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Dream Believe Create is an online magazine for women entrepreneurs, creatives and change-makers. It’s for women who want to start sustainable, mission-driven businesses or creative practices without sacrificing their principles and avoiding the profit-at-any-cost / business-as-usual model that we’re all so tired of.

How Mindfulness Can Make You A Better Entrepreneur

How Mindfulness Can Make You A Better Entrepreneur

There’s no question that we are living in a hectic and noisy world with increasing demands on our time and attention. As entrepreneurs, business owners and creatives we’re faced with multiple tasks and distractions every day.

Our minds have a natural tendency to wander too, and it’s hard sometimes to find the head-space and summon the concentration that we need to focus on our goals. Could adopting a regular mindfulness practice be the antidote?                                                                

To find out more I spoke to Suzanne Marambio and Amanda Spencer, founders of Present Mindfulness Academy. The Melbourne-based practitioners generously shared their expertise and a few tips to get you started on the journey towards becoming what they term as a “professional human being”.

 “We All Need to Become Professional Human Beings”

Suzanne and Amanda define “professional human being” as a person who treats both themselves and others with kindness and who consciously thinks about how to respond and behave, particularly in stressful situations. In the heat of the moment, a professional human chooses to respond rationally and in a way that aligns with their values rather than reverting to a purely emotions-led reaction that may see them snapping at a loved one, or worse. 

 Mindfulness is an effective approach to achieving this state, and it also brings other benefits that are hugely valuable in the workplace and life in general, as;

 1.    You’ll make better decisions

Practicing mindfulness improves decision-making. It causes you to become more aware of the sub-conscious conditioning that drives much of what you do and gives you space to consider other, more thoughtful options. You’ll be coming from an observant non-judgemental perspective where you can examine each decision from a rational perspective while staying calm and focusing on the outcomes you want to achieve.

Being mindful means that you’ll also become clearer about your personal and business priorities. When you know what matters most to you, it becomes easier to make the right decisions. No more saying ‘yes’ to every request that crosses your desk.

 2.    Increased self-awareness

Mindfulness helps you to increase self-awareness and be in tune with your body. For example, you’ll come to quickly recognise when your body is starting to send out stress signals. Whether that’s creeping shoulder tension, a clenched jaw or a speeding pulse, you’ll notice the signs earlier and can intervene with some self-care, by stepping back to take a few deep breaths which will help you regroup.

 3.    Improved time management

It can also help you to manage {or whittle} your unrelenting to-do-list and plan your time effectively. Mindfulness helps you to be less attached to outcomes, less overwhelmed by all you have to do which gives you the ability to break each project into smaller chunks, set reasonable timeframes and keep track of your progress. This will help to reduce the frenzy, and allow you to focus on getting the results you want instead.

 4.    You’ll become a better listener

Because it teaches you how to be present, mindfulness also makes you a better listener. This means you’ll connect more with your clients and really get to know them. You’ll develop a deep understanding of their issues and how your business can help. This translates into better customer service and more innovative product design, both of which will give you a competitive edge.

 “We can create new habits at any age. It’s not true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. If you apply yourself, you can build new habits”.

A mindfulness practice can be developed at any stage of life and combined with your brain’s incredible ability to forge new neural pathways, you can effect lasting changes.

This can have immensely positive outcomes for you, both personally and as an entrepreneur. Neuroplasticity - the creating of these neural pathways – is what allows you to break bad habits and develop others that will serve you better. Mindfulness is so helpful because it supports the process of successfully transitioning to more positive habits.

“Make time for you!”

For busy women entrepreneurs the first step to developing a mindfulness practice, making time for yourself, can seem impossible. The good news is that every bit counts, so you can start by blocking out just a few minutes a day. Amanda and Suzanne suggest blocking out five minutes a day for mindfulness practice.

This could be before you get out of bed, while brushing your teeth or drinking your coffee. The aim is to connect and become aware. Use  your  five senses to notice how you are feeling whilst completing this daily mindfulness activity.

Essentially this is a time to be fully present, and non-judgmental, in the moment. It’s a time to step away from all the daily distractions and mental chatter.

We have approximately 60,000 thoughts per day, and although we can’t stop them, we can definitely press pause and cease engaging with them for a few moments. Mindfulness training helps us to do this.

 “When you fill up your own cup, you are a better human being as a result. You are better positioned to help others. More present. More available.”

To get the most from your practice don’t dwell on worries or concerns and put planning for the future on hold. Then, gradually increase the length of time spent until it’s an established part of your everyday routine. If you’re feeling guilty about taking time for yourself, remember that self-care is a vital ingredient on your entrepreneurial journey.

Without inner-resources to draw on it’s all too easy to succumb to stress and burn out.

Amanda and Suzanne are emphatic that regular mindfulness practice has real and positive effects. Even life-changing.

They know this from their own lived experience and from seeing their client’s progress to becoming professional human beings. 

Their final word of advice is to ‘just start by taking a moment to breathe and you’ll experience the benefits for yourself.

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CONTACTS + CREDITS
A huge thank you to Amanda and Suzanne for sharing their wisdom. If you’d like to contact them directly or find out more then please click
Present Mindfulness Academy

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