When I first heard the term sustainable business I thought people were talking about sustainability in terms similar to environmental sustainability.
And I thought to myself “well I use recycled paper + I try to reduce my impacts in terms of the environment so I don’t really need to read that article do I?”.
What I’ve learnt over time is a clearer understanding of what a sustainable business is. While it’s not strictly about environmental sustainability, I think that when you look after yourself, care for yourself and craft a life where you are eating well and keeping mentally well, that you would naturally tend towards environmental sensitivity and care as a flow on effect.
So it’s not explicitly about recycled paper and care for the environment but at a micro/macro level it is.
What I’m really talking about today is having a business that can be sustained, a business where you’re not going to burn out and a business that is going to provide what you need from it in terms of income and also in terms of what feeds your soul.
My keys to a sustainable business have been developed through life coaching and mindfulness/meditation practice.
Coaching has taught me the value of having a plan that I decide on in a moment of values-aligned clarity. I plan ahead of time because so often in the moment, I have NOT made choices I feel good about later.
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Like menu planning, or business planning. Without these, I’m grabbing anything out of the fridge and shoving it into my mouth when I get hangry, or just doing random things in my business and maybe shying away from the true growth activities.
What I’ve learned from meditation is that carelessly reacting to my life has been the cause of most of my pain and pain that I sometimes throw onto others. When I’m blindly reacting to things that come my way, I rarely respond from my heart. I have learned to sit in discomfort rather than just follow my tendencies to move away from the discomfort or adjust things to remove the discomfort.
I know from experience that when I allow my tendencies to run this ship that I may neglect my physical and mental well-being. Personally it’s really easy for me to just sit at a computer for hours and hours on end and Immerse in a task to the neglect of my body. I can go 4 hours without drinking water or getting up or eating.
When I allow those tendencies to call the shots I burn out; I completely lose the love for my business. It’s not a sustainable business because of its impact on my well-being.
I can do that for a day or a week, but I really can’t treat my body like that for the next 10 years without there being some long-term (and immediate) negative consequences.
Another tendency I have is that I can be too focused on helping other people, being a “yes” girl and a people pleaser.
For me this manifests as a state of reactivity where every person’s email that lands in my inbox comes before my own business and the business building activities that are going to mean I actually have a business in one year or in 2 years.
For me, those sustainable business activities are things like maintaining my network of colleagues who I refer to and receive referrals from, creating contents consistently for my business, creating new products and courses, my own education as a business person, and content distribution.
These all have a weekly 1-hour spot in my calendar.
Do you find it hard to do what your mentor is telling you? I can relate and I talk about it in this blog.
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How are you being reactive in your business?
What are some things you would like to be more intentional and/or less reactive about?
I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts.
I acknowledge the Djiringanj people of the Yuin Nation, the custodians of this beautiful land on which I live and work.
I also pays respect to all Elders past & present.
Thank you for taking such good care of the wild, beautiful places of Araganu, the coastline and forests where I get nurtured.