Guest post by Sabrina Cadini.
I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I’ve always set goals for my own career, I’ve always worked for myself – not for someone else. I have no boundaries, no restrictions and I love it!
Being an entrepreneur is not easy and, if you’re one, you agree with me. Especially if you care about your business: you don’t want it to fail, you want it to succeed. And you do anything possible to make it succeed.
Entrepreneurs have an unstoppable drive to pursue their passion or dream. This drive will bring them through a journey where they fail, they learn, try again, and then find the road to success.
In my specific case, I’ve been designing and planning events and weddings for more than 25 years and I’ve seen many of those up-and-down moments, but I love what I do.
Challenging myself to reach a destination and celebrating the victory thanks to my hard work, efforts, and dedication is priceless.
Of course, there’s a negative side of the “entrepreneurial life”, such as:
- Your mind is constantly in motion, seven days a week (you don’t limit your work week to Monday-Friday, 9 to 5)
- You are your own brand and you always have to go above and beyond to stand out
It’s a non-stop commitment with yourself, with your clients, with your family.
That’s why many entrepreneurs give up.
They don’t know how to visualize their goals, they don’t have the support, they don’t have the consistency, or they don’t know how to manage their time. They can’t find a balance between their personal life and their professional activity.
Most of them underestimate it and then they experience burnout.
That’s exactly what happened to me…
As I became successful and extremely busy a few years ago, I started to focus more on the business and less on myself. I thought that more hours of work would mean more clients and more money. I started pushing myself more and more, sleeping less (who needs to waste time for that, right?) and working long hours.
My adrenaline levels were at the top, and I felt amazing. Work, work, work!
I know I was spreading myself too thin but the excitement of booking more and more clients and events felt too good to say no!
I was wrong…
I didn’t take into consideration that my body needed to be in the picture in order to achieve my results. That’s when I started to experience some health issues that seemed unrelated to each other, but they started bothering me. Nothing serious but they were interfering with my business.
It probably happened to you: when you’re sick, nothing else matters, and that becomes your only problem. I saw many doctors, specialists, I did blood tests, nothing. Everything looked normal, except higher blood pressure than usual (I’ve always been on the lower scale), and repeating sinus infections, joint pain, bloating, and more. Depression kicked in because I couldn’t find any solution and, after my doctor prescribed the fifth round of antibiotics for my sinus infection, I decided to move in a different direction.
After an extensive research, I discovered that body and mind are directly connected, and our system needs to be in balance. Nutrition, sleep, exercise can all make a huge difference and improve our quality of life.
I immediately eliminated sugar (I have an incurable sweet tooth), dairy (huge milk fan) and gluten (I’m Italian, big pasta eater) from my diet, I forced myself to sleep 8 hours every night, and I became more diligent with my fitness activity (6 days a week instead of 4). It was extremely hard to stick to this new routine, but I thought I had nothing to lose, and it was worth to try.
After two weeks, I felt like a new person! I would wake up in the morning with the desire to sing. I was extremely productive, I felt a lot of energy, I had a very positive outlook about everything, all of my symptoms were magically gone, and everything seemed to be smiling at me.
Since then, I’ve been following basic principles every single day:
- Eat better (less processed foods, more natural choices)
- Sleep more (at least 7-8 hours each night)
- Exercise regularly (it makes you happier and keeps you in shape)
- Love yourself (take care of YOU before taking care of others, and reward yourself)
- Own your life (organize your personal and professional areas for optimal balance, and say no more often)
Thanks to these principles my body and mind are now in balance, I feel better, I have more energy, I’m more productive, I can get things done more quickly and more easily.
Thanks to this learning experience I’m now on a mission to change the life of other fellow busy entrepreneurs. I created a Life-Work Balance program that helps my clients get their life (and sanity) back.
My final advice is: Focus on life – not work.
As entrepreneurs, we’re all tempted to give priority to our job instead of our family, friends, and ourselves. But if you keep the focus on YOU, your quality of life and your work will dramatically improve as a result.
When you’re tired and you experience burnout, everything becomes too difficult to handle. When you are relaxed and recharged, you can accomplish much more in less time.
I prefer this second option, do you?