Something that has become increasingly apparent to me is how many people put business before themselves.
Heck, I’ve spent most of my professional life doing it.
Why it’s important to focus on you before focusing on business.
Here is what I’ve learnt
We strive to have these great careers, businesses, finances, however, along the way, we can lose ourselves.
We start careers and build businesses without really understanding what makes us tick.
And during that process, we lose the ability to check in with ourselves.
I speak to a lot of professionals that can’t answer questions such as:
“What makes you happy?”
“Why do you do what you do?”
When I ask these questions I usually get a generic answer.
More often than not, I get an “I don’t know”.
It’s easy to lose ourselves in what we do.
It’s easy to throw ourselves into our careers to find meaning and purpose.
It’s easy to create a narrative that we are our careers.
However, this can work against us.
We can become incredibly frustrated and unfulfilled.
So I say Human BEFORE Business.
Here are some reasons why.
Without finding your “why”, your values or even who you are before you start a business or career, it will become increasingly likely that you will identify yourself as your career.
That is dangerous territory.
If you identify as your position then you’re dictated by how people perceive you, your success and your failures.
If you’re succeeding, it turns into a slippery slope of having to maintain a high level of work. It can become addictive. The harder you work, the more rewards you receive. The more praise/success/money receive the harder you want to work. It’s not sustainable.
Resting becomes a guilty pleasure, rather than a necessity.
If you fail, then it’s easy to see yourself as an all-encompassing failure. Instead of seeing your failure as an event, you see your failure as a personality trait. Instead of seeing failure as an opportunity to learn, you see yourself as a failure.
If you know who you are, your “why” and your values then failures turn into learning opportunities.
Knowing who you are outside of success, failures or mistakes is incredibly important to know when to slow down, stop or re-group.
If we put our businesses and careers before ourselves, we forget to set boundaries.
Boundaries are incredibly important as a human as well as a professional.
They set the tone on what you are willing to do without compromising your health, relationships, mental capacity and time.
If you don’t spend times checking in with yourself or understanding your limits, you set yourself up for disappointment, feeling taken advantage of and burnt out.
Here is something I know for a fact. Our bodies are one of the best tools we can use to check-in with ourselves.
They will let us know when we are firing on all cylinders or when we are running on empty.
However, without being intuned to our physical, mental and emotional health we will find ourselves with severe health issues.
When we don’t know our warning signs, we will send our bodies into overload.
Something that starts as a simple, cold, cough, headache, stomach ache, tiredness, fatigue can develop into something more sinister.
The ability to know our limits is a gift. Understanding when we are beginning to push ourselves too hard can be a vital way to prevent health issues from turning from bad to worse.
It’s essential to put yourself first before business or career. It can and does feel counter-intuitive, but it’s necessary.
Especially if we want to have a sustainable career, fulfilling relationships, good health and overall better quality of life.
Spending time working out your specific “why”, your values and your body will help make better decisions.
To be able to build a successful and fulfilling career, you need to human first.
Find out what makes you tick that is individual to you. (Your “why”).
Find out what your unique values are.
Learn to listen to your body.
Understand the importance of slowing down daily to make sure you align with all of the above.