All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions
It’s no secret that entrepreneurship is a tough gig. In fact in a survey conducted by Entrepreneur magazine, South Africa, the stats were quite shocking:
67% of respondents felt that they poor sleep quality, 61% felt demotivated, 58% felt a sense of failure or self-doubt, and worryingly, 23% experienced unexplained chest paints frequently.
While it seems like a no-brainer that in order to run your business at its best, you as an entrepreneur need to be at your best, it’s something that far too many of us are struggling with.
There are also shelves and shelves of books available offering ways to cope with stress: Eat better, sleep more, get more exercise, get some work/life balance.
But one way that is extremely effective in helping you reign in stress – which will help you manage your business better through better decision-making, is through transcendental meditation.
Before you stop reading…
Transcendental meditation (TM) isn’t just something reserved for stinky hippies and the realm of pseudoscience.
It’s been backed up by science and is proved to reduce stress, improve clarity of thought, and help you become a more successful human being. So how does it work? Here are thre ways meditation can make you a better business person:
- Running a business is an emotional roller coaster ride. It’s easy to get caught up in worries and frustrations related to the past, present and future and this drains your energy that could be being used to run your business. TM helps you focus on the present moment, making the trials of entrepreneurship more manageable. When you have clear thoughts unclouded by emotions (and have more mental energy), you’re able to make more effective decisions with building a sustainable business.
- TM can help you end habitual, unproductive thoughts. Humans have a tendency to dwell on common issues and small frustrations (like an annoying client or ineffective employee). These become habitual distractions that can hurt relationships and choices. By learning how to break these thought patterns through TM, you allow yourself a fresh point of view that can help you take your business to the next level.
- When you let go of thoughts that habitually beat you up and lead to self-doubt, you start focusing on who you want to be and where you want to take your company. Meditation helps you get there by creating awareness about your intentions and the impact it will have on the world.
- When you’re able to get a grip on your stress, have clear awareness of where you want to take your business, and aren’t hamstrung by negative thoughts, you’re able to be a much more effective leader – leading by example. TM helps you develop business goals and practices based on qualities you want to develop in your team and your business. As an example, if you want to be generous, then ask what does it mean to build a business based on generosity? What actions would you need to take on a daily basis to make this happen?
- Having a clear mind allows you to trust your innate wisdom. Starting to sound hippie here, but meditation practitioners believe that humans have innate wisdom – which is who you are when you act without habits or defenses to hide behind. Some of today’s greatest entrepreneurs have got to where they are by trusting their gut. And this requires a clear and uninterrupted signal.
How to meditate – it doesn’t take long
Sit upright in a comfortable position on a cushion or chair, and set a timer for 10 minutes.
No need for incense and plinky-plonk music. Just gaze at a spot on the ground a meter or two ahead of you, and focus on your breath. You can also close your eyes.
Keep your inhale and exhale even, and as thoughts arise, notice them and then let them go. Don’t let any mental yelling at yourself happen. Your aim is to quiet your mind.