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Put on your own mask first.

Our Expert Contributors Christine and Phil Jenson of Peboryon are the geniuses behind The Cake Professionals, they will be sharing their wisdom here on the Journal over the year and to start us off this is the first of 12 articles.

The Cake Professionals – Christine and Phil Jenson of Peboryon

Key ways to look after yourself

Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If’ begins with the challenge to keep our heads when all about are losing theirs. If ever there was a year when our heads felt a bit wobbly and foggy, 2020 would be it.

As business owners in an industry that’s been gouged by Covid mitigation laws, is it even possible to ‘keep our heads’?  These days our brains want to implode with anxiety, fear and relentless uncertainty. We carry diaries that are hopelessly free from bankable bookings. When will it be over? Holding all that stuff is exhausting, and can at times be entirely debilitating.

We’re it!

But we need to keep our heads because if we own or run a business, we’re it. 

Yup. This is critical. We may have staff and supporters, but at the end of the day we’re the ones carrying the can. Most likely if we stop, it stops.“How is talking like this helping?” you ask! Because it focuses our eyes on the need to protect our most vital asset, ourselves.

In an airline emergency, the message rings out. “Please put on your own mask before assisting others”. Why? Because we’re a whole lot more useful to ourselves and those around us if we’re fuelled and functional.The success of our business doesn’t start with a magic loan, or a spreadsheet, or a new studio, it starts with our wellbeing. We cannot underscore this highly enough. We ARE our business.

We are it! Christine & Phil of Peboryon

What’s your most important business asset?

Still not entirely convinced? Ok, for argument’s sake, what’s the most important asset you have as a business? Property, vehicles, equipment, tech? We’re guessing all that expensive gear is looked after, regularly checked, in good order. We actively prevent damage, we look after it because it’s of value to the business. We need to look after ourselves like that.

If we really grab hold of the fact that we are the business, we’d start treating ourselves as the vital business asset we are. Because of all the equipment we have, our businesses need us well, rested, composed and clear thinking. Especially as we work out our way through the ups and downs of this Great Adjustment. 

If we want creative thinking, successful marketing, epic products and landmark events (even small ones), it doesn’t come from a wrung-out, sleep-deprived, chaotic business owner. Which means, our primary duty to our business is to make our own wellbeing a priority. That might also mean putting our business to the side for a time to focus on the important stuff of wellness, or we can schedule regular self-care into the diary.

Guided through rough waters

We’re not talking about checking out of our responsibilities for ever, but we do mean that when we put our hand to the tiller, we’re doing it having invested in the everyday practical, do-able, life-giving strategies that will help guide our heads through these rough waters. So over the next few months we’ll be unpacking some key ways to look after ourselves, (and therefore our businesses), as we navigate the way ahead. Until then, pour yourself a cuppa, take a walk, fold the laundry, call a friend.  And remember, you’re not alone.

Look out for the next episode, coming soon…

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Further reading

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