You know, my family and friends often tell me that I am a special kind of crazy for being an entrepreneur and a salesperson.
But did you know that 72 percent of entrepreneurs are directly or indirectly affected by mental health issues? At least according to the Institute of Mental Health.
Did you also know that two out of five sellers also reported that they struggle with mental health issues?
Which is double with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention report for the general workforce, at least according to a survey from the Sales Health Alliance, surveying 300 sales professionals.
Which might not be so bad if it weren't for the fact that the 21st century is a knowledge-based economy that requires us to use our brains. You see, we rely on our soft skills to be creative, to think critically, and to actively listen. Mental health issues affect our productivity and our ability to think, which means that it affects our ability to sell with our buyers.
Now, being both an entrepreneur and a salesperson, I can completely admit that mental health issues, like anxiety and depression with a side of ADHD and maybe some PTSD thrown in, on top, for good measure, these are things that I have struggled with and had to learn how to overcome sometimes though, even the voices in my head, couldn't agree on which one of us was more messed up.
No, at its worst, my mental state or lack thereof impacted, my closest relationships with my husband and my kids and my business suffered, and my physical health took a nosedive.
But now? Now I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm closer to my husband, and my kids than I've ever been before.
Business was booming. And the one thing that changed is that I started to put myself first. I know it seems crazy, right? Especially since the whole motto and mission is #notaboutme. But I realized that, if I'm going to show up for others, I have to be the best version of myself to do that.
Now, to do that, there are three things that I recognized help me to turn it around and maintain my mental health.
First, I needed to nail down that morning routine and not just during the week but also on the weekend.
So that means for me that I get up at the same time, which is early enough so that I can sit and watch the sunrise. with my first cup of coffee, followed by a shower, some yoga. And a healthy breakfast.
Now, days when I dragged myself out of bed at the last minute and ran around, were never days where I felt in control of anything. My heart never stopped racing. Now for you to get to the point where you have a consistent morning routine will probably also mean that you need to have a consistent bedtime routine.
Now for me, that meant dinner no later than 7:00. No TV after 9:30 and be in bed by 10:00 and yes, even the days I would travel I would do my best to stick to this routine. Besides, like my Nana said, nothing good happens after 10:00 p.m anyway.
Now, the second thing that I needed to do was I needed to remind myself of what my value was.
And that it wasn't based on my bank account level, or the number of followers that I had on social media,or the size of my business. I also had to remind myself of the fact that being uncomfortable is normal.
It's all part of this process that we call life. You see feeling uneasy or uncomfortable or anxious about things is not a judgment that you're not good enough. Or you don't know enough. It's a normal physiological reaction to doing something that you've never done before.
Finally, the third thing that I had to do was make a conscious effort to maintain my relationships because my relationships are my support network.
It's so easy for us to get wrapped up in our own world and in our own head. So whenever I think of someone, no matter how random I take that as the universe’s cue to tell me that I need to reach out to them to text them or email them.
You see when we turn our attention to others, it creates the social connection that lowers our anxiety and our depression. It helps us to regulate our emotions which leads us to have higher self-esteem, more empathy towards others. It can even improve our immune systems.
Now, by doing these things, I started to see that downtime was an investment in my productivity, not too guilty a treat and now, my dog knows that those daily walks are playtime for both of us.
So remember the more calm you are, the better you are to be able to show up for others.
Join me for this month's episode of ‘What Sales Can Learn ‘.
I am going to be joined by Jorge Soto, and we're going to be talking about the impact of mental health in entrepreneurship, and in sales, and he has some unique perspectives and insights to offer from having been through it himself.
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