Your News: Business Wellbeing and the opportunities it provides
If you search for ‘business wellbeing’ on the Internet, you’ll find references to employee wellbeing and workplace wellbeing but not usually to business wellbeing. In business, we’re typically driven by commercial decisions and although the landscape is slowly changing, more businesses and particularly business owners, could be taking advantage of the incredible benefits that business wellbeing provides.
Employee wellbeing and workplace wellbeing are clearly crucial concepts if you want to build and retain healthy, highly engaged teams (this is something I have advocated for throughout my coaching life). But business wellbeing goes far beyond the health of your employees and many business owners are starting to take note. Why? Well, from my candid experience, by understanding and developing a business wellbeing approach, you can systematically and mindfully ensure cohesion throughout every area of your life. Gone are the days of strict, linear ‘business only’ expectations and the compartmentalisation of our day-day lives. If we want to achieve true business wellbeing, we must stretch our thinking, be open to opportunities and commit to not only the envisaged growth of our businesses, but in all other aspects of ourselves and our lives.
A great example of business wellbeing is by way of a story that illustrates the concept beautifully.
As a business growth coach, I spend a considerable amount of my time travelling to see clients. So back earlier this year as social distancing became the rule and restrictions were placed on travel, I found that I suddenly had a little more time on my hands than usual. And honestly, when my diary is usually booked out months in advance… it felt liberating. I am however, like many of you, an habitual ‘busy bee’ – meaning that I enjoy being busy, making the best of my time and feeling productive!
Thus, I decided to gift some of my newfound time to anyone who wanted to have a chat with a business coach about their situation. One of the first to accept my offer was the owner of a fabric shop who also ran sewing classes. Of course, like so many business-to-consumer businesses (or B2C), she had to close down – just like that.
We met over Zoom and had a great coaching conversation. The outcome was that she realised she could change the model of her business and open an online shop via her website so she could at least maintain active visibility during this period with a strategy to increase sales and bring some income into the business. We also agreed an immediate action plan to revitalise her social media marketing efforts and that she would include photographs of the beautiful fabric stock she’d only recently invested in!
Sure enough, true to her commitment, she shot and posted the photographs that very evening. The photos included a variety of patterns of 42 squares, very reasonably priced. For some reason, and I genuinely had no idea why at the time, I bought a pack straightaway for myself and collected them from the shop (waiting outside to adhere to social distancing of course).
The squares sat in a cupboard for a few weeks. During that time I was learning for myself the positive effects of slowing right down. For years before this Pandemic I’d been working, working and you guessed it – working! With no travelling and so much time gifted back to me because of that, I took the time and opportunity, like so many others, to reevaluate everything. I slowed right down and turned up the mindfulness.
When I finally felt still enough and ready to take the squares out of the cupboard, I sewed a beautiful patchwork, completely by hand. I am not a natural sewer: I occasionally darn a sock or sew on a button but the thought of sitting sewing 42 squares together had never crossed my mind. I know what you’re thinking, what on earth does this have to do with business wellbeing? – stay with me on this one. As I’ve mentioned, I like to be busy ‘doing things’ usually. But there I found myself just sitting and being, not a lot in my head just focusing on threading the needle over and over and stitching over and over until all the squares were joined. I have to admit it was a wonderful experience. A revelation in fact: I realised THAT was mindfulness. That thing I’ve been talking about but perhaps not actively doing enough of!
When the patchwork was done, a friend suggested it should become a reading cushion.
So I went back to the fabric business. Sure enough she had a beautiful lemon-coloured cotton that could form the other side of the cushion with enough left over to form a pillowcase tuck. All I then needed was to stuff the cushion cover with a couple of pillows. And that’s what I did. All by hand over a very soggy weekend. I sat, perfectly still, focused, relaxed, creating something out of nothing. It was just the most amazing experience.
Afterwards it occurred to me that what had happened between the business owner and me was business wellbeing. My coaching business had helped her change her thinking to build an online shop (it’s now ready at https://www.materialmoves.co.uk/store/) and in return she gave me what I didn’t know I needed: her passion for her product struck a chord with me to do something creative for my own personal wellbeing.
You see, every business needs other businesses in order to be well. It’s not just about financial health but our individual personal wellbeing too. Without each other, business is hard work – working together is easier and more fun. That’s what business wellbeing is: the mindset proactively to seek to help other businesses, to collaborate, to introduce business to other business we know could be useful to them, to think beyond ‘’what’s in it for me?’’ with the knowledge and certainty that there’s enough for everyone. Abundance is all around us if we choose to reach out, connect, build relationships, ask for help and receive it. THAT is business wellbeing.
Come join us FREE at The Business Wellbeing Club and start your business wellbeing journey – we’d love to meet you! We meet online every other Tuesday afternoon from 3.30 pm (GMT): https://businesswellbeing.club