By Amanda Khoza, Divisional Director: Transformation & Inclusion, Liberty Group
In the last 6 months, I have been broken by the passing of two dear entrepreneurs and the critical hospitalisation of one. If a distinction is not made on the importance of self-nurture, the body and mind take the biggest knock and who will run the business when that happens? The things that matter need minding and it is time the entrepreneur pauses that business button and presses the mind me button.
Imagine reading this article with no punctuation, no moments to catch your breath, take a break, reflect, accent, feel, and start again where you left off. Similarly, an entrepreneur’s life requires those moments of pausing, taking time out and ensuring there’s time given to regroup, reassess, recoup and rest. This may seem obstructive and delaying in running your business, but why is it that inspirational and transformational CEOs of big corporates are reading broadly on people, life, things and events; visiting executive health facilities; pursuing physical health regimes; have life coaches and seemingly impart leadership lessons naturally? It's not that they are extraordinary people who possess innate greatness, but it's because they know that if they don't consider themselves and their holistic wellbeing in the equation then they can never deposit into or perform optimally in their roles.
It is important to pause and start minding yourself better by role-modelling greatness around you.
The entrepreneur is an individual, a person with basic needs and wants, dreams and passions, values and ideals. They do little to neither continue self-development, take in their deportment, factor in their downtime, nor pay attention to their disillusioned spirit when the business they were once passionate about morphs into a drudge. When business becomes something to survive in, and your employees your burden to employ and your idea a listless pursuit, then one needs to go back to the drawing board on time for you, the entrepreneur. You need to be realistic about what you can change and what you can control. You cannot change what happened yesterday - the words spoken, the things done, the paths taken, the losses made, and the failed pursuits. It's passed, it's the past. But today and tomorrow can be envisioned and enabled; invested in; cultivated and creatively crafted; pursued and progressed. Even the done things can be repurposed; no door must be shut, learn from the failures, recoup those losses, spoken words can be discussed more amicably and signed deals can be renegotiated - you won't know until you try. Pause and know what you can mind, what you can change, and what you can control.
At this juncture, entrepreneurs may fidget and ask the question: “ But that does not place hard cash in my hands, the critical part of my business needs.” Financial rewards are the base not the core of wealth creation. Wealth creation must include what you pepper your mind with, what you feed your motivation machine, how you filter your habits and how you inject your energies. You can change the trajectory of how you react to challenges you encounter by taking control of how your mind processes. Wellness includes not only the financial, but the physical and the mental. Be true to your "l will." The promises we make to ourselves are oftentimes what is missing in our personal growth. If you are struggling to commit to yourself it will be harder to meet your external commitments fully. Only because there'll be lack in you which would've enhanced your promise to others, or your body would essentially tire from giving and not getting. It is critical to take time to pause for yourself and mind your body and personal aspirations.
Besides resetting your personal button, pausing allows one to carefully consider each aspect of life encountered. It presents multiple instances that allow us to pause with barely a thought when we have to stop to let others pass, stop talking to listen, stop working to sleep, turn back and grab a jacket because the weather has turned, and stop because we’ve reached our destination.
Think carefully then about how you can deliberately practice your personal pause moments - simple ways that help you find and mind yourself better.
Amanda Khoza is the Divisional Director: Transformation & Inclusion at Liberty Group, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is a passionate advocate for economic empowerment, financial literacy, and believes in the power of entrepreneurship to make real and lasting societal change happen on the African continent. Amanda is championing a host of initiatives for women entrepreneurs in South Africa, including partnering with Lionesses of Africa on the Lioness Lean In Liberty Sessions programme for intrapreneurs at Liberty, supporting The Mix newsletter each month as an impact partner, and joining with Standard Bank as the impact partners for the Lionesses of Africa Accelerator programme series in Johannesburg.
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