Hi, there! I’m so excited to share the 2nd guest blog post with you guys from one of my absolute favorite women, Paige Schmidt! Paige is a Certified Holistic Health & Transformation Coach who works with women 1-on-1 through her health coaching practice, and through the group coaching program she runs with our friend Simi over at Finally Free.
Besides the fact that Paige has been so kind and generous to me personally as a friend, her spirit and personality shine through in her writing, content, and social media pages. She’s just one of those people you feel better after connecting with.
Paige is here to chat with you all about taking care of numero uno as an entrepreneur. Like I always say, if there’s you, there’s no business! Plus, I truly believe that taking care of ourselves in the deepest sense makes us more relatable, successful, and happier business women.
With that…take it away, Paige! 😊
Self-Care for Women in Business (Calling All Coaches)
As a coach and woman who works for herself, I know how hard it can be to feel taken care of in a workday when your heart and soul are set on helping and serving others. Not to mention, on fire toward building your business. Relate?
I know firsthand how easy it can be to wake up, check Instagram, grab your coffee, open your laptop, only to be sucked right into a day full of clients, checking email between sessions, and using your breaks to check in on Facebook groups.
By the end of the day, you may have accomplished a good amount of work, but is it more than you could have accomplished in a day organized around “working smarter, not harder” and taking breaks to nurture yourself? Probably not.
Do you tend to feel tired toward the end of each workday? Itching for the weekend and time to unplug? Are you a little more drained than you thought you would as a business owner whose goal in building a business was to create a life of more fun and freedom?
I’ve been there too and have worked with many other coaches who’ve shared the same struggle. I’ve heard from these women firsthand in their most vulnerable moments how hard it can be to run your own business and take care of yourself at the same time.
However, we’ve also found the more we reach out, ask for help, delegate, and create firm boundaries for ourselves, the more filled up we feel – the more ready we are to wake up and kick-booty in each workday (or, most – everyone has those lazy-workday-feels sometimes!).
What I find is that when we begin to take really awesome care of ourselves we feel more inspired, confident, and successful in our lives and businesses. What a good feeling, right?
In this post, I’ll share with you several practical ways that I use in my own business to nurture myself. These are some of the same practices I share with my private clients who are working on taking care of themselves through their workday.
Know What You Need at the Start of the Day
First thing, first: know what you need at the start of the day. What’s your personality like? If you spend a weekend with friends, going to bridal showers, visiting family, and going from activity to activity, do you tend to feel excited and full and ready for more? Or do you feel (though it was very fun!) drained and in need of time alone? At the start of the day, do you need some quiet time to yourself? Or do you like to jump straight into the day with work?
Answering these questions will help you get a feel for where you are able to best recharge.
Starting the Day Right
Once you know what you need, you can focus on starting your day right. I have a friend who loves to jump straight into her work day upon waking up. She climbs out of bed after a few minutes of scrolling her phone and heads straight to a coffee shop to work. This is what fuels her and gets her excited for the day.
I find that my best days happen when I wake up about 45 minutes before I have to do anything or see anyone, make coffee, and snuggle on the couch with a good spiritually rich book. Several times a week I’ll take some time to journal in the mornings as well. The key for me is to create a slower morning that I enjoy: I can cuddle up with my favorite fuzzy blanket, a scented candle, and a book that I really enjoy – a book that gives me a fresh perspective.
How would you best like to start your workday? Is each day the same for you? Or could you start the day differently depending on what type of day it is (ex: client or non-client day)?
After I have some time to myself I’ll jump in the shower, get dressed (I keep this routine pretty simple) and meet up with a friend to start work from a coffee shop, or work from home depending on if it’s a client or creation week…
Which brings me to my next point: your schedule.
Your Work Schedule
When I first started coaching, my schedule was FULL. I was working 72 hour weeks most weeks between supporting myself financially, babysitting, and charging incredibly low coaching fees. I felt that to get started this was all right and necessary for me – it may not look the same for you and that’s okay! Over the years, I’ve continued to tweak my schedule as follows:
Year 1 – up to 72 hours work weeks, babysitting Monday through Saturday, coaching on Sunday mornings
Year 2 – up to 60 hour work weeks, babysitting Monday through Saturday, coaching Sunday morning and Tuesday and Thursday evenings (I started slowly saying no to babysitting and yes to more coaching and shortly after this two year mark stopped babysitting entirely).
Year 3 – up to 50 hour work weeks, coaching Monday through Friday, charging moderate rates, but still on the low end, taking on 30-35 clients at a time. This was fun, but I knew if I kept going at this rate, I’d burn out.
Year 4 – up to 40 hour work weeks, taking on about 20-25 clients at once, charging moderate rates, working with clients every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and using Monday’s and Friday’s for creativity.
Year 5 – up to 30 hour work weeks (sometimes more if I am busy with projects), charging higher fees with room to grow, taking on 12 clients at a time, and coaching every other Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I now have a “Week A” and “Week B” schedule.
- Week A is my “creation” week where I work on writing, blog posts, my newsletter, etc. This week is all about content creation.
- Week B is my coaching week where I focus primarily on coaching. I occasionally do creative work on this week too, as it tends to fuel me for my coaching sessions, but the goal is that there’s no creative work I HAVE TO do on this week. I can give all of my energy to my clients.
As you can see, over the years I’ve worked to create more balance into my schedule.
How long have you been working for yourself? What is your schedule currently like? What do you need more of? What’s the next best step for you to take? What support do you need in order to do so? What do you need to say ‘no’ to more often?
I see myself keeping this current schedule for a while – but who knows! I am now working toward doing more online coaching through a virtual program I created with my partner Simi Botic – it’s called Finally Free. Finally Free is a 12-session program that teaches women step-by-step how to make peace with food, their bodies, and in their lives.
Finally Free encourages women to break up with dieting in exchange for learning to listen to the signals our bodies are sending us every single day. It’s a beautiful program. As Simi and I shift our focus more toward Finally Free, we are open to the changes this new focus could make in our coaching schedules. Though, both of us will continue to coach women 1-on-1 because we love it!
Know What You Need Mid-Day
Back to the workday at hand. What do you need mid-day? How do you normally feel around noon? How about 1:30? 3:00? Think through how you feel, and get an idea of what you might need during these times. A break? Walk? Coffee? Water? A meal?
Take a Lunch Break
I find it invaluable to take a lunch break. This is one thing that I can do every day (with very few exceptions) that refuels me, gives me energy, and sets me up for success for the rest of the day. When I take a lunch break my hunger feels calmer around breakfast (I know another great meal is coming, so I’m more satisfied afterward), I’m more focused, and it gives me a nice (and needed) break in my day. It’s a time to unplug, stop, and intentionally care for myself.
Do you take work breaks? What do your lunches currently look like? Would you like anything to change? If so, what? What’s the worst that could happen if you begin taking unplugged lunch breaks? What’s the best that could happen?
Plan Your Next Day
At the end of a workday, once I’ve cleared my inbox, I grab a piece of paper or my calendar and I plan out the next day. In addition to planning out when I’ll work, I make sure to add time for joy and any to-do’s that would feel good to get done. For example, today I started the day with coffee and reading until about 7:00 am, then I took a 60-minute Bar Method class, came home and ate breakfast with my husband, and then went to a coffee shop to work on writing this blog post to all of you beautiful/talented women! Around noon I’ll take a break for lunch, do some work around the house with my husband, and shower and get ready for an event I’m hosting with a couple of my girlfriends tonight. It’s an event that we host for other entrepreneurs in town – these things ALSO refuel me because they leave me inspired!
Before I went to bed last night I skimmed my calendar and saw the work I had to do today and from there, added in morning quiet time, exercise, and breakfast, all of which I knew would fuel me. I also committed to not starting work (or opening my laptop) until I’d done those things for myself FIRST.
As a coach, one of my motivations for taking care of myself throughout each workday is to walk my talk – to do all of the same practical things I work on with my clients (many of whom are coaches, too!).
What could you gain by planning out your next workdays? What would this allow you to do more of and be more intentional about?
After I plan my day I do what I call “closing up shop.” I clear my desk, scoot in my office chair, turn off my computer, plug in my phone, and tidy up so my office is nice and fresh when I walk in the next day. I close the door and leave everything away for the rest of the night. This allows me to end work even as I work from home. It allows me to separate work from my home life, which is another thing that refuels me and allows me to feel taken care of.
Picture walking into your office in the morning: What would feel good to see? How would you like to feel? What do you need to do each night in order to create this kind of start-of-the-day pleasant environment for yourself?
Set Yourself Up for Success
After I’ve closed up shop, I usually make dinner and hang with my hubby, see a friend, or take the evening for myself to unwind. Before bed, I spend about 10 minutes or so (this feels fast) setting myself up for the next day. I check in with myself to see what would feel good to have already set up the next day when I wake up. Over years, I’ve learned that the things I love having already set up are: the coffee pot, a good book sitting out with my blanket, and an outfit to wear.
What would feel good to have already done when you wake up? Think: a clean kitchen, a good book sitting out, a straightened up house, the coffee pot set and ready to go (or already brewed if you have an alarm).
Know What You Need at the End of the Day
To wrap up, think about what you need at the end of each day. Each day may be different, and that’s okay! Some days you may need girl time. Some days you may want to numb out and scroll Instagram – that’s okay too. There’s no shame in whatever you need. Simply think through what would leave you feeling the way you want to feel and shoot for doing whatever it takes to make that specific thing happen.
What do you need today? How about this evening? How are you feeling right now? What would an evening of being self-cared for look like? Even if it can’t happen exactly how you picture it (perhaps you have to go to an event when you’d rather sleep), what’s one thing no matter how big or small that you can do for yourself tonight?
I hope this was helpful for you! As a health coach, I love digging deep and leaving my clients with incredibly practical tips and strategies which they can integrate right away. I hope this post has allowed you both: to go deeper and take away practical tools you can integrate starting today.
Don’t forget, coaches need coaches too! If you’d like to learn more about working with me you can here. You can hang out with me on Instagram here: @paigeschmidt! You can even sign up for my free 10-day course designed to help you to let go of rules, “shoulds,” and negative beliefs on my site here: www.paigeschmidt.com.
Last but not least, I love hearing from you! Send me an email here: firstname.lastname@example.org
All of my love to you and thank you, Sam, for having me!
Hi guys…Sam again! Thank you so much, Paige for such an amazing post! I’m so grateful and happy to have you on my little blog : )
Doesn’t Paige just have so much wisdom and practical advice to share, you guys? I love it. I’m still in the early stages of being an entrepreneur, so I’m learning a lot of the things Paige talks about the “hard way”. It’s all about putting yourself out there, trying, adjusting, balancing, re-adjusting, and keeping things moving. Don’t worry, you’re not supposed to know everything, balance everything, or achieve everything all at once ; )
Hope you’re having a great week! xo Sam