54: Self Care for Entrepreneurs

Remember all that endless excitement and energy you had when you first started working your pet, equine or animal-based business? You would spend all of your time thinking about the next step you needed to take to make your dream a reality. Man, that was an exciting time! What happens when all those things you used to enjoy suddenly become annoying, frustrating or downright dreadful? THIS IS YOUR BODIES INTERNAL WARNING SYSTEM. It’s the sign you need that it’s time to take a time-out. Join Cara and Kim this week as we discuss self care, and self compassion, for the animal, equine or pet-based business owner.

Our Big 3 Takeaways

Recognize when you need to do self care

For many animal, equine and pet-based business owners it might feel like you just don’t have the energy to do all the things in your business that you used to LOVE doing. Our body will tell you when it’s time to start taking care of yourself or simply take a time-out.

Allow yourself time to do self care

Animal, equine and pet-based business owners DO have time for self-care. Get creative about how you incorporate self-care into your life and defend and value it as much as you do the other tasks that make up your work day.

If you need more help, get it.

When your self-care doesn’t seem to be working well enough, it might be time to get some help. Resources are available to help you work out a self care plan, accountability groups can help keep you motivated, and therapy is available to address the signs of burnout.

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Show Notes



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Transcripts are autogenerated and may contain typographical and grammar errors. This transcript is copyright©2021 Kimberly Beer and Cara Taylor Swift. DO NOT COPY in whole or part without written permission.

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Kimberly Beer 0:00
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Jaz 0:19
Welcome to The Business Animal podcast. Saddle up for a gallop to the top of the animal industry, where you’ll learn how to tame your wild business beast with tips, techniques, and tools that will take overwhelm to obedience school, and have you wagging your tail with joy. And now your hosts, Kim Beer, and Cara Taylor Swift.

Kimberly Beer 0:41
Hey there business animals, it’s Kim with Be More Business

Cara Taylor Swift 0:45
and Cara with Fast Horse photography,

Kimberly Beer 0:47
and welcome to The Business Animal. Today we’re going to talk about a subject that I have had some reality lessons around over the last week. And that is self care for entrepreneurs and small business owners. And I’m sure you can hear I don’t sound like my typical self I have caught the rona officially had COVID for a week and I’m doing good I’m I’m doing well with it, except I have been pretty sick. And it’s really hard when you’re a business owner and you don’t feel good. And you have so many things on your to do list to take a little bit of time and take care of yourself. And I have had to really practice that over the last week and everyone in my world has had to be super patient with me. And they have and I thank them for that. Thank you Cara for being super patient with me as well with we have a ton of things that we want to do. And in prep for this episode, we were just having this long discussion about the fact that we both have all of these dreams and things that we want to chase and do and often feel like we’re just treading water. And that definitely is where I’m at right now in my business. And self care is a big topic around that. So I think this is a very timely episode is where I’m getting to with all of that. How do you feel about self care, Cara.

Cara Taylor Swift 2:07
So historically, I have had a hate hate hate relationship with self care, because I’m one of those people that walks around or have been in the past. I’m gonna say past because I’ve corrected that in my life. But I definitely have spent in my past a lot of time out there thinking to myself, no way self care, taking time away from my business and doing something just for me is totally going to stress me out even more, I get stuck in this place all the time where it’s like, I need this, this idea of more this place of more, I need more and more and more, I need more clients, I need more editing, I need more time for shooting, I need more time for work, I need more time for bookings. And this is something that just comes up all the time. And it can feel absolutely physically impossible to step away from work. So I get that if there’s other people out there it running their animal based business, and they’re thinking, Oh, sure, let me add something else to my daily routine. Or let me you know, in some way, step away from the work that I already have to do. I totally 100% get that feeling, I will find myself slipping back into that sometimes and having to yank myself back out of it. Because here is what I have learned. If you just do the damn self care thing, if you do it in baby steps, if you must, because that’s okay, if you do it in baby steps. Because when you do your brain and your body do this crazy thing, which is totally unexpected, sometimes to me, where you have better focus, you have new ideas, you can multitask more easily, you’re in a space to be more creative. And I can’t lie, my mood in general is just happier. And I just came from I’ve not been feeling well either the last several days I don’t have I don’t have COVID. But I’ve got something and I just came from doing three laps around my block riding my bicycle with my dog. And that is something that I have worked into my day it’s scheduled into my day. And I feel happier about being here right now because I went out and I did that my body feels better my brain feels better. And you can probably tell I’m kind of prepped to be on this episode because my brain is in like a totally ready place My dogs are celebrating. Here I’m in the bears singing their song for the big thing is why this is important is that business owners who practice self care and self compassion are more likely to experience an increased positive mood and reduced negative mood. We have lower symptoms of depression and lower levels of anxiety. And I have certainly found this to be true. I’m a super anxious person, I invent things to worry about. I will wake up at three o’clock in the morning with things to worry about. But I have certainly found that when I’m practicing my self care that is so reduced for me. So I’ll get off my soapbox and I’ll let us jump into Big Three. But yeah, I’m here for this one

Kimberly Beer 5:02
totally agree with everything that you’ve said, a lot of times, I feel like our bodies tell the story of who we are, even if we deny it in other places, and a lot of times our bodies I think, will will feel ill or sick, or be open to illness or sickness just to get us to take a break in business. And I, I feel like that has happened to me in the past. And I am I’m like, Cara, I’m a go getter. I’m at this all of the time. And I very rarely step away to take time. For me, I have learned the hard way multiple times that I need to do that, even though it’s difficult. So we have three tips for you today on adding self care to your routine. And I realized this episode is not about marketing. It’s not about business growth. But please hang out with us and listen to these, take some time for yourself. And let’s, let’s help you get some self care routine started. First of all, you do need to recognize when you do need self care. So that’s the first thing we’re going to talk about some warning signs or some indications that that self care is needing to come up for you so that you’re able to address it. Second is to allow yourself some time to do that self care, that’s probably the hardest part for the entrepreneur, I often can easily recognize when I need self care, but actually taking the time to do that, and stepping away from work and concentrating on me, it brings up a lot of emotions for me. And it brings up a lot of anxiety. So we’re going to talk about some ways that you can allow yourself to do that with a open heart and an open mind. And then finally, we have some resources for you if you need more help to be able to provide yourself with the self care that you need as an entrepreneur and a business owner to come back and be the best you can be for your business and for your customers. And I know that the bottom line at the end of the day, that’s what we’re all in this for, right? We’re in it to help our customers to help the animals that we serve, or are in partnership with and our business in ourselves and our families live more productive, happier lives. So that’s key and tied to your self care as well. All right, so let’s dive into how do you recognize when you need self care for me personally, it’s when I start to get agitated. So I will recognize when everything feels like a chore. And I find myself getting huffy with clients or with work or with technology, I get huffy at technology quite frequently, anything that starts to really annoy me in my day, it’s a good indication that I need to step away from my desk for a little while I need to go outside, I need to be breathe some fresh air and just get a break for a few minutes. So or another indication for me is when I start feeling the anxiety start to just really rise in my body and I cannot sit still, that’s another good indication of when I need to start concentrating on taking some time for myself,

Cara Taylor Swift 8:20
Oh 100% If I start to feel like I just don’t have the energy anymore to do things in my business that I used to find so exciting and that I love doing. I don’t know about you can but sometimes when I started a new project or I remember when I first got the idea to start fast horse or when we first started cowgirls with cameras, you know, there’s all of this endless excitement and energy, and it’s all we wanted to work on. That’s like all stuff that you get the excitement that you feel. So what happens then is like one of those things that you start to enjoy that you would spend all your time thinking about when they start annoying you when they normally wouldn’t. I think that that’s an your body’s alarm system. It’s an alarm that’s going off that sometimes we recognize as a problem and sometimes we just recognize it as Oh, God gotta go back to work, you know, but that’s a sign that it’s time to take time out because those are things you know you love and that you’re excited about. But your body is telling you you need a break. You are on the edge potentially burnout here and you’ve got to take some time out.

Kimberly Beer 9:26
Every small business owner wants to gain traction in their marketing. After three decades of working with small business owners just like you I have developed what I call my four by four marketing method. In just one 90 minutes session you’ll discover the four major focus areas of a successful marketing plan and together we’ll uncover where your business is getting stuck. You’ll leave the session with an action plan of next steps that engage your revenue engine drop by bemorebusiness.com To request your session today. That’s B-E-M-O-R-E business.com See you there. Yes, and burnout is something that none of us want to be in the middle of. And those initial warning signs are the initial alarm bells that are telling you not to keep pushing yourself. Because I have been burned out in my business. I’ve been an entrepreneur now for over 30 years. And there have been times when I have worked so hard, and so long. And I have ignored all of these signals that I need to take a break and have a little bit of time for myself a little bit of time to regroup. And I have ignored them and kept on pushing through them. And you’re right, that’s when burnout is on the other side of it. And trust me on this, the five minutes that you take, or 10 minutes or the week long vacation, even that you take for yourself is so much quicker and so much easier than trying to claw your way back through burnout, burnout is so hard to deal with, have you ever hit a burnout phase in your business? Cara?

Cara Taylor Swift 11:05
Yeah, I definitely have been through burnout. And part of that burnout included compassion fatigue around the work that I was doing. And I was in a line of work where I really, there’s no room for that if you are in that stage of burnout. And my guess is this is probably true for most industries of people that are listening, if you’re in a place of burnout, there’s no room for that in the service that you’re providing, and you’re not providing good service, and you’re not providing compassionate service to the folks that you’re trying to serve. And I’ve definitely been there. And it is heartbreaking when it’s something that you used to love so much. Having been there makes me so much more aware of where I am today. And it makes me listen to my body better than I ever had before. That’s why I say I used to scoff at the idea of self care. Like, if you love what you do, you don’t need to you can do it all the time, and you’re fine. And it’s just not true. Just because you’re starting to feel like you need some self care, or you’re starting to feel some of this annoyance creep in, it doesn’t mean that you still don’t love what you do, it just means that your body is alerting to you that you have to do something different, you have to take a break, you have to incorporate some new self care strategies in there, or you are going to get to a place where it’s gonna be really tough to come back from and that happened to me when I had burnout. I couldn’t come back from it. And I had to change industries. So

Kimberly Beer 12:32
you had to change industries. For me at one point in my photography career, and you know, me, I love shooting photos, I didn’t want to touch my camera, I got so burned out on something that I loved because it was so focused on providing for someone else, like fulfilling their vision, not mine, which is which is a whole struggle for creatives. I think that when we when we start to make our creative energy available for other people,

Cara Taylor Swift 13:02
we have a whole episode that focuses on being creative on demand, basically.

Kimberly Beer 13:06

Cara Taylor Swift 13:07
and what that does, and how hard that is,

Kimberly Beer 13:09
yeah, so that and it gets hijacked. And, and coming back from that process. It’s it’s a lot. And it’s something where I could have just left my camera behind and never picked it up again. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. But it was it was a difficult situation to return from. So yeah, so listening to your body, recognizing when there’s a moment that you need that self care, and you need to set some really clear boundaries, both with yourself, with your business, with your clients, with your customers, you know, having really clear boundaries. And I think we’ve had an episode around this as well about how to set those boundaries back in season one with Julie Cortes, she’s very good at teaching people how to set those boundaries, because that’s when you do need self care, you need to be able to access that boundary to say, hey, look, I need a few minutes or I need a couple of days or I’m taking a week off for vacation to be able to reprocess things and come back even stronger. So for you the signs may be different than for Cara or for I but start to recognize when is it that you are seeing those warning bells in yourself and in your own world. And then it’s time to take the next step which is to allow yourself the time to do the self care. And I honestly think this is the hardest thing in the world. I would rather face the most daunting project on my list I would face down so many other things before I really walk into this with you know, a completely open heart and now I it’s shifting. It’s moving in my life to where I’m doing better with it. So for me, one of the things that I do to allow myself some time to take self care is I simply walk out my door I am blessed to live In a self care Paradise, and I have so many animals outside of my door that will be there for me and will happily help me reset my energy. So I go I have a chair, my son kind of makes fun of me, just as one of my best self care routines is I have a chair underneath one of the trees and it’s near where the goats are. And I just simply go sit in that chair and just absorb the energy. It’s it looks out over our lake, there’s my old van horse is right on the other side of the fence. And I in general, you know, all kinds of beings come and support me I’ll the dog will come to lay down next to me and he has two geese that follow him. So the two geese will come over and the my old man horse will come over and stand with me and the goats. And generally there’s a barn cat and a couple of chickens join us. So I have all of this wonderful energy that just simply hold space for me to be able to reset my internal compass back to where it needs to be. So that’s my favorite self care activity. I need to take a vacation. I have not done that for myself in several years.

Cara Taylor Swift 16:13
You are due for non work related vacation.

Kimberly Beer 16:16
I am, I am. You know, it’s funny. So many people think like when I go to Arizona, they’re like, oh, have fun on vacation and I’m thinking you don’t have any idea what I’m doing, do you? I have not had a trip where it’s not been me leading things. I’m always part of the crew that has to be responsible for everyone else’s self care experience. So yes, I am I’m due for one of those.

Cara Taylor Swift 16:42
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Well, and I think there’s probably people out there that are thinking, Come on, do business owners really have time for self care, right. So what I say to that is this does not need to be a spa day, y’all. So this is the thing if you like to go to the spa, go to the spa spend a whole day doing it if you have that kind of time. I personally don’t want people touching me like that, that I don’t know I’m not a spa person. I never have been I can’t stand getting massages. So don’t think you have to go get a massage either. The key is break it up in start by keeping it short and sweet. But it has to be something that you are actively scheduling into your day. And that not only something that you schedule, but that you defend, and you value it as much as you value other tasks that make up your day. One of the things that Kim does is she likes to take her power naps sometimes

Kimberly Beer 18:38
I do

Cara Taylor Swift 18:38
and she defends that time, she will tell me I cannot meet with you during this time because that is my nap time that is myself.

And I always laugh at her. But I always at the same time I respect it because she is she is defending her time for that nap. Just like she defends her time when she’s working on her clients needs. And I respect that so much. So one of the things that that I have done, one of my goals this year was to incorporate more of a workout routine into my life. But I don’t have a lot of time. Like I’m not a gym person. But I need to be active because I sit a lot like you think horse photographers are out walking around in pastures all the time. No, we’re doing that like 10% of the time. 5% of the time, maybe? No, we’re running our business. We’re just like the rest of you guys that have to get on a computer and get crap done. Okay, so what I’ve done is that first of all, I did join a class that meets two times a week. And the reason I did that is because I’m an accountability person, I have to have someone expecting me to be there, or I might not show up. So these people expect me to be there two times a week. That’s it. I’ve committed to two times a week to do that. The other thing that I do is I set an alarm. I’ve taken this kind of divide and conquer approach. So I set an alarm on my phone and it literally reminds me to do something. So it’ll say spend 10 minutes, it’ll be like 10 minutes is what it says. And I know what that means. That means I need to spend 10 minutes doing something else. So I will get up and do a wall sit. And I might do the wall sit, while I’m talking to a client on the phone, or I might go out and do laps around my block, just to get my legs moving in the blood circulating again, I’ll take the dogs for the walk. And I can, I can do a little bit of work with that. So like I might take the dogs for a walk, and then listen to a podcast that I enjoy. That gives me business tips, or gives me social media marketing tips or something along those lines. But that is my little break. I also have some really cool apps that I use for this where I’ll do I have an app that’s like a five, seven minute workout app. So I can take that 10 minutes. And I can drop down on the floor and do a core exercise in five minutes or leg exercise in seven minutes. And it sounds stupid. But when you think about all that that you’re doing during the week, I really feel like I got something done and I feel better and I can get up and set my butt back down in my seat and get back to work. I think another great idea is to schedule one time a month a special treat. And that can be anything it could be taking your kid to get ice cream, I take Easton to get ice cream. I try to do it once a month I try to tack it on to some kind of celebration or something. But I love getting to sit with him and watch him eat his giant cookie monster ice cream mixed with gummy bears and m&ms, you know, it’s like a special treat. So we’ll go do that once a month. And other things that that I might do would be get a mani pedi schedule my haircut, go see a movie in the middle of the day without anyone else I can get away with that sometimes, or get a coffee, you know, go get coffee with a friend. I don’t drink coffee. But what I usually do is I’ll drink hot chocolate, and then let them drink coffee. But I still look cool doing it. So I’ll do something like that. But you have to schedule it. And you have to defend that time and protect that time and respect that time just like you would if you had a phone call scheduled with a client.

Kimberly Beer 21:58
I agree with all of those things, Cara and I love all of your ideas around self care and around your your apps. I’ve tried some of those apps in I tend to ignore them and go back to work which is not a good thing. I love that you will you will work with

Cara Taylor Swift 22:15
not defend.

Kimberly Beer 22:16
No, I’m not. But I do defend my naps. That’s right. Well, and I’ve learned that if I don’t take the nap, I am really miserable to be around. So it’s a good idea for everyone to let me have the nap because I’m cranky, when I don’t get my nap. I’m like a toddler. Just I have to have my nap. That is that is one one thing, I love the idea of the the once a month treat, you know pre COVID I did treat myself every month or so I would go see a movie by myself which I absolutely adore. I think other people kind of look at me and think it’s a little pathetic, but I like going to the movie by myself. Do you have to share the popcorn with you know, generally, if you go like in the early afternoon, especially if you’re in the middle of nowhere, Missouri, you sometimes will have the theater all to yourself, like you and maybe one other person is in there. So it’s just a really nice time to go sit and be somewhere cool and dark and enjoyable. And I do love taking walks out in the woods. I like being out amongst nature and really letting my energy get to a nice even point. I think that for everyone out there, you know, it’s a little different for everybody as to what really works for you. So what happens though, when you just can’t do this for yourself? I know for me, there have been times in my life when I just really can’t. And I feel weird about taking time for myself. So in some cases, I think you need to reach out for some help. So here I mentioned one just a moment ago about having an accountability system to reach out to so people that expect you to be somewhere to take care of yourself. I think that’s great. So that’s one thing.

Cara Taylor Swift 24:08
Yeah, they’re hunting you down. If you don’t like that’s so helpful, and you got other people that are depending on you for their self care to, then I think that that brings it to a whole nother level, especially if you’re like me, like you don’t want to let people down and I’m that way in my work. So I’m going to be that way in my self care too. If I’m accountable to someone. Yeah.

Kimberly Beer 24:27
And I think that’s a really good thing to do. And I’m probably going to adopt that at some point getting just a group of people I My problem is I hang out with so many other people like myself that whenever we get together, we end up doing some kind of work. So that tends to derail that. So I need to find some friends that are I don’t know, non business owners or something. It’ll be like, oh, let’s just go. Let’s just go to the movies or go to the spa. Anyway, so therapy helps as well. Find yourself Have a therapist or a gestaltist. We’re, we’re deep into Gestalt on this podcast, there are Gestaltist is all over the country, find one that can help you and get in touch with what would work for self care for you. And that’s a lot of fun.

Cara Taylor Swift 25:13
That can be in person, it can be online, we had a guest on our show, Jason Medows, who talked a lot about what was it betterhelp.com, who you they get you matched up online with someone to talk to, and I’m a big fan, if you need to do it from home, especially during this time of COVID. When you know, people are trying to be more careful about being in tight spaces with other people like yes, absolutely do what works for you for your schedule.

Kimberly Beer 25:37
Yup, therapist, coaches, all of those individuals can help you come up with what works for you, and then help you stay accountable to yourself for good self care. The bottom line to all of this is that if you take care of you, your business will thrive. If you don’t take care of you, then you’re not 100% for your business, and you’re not 100% for your family, you’re not 100% in the lives of the animals that you partner with or work with. And it just doesn’t result in really good things. When you take some time for yourself and you come back at 100% magic happens. And you need to remind yourself when you’re fighting with the desire to resist taking good care of yourself, despite all of those warning signs that it really is time to take a break and you will be better for it. If you do and things will move quicker. And your to do list will get done faster. If you will just take some time for yourself. It sounds counterintuitive, but it really does work.

Cara Taylor Swift 26:38
That’s right, I think we’re at a place then we’re going to wrap up our big three for you guys. And then we want to hear from you. So step number one on self care for entrepreneurs recognize that you need it. That’s the first tip. And remember, it’s that internal alarm bell that’s going off when something you used to just love to do is suddenly daunting, exhausting, annoying that you don’t want to do it, start looking for those things in your body that are telling you that it might be time to look for some new self care or to really get serious about your self care. You don’t want to reach that place of burnout where you have to claw back out of if that’s even possible for some people, allow yourself time to do self care. So come up with some creative things that you can do, you do not need to schedule a full hour or a full week, you don’t have to go on a week long vacation, do it if you can. But if you can’t just break it up. Think about it as a cumulative thing. I’m going to do a little here I’m going to do a little here, I’m going to break it up during my day and defend it like you would defend work for your clients or making those appointments for your clients. Defend yourself care and protect it just like you would with the hard work that you’re out there doing in your animal based business. And lastly, if you need more help get it you know, go to therapy online or in person, find a self care coach, someone that can meet with you talk to you create a self care accountability group with friends or with colleagues, you know, and challenge each other create rewards associated with making it to the meetings or doing a number of hours of self care, get creative with it, you probably make some more friends in the mess of it and maybe even some more business contacts. So we want to hear from you guys. Now we really need your help. If you guys could join us over on social media and tell us your favorite self care tactic that you use. We would love to share that with others. So pop over to Instagram or pop over to Facebook at The Business Animal. Let us know what you love to do for self care. And if you’ve got a strategy for fitting that into your animal based business, we would love to hear about it. Thank you guys so much.

Kimberly Beer 28:38
We’ll see you next episode.

Jaz 28:40
Thanks for listening to this episode of The Business Animal. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. And if you learned something today, leave us a review. To learn more Find us at TheBusinessAnimal.com we’d love to hear from you. Until next time, keep your business well trained with The Business Animal

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