it’s so easy to get caught up being in your home office 24 hours most weeks because everything is done online. Facetime meetings with clients, writing blogs, creating content, but life is too beautiful to live behind the screen. Below are the five activities I do to keep myself grounded and get past the quiet of my home:
1. Coffee Shop Mornings
When I don’t have a client scheduled and have a whole day to work on my creative projects, I need to get out of the house. I love my place, I love my office and the surrounding decor but there’s something about waking up, putting my hair in a bun and working from the local coffee shop for a few hours. It can be easy to fall into the ‘nap trap’ and think, oh I’m a little tired, maybe I’ll rest my eyes for a few more minutes and then fall asleep for an hour. That’s a fail and I’ve been able to decipher when I truly need to rest my mind from work and when I’m just trying to avoid the challenging next task ahead of me.
How this helps:
Getting up and out of your routine can create new ideas, help you stay focused on the project in front of you, and who doesn’t love to treat themselves to a delicious cup of coffee? Find your space, the one that you can’t wait to get to, that has some good snacks (in case you get hungry too) and that isn’t far from home. I have three places that are my coffee grounds. It’s quiet enough to think, it’s not super crowded, and the staff knows my name, plus they all have some kind of reward system. Totally off topic but, I got a free kahlua truffle the other day and I can’t tell you how much that made my morning. Yep, got excited about a free truffle and have no shame in that. I was tempted to find a way to photograph the chocolate because it was made to perfection but decided to avoid the hassle of the whole Insta perfect photo and just ate it.
What are three coffee shops close to home that you can check out? Grab a cup, take your laptop and test out where working feels good. Find your coffee office away from home on days you can’t stay focused.
Photography by Missy Palacol Photography
Necklace JCREW from Alexandra’s // Shorts by ASTR // Cami by ASTR $39 // Glasses by BP// Knit Duster MICHAELA from The Finerie // Bucket Bag WHITING AND DAVIS from The Finerie // Sandals ALL BLACK from The Finerie
2. Keep Moving
Exercise works wonders for your mind and your body too. When I started working out at age 17, I did it to stay in shape but I also felt this high and sense of freedom from taking long runs outside. I’d wake up and didn’t even think twice about it because once I did, I found myself wanting to stay in bed. The Nike slogan, ‘Just do it’ is exactly what you need in order to take action to get your exercise on. Once you start questioning and planning out your day, that 5 seconds of motivation is gone in an instant. At age 30, I don’t work out every single day anymore but I do have it scheduled in my calendar 3-6 times a week, depending on how busy I am.
A few months ago I started taking kickboxing and I can’t even begin to explain the power I felt from that kind of strength training. It boosted my self esteem, got me out of the house, and kept me surrounded by people. It was a feeling of, ‘I’ve got this’ and ‘yes I can’. As much as I wanted to sign onto their membership, I couldn’t justify the $150 a month cost when I know I wanted to explore more and have options for days I want to run, or days I want to cycle. My hunger for exercising came even more after watching Wonder Woman, I saw the movie in awe and told myself, I can do that too. Finally, I decided to get a membership at LA Fitness and am so happy I did.
How this helps?
Well, there are many studies that found out that successful people workout 3-6 times a week, but really, I don’t need that data to back it up and I’m sure you don’t either. It’s pretty obvious the benefits of working out and the correlation it has with success and beating depression or anxiety. Having the discipline to push yourself and have dedication to taking care of your body are big factors that make a difference in your business and mental health. It reduces stress and anxiety from the obstacles of the day and overall you just feel so much better, more energized, more strong. There are days that I get moody when I miss my workout because there’s something about not going that makes me feel guilty. I love the feeling of getting time away from the social media world and work to focus on the challenge in front of me. It’s not about losing weight, I see working out as a form of adding power to my body and mind.
Just try it out for a week, schedule that workout on your calendar and don’t miss it. See it as a meeting you have to get to and don’t question yourself. If you need to make a class or get a friend to go with you, do it. There’s no excuses why you can’t go. Just do it for a week and I promise, you’ll see a difference. The pain feels so good 🙂
3. Weekly Collabs
I’m amazed by all the new businesses popping up and it excites me to see how a passion project turns into a business with a tribe of devout followers backing it up. Instagram has made it so easy to really reach out and make new friends. Today, working solo involves collaborating and coming together with the business savvy leaders around you. Doesn’t matter if they are new in what they’re doing or if they have lots of experience, just find others you can connect with whether they are other business owners, influencers, bloggers, people in the press, or anyone making things happen in their career. It’s not only inspiring but it just feels good to talk business and get to know someone new.
How it helps
Think about how creative you are on your own, now think about how creative two minds are together. Don’t be afraid to share ideas and dream projects, you never know if the person in front of you has a way to contribute to that or has interest in teaming up. There are many ways to make your dreams happen, don’t ever feel like you have to do it on your own. As a personal shopper I like to collaborate with other stylists to create events, with photographers to talk about how to take photos, with business coaches on their online courses, and more. There’s so much to learn and so much to share with people that are in different fields than you.
What 5 people could you reach out to, influencers you want to learn from and collaborate with? What could you contribute to what they do? Time to share and come together to create and grow.
4. Reliable Dream Team
Your dream team of ladies is essential! I have part of my dream team in Portland but that doesn’t stop us from being there for eachother. My dream team consists of lady entrepreneurs because they understand the hardships of staying up all night to get something done, to working 7 days a week, and the small details it takes to make big things happen. We have weekly calls to keep each other on track, to listen, and advise if we need another lady bosses’ opinion.
How it helps
When you’re alone too long with your ideas and thoughts, sometimes you just question yourself way too much. Sometimes you need that outside voice of reason to say, hey, you’ve got this. It’s also helpful to talk about the hard stuff like not getting that big hit client or not getting the turnout you wanted from your big event. You need someone that understands the life of working for yourself because they can relate, and if you have their back, they’ll always have yours too.
Who is part of your dream team? Who could you potentially ask to be part of a mastermind group, or a book club?
5. Scheduling Dates
No, not with men, with your girlfriends of course! Your Dream Team is different than your group of besties who you can just be with. The ladies who understand the your more personal side including your love life, family life, and you in general. The women who love your craziness and make you laugh, the women who go to all your events even though they don’t know exactly what you do, and the women who sit and listen to you when you need to cry. Just because you work for yourself doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in work mode at all times. Letting go of answering your emails for the night and being human is part of living. Don’t cut out the people that love you, learn to say no when you need to but also learn to say yes when you need to as well. I cut others out the first few years of starting my business and it was lonely. Sadly, I lost connection with the people around me and when I needed someone, I had no one to turn to. Don’t get to that place, it can be depressing, even for a self motivated fashionista as myself. There was no one I could relate to or be with outside of my business self.
How it helps
Taking a break on your ideas will just create new ones. Get refreshed by going out into the world of fun and connect deeply with the ladies you love. We want to be understood at all levels of our layers and one of them is not related to work, it’s related to our deep emotional self.
What friendships are precious to you and why? What can you do to show these people how much you care?