Between my clients, my involvement in the Rochester Women’s Network and my circle of friends, I spend a lot of time with other small business owners. One thing we have all experienced is an extremely difficult client.
When you’re first starting out in business, your biggest fear is not having enough clients. So you take any work that comes your way.
But not every client is good for your business. Some clients demand work that is beyond the scope of what you can offer. Some are disrespectful of your schedule, expecting you to work outside of your set hours to accommodate them. Others are rude to you or your staff. Sometimes it is simply a matter of mismatched personalities.
When a client is a bad fit your business, the best course of action is to fire the client. However, many business owners tough it out with a problem client because they’re afraid of losing the income. But you have to weigh the financial cost to your business of losing a client versus the psychological cost of continuing to have a business relationship with that person. Is your mental health worth the money?
You may ask yourself a similar question when dealing with a toxic relationship, be it a friend, lover or relative. What is the value this relationship brings to your life, and is that benefit worth the negative aspects?
You’re probably wondering what this has to do with massage therapy and wellness. Wellness means keeping your body and your mind healthy. Mental stress, be it trying to balance an overload of personal and professional obligations or dealing with a toxic relationship, can lead to physical ailments. Some of the most obvious are difficulty sleeping, headaches and tense muscles in your shoulders, jaw and neck.
Self care, at its core, is about making your own physical and mental wellness a priority. There are physical methods of self care, such as eating nutritious foods and staying hydrated. There are also mental and emotional methods, such as setting aside a few minutes each day to center yourself and practicing mindfulness.
Self care also means knowing when to say yes to your mental wellbeing and no to a toxic business or personal relationship. It means not just knowing, but also valuing, your self worth. And it means standing up for yourself by making decisions that benefit your emotional welfare.
I know too well the feeling that putting my needs first is selfish. But as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and business owner, I also know that I can’t fully function in those roles if my mental and physical health is suffering.
Do you have a client you dread calling? Do you find yourself letting a friend’s calls always go to voicemail? Perhaps it’s time to reconsider the relationship. Can you manage without that relationship in your life? Would you feel less stressed and anxious if you no longer interacted with that person? Or would setting boundaries improve the situation?
If there are relationships in your life that are causing you stress, it’s time to think about whether the detriment to your mental health is worth the relationship’s benefits. When you put yourself first, you entire being – body and mind – will thank you.