1. Keep a notebook or notepad to write down ANYTHING that comes to mind throughout the day.
I even keep one by my bedside for those midnight wake-you-up thoughts. There are no ideas too small. For me, there have been instances that I have looked back through my musings and something important clicked which sparked a concept to take shape. It is all too easy to say to yourself, “I’ll remember that later or, I’ll get around to writing that down some other time” and it never happens. By writing things down, you create a bridge to help the floating puzzle pieces in your brain connect with the missing spaces of a problem.
2. Connect with my core team daily.
As a business owner, you are only as good as the team you cultivate. By checking in with those who help me make decisions daily, I am nurturing a communication stream that allows my team to give me insight and keeps my business healthy. It also is invaluable in the ability to catch issues before they start or make a quick change to a plan in progress. I only drive the train... they provide the steam to run the train uphill every day!
3. Take time for myself each day.
Whether it is enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning while snuggled with my girls (3 Maltese dogs, and a very affectionate cat), or a quiet glass (or three) of wine in the evening to decompress after a long day, it is important to practice self-care. Just like a car needs to be fueled up before a long trip, you also need to fuel yourself before giving time and attention to others. This is probably the hardest thing for me to do.
4. Giving back to the community.
Our communities are reflections of the businesses that nurture and support them. My passion for giving revolves around children and animals as I believe we should be their voice when they cannot speak for themselves. Regardless of the profit of my companies I always carve out funds to donate to charities and organizations that align with my personal mission. Any amount helps and it sets an example to your employees to give back as well.
5. Surround myself with those who can disagree with me.
Read that again, I’ll wait. It serves no one to have those around them always be agreeable with them. Healthy arguments, ones that keep respect in the equation, give everyone involved insight into looking at things from a different perspective. In business, as in life, perspective is everything. Filling your table with those who have differing opinions, ideas and even values can foster relationships that make your life richer. As a business owner, I have the final say in decisions but knowing that my team helped me see the pros and cons from their view makes it a decision that is based on many facets of perspective.
6. Remember “everything happens for a reason.”
You WILL have bad days. It’s important not to dwell on them. It may not be evident at the time, but everything DOES happen for a reason!