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3 Keys to Love Your Work Again
If you’re anything like me, you become an entrepreneur to have more freedom and flexibility, both with your calendar and with your finances. I see so many women who have built their businesses and figured out how to get clients, only to realize that their job as an entrepreneur is more constraining than the job they left for their “freedom.” And, if they love it, it becomes even more confusing because the body feels the results of overworking, even if the mind doesn’t.
In fact, if you’re reading this right now on your couch with your laptop, trying to relax and work at the same time, I see you.
Know that you are not alone. A May 2022 article in Forbes states that 92 percent of small business owners have experienced mental health problems over the last several years. Few took time off during the pandemic, and stress and financial pressures took a toll. More here.
The core issues here, of course, extend beyond entrepreneurs. According to the latest Gallup polls, 67% of employees are not thriving in their overall well-being, with stress and anger topping the list of challenges in the workplace. More here.
Understanding this is important to those of us who are managing teams. It’s not just our satisfaction and balance that’s on the line; the way our employees engage is crucial to our success as well.
So, what can be done?
Through my work with executive leaders and entrepreneurs, I’ve discovered three keys to finding more balance, satisfaction, and engagement, both in yourself and in your teams.
Get clear on where work falls in your list of priorities.
I’ve spoken with so many people who have never considered what their priorities are in life. When questioned, many immediately put family in the number one spot. Work is usually in second or third place. Yet, when they look at how they spend their time, they find that work takes more time than all their other priorities combined.
Something else to consider is- where are YOU on the list? I argue that we should all be first on our own lists. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t be our best at work or with our families.
Slowing down and deciding what is important in your life is essential. Once this is established, you can start to make decisions that will support your priorities and your own well-being.
Take ownership of your thinking, behaviors, and actions at work.
One way we disempower ourselves at work is by blaming others for our circumstances. This could look like pointing a finger at a client who wasn’t clear with their scope of work or berating an employee who missed a deadline.
The key questions to ask yourself in situations like these are-
- What do I get out of blaming someone else for this?
- What is my responsibility in this scenario?
- What could I have done differently to achieve the outcome I wanted?
In the examples above, your reflection and learning from these situations could look like
- I see that I rushed the process with this client.
- I could have asked for more clarity.
- I wasn’t clear with this employee about the hard stop on this deadline.
- I also didn’t check in on their work to confirm it would be done on time.
- I could have communicated more thoroughly.
When we slow down and start taking responsibility for the things that happen in our work, our work tends to become much easier and more satisfying.
Get support for yourself and your team.
One of the best investments you can make to ensure the success of you and your team is to invest in support. By support, I don’t just mean bringing in a motivational speaker or throwing a holiday party. Hire a coach for yourself to support you in your leadership. Take your team offsite and bring in a facilitator to work with you on communication skills and priorities.
A recent paper published by Emerald Insight states that 95% of people who had been coached in the workplace saw an improvement in psychological well-being and reported increases in general perceived efficacy and goal attainment.
I understand that slowing down to take these actions requires commitment. In my experience, it will be time well spent.
If you’d like to learn more, connect with me on my website here.
I’m diving more deeply into all of this in my talk at The Women Thrive Summit. Learn more and sign up here.
About the Author
Name: Laura Foster
Title: Life and Leadership Coach
Bio: As a Life and Leadership Coach for Entrepreneurs and Executives, Laura works with creative leaders who are eager to change their relationships with their work and their lives. She spent over 25 years in corporations as a creative professional, and she founded several companies, including a nonprofit in Ethiopia. Laura holds a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology and has over 20 years of experience speaking, leading workshops, and facilitating groups inside and outside of organizations. In addition to her private client work, Laura speaks and runs group coaching programs for women and leaders.