Looking after number one

26th March 2020


The worse things get, the more massages I get*….

Stay with me here, I know it sounds flippant but trust me, I realise how serious things are for many business owners.

My bricks and mortar entertainment venues employ lots of staff who I feel responsible for. They also supply the bulk of my income and, fund mortgage payments and other liabilities.

Massive revenue shortages or closures are… to put it mildly….very bad for me.

But in these unprecedented times there’s one thing I’m certain of…. I can’t ‘hard work’ a solution to this.

As a business owner and leader I need to be calm, I need to have a plan, I need to project confidence.

I also need to be creative. I need to find out of the box, creative solutions to keep people employed, find new revenue streams, slash expenses and deal with a constantly changing economic environment.

And here’s the thing, if I’m stressed I can’t do any of those things.

Stress and fear literally shut down those parts of the brain you need to be creative. Stress and fear make you feel weak, they rob you of your mojo and, they don’t inspire confidence.

So, it’s your responsibility as a business owner and leader to make sure you deal with the stress before you go trying to solve problems.

A lot of people are talking about ‘showing up’ and ‘being your best self’ which can put even more stress on you to perform.

What’s important is that you take extra steps to de-stress.

For me, that means having a massage, working out, having lunch with my wife at a nice cafe and, playing with my son. All those things ground me and melt stress away.

And guess what, I’m full of ideas, and so is my team, because I’m not stressing them out either.

This is my point.  When faced with an unprecedented crisis that could have a massive negative impact on our business our instinct is to freak out, form ‘crisis management teams’, have ‘emergency meetings’ and try to work our asses off to fix it.

I believe this is the wrong approach.

Sure, have meetings and make a plan, that’s important. But you need to take extra time for doing things that ground you, de-stress you, and make you laugh and smile.

Whatever makes you feel better, maybe it’s meditate, maybe it’s hit the gym, maybe it’s read a book. Whatever works for you I’m suggesting you actually do more of it, not less.

As for your team, take them out to lunch, have a relaxed get together, do something you would if it was all smooth sailing.

We literally had our ‘crisis’ planning meeting at the beach.

If you own a business you owe it to your team and yourself to show up as your best self now more than ever. That means relaxed, creative, confident and with a plan.

So now more than ever, take the time to look after yourself first.

Caveat: Drinking cocktails, eating a bucket of Connoisseur’s Murray River Salted Caramel Ice cream and binge watching Netflix is not ‘looking after yourself’.

*Updated: My wife is the one giving the massages now! #personaldistancerules

Brett Baker :)
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