Exquisite self-care for your business (yup, starts with you)

Okay, wait, calm down.

I’m not writing a rose-petal baths and massages self-care post and pretending it’s about business. Not pretending — self-care is about business.

Yes, I am connecting scented baths and massages and similar yummy events to the care and nurturing of your business.

Because this: You love your business. It’s your passion and your calling. And this: Every action you take to feed and nurture your business reflects and manifests (and maybe even multiplies) the way you take care of yourself.

Exquisite self-care. It's an inside job.

Solopreneur, wisdompreneur, humanpreneur:

Exquisite self-care for your business starts with you. Exquisite self-care opportunities show up in many ways, some teeny and some huge. You get to choose and commit to self-care every day — in your work, in your life, in your relationships.

It’s an inside job. All the best external successes grow, thrive, and sustain because they have a strong inner foundation.

It’s pretty simple: It’s about having and keeping a sacred commitment to practices that let you establish and maintain a state of being resourced, restored, and in balance so that you attract the clients, revenue, friends, satisfaction, and joy you desire.

The inside job: some tips and how-to’s:

Feed, nurture, and tend your body, the vehicle of your consciousness.

Eat, move, and rest like a boss.

Grow a loving relationship with your body and with food, and keep expanding and improving that relationship as you can. A juicy add-on: grow some food, even a pot or two of herbs in a sunny spot if you’re a beginner (it’s nearly impossible to kill a pot of peppermint).

Move your beautiful body — I love my daily walk. Take breaks and get away from the computer.

Prepare good meals and eat them away from your desk.

Absolutely do not forget the scented baths and massages.

Sink into your sacred silence and welcome the presence of the divine with a daily practice.

A strong connection to the divine — to a power bigger than you — helps you stay grounded through the hectic busyness of each day, even in the scary and unwelcome moments. Grounded,  peaceful, and motivated. Grateful. Happy.

These days my daily practice looks like something like this: two rounds of tai chi, a journal entry, gratitudes written on colorful paper and added to my gratitude vase, and a guided meditation. I take a walk and I do a workout or a stretching routine as well.

Grooming.

Dress for work, even if you work at home.

Don’t wear the clothes that you slept in. (What? You wear PJs? Me, I keep it simple. I just ditch the bra layer and sleep in the shirt I wore all day — works 90% of the time because I wear comfy cotton knit t-shirts 90% of the time — and slip into yoga pants if I’m not wearing them already.)

Grooming #2.

Doing errands around town? Dress in something you wouldn’t mind wearing when you are meeting a new prospective client.

You never know when a stranger you encounter will end up becoming your next prospective client.*

Be intentional about fun and downtime.

Want a successful and sustainable business that has you doing your inspired best work for your ideal clients? Then nurture and sustain yourself.

Work/life balance is a thing. When you’re out of balance and working so much you can’t make time to play and restore, your good health and positive attitudes take a hit. Over time those hits can suck the life, and love, and success right out of your business.

And three exquisite self-care tips directly for your business:

Get support. Even (especially!) if you are a solopreneur.

Working at home on your own? It’s so easy to slip into feeling alone and worried. Take an action that fits your needs and your financial reality: Find a mastermind group. Hire a coach. Set up an accountability buddy system with a friend whose business is in a similar reality to yours.

These days I am in a paid small group for coaching, I have a buddy I meet with every other week for content development and heartstorming, and I have a no-fee peer-led mastermind where we talk through business questions and do content creation separately together.

Put structures in place that support you to stay productive and accountable.

I use the tools that allow me to schedule my life and live my schedule and be accountable when things change.

What’s working for me these days is a powerful combination of mostly cloud-based systems that allow me access from anywhere with internet. The three main ones are Evernote, Apple’s calendar, and Google docs and sheets.

Know what your business’s financial reality is (even if you pay a bookkeeper).

Put on your big-girl panties and find out what it feels like to have a grown-up relationship with money.

When you know what’s going out and what’s coming in, you’re in clarity (not vagueness) and you’re in much better shape to be present and take the next right action.

What do you think? Useful?

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Drop me a line in the comments.

*That sentence about not knowing if a stranger will end up considering hiring you? Taking actions consistent with these words is a formula for an increased-happiness and decreased-regret life. The concept applies not only to your appearance — what you’re wearing and that you’re clean and smell healthy and alive. It applies to every interaction with every human.

Not knowing whether this or any other stranger might be your next client may not be the most selfless motive for changing and improving your behavior. But like many things, it’s a really good way to convert a wish into a behavior into a habit that can and will improve your business and your life.

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Sue

I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. Well I do sleep in a nightie and PJs in winter although I have been know to sleep in a t shirt and interesting the grooming one. I always dress and yesterday as i was having some photos done I put on Makeup, something I rarely wear and then saw it as a plus for doing video etc as i liked the look. Self care is such a big number on the way to fully loving oneself. hugs Suzie

    • Hi Suzie. I’m mulling over the makeup thing myself — I have a photo shoot scheduled for this weekend. Some mascara and a little blush, I think. And then there’s always Photoshop! I am so grateful for being adept at retouching especially when it comes to photos of me.

      Blessings,
      Sue

  2. What wonderful reminders! A friend said to me once, “When you go to the store dress like you might just run into “the one.” Well, it’s amazing how many people I’ve met in the most ordinary places. I was always happy I had dressed for “success.”

    • Melissa, Yup, that principle works for clients and lovers. Same same. It doesn’t matter how casual or edgy one’s fashion is (I should know, friends call me a fashion risk 🙂 ), it’s about clean and in good repair and smiles.

      Blessed be.
      Sue

  3. Sue, this was such a joyful post to read! It’s full of great advice & entertaining as well. I also tend to wear yoga pants & knit shirts while working, but have a closet FULL of great clothes. I may just try putting on a dress one day to go to work in my “home office”! Loved the advice on coaching & mentoring…something I’m in need of & still searching for the right fit!

    • Thanks, Tae Lynne.

      If you’d like to, you can schedule a call with me and we can talk about coaching and mentoring. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s not; either way I’m pretty good with resources. Of course, it’s a free call.

      Use this link to schedule, any time: https://www.timetrade.com/book/6MW21

      xoxox
      Sue

  4. I absolutely loved this. It immediately lifted me. Showed me where my perspective’s been a little skewed. I feel so much more focused.

    Thanks!

    • Hey Latrelle, welcome! I’m so glad we’ve connected.

      Enjoy the refreshed sense of focus.

      Blessings,
      Sue

    • Patricia, welcome!

      I hope that lesson you learned very quickly did not come at a very steep price.

      xoxox
      Sue

  5. I resonated with grooming #2: when “Doing errands around town: Dress in something you wouldn’t mind wearing when you are meeting a new prospective client.” This is a good one! Will keep it in mind for sure. Thanks Sue!

    • Claudia, welcome, so nice to see you here.

      I gotta admit I’m grateful that my clients get that biz attire for me is tshirts, jeans, and yoga pants most of the time. Phew!

      Love and light,
      Sue

  6. I love making jewelry, love having the business with my daughter, love that I created something in retirement from a career I loved & love all I do online, learning social marketing, blogs, posts, groups. And we have a wonderful coach.

    So as I read this I was looking, what is off & all I can see is that I’ve lost sight of my business. Too much time on line, in front of the computer. Must assess.

    • Roslyn, Seems to me you’re doing great. You say you’ve lost sight of your biz. What’s missing?

      Blessings and love,
      Sue

  7. Everything in life starts with us, so self-care is always first, Sue! Sometimes we learn this the hard way. As I was reading this I was saying, “Yes”, “Yes”, “Yes” to everything you wrote. Because I am all about comfort, I do dress the same at home as when I go out. I always worked at places where I dressed the same way at home, as when I was at work too. I do know people where pj’s or housecoats at home and I’ve always been someone who gets up and gets dressed, ready to go out in the world.

    Because I do health and vitality coaching, I think showing up looking healthy and vital most important. 😉 I also spend so much time online that sometimes I question the value of it. And then I connect with a wonderful new person who has a commitment to take their health to the next level and I understand again why I’m there. To meet new people, nurture new relationships and be of service to people and their health. Loved the post! So many important tips to consider and reconsider for ourselves and our business, and ourselves in relation to our business. xo

    • Beverley, I love that idea of showing up healthy and vital, and I would say it applies to all of us wisdom teachers and -preneurs even if we coach or teach something different than health and vitality.

      Walking the talk, right?

      With love and gratitude,
      Sue

  8. Wonderful tips, Sue. (And how could I not love a post titled “Exquisite Self-Care”?!) I love all the tips, but especially about modeling what we, as coaches, are offering our clients!!! That is so important! xo, Reba

    • Reba, exactly. As Beverley reminded me above — it’s all about walking our talk.

      I love how my readers help me see underlying themes in my writing even if I haven’t seen them yet.

      Blessings!
      Sue

  9. What I love is you make me laugh! What I need are these kinds of reminders to begin with me (that New Moon again!) and don’t let self-care slide. Thank you for these great tips!

    • Sacheen, Good, I love that you get that healing laughter from my words, and I bask in your appreciation.

      Ta!
      Sue

    • Diane, For me, house slippers are fine. As is barefoot. My footwear thing is all about comfort when working at home and also when I’m out and about (I have some serious foot-pain challenges). I own not a single pair of dress shoes.

      xoxox
      Sue

  10. Wonderful post, Sue.

    Your point about having a daily practice to connect with the Divine is an important one, and so useful on many levels.

    I like your tip about how, when running errands, dressing how you would if you were about to meet a client.

    I try to dress up a little during the day as it also raises my energy a little and I know from experience I get more done.

    • Dave, I was taught a long time ago to treat my body and my surroundings like a temple. I don’t always do a perfect job, but I really like having that awareness as part of my spiritual practice.

      Blessed be.
      Sue

  11. Very timely post for me, Sue! I love how you connect self-care to business.

    A couple weeks ago, I typed up a self-care plan. Just taking that step brought such relief; implementing it has brought even more.

    At the top of the plan: scheduling out a year’s worth of hair cuts. That time truly is all mine–a real gift and probably the most relaxed I ever feel.

    Getting to yoga each day and eating nourishing meals are automatic for me at this point so aren’t spelled out in my new plan. But really, I can’t imagine functioning without those two things. Both have a monumental impact on how I show up for my business and the rest of life.

    • Thanks, Dana.

      I love your structured self-care plan! I have a similar approach. My haircuts appear in my schedule. So does laundry (as a reminder). But making my bed, showering, practicing tai chi, meditating, and eating healthy meals do not, because I do these things.

      Should I find my bed not getting made, or my food getting crappy, then I’d take to elevating these things to the level of scheduled commitments.

      I love how this works!

      Blessings,
      Sue

  12. Thank you Sue, for these beautiful reminders. I especially loved the idea that how we care for ourselves is reflected in how we care for our businesses.

    I schedule my work around my breaks for walking on the beach and fun breaks. When I don’t, it’s all too easy to miss them. When I do these as first priority, not only am I healthier and happier, but I am more productive too.

    • Lure, yes. You say it so simply — how I take care of the inside shows in every action I take on the outside.

      About scheduling: I find that mornings are the best time to honor those walks and sacred inner activities. If I push them into later in the day, I find I end up skipping them more often. So — mornings for me.

      xoxox
      Sue

  13. Wonderful suggestions Sue, and before I forget I want to compliment you on what you’re doing with your images – lovely! I’m in good shape as far as organizing because systems are kind of my ‘thing’ but as much as I remind others to include self-care each day I often forget it myself because I get so caught up in what I’m doing and then the time just goes. My dog does a good job of getting me outside a couple of times a day, but I was thinking while reading your article I need to fit something else in to add variety. Not sure what yet, but thanks for getting me thinking about it!

    • Wow, Marquita, thanks so much! Let me know what you add to your balance and wellness (inner and outer) cauldron!

      Blessings and love,
      Sue

  14. I am a huge proponent of taking care of yourself and self care. I really like how you broke it down and gave examples. Taking care of ourselves can benefit us and those we love in so many ways. People usually find it selfish to think about taking care of themselves but you cannot pour from an empty cup! Thank you.

    • Summer, and…! What we model — how we walk our talk — is critical. Just like we want to raise kids to be fully expressed loving humans, we want our clients to learn from us in a way that empowers them to get what they want and give what they’re meant to give even (especially) after they’ve completed their work with us.

      Blessed be,
      Sue

  15. This couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m just back from a wonderful road trip/vacation with my husband. Feeling refreshed and excited about so much of what lies ahead it occurred to me that I need to make a more structured plan. Thanks for a helpful post.

    • Andrea, I loved reading about your road trip! And how lovely to be refreshed and excited.

      Go you!

      Love and light,
      Sue

  16. I am all for the pampering and essential oil hot baths! We can’t always have the time to be fully make up-ed and I have to say I don’t wear it myself but if we have pampered ourselves we feel loads better and do show up better in our biz. Thanks for loads of great advice any time saving tips for great self care are really valuable for me right now with a ten month old and a biz too!!

    • Jennifer, it’s not about makeup for me either. Not for a long time now. Well, on rare occasions I’ll fill in my sparse and greying brows and put on a bit of mascara. But that’s rare. Pampering comes in many forms, and I love that (says I, after a 90-minute soak this morning).

      Yup, sharing tips is a big deal — I can always improve my self-care / biz-care balance.

      Blessings and love,
      Sue

  17. Sue I love your sound advice. Self-care is essential I find: tai chi, rebounding, walking, time away from the computer, and today I went to a movie in the afternoon, saturating myself in Beethoven, & I feel revived & enthusiastic.

    • Juliet, you do tai chi too! Nice to see. What’s rebounding? Trampoline?

      And a movie in the afternoon, that’s wonderful self-care. I often close the office on a Friday afternoon to hit a just-opening movie.

      Love it!
      xoxox
      Sue

      • Yes, rebounding is done on a mini trampoline Sue. I do balancing points and variations on cross crawling. It’s a potentised form of energy & very effective.

  18. Great post with wonderful reminders! Love the part about silence. So easy to let this slide when things get busy but I know I really need silent time and meditation to keep my inner compass. Really useful, thanks Sue.

    • Alison, welcome here. I love the way you put it, how silent time and meditation help you keep your inner compass. Beautiful.

      Blessed be.
      Sue

  19. “Be intentional about fun and downtime.” This is a hard one for me. Because I work from a home office, writing and consulting, there are times when I feel that I’m connected to work and deadlines 24/7. I am trying to be more intentional about holding to promises such as I don’t check business email after 7 pm and I don’t turn on the computer on the weekends. But I’d be lying if I said I don’t cheat.

    • Kimba, Here’s what I’ve discovered. It’s a process. First I create the new and better intention. Then I make some space for it in my schedule. Then I do my best to honor that scheduled commitment. It’s the practice (and practicing again) that starts to create the new habits.

      xoxox
      Sue

  20. Working from home is a lifesaver for many of us, but it’s not an excuse not to allocate the time to take care of ourselves. With online streaming becoming more popular, you bet we better get out of bathrobes and put our best face on.

    • Hey Joyce, welcome.

      I get it! And now that I’m in the middle of photo shoots, I find myself resuming my mascara-and-blush routine and adding it to morning grooming and ablutions. (I actually thought I was done done done with makeup; guess I was wrong.)

      Gratefully,
      Sue

  21. Great content and so true. I have a virtual office, I can work from, home, the car, on a trip at a hotel and yes to everything you mention. It is easy to get into a rut at times, it can get lonely. It requires us to stay driven, motivated and focused. To maintain clarity and focus I started a mastermind. I have an accountability buddy and participate in specific groups with like minded individuals.

    Thank you for the reminder to stay as focused with self care as my business goals. I need more sleep and have a plan in place. Thank you for the great tips.

    • Hi Ana, welcome here!

      It’s lovely to read this, to see your ever-improving self-care balance. Thanks so much for sharing it.

      Blessings,
      Sue

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