I’m sort of known as what some people might call a serial entrepreneur. My first business idea came to me when I was ten years old and my friend Robert and I had the idea to create an arcade in our shed. We were going to get all of the Nintendos we could and charge our friends 25 cents to play. R&R’s Arcade never made it off the ground.
Since then I have launched five successful businesses including a wellness center, nutrition coaching business and supplement store as well as a few flops, one of them being my mixed martial arts promotion company East Coast Fight Productions. I’ll admit; there’s nothing more exciting and exhilarating than launching and owning a business but a lot of the time I think there’s also nothing more stressful. Luckily I’ve found ways to implement mindfulness into my entrepreneurial journey to keep me living in the moment, keeping stress and anxiety under wraps. Below are my favorite five ways to stay mindful in business.
- Make Time To Meditate – There’s an old Zen proverb that says, “Everyone should meditate for 20 minutes a day unless they don’t have time; then they should meditate for an hour.” Some days it feels like a serious struggle to get my butt on the cushion to meditate but I’ve never had a session I regret. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we don’t have time or that we have something better to do but the fact is taking 15-20 minutes to clear your mind will make you much more productive, efficient and creative throughout the rest of the day; all assets to the entrepreneur.
- Practice Professional Meditation – Meditation is about the practice of focusing on your breath, observing your thoughts but not paying any mind to them. On the flip side professional meditation is setting some time out of your day to simply sit and go where your thoughts take you. Most of us entrepreneurs are heavily stimulated, whether it’s from too much coffee or juggling between our text messages, phone calls and emails. We rarely have time to just sit and see what thoughts come up and when give ourselves a bit of a break we may be surprised at what shows up. Taking 5-10 minutes out of our day to just sit in silence thinking can ease the pressure of being over stimulated and even give a chance for those creative ideas to bubble up. Some of my best ideas come to me out of the silence.
- Breathe – Taking five deep breaths, in our nose and out of our mouth is the easiest and most effective way to ground ourselves and relieve anxiety. When we’re starting to get stressed and over burdened most of us will also start to breathe more shallow, further increasing the anxiety. Filling out lungs with oxygen improves many physiological processes including focus, creativity and relaxation.
- Practice Body Awareness – If you find yourself getting worked up or stressed out over something take a moment and practice a body awareness exercise. Put your awareness in every part of your body starting from your toes up to your head, stopping at each section allowing it to completely relax. This is a common technique in hypnotism to aid the client in becoming more relaxed and hypnotism is essentially a form of guided meditation.
- Stand Up – Our bodies are highly efficient machines. When we sit for a long period of time our body realizes that it isn’t going to get used so it starts to put itself in standby mode. Our caloric burn goes from about 10 calories per minute down to 1 calorie per minute and our heart rate, breathing and other processes start to slow down. Standing up and walking around can help bring us back into the moment and help us distribute oxygen throughout our body, relieving stress and anxiety.
Incorporating mindfulness into our lifestyle is the easiest and most effective way to remain at our most efficient and creative. Owning a business can be a challenge but I’ve once heard that “entrepreneurship is living a few years like most people won’t so you can live a life that most people can’t.”
By Ricky Goodall, Meditation Instructor & Certified Nutrition Coach