The Truth about Self Care and Business Growth

Some time ago I posted a call for help across social media because I was about to do a Facebook Live on the topic of Self Care.  I wanted to really understand the impact that self care actually had on business and on business growth.


And it was an area I was working on myself and in my own business.  I had already developed a practice of daily journaling, sporadic beach walks and meditation – see Make 2019 Your Best Year Ever with Gratitude and Intent.


I knew the daily practice was helping but it would often play second fiddle to a client deadline.

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The reality is; there is always a client deadline.


The truth is “Self Care” always struck me as one of those “Should Do More Of” activities that you “should” be doing because everyone is doing it and “you should too”.




As I write that last sentence, I have to share with you that “Should” is one of my Top 5 Flags when I’m working with Clients.  There is always a whole other story going on behind the scenes when the word “should” gets used.


More than that. When I hear the word “should”; I also hear the subtext – maybe later… not right now… I’ll get to it eventually… it’s just a bad time right now… this doesn’t apply to me… and a host of other reasons why the “should” will NOT happen.


Listen for the “should” and ask yourself why it’s there. Click To Tweet



The reason I reached out and asked for help on this whole topic of Self Care and Business Growth was because I wanted more than the facts that I knew I could easily get on Google in a simple search.


What I really wanted was the experience of real live business people – Real Live Business People that I Knew.  I really wanted to connect the dots between Self Care and Business Growth and the truth of that relationship.


What surprised me most of all was the amount of interest that this simple call for help generated.


So many spoke about how topical this subject was “right now”.


I found myself asking… wasn’t this topical like 20 years ago… how could it still be topical now?


And Then I Saw the Pattern…


Many people posted. Many people shared their practice of self care. And most interestingly, many business people emailed me or messaged me directly and privately.


Some wanted to share the depth of their practice and what it has meant to them and their business.


Some didn’t want to be seen writing about it openly but still wanted to help me.


Others were more general in their answers.


What I realized is that those who were specific about their commitment to their daily self care practice were actually the most successful of those I connected with on this topic.


It was the first indication I had that Self Care = Success.


Let me write that again…




And that has been a revelation I’ve been exploring over the last few months.

My Current Self Care Practice Looks Like This:


  1. Daily Journalling.
    I use the 6 Minute Journal and find that it focuses my mind each morning on what’s important. I love the format for Achieving 3 Things Each Day – Personal or Business. In this way I don’t get caught up in never ending To Do Lists.
  2. Write a Daily Affirmation and Be Grateful.
    Part of the 6 Minute Journaling Practice is writing a daily affirmation for yourself is so powerful in how it focuses the mind. The affirmation sets the scene for the day. And being grateful for 3 things every morning just changes your outlook too.
  3. Be Clear about the Objective
    Again, an instrumental piece of the puzzle. I am clear about what I both personally and professionally want to achieve this year. I’ve defined it, refined it and at each step measured for success. Writing the objectives makes them real. I use the Cultivate What Matters journal for these. It’s a very balanced approach for goal setting.
  4. Learn Something Every Day
    Earlier this year I completed Robin Rice’s Train Your Inner Warrior Online Course . I’ve moved on to Mastering Your Inner Warrior now which I’ve found to be an even deeper piece of work and has significantly contributed to my own growth.
  5. Sleep is Critical.
    There’s no point in getting up early every weekday if you have to pay the price every weekend. If you do the early morning thing, you need to balance it with the early night time routine.
  6. Being Mindful about What I Eat
    Take a moment before you take a bite. Making sure this is what my body needs right now.
  7. Move Every Day
    And it has to be a combination of stretching and moving preferably in fresh air. The beach is always my preference but I’m introducing the local gym to ensure I’m consistent.
  8. Take a Moment Every Day
    I have had the habit of pushing my self care into my mornings only. This is a new practice for me. To take 5 or 10 minutes each day to refocus, to breathe and check where my head is. Thanks to Shane Cradock for this insight recently.
  9. Weekends and Holidays are Sacrosanct
    This is language one of my business contacts, that reached out to me, used and I couldn’t agree more. The few times I broke this rule recently set me back and I won’t make it again.
  10. Technology is a Tool not a Master
    When I’m in meetings I don’t answer. The phone is never at the dinner table. It stops you from being fully present in any moment. I try to use things that save time and don’t mean I handle a piece of information more than once. Further, I group multiple contacts into one allocated time slot so that I’m not always switching from project to project.


I will also say this.  I’m not quite consistent yet. Old habits die hard. And sometimes I hit that emotional wall typical of this first year of grief since Dad passed. Still, I move through it and in retrospect I realise, I could have moved through it more easily if I had self cared enough.

Unexpected Benefits of Self Care for Me


  • The Ability to Switch My Flow State On and Off at Will.
  • The Ability to Choose to be in control of my own Calendar and How Productive that is.
  • The Power to Minimise the Negative Effects of Context Switching.
  • The Ability to Write Faster and with Greater Depth.
    That’s directly connected with Flow State.
  • Consistency of Workflow that has made me more Productive and hence more Profitable.

The personal experience of practicing self care both consistently and inconsistently has proved, to me at least, the direct connection between self care and business growth.


The results speak for themselves.


I reiterate the deepest learning here. Self Care = Success. Click To Tweet

My Top 5 Tips for Creating an Effective Self Care Practice


  1. You Can’t Cram All Your Self Care into A Short Window in Your Day.
    It’s not a tick box exercise. There must be self care spread throughout your day at key intervals where you need it. You’ll develop a sense of what that is as you build it.
  2. Breathing Needs to Play A Part.
    In our breath we find stillness and a well that we can draw from. Check out the Box Breathing App as a great tool to get you started.
  3. Movement Is Critical.
    The body needs to move to thrive. Again, consistency is critical here. My adhoc beach walks just weren’t enough. I have to move every single day to care for my body.
  4. Journaling Is Powerful.
    It builds gratitude into your Psyche and helps you self reflect. Without self reflection, you can’t build a space where you can learn from this process.
  5. Learn Something New Every Day.
    Even 15 – 20 Minute short bursts are powerful. Do an online course. Read a book. This opens your mind to new ideas. And New Ideas are critical for growth.


And finally let me leave you with one final thought.


If you’re serious about business growth you’ve got to be serious about self care. Click To Tweet


It is your most personal ingredient to your own success.


YOU have to grow in order for your business to grow.


Start today. Do something for your own personal growth.


Build it day by day until you can truly look in the mirror and say; Now I’m serious about growth!


And then you will know first hand the truth about self care and business growth.


Please do share your thoughts and your own experiences in the comments below.

Share with us how you use self care as an engine for growth in your business. Or even pose some questions.

I’d love your insights on this one. It’s such a powerful tool for success.


I love to work with businesses, both large and small to help them create sustainable business dreams... Brand and Strategy are at the heart of everything I do and that gets rolled out digitally and across any channel where your customer lives.

14 responses to “The Truth about Self Care and Business Growth

  1. Self care is so important. I did a series on this a year ago in my own group and it was so popular. I must look into the breathing app. It looks interesting and I do breathing exercises already. Will add it to my drink water (for hydration) app. 😉 It’s good to see how you (and others) approach their self care routines. My check-ins throughout the day are my best measure of how I’m doing.

    1. The box breathing app is particularly good. It’s a technique the Navy SEALs use as part of their training. Please do share the hydration app. That is something I know I must always remain mindful of. And yes, the checkins are a new thing for me and I’m finding them very beneficial. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this Teri.

  2. Love this. I used be be nicknamed “ no problem Fiona “ – because that was my response to any and all requests to help. The result was that my needs got lost & the inevitable result was disaster. It’s hard to reprogramme habits built up over a lifetime of bad habits but for me that self reflection time is vital. I do that walking the dog & the occasional weekend in dzogchen beara buddihst retreat in west cork. The result is a healthier, happier me & that can only be a good thing for any business. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for sharing this Fiona. I never heard of the buddhist retreat centre – had a quick look now. Very interesting and I’m sure a very special place. Might have to take a trip there myself.

      And I’m curious now… what’s your new nickname?

  3. Thank you Finola, this is always useful advice, as always from you We do seem to be always pushing ourselves that just this week……

    1. Yes… so true Eimhin – we think we have all the time in the world… that our window is just around the corner. But it isn’t. The time is now. Hope all is well with you.

  4. It’s a full-time job minding yourself in business. Sometimes we lack the motivation to do so and it all falls to crap. I know this lesson well.

    Set clear boundaries in a polite way. Stick to them. Bend and sway, don’t break. Boundaries are about being kind to yourself. It’s self-care that makes us fit for purpose.

    Have an emotional fitness routine. Put in place an emotional exercise program to maintain physical and mental health. You have to look after yourself every single day.
    Gratitude journaling.
    Call or meet a friend. Human connection is key to thriving. It’s lonely running a business.

    Identify warning signs, internal and external triggers. The world is becoming more distracting daily. What is distracting and distressing you?

    Once you’re aware of your warning signs, you’ll know when you are beginning to burn out. Then you can add in some self-care right away to get back on track.

    Stop Over Committing. I call out what I can and cannot do up front for my clients. Sometimes we get into the trap of over-helping.

    Our job as business owners is to serve our client. We cannot do that if we are overstretching ourselves. Where might you be over-helping?

    What would be the first step to change this?

    Original post via medium:

    “4 Simple Ways to Look After ‘You’ in Your Business.” by Pauline Harley

    1. Thank you for adding the benefit of your experience here Pauline. Great tips.

      Can I ask what did you think about the article itself. Did it resonate with you?

  5. Agree that self care should be prioritised and non negotiable. But, by definition, self care can be so inward facing. These days our over-reliance on technology facilitates virtual communication (especially for remote workers) but can cause us to neglect real life connections, both personal and professional. I think it’s also critical to build in time to your schedule to meet with people in person to have those real connections and the human touch.

    1. So interesting Grant. It came up a few times in feedback when I did the original call for help on this topic. I’m glad you reminded me. Always good for coffee 😉

  6. The Hydration app is called Drink Water Reminder on Google Play (android). Lots of ads which you can get rid of if you go premium. I when with the basic app and still found it useful to get me drinking more water. Breathing and Water are both so important for self-care and they’ve made a big difference to me.

    1. I just downloaded the app Teri and opted for the premium version – very reasonable – Drinking water is a priority for me right now so felt it was appropriate. Thanks so much for sharing. I’ll keep you up to date on how I get on. All the best

  7. Couldn’t agree more with this Finola.
    In fact, I see it as a professional responsibility to do my best to look after myself – while I definitely benefit, my clients and my work will do, fact!
    Thank you for this reminder.

    1. I love that you see it as your “professional responsibility” Eadaoin. That’s such a great way to look at it. And yes I also have that experience – my work is better and my clients are happier when I’m taking the time to care for myself.

      Thank you for sharing your insights with us.

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