“If I saw my competitor drowning in a lake, I’d fetch a fire hose and stick it in his mouth,” a client once told me. I was astonished that anyone could express anything quite so heartless.

Some weeks later I conducted a Psychometric profile for the same client, who transpired to be highly altruistic…just like almost every other business owner I work with. And like so many business owners he didn’t feel comfortable expressing his deepest emotion.

In times of crisis and financial pressure there is a temptation to allow our perceived commitment to our family, our employees, and our community to take precedence. This is usually because, for some reason, business owners have a highly developed sense of responsibility for those around them; or conversely people with a highly developed sense of responsibility for those around them become business owners.


Win-Win or No Deal – Steven Covey

What are the other options? A Win-Loose combination suggests sacrifice of self by the business owner: a common situation, which frequently leads to the greatest failure: a Loose-Loose combination.


Engage in Me time

As a passionate advocate of planning, I implore everyone to plan some rich “Me Time” into every day, and into every week. Identify what activities nurture and energise you, and carefully, consistently and deliberately plan those into your schedule first. A wise coach recently said “Plan your personal time first, and fit your work around it.” Sage advice. (Synonyms sage and wise very close together – a bit repetitive perhaps)


Take a Break

A well-planned working day will maximise productivity. That important increase in productivity is enhanced and permitted by regular and deliberate breaks. Take an hour for lunch. Take a coffee break. Give yourself permission to stop for long enough to regain energy and motivation. The benefits in clarity and energy far outweigh the period of time not spent sitting at your desk.


Feed the body and feed the mind

A minimum of 3 x 30 minutes of cardio exercise every week will give a strong supply of rich blood to the brain. Make sure that is clean and well-balanced blood, by drinking a minimum of 1.5 litres of water a day to keep a clear and bright mind. Eat bright coloured and raw, unprocessed fruit and veg as far you can practically can to maximise nutrition.

Feed the mind with quality reading, quality podcasts, quality conversation and a vibrant social life.


Help Yourself first

We’re told on the aeroplane to put our own oxygen mask on, before helping others. The simple logic, that we are no use to others if we are suffering in the same way, applies across our lives. A deliberate and lifelong policy of care for ourselves will benefit others.

As Jim Rohn said: “I’ll take care of me for you, if you will take care of you, for me.”

Take Care.