Business Bites Episode 87: Self Care as a Busy Entrepreneur

Self Care as a Busy Entrepreneur with Ashley Miller

Episode 87 on the Business Bites Podcast

The Gist Of This Episode: What kind of impact do you want to make? As busy entrepreneurs, we are slammed all the time!  We need to learn to take care of ourselves, so we can put the best version of ourselves forward. In this episode, Rachel and Ashely Miller discuss what self care really is and how to implement it into your business. 

 

What you will learn:

  • What self-care really is; what it entails
  • How you can make self-care a part of your daily routine
  • Why we are worthy of taking time for ourselves
  • How to stick to taking care of yourselves no matter what other people may think
  • and more!

Expand To Read Episode Transcripts

Rachel Brenke: Raise your hand if you are tired of hearing all these buzz words including self-care, and then you see a nice little graphic of somebody in a bathtub with bubbles and champagne or rozay and this carefully curated caption. I want to dig in to talking about what self-care really is and also how to actually implement it into your business. As busy entrepreneurs, we are slammed all the time. We have all these things we have to worry about. But today, I’m bringing on Ashley Miller. She is a corporate wellness specialist. She works with large employers to help make the most impact she can for the most amount of people and with wellness that can be physical, which is what she’s certified in. But we also talk about mental, emotional and you can even take it to be spiritual care that we need to have in our businesses.

I brought her on for us to talk about the four tips about self-care for entrepreneurs and how you guys can implement this into your business. So let’s get started with episode 87 of the Business Bites Podcast.

Speaker 2: Welcome to the Business Bites Podcast. The podcast for busy entrepreneurs. Whether you’re an online entrepreneur or seeking after brick and mortar success, this podcast brings you quick bites of content so you can learn and grow anywhere you are. Now here’s your host, Rachel Brenke.

Rachel Brenke: All right, Ashley, welcome to the show. I’m so excited to talk about self-care, how that impacts entrepreneurs. But let’s start with you first of off, you personally and entrepreneurship, share a little bit about your journey.

Ashley Miller: Yeah, absolutely. So thanks for having me. In an effort to summarize this being a Business Bites podcast, I’m going to simply say this, I have my masters in public health and nutrition as well as being a two time nationally master certified personal trainer. And one of my other favorite credentials that I hold is being a BLS American Heart instructor. So I’ve been a trainer since 2012, and I could go on about my other credentials in my career but I think it just speaks a little bit to my professional knowledge in my field.

So I have worked in both corporate wellness and in a box gym as well as a personal trainer. And for those of you listening that don’t know what a box gym is, that is just something that’s local in your community. It might be where you go hire a trainer and get individual sessions there. And so, in doing that, something really didn’t connect with me. I was having a hard time charging people $125 or more a session and then being capped out. So I’m capped out in my impact and I’m capped out in the amount of money that I was able to make. So if I’m working in an eight hour work day, five days a week, at some point, my impact’s only going to be that big, right? I’m only able to reach that many people.

So I took what I knew and I was able to work with corporate fitness companies and make a bigger impact. So some of the companies that I’ve worked with in the past have 10,000 plus employees. So you can imagine how great that impact has grown. And then with online personal training, I have that flexibility but I’m able to offer a higher quality service at a fraction of that cost. So that kind of led me down the path to entrepreneurship.

Rachel Brenke: That’s cool. And you know, that’s one of the things I love about you. Ashley and I actually know each other “in real life.” Like we’ve actually had lunch, we’ve actually met each other, we both really exist. But one of the things that draws me Ashley exactly what you were just saying, was the whole impact and striving to give back. And much like with this topic is going to be today, you can’t have an impact if you also don’t care for yourself. But before we get to that, I really kind of want to hear where do you have the point in your entrepreneurship journey where you realized maybe you needed self-care for you or maybe you realized that others around you needed self-care? Or did you kind of already always have that mindset?

I think it’s a little different since you’ve always been athletic and fit in and that’s your field. Mine’s a little backwards. I got into entrepreneurship and then was burning the candles and then realized I needed to self-care. So which came first for you, I guess it’s a chicken and egg question here?

Ashley Miller: I would say probably doing this self-care and then realizing what a passion I had to help others. Which I think is a good starting point for all people, and then realizing that you have the skills, you have the knowledge to turn this into something that’s bigger than you. And a lot of people don’t realize that if you work in the corporate fitness industry, you cannot work outside of that. You just can’t have extra clients on the side, you can’t have something that you’re doing. So you have to really dive in and make a full commitment. So, definitely the self-care and putting my own personal health came first and then it inspired me to grow and be able to help people in that way.

Rachel Brenke: Well, let’s kind of define self-care because I feel like this is a term that is thrown around all the time now, right? We see pins on Pinterest, we see the graphics on Facebook where people talk about go self-care, go have time for yourself. But like really, at the core of it, instead of just using it as like a fly by talking point, let’s get to the core really what self-care means. How would you define it? If you were looking in entrepreneur in the eyes and they are just burnt out or they recognize that they are not putting themselves first, how would you define it? And then I guess the follow up would be, how can they implement that definition in their life?

Ashley Miller: Absolutely. So, I think self-care simply put is defined as anything that’s going to make you feel at peace. It’s going to bring tranquility to you, it’s going to relieve stress, it’s going to bring a calming sense to you, if you will. And the best way to find that is simply through exploratory motions. So we all say, yes, I need more sleep, or yes, I really need to workout or I need to go get that massage. But we have to put those things into action. So I think recognizing that they’re not selfish things that we’re doing, that they’re actual things that we need to implement in our lives in order to bring the best version of ourselves to something.

So, a couple analogies that kind of come to mind is we have this laundry list of things that we do each day. If someone’s a mom, then they’re taking care of their kids in multiple ways. If they’re a spouse, they’re taking care of their spouse or their partner in multiple ways. So why not take care of ourselves each and every day so that we can bring our best version forward.

Rachel Brenke: And you say the word selfish, and I actually have talked about this under my FitLegally brand. I talk about being what’s called a selfish mother runner, right? But it’s in a good way because I feel like the term selfish has a really negative connotation because, and you guys can go look up the actual Webster’s dictionary definition if you want, but it really is focusing on oneself. And I don’t necessarily think that selfish should be a negative thing. In fact, I encourage people, I encourage entrepreneurs, I encourage, maybe you just found this podcast and you’re not even running a business but you have a lot of other obligations in life, what’s the saying, you can’t pour from an empty cup. So you have to fill you. You have to fill what you need in life.

And I think selfish becomes negative when it becomes, when you’re so focused on self and your interests above others in a predominant manner. I think that’s kind of where the balance in play comes into here is you can be selfish, you can guard your time and guard your care, like you said, it’s tranquility, and tranquility can mean a variety of things for people. When you first said it, I was thinking, oh calmly, sitting reading a book. But then I quickly switched to what my self-care is, and it’s running 15 miles, which can be tranquil, [inaudible 00:08:00]. I think that’s what’s great about this conversation I’m glad that we’re having this is because I want to flip the script on this whole self-care notion and what it really needs. I mean, what do you do actually, what does your self-care look like?

Ashley Miller: So my self-care comes in a variety of forms. But you know, I utilize it in one specific way. So, I’m sure we’ll talk about this here in a little bit, but I am a firm believer that you are only going to get the respect that you give yourself. So, what I mean by that is I carve out at least an hour a day for myself, and some self-care things that I do first and foremost, working out. But let’s say I want to go and get a massage because I love a good massage and some muscle release there and a lot of tension release. But I’m going to use that same hour where normally would work out and I’m going to use that to go get my massage. So depending on how I’m feeling that day, I’m going to be changing this self-care, and understanding that some days I might be able to fit in two hours of self-care. And like you said, it’s not selfish to do that but it’s actually going to be beneficial to me and those around me overall.

Rachel Brenke: I like that you have highlighted this idea that it can change from day to day because even myself, if you had asked me at the very beginning on this, what is your self-care? Obviously I would say, going running or working out because in my mind I’m thinking, well I have to pick what it is and I have to stick with it. But there’s actually freedom in, every day could be something different. So you can rotate, you can go through hobbies, you can go through whatever it is that you enjoy.

And so, I love the, I don’t know, I just feel much more free knowing, oh, maybe tomorrow I’ll just go sit and have coffee for an hour and not plug into the Internet, not talk to anybody and just sit and be, and that’s just as important as if I go and I run or what other way, maybe reading or something else that I enjoy in my self-care. Which actually, so I guess it’s kind of really our first tip here is identifying what is best for you and also knowing it doesn’t have to be just one thing.

My subsequent question on that is how should entrepreneurs fit this into their busy lives?

Ashley Miller: Yeah, exactly. So like you said, that kind of fell into our first tip and figuring out what self-care is and how that works for you and understanding that I can be multifaceted, it can change as you change each day. So, how you could work that in is actually literally scheduling that in, I have found to be the most effective way. And whether it’s a boss that you’re meeting with or a family member that you’re meeting with, that’s your self-care time and I don’t move that time for anything. Yes, there’s going to be emergencies or times where we might change that, but I don’t move it typically. If this is my self-care time and I’ve scheduled it at 4:00 PM let’s say every day, then I’m going to stick to that and that’s going to be what keeps me accountable in that. So scheduling it out, get it physically actually on your calendar.

Rachel Brenke: You know, I love that because it’s a non-negotiable appointment for the most part at that point. And it actually makes it harder then for me to make excuses and for me to say no. And another thing with that, especially in light of, oh, I’m going to stay in my busy life, but we all have busy lives. If I don’t get that self-care done first thing in the morning, so many things pop up during the day that there is a high probability that it’s not going to occur later.

Now, everyone’s schedules may be different. I just found for me, if I don’t schedule that first thing and I don’t get that done, and it has other impacts too, puts me in a better mood, I’m more relaxed. I’m a happier nicer person, probably because I’ve already ran out half of my energy for the day, which actually isn’t far from the truth. I am an anxious person by nature, very type A control obviously as many of you all know. But that also can be a detriment. Being so high strung and forward thinking and a strong personality can actually start to work against you to a point. And I find a way to reign myself in is by putting self-care first. And mine’s obviously physical exertion.

So, not only does it fill me, but it also is helping to temper my own emotional, maybe this is a bit more deeper that we wanted to get into, but also my emotional and physical needs, not just the whole, the brain power and needing a little recharging.

Ashley Miller: Yeah, absolutely. And to kind of piggy back off of that, you know, with being flexible in that, you said working out or doing your self-care in the morning is what’s most beneficial for you. I would say that I have a type A personality too. And it really depends on the day and what I have going on that day. So if I’m going to be at home working from home that day, I have to get that workout in or that self-care done in the morning for the exact reasons you mentioned. But if I’m in an office all day and I’m having meetings back to back, then honestly I use that self care at the end of the day to relinquish stress that has gone on throughout the day.

And then just one more tip that I think the listener might find helpful is I always have gotten push back. If I tell someone, hey, I’m going to go work out and then I’ll meet you somewhere, sometimes people don’t always relate to that. Or if you say I have self care, then I’m going to go meet you, they might not receive that. So I’ve always found it helpful to say, I have an appointment at x time and it’s with a client and that’s all I really need to explain it and people really respect that and receive that well.

Rachel Brenke: And your real friends know you’re going to roll up in Spandex and a messy bun. And they’re going to be fine with it.

Ashley Miller: Yeah. They know what that code means.

Rachel Brenke: Yeah. But you know, it’s interesting because, especially I’m a people pleaser. And saying no is very difficult. Although I’ve gotten better at it over the years, for me, like I said, it’s harder for me, once it’s on the calendar, it’s harder for me, well, I guess I should flip it on its head, it’s easier for me to be able to say no to people when I say I have an appointment or I have a commitment. They don’t need to know what it is. This especially is in light of if maybe you’re working with clients. I was thinking up until now in the context of like colleagues and people you work with, your boss, etc.

But when I’m working with clients, you never really want to say to them, oh hey, I’m going to go run instead of I can’t meet with you in the morning because of that. Because it just sounds like you don’t value them, although they’re probably entrepreneurs, they’re probably perfectly fine, yada yada. But it just has like a buyer’s confidence and this element of you’re sending them a message inadvertently, and so, what you said is so spot on, like I have a commitment or I have an appointment. Or I don’t even tell him that it’s available at all. I just say, here’s the availabilities that I do have to talk, and I don’t even give them that morning’s an option because guess what, it’s not. [inaudible 00:15:06]

Yeah. So what other tips do you have at how we can kind of implement this self-care into busy entrepreneurship? Scheduling is a huge one and for me, I guess my tip to throw out while you think on that is, and the audience knows this, I’m really big on batch processing. So like today, I have like four podcast episode recordings back to back because I can haul through this. I don’t have to worry about trying to cobble my calendar together later and fit the pieces around, the self-care and all the other obligations I have.

Ashley Miller: Yeah, absolutely, that makes total sense. And you can use all that creative energy kind of in that one setting. But I think the last really key thing to focus in on, and we touched a little bit on it already is understanding the selfishness of it, that it’s not a bad thing. That it is definitely an okay thing to do. And I want to bring up a point, I read recently that athletes, professional athletes spend an average of four hours a day on their self-care. So, if a professional athlete can spend this amount of time on their self-care, I’m sure that we can carve out 30 minutes or 60 minutes a day to put ourselves first and understanding that we are so so worthy of that, and just giving ourselves permission to do that.

So, that’s some kind of emotional internalizing, but it’s really something that I think some people just need to hear, that it is okay to have self-care and we are worthy of taking that time for ourselves.

Rachel Brenke: Well, let’s go back to what you said a little bit ago kind of as the last point to leave them with. You were talking about, and I might botch this so you’ll have to fix it, but respecting yourself in order to show respect. You want to expand on that a bit more? Maybe I botched that, sorry.

Ashley Miller: No, yeah, that’s completely accurate. So, in order to get respect, you have to give yourself that respect first. And people are only going to give you what you give yourself. So, piggybacking off of that same example that we’ve used earlier, in the past, I would give in and go meet friends or go have that appointment and move my appointments around so that I could care to other people. And in turn, I wasn’t giving myself that self-care. But using that version of making sure that I’m getting the respect that I need for myself and that I deserve and saying, hey, I’ve got this commitment or I’ve got this appointment. And then sticking to it I think is really what I meant there.

Rachel Brenke: No, I like that and I think that’s great. And it’s all about, everything’s about selling. It’s all about marketing, it’s all about the messaging, right? So it’s all about how you communicate it to others. And now that everyone knows that what I do in athletics is a big part of my life, is just commonly accepted, I can throw it out there and it’s good and people respect it. But I did find in the very beginning, and some of you guys know my story, I was like a 100+ pounds overweight.

And when I was first starting I was so scared to tell anybody, yeah, I’m using running as my self-care because they would look at me, you can barely walk to the mailbox, like you’re using that for self-care. I just didn’t want the judgment that was attached to it. But once I started getting bold from like what you’re talking about, I was respecting myself for what I was doing, and I’m not saying you guys have to go out tell people about your self care but I think it’s more of the method in line with the respect. Also respecting what you’re doing for yourself, being proud of what you’re doing for yourself.

And again, you don’t have to share it with anybody, but I do think like I actually I just said, there’s something to be said for doing the self-care, being proud in it, respecting yourself enough to do it. And it’s just going to shine through and show through competence in other areas. And that can only improve your life quality and your entrepreneurship in general.

Ashley Miller: Absolutely. And sticking to it. So, you know, when you do get that initial pushback or that fear of judgment because it’s just reality, it’s going to happen in some capacity. It’s just sticking to it, making that commitment to yourself that no matter what other people are putting out there on you, just stick with it. Like you gave the example of going to the mailbox. If that’s your thing and that’s what you’re focused on for that moment of self-care, then you go every day and you do it no matter what people are giving you as far as feedback because eventually you outlast that feedback and you will get stronger through the process in a positive way.

Rachel Brenke: You know, and Ashley and I keep mentioning like athletics. But that’s just because that’s what’s prominent in our lives right now. This could be anything that you guys enjoy. I know some people who do needle work. I don’t even know the first thing about doing it but I actually do love hearing about it. So, by getting involved with other people and asking them specifically about their self-care, you can garner new ideas of what you could do for yourself. Your eyes can be opened up to new hobbies, it’s a new talking point for you to have with people.

So look at this not just as like an individual activity, although that’s where most of the benefits are going to be. I think you also can utilize this element of self-care to network, get to know other people, create relationships. And at the end of the day, if they don’t know what self-care is, you can point them right back to this episode, then hopefully they can find something for themselves.

Well Ashley, thank you so much for this. You have anything you want to leave with them? If not, I’ll wrap up and give them the info where they can reach out and get more info from you.

Ashley Miller: I don’t think so. I think we’ve really done a job in covering some key points here today. So hopefully they found that very useful.

Rachel Brenke: Yeah, sounds great. Well guys, please make sure you’re going to run over and gals, not just guys, run over to rachelbrenke.com/epi87. We’ll have show notes, transcript, a link to all of Ashley’s stuff. And there’s also going to be a link to the Business Bite Facebook group. Please dig in. We are actually going to be doing a large giveaway coming up in October for my birthday, I do it every year. It’s always Rachel’s favorite things. You guys can get notified of that through the Business Bites Facebook group or else on email list at rachelbrenke.com/freechecklist. That has a free legal checklist for you.

Guys, it is great today to talk about this. Please commit to this. Jump into the group and let us know what you’re doing for self care, other ideas for other people, and let’s get focused on succeeding in our business, but also succeeding in life.

Speaker 2: Thanks for joining Rachel on this episode of the Business Bites. For show notes, a list of recommended tools, or referenced episodes, you can find them at businessbitespodcast.com. Until next time.

Tool and Resources:

Featured Guest & Resources

Ashley has a passion to help others live their best lives; she fully believes that you can “eat cake” and lose weight! Ashley specializes in online personal training and corporate wellness. She loves working with people (especially women) who have tried everything and think they are “broken” or something must be wrong as they are unsuccessful on their fitness journeys. Ashley understands how hard that journey can be as she was once obese herself and through a balanced life she was able to lose weight and feel great; that is why she knows you can too! Ashley has a Masters in Public Health and is a 2x Nationally Certified Master Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition and Health Education Specialist as well as American Heart and Spinning Instructor. Ashley has helped nearly 1000 men and women just like you live their best lives and is ready to help you too! Ashley will work with you as an individual or the company you work for. With corporate wellness on the rise, employers want to be in the 80% of employers that report improvement in productivity or the 55% of employees who say they would stay with a company that paid less but offered better benefits. After working in corporate wellness Ashley decided to take the leap of faith and start her own business educating corporate america and individuals just like you on the importance of a balanced life teaching them how to “eat cake” and lose weight! Ashley ensures her knowledge is constantly growing in self development and educational conferences she attends regularly; this is just one reason why Ashley is in the top 5% of personal trainers.

You can find Ashley here:
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About the author

Hi, I’m Rachel Brenke

Rachel Brenke

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