Strategy, Legal & Operations

Meditation: The secret weapon to surviving your first 90 days in business

Surviving the first 90 days in business

They say the first year is the roughest year when starting a new business. Knowing this, you have the advantage of going in prepared with the tools you need to overcome what lies ahead. Having micro-meditation on your side from the get-go will help you build self-awareness and keep your stress levels in check — a foundation you’ll need once the stress starts to kick in within the first 90 days.

In the beginning, so many things are new and decisions are made on the fly. Unexpected challenges arise and situations that you never thought possible are happening. If you can meet these issues head-on with inner strength, clarity and confidence, you’ll win in the long haul.

Taking charge of our mood and mindset is important now more than ever as the digital world envelopes the good-old-days of human interaction. But what about your emotional well-being? Many entrepreneurs don’t even find a moment of quiet during a typical day, which leads to a chaotic, frenzied mindset that doesn’t have to be the new normal.

For almost three decades, I’ve been practicing what I call ‘micro-meditation;’ short and effective slow deep breathing sessions that I can access anywhere at any time. These fast and effective sessions of even just three deep breaths are game-changing. They’ve driven the way that I do business. It’s a very simple tool to quickly manifest clarity, patience, optimism, calm and a shift in perspective during busy entrepreneurial days.

It seems that most entrepreneurs want to meditate. They like the idea, but there’s a disconnect between wanting and doing because of the time commitment to ‘just sit still.’  Micro-meditations don’t infringe on work time, rather they enhance it in less than 60 seconds.

Having this quick and simple secret ‘hack’ has helped me in business specifically with patience and relationship building. I always wanted to see results fast (and that’s not the same speed that my big corporate brand clients worked) so having the ability to adjust my emotional state and learn to slow my ‘inner speed’ has allowed me to be the kind of person that clients want to work with. I’ve learned to do micro-meditation before I hit ‘send,’ before I pick up the phone, before I walk into a meeting, before I say yes (or no) to something I’m unsure about or before I annoy someone by checking in again for an answer. It has made me a more thoughtful and mindful CEO, colleague, business partner, mom, wife, friend etc. Time is now on my side.

Most of us wake up every day with some sort of worry, concern, fear, confusion or a variety negative thoughts and feelings but we tend to just keep going without acknowledging or fixing it. We hit the nearest coffee store for a boost of caffeine and stay in motion- even if it’s negative motion. What if that changed and instead you made the decision to wake up and immediately clear your negative energy and mindset before heading out the door? Trust me, it’s much more productive than a negative mood/mindset fueled by caffeine. It feels much better too!

It’s a tiny shift that brings big, positive changes. The shift in energy is noticeable, others can see and sense it. It doesn’t require any extra time and not much effort beyond just three long, slow, deep breaths and a positive thought or vision. The return on investment can be life-changing.

7 Easy Ways to Utilize Breath for Success as You Launch a Business:

  1. Start the day, right when you wake up with positive thoughts and three long, slow deep breaths and you’ll likely be amazed at how you begin to attract more positive energy into your day.
  2.  As you breathe adjust your posture to a taller, confident (shoulders up and then back) posture. How you carry yourself makes you feel stronger.
  3. Begin to close your eyes when doing these micro-meditation sessions, it’s amazing how much deeper you can you go by adding this one simple step.
  4.  Set specific times every day to check in for your three slow deep breaths. Attach them to meals or set your phone alarm. Soon this will become a habit that your body will crave and will begin to do automatically.
  5. How you feel during challenging times is within your control. You can choose to stop in the midst of chaos, turn inward for a bit of breathing and re-set.
  6. Try getting in your car and keeping it quiet; no radio, phone or podcasts even just for 5 minutes. Set your intention for the day, even try saying it out loud. Use your commute as a mini-meditation session. Or if you commute by train or bus, put on your headset to tune out distractions but keep it turned off. The power of silence is critical for our nervous system.
  7. End the day with a mental review of how you felt when you took those three deep breaths. Let go of judgment, try it again tomorrow.

Deep breaths can really be a luxury when you make them part of your daily wellness routine. As you launch a business, it’s critical to be aware of your health and wellness. It’s a marathon not a sprint so start good habits early. Once you get through the first 90 days, you’ll be ready for anything because you’ll always have your breath with you!