“You work so hard, you should really take a break honey,” says *Barbara* at work.
I go to the gym.
“What are you doing at the gym? You own a business, shouldn’t you be working?” says Barbara at the gym.
Well, BARBARA, it’s a good thing your opinions don’t pay my bills.
In the past 6 years of owning my business, one thing has remained constant…SHAME from people who think they are helping.
I’m sure you know what I’m talking about? If you own your own business, are a CEO, manager, or any other leader in your workplace, people seem to think that you can ONLY be doing that thing.
Well… NEWSFLASH world, I know it may not seem like it, but there IS life outside of WORK!
For me though, that has not always been the case. There’s been times in my life where I truly DID NOTHING except work. A lot of this was because I truly am a workaholic. I know this and accept it. I’m not saying that it’s a GOOD thing, but it is a thing that I know, have acknowledged, and work to remedy. I have to physically make a plan, and schedule in life around work so that I ensure everything gets done, and to keep a healthy balance in my life.
In my early years of entrepreneurship, I let that shame of others get to me. I know you’re not supposed to care what other people think blah blah blah, but being young, fresh out of high school, and having zero experience in running a business, I CARED.
I live in a small town where everyone knows everyone, so that nonsense that Barbara said… yeah that happened all the time.
I was at the gym, I got shamed for not working. I went on a date, I got shamed for not working. It was like, if something wasn’t done or 100% completed, the world didn’t I think I could take a break.
This still happens to me, at least three times a week. The only difference is that I don’t care now.
Even my own employees and customers will say and think the same things at times. This one does still get to me if I don’t fight that feeling off immediately.
“Kaleigh didn’t come in today, how nice it must be to take off work whenever you want to.”
YES! Of course I can take off work whenever I want to, but do I? NO. If I did, my business would have failed six years ago. If I leave early, you can bet your bottom dollar that I left to continue working elsewhere. I love working!
Here’s the thing though. I love working so much that I do it on vacation. I’ve never been on a vacation without my planner and computer. I loved it so much that I put it before myself. I put it before God. I put work before my friends and family.
This, my friend, isn’t healthy, and that’s what I want to talk to you about today. HEALTH.
No Success Without Health First
No matter who you are, or what your position is professionally, we all want one thing…to be successful at what we do. Can we do this if we aren’t healthy? No.
There are a lot of components that make up “health”. There’s mental health, relationship health, physical health, emotional health, spiritual health, healthy bodies, healthy eating, healthy skin, and so on and so forth.
Really freaking long story short, my business is nicely placed beside Taco Bell & McDonalds. (& while I love both places with a deep passion, that “convenience” plus the desire to only work, led to a very unhealthy Kaleigh.
I didn’t meal prep because that took away time from working. I didn’t go to the gym, because I’d rather start checking my emails. I didn’t even grocery shop because I had better things to do. My life consisted of a grab & go breakfast, fast food lunch, and fast food dinner. Sometimes it was fast food for all three meals.
Some may guess that I was addicted to money and financial rewards. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’ve never been addicted to having money. I’m addicted to coming up with creative means that I, or others, can use to make money. I’m addicted to counting the money coming in, and figuring out how I can make more. Not to have or to spend, just to create and earn!
If I didn’t even cook, you can imagine how the rest of my life went. Showering became a weekend ritual. Make up was a thing of the past. Cleaning was a 100% no. I think I forgot what a hair brush was? I had no dishes, only empty fast food bags and straw wrappers. I lived in my apartment for two years with no decorations. I can remember thinking how much money I would save if I just sold my apartment and slept at my work. (& admittedly, I DID. There were many nights I didn’t look at the clock until 11, 12, 1, 2, 3 am and decided to just stay there. It got to a point, where the futon I bought for customers, laid out into a bed for myself. I kept a sleeping bag behind my desk. Pro Tip: Don’t sleep at your work place unless you work from home, and even then I suggest setting aside a room or desk just for work.)
Even when I totally neglected myself, I was shamed on the daily if I did anything, or was seen anywhere other than work.
“WOW Kaleigh, if you worked that much, that must be how you got to where you are today?”
I WISH That’s How This Worked!
The answer to that is NO FREAKING WAY. I wish I could I say yes though. I wish I could tell you that yes, I put everything off to focus on my work, and because of that I built a successful & awesome business, but that is a bold face lie.
The more I worked, the more I seemed to fail. The more I failed, the more I felt compelled to work. After a while, I was no longer mentally or emotionally in it. I was a robot. A very overwhelmed, beaten down, messy, robot.
I’ll let you in on a secret. It wasn’t until I STOPPED WORKING SO MUCH, that my business, and my life in general, begun to flourish.
I distinctly remember getting on a scale and seeing it hit a number 30 pounds higher than my highschool days. “Yeah, well Kaleigh you aren’t going to weigh what you did in highschool.” I know that. But I was 19-20 years old? That’s only a 2 year difference, and 30 pounds? I knew that wasn’t a good thing.
I Made My Health a Priority
So I decided to treat “my health” like work. I decided to make it an equally important task to be completed. I treated it like a meeting, or appointment. The time I set aside to go to the gym was now my time. It was a mandatory meeting with myself that could not be broken. I began to take off Mondays until 4:00 pm. I went to the gym early in the morning, then the grocery store, then I meal prepped, did laundry, and cleaned my house. By taking that just one day a week to focus on little old me, I saw so many improvements in my life. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m still a workaholic. I can’t relax until the “work is done”, and I still love staying busy. But instead of working 80 hours a week, I work about 60 and have a much cleaner body, a more organized house, a stronger relationship with everyone in my life, and a business that is running much more smoothly & bringing in more profit than ever before.
So many people told me that those things could be done on a weekend when the business was closed and that I should “dedicate” the week days to my “job” like a “normal person.” (Don’t you just love it when people think they can plan your life better than you can?) Contrary to popular belief, just because the business doors are locked, doesn’t mean that the owner or manager isn’t working. Just because you like to be lazy on the weekends, or spend your time out and about, doesn’t mean that everyone does. For me, weekends are the perfect time to get work done and focus without worrying about answering my work phone, or when customers and staff will arrive. You may be thinking, “well Kaleigh, you chose this life, you can’t complain.” And that’s right! I chose this life, it’s just taking me a few years to figure out how to do it well! I chose this life and I would never choose anything else. But you know what, BARBARA, because of the life I chose, I live comfortably. I have dreams bigger than you could imagine & a stubborn drive to get me there. I have ideas coming out of my ears & everyday I make more. I may work more than your average Joe, but if I want to work from a mountain top, I will. If I decide to work from the beach, or the lake, or pack up and fly to Alaska, I will because that’s the perk that comes with the lifestyle that I chose! The absolute best part, is that while Barbara can’t wait for the weekend, her favorite 2 days of the week, I love every minute of mine because I picked a career that I enjoy, and I’m willing to give a big chunk of my time to my passion.
Anyway, I’ll get back on topic.
Physical Health, the Starting Blocks
I started with health because of the “scale-shock”, but looking back, that’s exactly where I’d recommend anyone to start. Focusing on physical health improved so many other parts of my life. I quickly began to notice changes happening all around me without any added effort. Not only did I get stronger and lose weight, but my skin was clearer, I could focus better, and I had so much more energy when I was fueling my body with healthy foods. I was getting MORE work done in a LESS amount of time. I was even more motivated, and less stressed. Most of all, it taught me balance. It taught me time management. It taught me what my real priorities should be.
After all, what good is a successful business, that big promotion, or the money in your pocket if you’re dead?
The funny thing about balance is that, until you have fallen, it’s hard to truly find.
When you’re making a new recipe, you likely tweak it to make it better each time. You add a little more of this, take away a little of that, and keep trying until it’s perfect. (Or if you’re me, it’s so disgusting you throw it all away and start over.)
As you know, I own a gymnastics gym. One of the four women’s events is the balance beam. Athletes don’t just hop up on a 4-inch piece of wood, 4ft off the ground, and do tricks with perfect balance. It takes thousands of falls & failures to master it.
Is my life perfectly balanced right now? No, maybe not. There is always room for improvement and I continuously get caught up on one thing or another, but it DOES have balance and because of that, I live a happy life both personally and professionally.
SO BARBARA, I don’t care what you say. It doesn’t matter if you see me at work or not. It doesn’t matter if you think I should be working when I’m on a date with my boyfriend, or going to church. And it really doesn’t matter if you think I should skimp on my workouts to sit at my desk. Because my business is just that, my business. And to be honest, the more time I set aside for my personal life, and to get my personal things done, the BETTER MY BUSINESS BECOMES, and the happier I am as a person.
So if you’re feeling like you’re in a rut, or you’re overwhelmed, if you feel like you have no time to yourself, ask yourself this… 1. What are you eating? Is it fueling your body for success or weighing you down? and 2. Are you keeping your body moving and active, or are you giving in the pressures and staying sedentary? Start there and I PROMISE you will start to see changes that will improve every area of your life.
In the words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t.”
p.s. I’ve got a Health freebie for you below, just click the image and enter your email! This freebie teaches you how I plan my health goals, and how to set some for yourself! Don’t forget to leave me a comment and tell me about a time when you lacked balance, and how you fixed it!