Archive for November 2014

The Healthy Entrepreneur

November 24, 2014

Picpersonwithoutstretchedarmsfile3751334604150When you are your own boss, it is imperative that you are a healthy entrepreneur, but it can sometimes seem like an oxymoron. After all, a lot of what you may be doing to build and run your business is at odds with what you need to do to be healthy. Bad eating habits paired with long hours, not to mention the stress you may be carrying, all these things tend to wear you down and potentially ruin your health.

It is up to you to protect your health, especially as you work on making your dreams come true. Here are a few suggestions for ensuring that you are taking care of your health:

  • Set regular hours. Unless you have some last minute deadline you have to make (they do happen), set reasonable business hours and stick to them.
  • Set regular breaks throughout the day. You must determine what makes sense for you, but regular breaks keep you refreshed. The same goes for regular breaks throughout the year.
  • Include a meditation break. Take a moment to be still and accept whatever flows into you. It may sound “woowoo,” but it is a real refresher. In fact, science today goes even further and recommends that you take a short 20-30 minute nap. It can improve your alertness.
  • See your health care provider yearly (or more often, if that is prescribed). Don’t let potential health issues sneak up on you because you were too busy to take care of regular appointments.
  • Eat right. Watch out for those sneaky snacks of chips, cookies or other unhealthy foods. Avoid the sugary, calorie loaded carbonated drinks. Choose diluted fruit juices or smoothies. Snack on fruit and raw veggies. Be cautious, too, of what you eat and drink at power lunches and at those essential networking events. Your body will thank you.
  • Eat regularly. Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. Don’’t skip it. But don’t eat after 8:00 pm. It is harder for your body to digest food once you have gone to bed, which will contribute to difficulty sleeping.
  • Exercise regularly. Make one of your breaks an exercise break or start/end your day with exercise. Always remember to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine and remember not to exercise after 8:00 p.m. You will be to wound up to sleep if you do that.
  • Consider taking supplements. Consult with your health care provider on whether this is something you need.
  • Get enough regular, uninterrupted sleep. This goes hand in hand with keeping reasonable, regular work hours. According to the Center for Disease Control, 50 to 70 million adults don’t get enough sleep. Lack of sleep increases health problems like diabetes, weight gain, depression, and even cardiovascular disease. Sleep deprivation is as unhealthy as it is draining. The recommended amount? At least seven hours.
  • Drink water throughout the day. Many people don’t understand just how vital it is to drink at  water daily. It keeps the organs, skin, joints and brain lubricated. Water also eliminates wast and keeps your body temperature normal. There are ways to calculate what is enough for you if you no existing health issues. The thing is, don’t skimp.
  • Stay socially connected. Cultivating and keeping friends is just as important to your health, if not more so, as cultivating and keeping customers is to your business. And it goes without saying, that you must stay connected to family.
  • Have other outlets. You love your business, it’s your passion, but don’t let it be your only activity. “All work and no play…” You know the drill.

As we are ending the year and looking toward the new one, make a New Year’s resolutions to be a healthy entrepreneur. Better yet, make being a healthy entrepreneur a part of your Annual Business Strategy, including specific goals and tasks for staying that way. This is one of the most important parts of the business solutions for your continued growth as an entrepreneur. You can’t steer the ship if you’re too sick to run it.

Until next time…

Be Exceptional

Audrey, CEO/Founder of Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions

 

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In Emergencies, Operation Plans Can Mean Business Survival

November 14, 2014
Your business should have operations plans when the journey is not a straight path.

Your business should have operations plans when the journey is not a straight path.

Sometimes the business that we have nurtured so determinedly has to take a backseat to other events taking place in our lives. At those times, it is so important to have a safety net(s) – to have systems in place – to keep your business running. Viable, replicable operations plans are crucial to that business survival.

Your business must continue, even in a crisis, because it is your passion and, quite frankly, it is how you keep the lights on. If you are a solo entrepreneur or small business owner, life’s detours can threaten to cripple or even topple what you have so diligently worked to build.

One of the strongest pulls of an entrepreneur is to determine your fate. Unfortunately, you can only carry that control so far. I have reached a point where my journey has diverted from the path I so carefully set for myself, my family and my business.

My most precious loved one discovered she has cancer. The discovery came on the heels of another of life’s major challenges that she had faced. There was barely time for her to breathe.

My beautiful daughter and I have literally journeyed from my comfortable home – the home where she grew up – to a city far away. The city is full of sparkling lights that act like beacons of hope to so many, on so many levels, for so many years. I am no different. The lights are my beacon, too. They give me hope and comfort and I know she will beat this thing. This awful, draining, undignified thing called cancer, will be beaten. It’s defeat is inevitable, as it should be.

As CEO and Founder of Exceptional Transcriptions and Business Solutions, for the second time I am living the dilemma of keeping my business alive while I contend with other challenges. Admittedly, I can run the core of my business from anywhere in the world. So, even while we contend with rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, doctor visits and all of the challenges that come with the cure, I can still process transcriptions and assist customers with solutions.PicNewYorkSkylineDSC_5413

My advice to you: Have a contingency plan(s). Think strategically about what you will need in place should you have to take one of life’s detours. After all, paying the bills and maintaining your lifestyle is one of the reasons for having a business.

I have systems in place, I have backup, but do you? Have you seriously considered what would happen if you cannot be there to devote your customary “hands on” to your business? Would you have to shut down or does your business plan include operation plans that would allow someone to come in and pick up your customer’s orders? Would you be able to continue to reach out to new customers? These and more, are legitimate questions that should be answered at the onset of your new enterprise and each year during your annual business planning. But it’s not too late to do so now if you didn’t previously.

In truth, some businesses may lend themselves to survival mode easier than others. Operation plans may be easier to develop and implement.  But it is important to develop those systems, no matter how difficult the process. It could possibly save your business.

Life’s journeys are rarely along the straight and narrow, even when we have great plans and visions for ourselves, our business and for our children. It is up to us to decide which, if any at all, beacons of light we follow. Mine will always be that beacon of hope and just as my business won’t fail, my beacons of light won’t fail me.

Until next time…

Be Exceptional

Audrey