Running your own business might mean you never have to work for someone else anymore, but it certainly doesn’t mean you never have to work again. In fact, being an entrepreneur probably means you work more - after all this is your own business and you either make it or break it. Understandably having your own business requires long working hours, high levels of creativity and people skills; and a whole lot of other skills that might wear thin when the stress levels rise. You know what you should do in a situation like that?
Yes, I know you might not have the time to slow down and sit because, business, right? But check it out, while meditation used to be the calling card for monks, it’s not anymore. Top CEOs, entrepreneurs, business people; they all meditate. The people from the offices of Google, Harpo (Oprah’s company) and Huffington Post are encouraged to meditate; Tim Ferriss, Steve Jobs, Arianna Huffington, Oprah, Richard Branson, Russell Simmons and Rupert Murdoch - all meditators.
It’s no coincidence that the better the leader, the better the business. Taking care of yourself is a way to ensure that you can be in the best shape to lead your employees and run your business well. Here are 5 ways that your business will benefit from you meditating.
Burn bright, not out
It’s easy to overstretch yourself while running your business. There is so much to do and almost no time to do it. Burnout is very real and can affect your business negatively. Sitting in silence for as little as 10 minutes a day can help you calm down and destress. Sometimes allowing yourself the space to unwind is all you need to recharge and move forward with purpose.
Best meditation: Guided relaxation
Find a space you can comfortably sit or lie down, where you won’t be disturbed. Find a good guided meditation such as this one from the Honest Guys on YouTube. Listen to the guide and follow as best as you can. Relax and unwind.
Let out the creativity
Ever hear the saying, “A watched pot never boils”? Having to make decisions non-stop on a daily basis can certainly drain the creativity valves. Being creative isn’t only for those who work in the ‘creative’ industry. Entrepreneurs have to be highly creative in order to run their businesses. Spending some time relaxing the mind and visualising can help ease the tension and allow inspiration to seep in. Sometimes when you’re thinking or focusing too much on an issue, it helps to let the mind unwind and be still. This way it will open up to new ways of thinking that you might not have noticed before.
Best Meditation: Visualisation
Sit comfortably with your eyes closed, in a safe, quiet space you won’t be disturbed. Take 5 deep breaths, breathing in and exhaling slowly. Bring your attention to your projects. Visualise your projects going well. See yourself solving problems. Don’t pay too much attention to how or the details; just visualise that it is being solved. Before ending the meditation, take 5 more deep breaths and sit quietly for a few minutes to let it all sink in.
Get good sleep
Ah sleep, one thing that almost no one seems to get enough of. It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to suffer from types of insomnia like trouble falling asleep, or waking up in the middle of the night with your thoughts buzzing. In the long run this will affect your work and business, not to mention your health. Meditation teaches you to be present, to focus on the now. Through meditation you will learn to observe your thoughts without attachment thus releasing the need to obsess over them. Through mindfulness you will be able to bring yourself back to center not only in bed when you need to sleep, but also when you might be spiralling during a work day and need to focus.
Best meditation: Focus on breath
In bed, bring your attention to your breathing. With your eyes closed focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale. Your mind will wander and if you catch your mind wandering just bring it back to the present and back to your breathing. Don’t stress.
When you have a million things to do, it’s hard to stay in the moment. Your mind is always one step ahead trying to get to the next task on your list. Not only does this mean your mind is always over-worked, it also means you’re never present. Does your partner complain that you seem far away? Can you never enjoy the moment because you’re off in your mind with some other issue? Is your phone always out of battery from overuse? Well, it’s time to get more grounded. Being present not only improves your personal life but it also works wonders in your business. If you’re always off somewhere, you’ll never notice the things that need your attention now. This could make or break your business. Noticing when to sell, what’s hot, what needs to change, etc.
Best meditation: Mindfulness
Sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Bring your focus to your breathing, notice everything that is happening in your body. Notice the sounds around you. Notice the weight of your clothes, the feel of the breeze on your skin. This is all about being here and now.
Finally meditation allows you to stay balanced. I’m not talking about finding a ‘right-down-the-middle’ balance between work and play - that depends on each individual. However I am talking about being at peace with your choices in life, finding balance within, creating space to take care of yourself and being present with your loved ones, letting go of negative thoughts without too much fuss - a kind of balanced life filled with awareness. Not only does this make you a considerate person, better leader and sharp boss, it also makes you a more conscious human being.
Best meditation: Anything that you can do daily.
Check out YouTube for many free meditations.