Be kind and gentle with yourself…
Owning a business is like birthing and raising a child. It needs A LOT of energy, care and attention at the beginning years of its life. As the years pass, it gets easier. Businesses are all about people, especially in service businesses, the people create the “culture.”
I have owned The Wellness Center for over 17 years, I will say that the day to day running of the business is 10 times easier today than it was 10 years ago. I work less hours, I have more confidence in my management/leadership abilities, and I have amazing team of employees and practitioners that have been with me through thick and thin. Longevity and trust are paramount to any successful endeavor, because they contribute to the cultural fabric of the organization.
The greatest lesson I have learned over the years, is that even though the “bottom” line is important in any business, being compassionate and kind is even more important. This can be difficult for service businesses. When a practitioner is sick or injured, it affects the “bottom” line, but at the end of the day if you show that practitioner compassion and kindness, especially when they are at their weakest, they generally will be loyal to you over the long haul.
Putting human needs over business needs is not intuitive to American capitalism and corporate ideology, where money and materialism rule. I have personally found that being kind and compassionate is one of the best ways to run a business and a good way to “be” in the world. To see everyone’s humanness, helps me to have even more empathy not only in those around me, but also in myself.
What is the message here? Be kind, gentle and loving to yourself. We are human, and imperfect beings. When you are kind and gentle with yourself, you have more compassion towards others and you lead in a very different way. Don’t get me wrong every business, family and organization has to set clear, reasonable boundaries and rules, but we make exceptions to the rules when “life happens.”