by Tiffany Thoen, Coach Tiffany RN
I often think being an entrepreneur is like being an athlete — it too, requires endurance. We need enough nourishment and sustenance to carry us through all of the hard work and stress, excitement, and ups and downs.
I often marvel at the amount of stamina, grit, and commitment it takes to be a business owner. It also takes passion, drive, and a ton of energy! I think of it as similar to what it takes to be an athlete. We have to be entrepreneur-aletes.
Years ago, I thought that “having what it takes” was something one was born with. I loved being an entrepreneur, but felt like I was falling flat on my face, over and over. I really wanted success, but questioned whether I had what it took to make it to the finish line.
I often hear people say “You have to know your why but don’t worry about the how.” For me, that advice fell short. I had a clear “why” — otherwise, all the effort would never be worth it! I was driven and passionate. I was raised in the country by two hardworking parents, so I had plenty of grit. But what about stamina? What about energy? Mine was so limited.
It was a core reason I questioned myself — I kept running out of energy. I just didn’t have the stamina, and I thought it was something you had to be born with. After digging deeper, however, I discovered that there was something I could do to influence it. I started asking the right questions: How do I increase the stamina and energy I need to make it to the finish line? How do I maintain that energy so that I can run longer and more intense races? How do I stay in the game long enough to accomplish my goals?
Successful runners build stamina and manage their energy. They build stamina for weeks or sometimes even months prior to each race. They carve out time to practice by saying no to things that aren’t a priority. They take time to recover after running. They nourish their bodies, daily and especially before, during, and after a run.
It became crystal clear that, as an entrepreneur-alete, I needed to build stamina and manage my energy. Now, it is one of my highest priorities.
Just how does one do that?
By nourishing our mind, body and spirit.
For me, it started by taking time for me. My first practice was to simply take a few minutes to breathe deeply throughout the day. I built from there. I started going to acupuncture, and found a good naturopath. Next came making my health my number one priority. This meant doing whatever it took to feel well. I had to minimize and manage stress. To do so, I had to deal with my underlying health issues.
Then, it became clear that I had to heal my relationship with food. Obsessing about food, and being stuck in the cycle of dieting and “falling of the wagon,” caused me to feeling shame. That shame made me feel bad, and kept me in the cycle. It was sucking my energy! The food I was eating was not supporting my health, either. I had to eat nourishing and energizing food, every day. I had to learn to eat in a way that was obsession free, deeply nourishing, and still allowed for balance and freedom. Most importantly, I had to find a way of eating that was satisfying. After such a struggle, healing my relationship with food has been so life changing that it is now the main area of focus in my work with my clients.
Ultimately, implementing all of these changes, and making myself the priority, required learning that I was valuable and worthy of treating myself with love and respect…no matter what. (For more on this topic, check out my Womanifesto: The ripple effect of no matter what.)
I had to be a priority over my business. This was so challenging because I wanted my business to succeed so badly. I was afraid that if I put myself first, my business would fail. I learned — through trial and error, over and over — that when I put my business first and myself last (or even second or third), I failed. I learned that I only have the energy and stamina I need to achieve my goals when I make building stamina and managing my energy a priority. Nourishing ME has to be first. This is my how.
It’s not something I do perfectly, but making ME a priority consistently (which sometimes looks like picking it back up after falling on my face again) has made all the difference. When I started flourishing, my business actually flourished too.
If you are struggling with your HOW, here are a few areas to explore:
- Look at your calendar. Is there dedicated time for you?
- Do you feel you have enough support?
- Are you eating nourishing meals, everyday?
- Do you get enough rest?
- Are there spaces in your life to completely unplug?
- Are you connecting with your inner guidance system regularly?
There will always be times when you struggle to take care of ourselves, but these times should be the exception, not the rule. Building in ways to increase your stamina and energy is a large part of success. And you already know your why — it’s what motivates you to run your race. Now it’s time to focus on HOW to fuel your body, mind and spirit, so you can crush it in business and in life!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tiffany Thoen, Coach Tiffany RN
As a registered nurse and integrative coach, Tiffany helps women who are tired of struggling with food. Her clients learn to nourish themselves so they can feel good and have the energy to do what they want to do. Her background as an RN uniquely qualifies her to support clients in a wide spectrum of health and wellness areas, and she looks at the whole person to develop customized holistic plans.
Her passion is helping women stop having their energy drained by the food struggle and start having the energy they need to be powerful leaders in the world.