Once we titled this article, the music started in our heads. Instead of talking about COVID, let’s talk about self-care for diverse business owners. Our crazy, complicated lives just got more so! Maybe this is the world’s way of telling us to simplify … to drop unproductive tasks and concentrate on four important things: Family & Friends; Customers & Employees; Ourselves; and, our Businesses.
Family & Friends: We’ve always told our employees, customers, colleagues — basically anyone who will listen — that family comes first. And we mean both biological and chosen family members, because in our minds they’re the same. Our business is family-owned and operated which makes that an easy message for us to live. In this era of instant and constant communication, taking a step back to old school mail can be refreshing. These days, your mailbox is full of advertising circulars and bills. Wouldn’t a handwritten letter or silly card showing up in a mailbox make you smile? I particularly enjoy taking a few moments to think about the person I’m addressing, our relationship and how I hope to bring them a moment of joy.
Customers & Employees: As a diverse business owner, it’s a good bet that you have personal relationships with the people you call customers and employees. We’ve found there’s more time for telephone calls and video chats with customers and staff. With all the craziness in the world, we find ourselves taking time out to not talk about the pandemic or even business. Instead, in what might be the best gift of all, we have a few minutes of conversation flowing over subjects like how one made applesauce, what book another is reading, a funny story about that wacky neighbor you’re seeing more of or sharing a creative approach to virtual long distance family gathering. Let’s take this time to build deeper bonds as we get to know one another better.
Ourselves: Change (and boy have we all been living change!) can cause stress and anxiety. None of us were prepared for COVID or the social distancing that currently rules our lives. And, that distancing denies many of us the ability to enjoy our normal stress relief outlets: the gym, the spa, the beauty salon, the corner restaurant, etc. Oh, I want to swim, but even more I need a haircut — it was already unruly in mid-March. Right now, most of us just can’t have what we want. Each of us has to find alone or down time to pamper ourselves. We can’t carry a burden of worry 24×7 without cracking under the pressure. It might be time to get our simple guilty pleasures out and dust them off. Or, at least find a mindless task, say Lego building, that allows us to relax and our minds to wander far away from today’s news briefings.
Our Businesses: And, that’s why we’re here. We need to take care of our businesses so we have some place to go when the craziness ends that will continue to support our families, customers and employees. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of blogs and webinars addressing government programs, SBA loans, how to plan for the eventual return to our new normal. We’d rather talk about ways to keep us sane until then! One of our suppliers, CPI Creative sent us a pupdate newsletter from their official office dogs. It was a fun reminder of the very creative solutions CPI executes on behalf of their clients. Stress is responsible for up to 90% of illness because it lowers our immune systems, and these challenging times have made stress management even more essential. Another of our vendors, Coach Monique, is a offering a complimentary webinar for business owners and their employees about Anxiety Solutions. We’re signing up ASAP, it will be good for our staff, our client projects and, ultimately the business.
Back to certification issues next month, we hope everyone stays safe and healthy out in the world.