Entrepreneurs are, by definition, motivated people. It takes a lot of gumption to start a business and enter a crowded marketplace. At first, the experience of starting a business is exciting for everyone. With time, however, the demands of running a new business can wear on people. Being an entrepreneur means long hours and lots of work. Often, there’s little to no return in the first year or so of a business. This means that paying bills can become more of a challenge. All of these factors mean that it can be hard to maintain optimism in the long-term as an entrepreneur.
Mindful entrepreneurship is one solution to the problem of motivation. The term mindfulness is used a lot, but often people are unclear as to the actual meaning. At its most basic, the term mindfulness means awareness. Many people improve their mindfulness by using strategies to reduce stress, becoming more aware and level. Mindfulness is often associated with spirituality, but doesn’t have to be. Meditation is one technique that’s often linked to mindfulness.
Over the past 20 years, mindfulness strategies have become incredibly popular in business, academia and the medical world. There are plenty of reasons for this. Mindfulness techniques are widely accessible, and they’re free to inexpensive. It’s possible to learn some of these strategies from a library book. Mindfulness also provides an answer to a need that most people have. As modern society becomes more secular, many people have lost connections with meditative strategies that descend from religions. Mindfulness can help connect people’s interior world with the exterior world, without the baggage of religion.
Finally and most importantly, mindfulness works. This is a strategy that helps people regulate their emotions more effectively. It gives businesspeople some emotional distance from business decisions. One common pitfall for entrepreneurs is that they over-identify with their work. Mindfulness can help them remember that there’s more to life than career success. These strategies also give the brain a break from constant strategizing. And sometimes, that’s just what an entrepreneur needs. Focusing on something else briefly can be good. Taking a short meditation break of 15 or 20 minutes daily has been shown to improve sleep, lower blood pressure and even improve cardiovascular health.