Three Steps to Achieving Business Well-Being
By Patti Villalobos
Your Level of Well-Being = Your Business’ Level of Well-Being
Okay. I will admit it. I am a recovering adrenaline junky. Or maybe it was a control junky. Or maybe I just took off the mantle of “Responsible for the Known Universe.” Whatever it was, I know that today my life flows with an ease that I’ve never known, and a peace that I never knew possible.
And that is NOT because life is easy right now. It is not easy launching another new business while getting a handle on complex health challenges. It’s exciting, but it’s not easy. So what changed? So many things, but two of the biggest changes have been in my attitude towards balance and creativity.
Many years ago, in the midst of an enormous project that was so behind schedule it was unrecoverable, I was overseas presenting to The Big Kahuna. A mere two minutes into the presentation, in front of a room full of peers and higher ups, he launched into a screaming tirade because of the project dates. When I say screaming, I mean vein-bulging-red-faced-accent-tinged cursing and berating the teams on both sides of the Atlantic. I’m sure it was only 5 minutes or so, but in that surreal moment, it felt like hours. I remember thinking to myself, “Oh my… He’s going fall over from a stroke…and not a single person here is going to help him!”
Several weeks later, when my husband called at 5pm to ask if I wanted to go to a yoga class, I yelled into the phone, “Are you kidding me? I AM TOO STRESSED TO GO TO YOGA CLASS!” Yes, the irony…
Whether in a family, a small business, or a giant corporation, if the people at the top are out-of-balance and stressed, then so is the rest of the “family.” In counseling, Family Systems theory talks about the interconnectedness and interdependence of family members. Well, organizational health follows the same principles: if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
So what does that mean for as a business owner? If you are “mama” or “papa” to your organization, it means choosing to prioritize your personal well-being is not an option. You either learn how to do it, or you will create chaos in your business. Period. That is NOT good for your health, your employees’ well-being, your customers, or your bottom line.
Here’s what I have learned through experience is:
1. Balance is not a static state, a goal you achieve and check off your list. It is, as a yoga instructor once taught me, a series of constant little adjustments that you make. You will have to practice and be mindful. You will fall when you add something new. That’s part of gaining muscle memory and strength. In business and personal life, it requires the same thing: practice and continuous small and large adjustments, until you find what works for you.
Yep, this is me demonstrating the Crow yoga pose!
2. Balance is also about courage. One of my most difficult poses (Crow, for you yoga aficionados) isn’t so much about me not having the strength; it’s about me not having the courage to lean forward enough. Out “there” feels vulnerable, like I’m going to land on my face. When I was coached past that point, I found that sweet spot where balance was possible. In business and personal life, you may need to give up what feels comfortably uncomfortable, or set some courageous boundaries, in order to find your sweet spot.
3. If you neglect your creative mind, you are missing a crucial tool for problem solving. Think of a time when you wrestled with a problem that seemed utterly unsolvable. The way out of a soul-draining dead end usually does not include banging your head against the wall at the end of the hallway. Step away from the problem and see in a different way. Oh look! I could turn right! There is a different path I was unaware of in the blindness of my self-imposed headache! In business and personal life, making time for left-right brain integration via creativity reaps rewards you cannot even begin to fathom until you make this a priority.
Integrating more creativity and well-being into your life requires more than just saying you’re going to do it; you need the desire, a plan, and then the drive to execute it.