This was written by Jen Waak, who pens a monthly health column for The Solopreneur Life.
As a solopreneur, you have a wide range of resources to help you succeed in your business. You might be a charter member of the Larry’s The Solopreneur Life, you likely read various blogs and books, and you probably belong to one or more networking groups. Somewhere in there, you have your group of “trusted advisors.” The really lucky among us even have a business coach.
But, who helps you take care of your health?
I know you probably have a primary care physician, and possibly a specialist or two for various things that have cropped up over the years, but who is your go-to person to keep you in optimal health—not just for treating you when something goes wrong?
Everybody needs a coach.
Coaches come in all shapes and sizes, so I’m not necessarily suggesting you run out and hire someone (although if you are so inclined, might I suggest yours truly!).
Instead, just like how you get the support you need to make your business succeed, there are a lot of ways you can find the support you need to take care of your health. It’s funny, because our success really does start with our physical condition. If you are living with chronic back pain, or migraines, or stomach issues, or eye problems, you can’t possibly give 100% to your business (or your family). So, get your health in line—and build off of that!
First, figure out what you need.
New clients always ask me about what sort of out-of-session support I provide. The answer, invariably is, it depends. It depends upon what works for you, and I work within those parameters.
What you should consider before finding that coach (or coaches):
• Do you have specific training goals you are working towards?
• Do you need someone to create a training plan for you?
• Do you know the right foods for you body?
• Do you know the eating schedule that works the best for you and your lifestyle? 5 times a day, 3 times, once, etc.
• How is your sleep and stress management?
• How do your eyes hold up during long stretches at the computer?
• Do you really feel you know what you need to do, but you need someone who can help you knock down the roadblocks that life inevitably gives us?
• Do you need someone who will check in on you regularly?
• Do you have the community support you need so you don’t feel you are going it alone?
• How do you like to communicate? Email, phone, text, Web site, carrier pigeon?
• Would you be more likely to stick to your goals if you had some friendly competition?
• Do you travel a lot? If so, you likely need a much more flexible support system.
It’s a long list, but they are all important pieces of the puzzle when considering where to seek out your coach (or coaches).
There are lots of places to find coaching.
The places to look for coaching are too numerous to list, but hopefully the ideas I give you here will get your juices flowing.
• Free sites such as healthmonth.com and sparkpeople.com have a game format where you set goals and log your activities. I’m a HUGE fan of healthmonth.com.
• For virtually any diet you can think of, there are numerous community sites that will provide support. Even if there isn’t a paid membership site for the diet, look around. In particular, Yahoo Groups seems to have groups for just about everything.
• Meetup.com is a local version of Yahoo Groups. They encourage in-person meetups, and you will invariably be able to find Saturday tennis games to networking walk and talks to running groups. They are a wonderful way to develop your support network.
• Books and the Internet. Both of these can be tricky, as there is a lot of misinformation out there as well. Be sure you have your bull**** meter set pretty high, and particularly for Internet research, be sure to cross-reference. A lot.
• Workshops and clinics. I’m continually amazed at the number of low-cost or free workshops and clinics going on. Everything from women’s-only beginner soccer clinics to blood sugar regulation workshops, if you want to know about it, it’s out there. Google is your friend.
• Hire a coach. This is a lot easier said than done, but a good coach should listen to you, and be able to put together a program (diet, exercise, accountability, sleep, stress, etc) that works for YOU and your lifestyle. As a general rule, I urge people to stay away from what I call the “one-trick-ponies.” These coaches know their one thing, and they know it exceptionally well, but what if it isn’t the right thing for you? The best coaches have a myriad of tools in their toolbox. They should also be willing to refer out (or pass you on) if you aren’t the right fit.
Personally, I have a handful of different coaches for different things I’m working on. When I climbed Kilmanjaro last fall, I had an ironman triathlete friend helping me with my supplementation and another Z-Health Master Trainer helping me with my conditioning program. And then, of course, I scoured the Internet for resources around breathing, gear, etc.
How are you going to get started?
This month, pick one thing to work on and find some way to get coaching on it. If you are comfortable doing so, I’d love to have you share it in the comments below.
P.S. If you aren’t sure how to get started, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary (gentle) shove in the right direction. Email me, tell me you read this post on Larry’s site, and during the course of a few emails, or maybe one short phone call, I can send you where you likely need to go. No strings attached. This limited offer expires on Feb 28.