Running your own small marketing business can be challenging, liberating, invigorating, and rewarding all at once. Your business is your passion – but admittedly running a marketing business is not always easy. You have to juggle many balls and spin many plates. You have to pay attention to your business. You need to balance the books, plan service, support freelance staff, keep the business on its feet, and always keep the best, most professional game face for clients, customers, and associates, while simultaneously tackling many other tasks.
Add to the “busy-ness” of running your business, the unpredictable times we live in, and life’s distractions. Just as you zone in on a particular project, beepers, buzzers, bells or some other type of alerts break your concentration. Your attention is pulled in many directions at once and this can make it difficult to focus and get anything done at all. Focusing on the task at hand becomes truly difficult, and not to mention, stressful!
Next thing you know, you end up becoming a slave to your big dream – your marketing business, as your mind begins to wander, thinking about all the different things you still need to do. Running through your mind are the thoughts, “I could do with another couple of hours each day and another working day a week. Just how can I get off this hamster-wheel?”
You want your business to be the best it can be, but to manage small business stress and make sure you stay happy and healthy as well as successful you need to take some time to focus on yourself and find balance. This is where mindfulness can help you stop, and get off that hamster-wheel.
Researchers have found that mindfulness – the practice of focusing your attention on the present moment – makes you more resilient, regulates your stress response, increases emotional intelligence and strengthens your ability to focus.
Try these three mindfulness tips every day. They should only take a few moments of your time:
When you wake in the morning take a few minutes to just breathe on purpose. Try setting a 3-minute timer and inhaling through your nose and exhaling from your mouth. For each breath, breath in for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. Do that for three minutes and over time you can build up from there. Longer, fuller breath cycles stimulate the relaxation response, which means you can physically set yourself up for more peace. During the day, you can use meditation when you feel yourself getting worked up or overwhelmed, make some time to just breathe deeply for one to five minutes. Find a quiet space where you can sit, close your eyes and focus on inhaling, holding your breath, and exhaling in regular intervals, letting go of your thoughts. There’s no better natural way to recharge.
Use your mornings to be mindful. When you wake up, ease yourself through a relaxing routine that will let you save your energy for the coming day. Make a comforting mug of coffee and sip slowly, focusing on nothing but the warmth of the cup in your hands and the steam rising to your face. Eat your breakfast and enjoy each flavor. Don’t check the news, catch up on email, or try to get ahead before work even starts. Make time to revel in the quiet moment. When you’re ready and recharged, you can begin your workday.
Just like making time to meditate in the morning, give yourself mindfulness breaks throughout the day by practicing pausing and paying attention to your senses. Wherever you are during your work day — whether that’s in the car en-route to another location, in your studio or office, or outside — take a moment to use your senses and be aware of your surroundings.
Notice the details — simply stop and ask yourself what you’re seeing, what are you smelling, what are you hearing, what do you taste and what do you feel (physically and emotionally). Simply being aware of this continuously throughout the day can reduce stress and anxiety tremendously.
Incorporating any or all of these three mindfulness tips into your daily work routine can benefit you and your business in a great way. Over time, you’ll find that these mindful practices will help you develop a mindful, resilient and high performing culture that will result in steady growth in your small marketing business.