I’m glad you’re here for this episode today. It’s a very important one that dives deeper into my topic from the last episode. My last episode was about not wasting a conflict or crisis and that may have been a cue from the universe that soon I’d need my own advice because right now I’m facing a major health scare in our family. And now that I’m in it, in the thick of it, I have more to say on this topic. I have more to offer to help guide you through times of crisis, in dealing with the personal and the business side of things.

Let’s be honest right up front: managing our lives and running a business during a time of family or personal crisis is a lot. We are pulled in many different directions because we want to be there for our loved one and for our family but we also need to be there for our business. How do we deal with it if we can’t bring in that revenue? It’s really difficult and if, like me, you are used to being a leader and having answers, it can be really hard to realize that crisis doesn’t come with a timeline. And if we don’t think about how to best help ourselves we can end up sacrificing sleep and rest and movement and healthy eating and all the things we need to keep going, to keep being there for the people that need us.

So in this episode I’m speaking from within a crisis, I’m going through what I’m talking about. And I want to share this perspective with you. There are different questions to ask ourselves now. What really needs our focus? What key things can I do to look after our foundation? We’re low on time so what things can we do that really get the most return on our time? And I’m speaking about the personal side of things and the business side. We can’t do everything, so what systems can we put in place to help ourselves? I’m sharing the insight that I’ve gained with you in this episode. The simple things you can do, both in your life and business, to help maximize the time you have and keep you healthy so you can deal with the crisis long-term. This episode is personal and important and I’m so glad I can share the things I’m learning with you all.

 

Key Moments

03:14 The pull between being there for loved ones and business

05:37 How quickly self-care can be the first necessity sacrificed

08:54 What do we prioritize in business to keep things running?

  • When we’re low on energy, what things can be automated and what can keep going easily?
  • How can we delegate or automate to assist everyone affected by the crisis?
  • Why we need to maintain containers around the vitals of life: sleep, rest, health

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Transcript:

Kari Lotzien: [00:00:01] I’m really excited to bring this episode to you today. I know that being a small business owner comes with wearing a lot of different hats, and one of the things that had been coming up for me over the last couple of months was clients and friends who were talking about having multiple demands on their time when a loved one was facing a health crisis, and they were really feeling like, I need to keep my business operating, and I really want to be there for my family. Now, little did I know that that episode a couple of weeks ago was going to be a snapshot and a little cue into what was coming up in my own life. Today I’m diving in. We’re going one step deeper from where we were in the last episode, talking about not wasting a great crisis. Today, I want to talk about when you are in a situation and you’re facing a tough time, I want to give you some resources on exactly what we can do to help navigate when we need to be there for friends or family, or maybe for yourself if you’re facing a crisis in your own life that instantly takes your time and your energy and your attention. What do you do when you’re trying to keep your business afloat at the same time? Welcome to the episode. Let’s dive in. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:01:27] Hello my friends. I’m so glad you’re here. In the last episode, the topic was don’t waste a great crisis, and I cannot help but think that that topic was giving me a little bit of a signal and a heads-up as to what was coming. Because here I am just a few weeks later, and when I recorded that episode, I was not in the middle of a crisis. But now, looking back, as often our hindsight is 2020, it was a signal for me because here I am now, just a couple of weeks later, and our family is experiencing a pretty major crisis where we have someone in our family who’s really going through a major health scare right now, and they need us to be supportive and all-in and believe in them and have hope. And let’s be honest, at the same time we are trying to manage our lives and run our businesses and be there for each other and support. And I am not going to lie to you, it’s a lot. And when I looked at my episode recording for today, I thought, you know what? I have more to say about this because when I’m in it, when I talked about not wasting a great crisis, now I am in it, I have a little bit of a different perspective. I do have some different ideas, and I want to share them with you from being in it. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:02:53] What I’ve noticed about myself in this, and I see this with a lot of my friends, I have connected in these last couple of weeks with probably five different friends who have been in situations where their very close family members have faced huge health, life and death situations in these last few weeks. And they feel this pull of I know it’s important to me, I want to be there for my family, I want to be able to do it all and at the same time feeling like I can’t really just pick up and leave my business because it needs to keep operating as well. Or there’s future considerations that I’m going to need to be able to deal with if I don’t continue to bring in that revenue, and it can just feel like such a hard pull on both sides of us. And I just want to first acknowledge that, that as a high performer, we’re used to fixing things. We’re used to solving problems and leaning in and having answers. And there is nothing more humbling than when someone that you really care about has a health crisis, and there’s really not a lot you can do about it than just show up. I think what we tend to do as high performers is we jump into these types of situations and, let’s be perfectly honest, a lot of our family and the people that are around us, they’re used to going to us to be the leaders in those types of situations. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:04:21] Because if you are a leader in business, you’re generally a leader in a lot of different areas of your life. You’re the one that takes on the volunteer roles. You’re the one who heads committees, you’re the one who organizes the family reunions and the large events. When you’re leading in one place, you’re usually leading in a lot of places. And when we jump into this, what can sometimes happen, crisis doesn’t ever come with a timeline. It always shows up at sometimes a really difficult timing for life. And that’s okay. But when we get caught off-guard like that, we tend to be more reactive. So just give yourself some grace and understand that that’s just what happens. I’m not going to lie to you, I stepped on the scale this morning and in two weeks I have gained a solid 9 pounds. The reality is I started eating way more fast food. I was not moving as much because I was sitting in a hospital room and just trying to be there. We were eating on the fly, we were eating late at night, I wasn’t getting good sleep and I was not moving as much. I don’t think this is uncommon, but what I notice in myself, I was starting to beat myself up about it, thinking, oh my gosh, everything is just falling apart. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:05:36] Well, no it isn’t. But what I saw was the quickest thing to go was my own self-care. Just the basics of getting enough sleep, of moving my body, even going for a walk or doing a little bit of a stretch. I noticed that I was not eating well, and what this was doing was creating a snowball effect that when all of those basics weren’t looked after, I was more tired, I was more reactive, my head wasn’t clear, my brain was foggy, I couldn’t make good decisions, and that negative mentality was just creeping in. And that might happen for you too, when facing these kinds of things. When we come into positions of crisis, I think the three big things that I want to talk a little bit about are knowing that you might be in this for a long time. I think we all have hope that things are going to turn around quickly, and that we’re going to get back to normal. But the reality is, most of the time when there’s a crisis situation, you don’t know how long it’s going to last. And you don’t get to know what are the steps that I need to take to have this fully resolve in this certain amount of time? It induces a huge sense of uncertainty and a lack of control, and that’s tough. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:06:54] The second is I think we need to really ask ourselves what are the things that we need to do? What is the minimal viable thing that we need to do to minimize additional challenges? So, for example, if all of a sudden you just stop serving your clients and you stop showing up and you don’t reach out to your team and you just disappear, there could be an additional consequence that you are not bringing in revenue to your business, which is keeping it sustainable. Like I said, if I’m not looking after my sleep and my health, the snowball effect of that is that I’m more reactive, that there may be additional challenges in conflict with family members or with the people who are looking after my loved ones, that I just tend to get more reactive. But do you see how then it builds a snowball effect of a negative consequence that we really don’t want? So you want to kind of dial in and say, okay, what really needs my attention right now? What really needs my focus? And what are those key things that I can do to make sure that my foundation is looked after? It’s coming all the way back to ourselves. And as high performers, man, we can lie to ourselves that we are good at running on no sleep, that we don’t really need to have times of rest, and that we don’t really need all of these other just basics, because we can perform at a pretty high level when we’re running on fumes. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:08:28] The other piece that I want to kind of shift to is just acknowledging that when we are in crisis, what we know is that you are low on time. That if you are trying to hold multiple roles, visiting family members or going to medical appointments yourself, so sometimes health crisis can show up in our own body and needs our attention. But it takes time. It takes our attention. This is where we really need to prioritize what do we really need to do? Where are we going to get the most return on our time, and what are we going to let go of? You may consciously decide, I’m not going to worry about my housekeeping. I am not going to worry about, you know, developing that new marketing plan for the business that we were working on last week. It’s really dialing it in and saying, okay, what do I need to focus on right now that is going to give me the largest return on that time? So things like prioritizing in your business, what is going to continue the cash flow in your company while you might step away. So this is not a time where you’re going to maybe try something new, or you’re going to work towards a new vision because you won’t have capacity to be creative. But you do want to make sure that you continue to have that revenue. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:09:48] If you’ve got work that you’ve already done that hasn’t been invoiced yet and you have ten minutes, that ten minutes needs to go and do those invoices, get them sent out, or send the reminders for payments that haven’t been made so that you are continuing to build the cash flow in your business so that you don’t create that snowball effect of now you’re kind of behind the eight ball. The other thing is, when you’re focusing like this, this is the time where you want to get really clear on what either time or service or product is yielding the biggest profit in your business and you’re going all in on that right now. Because this is the time where you really need to be the most profitable. It’s not the time to do a lot of different things or to try out new pieces. Do what you know already works, go back to the data, go back to what you know, and just rinse and repeat. If you have products or services that you’ve used in the past that were successful, that you can just bring them out and reintroduce them, do that. This is a time where you just really want to dial in where are you getting the most return on your investment? You are going to be lower on energy. This is not the time where you’re going to have a lot of energy for new things, new products, or to be able to do a lot of stuff. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:11:13] When you’re low on energy this is when we really want to dial in and say, okay, what are the things that I can just set on automation? What can I just keep going? Can I set up some auto bill payments? Can I set up some meal planning? Can I do meal boxes so that that food just shows up? I don’t have to think about what I’m going to have for dinner tonight, or you don’t need to think about going to the grocery store and trying to organize that. It just happens. Do what feels easy. Do the things that you’re already good at. Now, this might sound really strange to some, well, no, it probably doesn’t sound strange to some of you because I think that we are like-minded, which is exactly why I’m doing this podcast. But when I dialed in and I went, okay, what feels easy for me when it comes to supporting this family member? Something that I am good at, I’m really good at thinking in systems. It’s just how my brain operates, I think, okay, so what is the system that I can create to have the biggest return on investment so that a team knows what the goals are so that we know what we’re aiming for? 

Kari Lotzien: [00:12:24] And it might sound strange to do this when it comes to thinking about a family member or someone who’s going through a health challenge, but you know that if you’re a systems thinker and you do that naturally in your business, and you think constantly about how one thing has an effect on many other areas in your business, if that feels easy to you, and that’s something that works really well for you, you can apply it in another area towards looking after a family member. So thinking about systems when it comes to health care and support, or it could be any sort of challenge or crisis that you’re facing, come right back to saying, okay, do we have a system for communication? So we designed a system to say, okay, one person is dedicated to call and get an update from the medical team as to what’s going on, and it’s their responsibility to then share with the rest of the team. And we do that at a very specific time of day, so that we all know kind of what to expect and who’s doing what. What this does, is the impact that it has is we don’t have ten people calling the medical team and overwhelming them when we really want their focus to be on our loved one. But we also want to make sure that we have a way where everyone knows what’s going on so that no one feels like they’re left out. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:13:50] So creating a system where we have a dedicated group chat, or we have a program that says, okay, here’s how this is, is outlined, or here’s key questions that we would really like to know, or things that we need to be asked or to find out going forward. So that system works well for everyone to communicate, even having a little notebook in the room where people can just jot down ideas, here’s who was in visiting, here’s what we talked about, here’s what was going on. It creates the sense of community and support, which was really important for us, so that no matter who was there, we kind of knew a little bit more of the story. And it wasn’t all riding on either the medical professional or our family member to just be going through kind of the same conversation over and over and over again, which, let’s be honest, it can start to feel really boring and really monotonous. So this way, we were able to create a system that allowed a conversation to kind of keep flowing and not to feel so redundant. So if that is something that you do well, think about how can you create a system within that crisis situation that can really help fill some gaps. If there’s roles or tasks that need to be done, can you create a system so that people know what needs to be done, where they can help, and how all of these things are communicated? These things are big and can make such a big difference, especially when a crisis is going to maybe extend for a longer period of time and you want to make sure that what you’ve got in place can be sustainable. We really want to avoid things like caregiver burnout, because when you’re in this situation as a small business owner and you’re holding multiple different roles, you also want to appreciate that other people also have lives outside of this crisis situation. And what we want to do is create long-term sustainability for support within the life that people are holding. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:15:58] So we want to do this in our business. We want our businesses to be sustainable long-term. We don’t want them to be overly dependent on one person or one key team member, because if something happens to that key team member, then our business is at risk. It’s the exact same thing on the other side. We want to build shared responsibility. We want to have multiple different roles, and we want to have systems that communicate that to those key team members. So I think this was a way that we could really dive into some of the specifics around how we want to support during a crisis, how we can really have some grace with ourselves. So I’m going to finish with that coming all the way back to when you are wanting to be that sole, not the sole person supporting, but when you want to be your best self when it comes to your running the bit of your business with the energy that you have, with the resources that you have, with the time that you do have available, when you are looking at managing that yourself on both sides of this equation with your business and your personal life, it really comes back again to building that foundation, looking after yourself, recognizing that there is a whole team of people that can support both your business and your personal side. And letting them know through systems and through connections on where different people can hold different roles. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:17:25] Coming back to your health, the basics. Are you moving your body? Whether that’s going for a five minute walk or having a quick stretch, or maybe for you, it is continuing to go to the gym or do a more intense exercise to just help move that energy. Making sure that you’re creating a container for sleep and rest. You cannot be available 24/7. And sometimes what happens when we go into crisis, we try to just extend. We burn the candle at both ends, and we start fitting things in to our typical rest times. And I want you to really think about one of the best investments you can make that is going to create sustainable energy for the future no matter what this looks like, is to create consistent containers for rest. Turning off your social media. Taking time to just reset. Take a break. Put your feet up. Close your eyes. Go for a walk, get outside, nap, sleep, whatever that looks like, but creating that container where you can really just let your body rejuvenate. And then making sure that we’re taking time to drink water to stay hydrated. It’s amazing how easy it is to get headaches and to, you know, just get dehydrated, making sure that we’re looking after our food intake and just maintaining the foundation so that we can build from there. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:18:55] So today I wanted to just take some more time, diving into what are some really good tools and resources that you can use as you’re navigating times of challenge or crisis in your personal or in your business life that can really carry both sides. So just a review, recognizing that you’re low on time. So really giving your attention to where it is absolutely needed and where you need to focus in and what needs you specifically. Focusing on what is giving you the best return on your investment. That is both what can you do in the crisis if it’s on your personal side, where are you going to get the best return on your time? As well as in your business. When you’re low on energy, you do what feels easy. Do the things that you’re good at. This is not the time to push into doing what’s hard, because it’s just going to feel harder. Do what’s easy, do what you’re good at, and find people or systems, or delegate or automate the other things to just give you that energy back so things that they can just feel smoother. And then lastly, focus on the foundations. Coming back to what is nurturing your nervous system and your body so that you can create sustainable energy for the long term in your business and your personal life. 

Kari Lotzien: [00:20:19] Thank you so much for being here. I hope this content was valuable. As always, I appreciate that I can give these little tips and resources to you completely free of charge. And for me to keep doing that, the thing that gives me the most return on investment is when you show me that this content is valuable for you by sharing on social media, or by sharing an episode with a friend. This is what builds our community and creates this long-term connection. Thanks so much for being here. We’ll see you next time.

Kari Lotzien: [00:20:54] Please know that this podcast is meant for entertainment purposes only. It is not a substitution for medical or professional mental health advice. If you require support, please do reach out. Thanks so much.