‘Figure out what’s important in your business and your life first.’
During this pandemic, we’ve learned to not only look after our bodies but our mental health as well. Here are self-care activities we’ve been doing as business owners during a pandemic.
– Business routine during pandemic
– Exercise and meditation during pandemic
– Socialization during pandemic
– Daily reflection on life during pandemic
Roger: Hello, Roger Murphy here from Local SEO Today and I have John Vuong with me, owner of Local SEO Search. We want to talk today, John, to business owners, entrepreneurs, on the topic of pandemic. And of course, we’re all in it. We’re all going to get through it, John, but it’s about self care for you as a business owner and entrepreneur. What you can do to mentally and physically take care of yourself?
John: Yeah, and I can personally relate. It’s been going on for over a year now, this pandemic, but I’ve been homebased for eight years running this agency and I’ve worked on really great, great solid routines and habits that allowed me to, you know, give some advice on what has worked and what hasn’t for me and hopefully this can add some value to your business as well.
Roger: And the idea of these routines, it is true for many people, John, that they were, you know, they were thrown, everything was thrown into turmoil when many offices were shut down, they had to go to skeleton staff or they have to start working from home. So, the idea of a routine was…A new routine was thrust upon us but the idea of making this routine work for you or adopting new routines to make sure it fits for you, for your mental health and for your, you know, self care and personal care, that sort of thing. That’s very important.
John: Exactly. I think it has to be customized to your life. So, these are just tips that we’ve learned. So, the first thing is, let’s talk about new routines, right? So, first thing is how do you ensure that you stress less because it is super stressful working from home if you have family, obligations, you have small children, young adults and now they’re spending way more time at home and you have to focus on doing your business, run your business at home…In meetings. It’s just, these are now your norms, and how do you adapt to it?
Roger: Right and John, as you know, young…With a young family and you can maybe speak to having a little guy at home or when he wasn’t in school, doing homeschooling or when he does come home after school, to be able to somewhat get an arrangement with your children, to let them know that mom and dad, they’re still working and they need some space and they need some time. So, that we’ll play later on. But there’s a routine and every day, you know, I’m busy doing my job, that sort of thing.
John: Exactly. So you need to figure out what’s important in your business and your life first so for me, it was always family. So, I always carved out time for the business. So, me and my wife split shifts and I took the afternoon shift to take care of my son and my wife took the morning shift. So, I tried to cram as many meetings as I could in the morning and I had the luxury of it. And you have to figure out for your business how can you adopt a routine that fits your business and your lifestyle because that means hiring more people, VA’s, other sale…Other representatives in your company to support you along the way because it’s difficult and no one really understands it unless they have children themselves. So, perspective is everything and just be honest with everyone on your business and payroll. How about you?
Roger: And the idea of, you know, everyone’s got a calendar and support team can see calendar but when you carve out, you’re carving out time for your family, carving out time for yourself and that idea of holding to that routine. And I remember, John, we were at an event and there was a speaker and he actually put into his calendar, his daily scheduler. Through the week, he knew at that time it’s an off the grid because that is my exercise time or that is my meditation time, whatever it is. He was very diligent about sticking to this routine, so that it kept his, you know, physically strong, mentally strong, you know, getting a break from sitting in front of a computer or doing your work all day long.
John: Yeah, I actually incorporated that. So, last year, I put in my calendar my gym, my meditation, my reading, my family time, my date night, all these things are more important to me than business meeting, interactions because my life should be about what’s the most important things first with yourself and the people that really resonate with your life. And everything else is on the calendar.
Roger: That’s terrific. So, that’s about the routines and of course, into those routines and we sort of touched on but it’s number…The number two topic is exercise or meditation daily but that idea of, you know, thinking inwardly and you know, decompressing a little bit and disconnecting from technology. So, we’ll talk about, John, that’s important as well,
John: It’s so important and especially with the drain that we all have gone through during this pandemic, you may be used to go to a gym, right? Like, once, twice, three times a week. You may be used to like biking and running outside and doing all these things. Well, now you can’t. So, what can you do differently, right? There is still video, you can do things at home, I know yourself, you were doing p90x, right? All these things you just have to incorporate for your life.
Roger: Exactly. And you do currently use and as you say you become…It just becomes second nature just like, you eat food, you take time for yourself and exercise or meditate. It just becomes part of the day. And I liken it to, you know, you have one body and you want to keep it as healthy as possible forever, you know, for long. It’s better to stay healthy than to be let, you know, not healthy. So, that routine of having a physical regime that can only help you mentally as well as physically and, you know, keep you sharp.
John: Yeah, even if it is just going out for a walk around the block 10, 15 minutes a day, allows you to de-stress, disconnect from computer, disconnect from technology. Allows you to really rest. It’s so important, right? And meditation has really helped guide me to be way more calm, less stress, and less impulsive, right? Because as a business owner, you’re A type personality, you want to get things done yesterday and it’s hard and challenging. So, you need to really unwind a little bit.
Roger: Yeah. And there’s another, the next topic of course is about socialization and connecting with people. We all have all… And we’re just coming out of winter here in North America. But you know, you’re inside more often than outside and you’re in, we’re finally finishing this pandemic, hopefully. But it’s just things that, you know, socially we’ve just not been able to do things. So, that’s something to get into your routine, to reach out.
John: Exactly. And a lot of people may not be in the same situation as yourself, that might have a huge network, right? They may only be working for you and that’s their social outlet. So, reconnect with people, check in, find out how things are going. You know, touch base with some of your old colleagues and friends and family. Ensure that everyone’s safe and happy and still lively, right? And it means a lot for a lot of people, even if it’s a quick text message. A quick message on the phone, voice message because that’s what we are all about. We’re all about relationships, right? And if these people mean something to you and they made an impact in your life in any small or big way, you want to return the favor.
Roger: That’s it and really, at the end of the day it’s better for you and better for us as well to… And people don’t maybe think about it but to actually, you know, purposefully reach out to people and just connect. It’s so because we’re human animals. That is what it’s all about, is socially connecting people and as you say, just hearing their voice or ask them, John, how they are, how they’re doing. It actually helps you.
John: Exactly, it doesn’t have to be even a business purpose, right? It could be just making sure that people who are maybe interested in your service or you met them at a conference one time, you went for coffee. Just check in with people and that’s what life is about, right? Connection.
Roger: That’s right. The fourth topic, you know, in terms of our podcast today is about self development and certainly with the Internet and with what we have access to at our fingertips, John, really, we can let…You can learn and do so much online.
John: Exactly. I mean, I’m a big proponent of continually educating yourself through blogs, webinars, videos, books, communities, there’s so much out there to learn and if you’re not growing, if you don’t have a growth mindset as a business owner, you’re going to be stagnant and people are going to overtake your business. Do you need to always continuously evolve? Figure out what’s going on in industry, see what changes, pivots, opportunities there are, gaps. How you can improve, learn from others, talk to others. There’s so much out there.
Roger: It’s tremendous. At the end, it’s never been so much…There’s never been so much at our fingertips, you know, instantaneously. It’s really incredible and this is not a knock on higher education and University but I think it was Elon Musk who was quoted as you know, what is the purpose of school today? Everything I need is online right now. I can access anything I need on any topic. Mostly.
John: Exactly. It’s real time and it’s affordable because cost and it’s a global thing, right? This is called disruption of this whole post secondary education, right? This whole system because as an employer, as a business owner, does it matter where people get their knowledge from? Do they actually vet you through a certificate or diploma anymore or is it from experience now? Because you know, that’s more important than anything?
Roger: That’s right. So, it’s tremendous, you know, in terms of the idea of as an entrepreneur, taking care of yourself and this continuing education thing, John, is critical. This is terrific. The last point we’re gonna wanna talk about today and we sort of touched on but it’s daily reflection, that’s something. That’s interesting.
John: Yeah, definitely. It’s very similar to, you know, mindfulness and meditation but reflecting on what is going on in your business, in your life, in your friendships, relationships, routines and be grateful for what you have versus what you don’t have, as you’re in control of your life and the more you reflect on what is good and bad, these are things that you can change and really slow down a lot. A lot of people are so fast paced.
Roger: And that is that idea of reflection. And I look at too, John, as the idea of perspective, just shine a different light on a topic and just really, you know, when you think about it, we are all very, very fortunate to be where we are. If you have your health, if you’re employed, if you’ve got, you know, loyal customers just reflect on, you know, perspective that…Yeah, there’s issues, there’s problems out there.
John: Yeah, having a business allows you to be, I guess, different than employees, right? And therefore, you should really be grateful for what you’ve accomplished and the people that you’re impacting their lives, right? And being able to let go of all the negative communication of what’s going on in your life, personal or business, career wise but like, just sit down and start note-taking even on a daily journal. Well, I used to go away on the weekends just to have a deep walk to see how the week went, the month went and really reflect on what I could have done better, how can I improve it? What were some of the biggest, you know, challenges? And how can I overcome it so it doesn’t happen again? Or mistakes. Yeah.
Roger: Or improve upon what’s already happened. So, but yeah, reflection is so important and, you know, some people might not feel comfortable, you know? Oh, I don’t know. But really, it is very, very important to sort of look at and take everything into perspective. It will just help you down the road, it’ll help you with your business, it’ll help you with your personal life. You know, what your important values are. Really, you know, it’s a terrific thing to do.
John: Exactly. Thanks a lot, Roger.
Roger: Well, John, thank you and thanks to our listeners today. We’ll see you again at Local SEO Today and have a good one.