Startup Lessons Learned: Put Yourself First

#Tips for Startups

As a startup, I’ve learned a lot of lessons in the past eight months. Lessons that I will keep with me for the rest of my life, and that guide me every day. Since starting a communications agency back in January 2013, I’ve learned to accept the ever-present reality of change, and the fact that some things just never will.

It’s been a whirlwind. It’s been exciting. It’s been exhausting. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. At the same time, I want to be real here: Launching a startup is hard work.

One of the biggest lessons that I’ve been learning, is the importance of putting yourself first. Meaning, you have to take care of yourself because no one else is going to do it for you. You have to dive in, headfirst everyday, and do what needs to be done. And what needs to be done, is to make sure you can look another day square in the eyes, and see success staring back at you.

Start in the Morning

I’ve found that if I don’t get up earlier than necessary, I will not put myself first. One of the biggest keys to success every day for me is to get up before 6 AM. I get up, spend time reading, then move onto blogging. Both of these acts allow me to invest in myself first thing, which then gives me energy and creativity needed to achieve success daily.

Because so much of what I do is online and in email, it’s essential for me to get a head-start before everyone else begins emailing me. This gives me a great sense of control, and I feel ahead of the game each and every day that I start by investing in myself in this way.

I’m not perfect at this routine but on the days when I keep to this schedule, I am most productive and feel the most filled.

Belle Communications: Work on Yourself

Invest in Your Health

Believe it or not, this task as harder for me than getting up early in the morning. Waking up before it is required has always been hard for me and it may always be. Even more difficult, though, is making the time to invest in myself physically on a daily basis.

Somehow there’s always a number of “reasons” not to workout. The cold, hard, truth is that you cannot be truly successful without investing in your health on a daily basis. There’s no way around it, and when you look at the benefits,  there’s just no contest.

The ROI (return on investment) of working out every day, is crazy. You can wake up earlier, get more done, think clearer, feel increased energy, decrease stress and gain a much-needed mental break. There is just no excuse not to invest in yourself in this way.
So, just do it.

Put Yourself First — Every Day.

There will always be “hot” Items on your to do list at a startup. There will be meetings to attend, and new business to win. Stressful scenarios can pop-up by the minute some days, and facing each, takes precision focus, creativity and even diehard determination at times. That’s just the startup way. It’s lacing up your boots, and making success happen. And, it’s more rewarding than any other risk I’ve taken within my career, and I wouldn’t trade this experience for any amount of money, sleep or spare time.

I’m a startup, and I’m putting myself first.

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Kate is an entrepreneur and award-winning public relations influencer based in Columbus, Ohio. She founded Belle Communications with the vision to inspire meaningful work and thriving relationships for her clients, team and self. Kate oversees business development and client strategy, championing tactics that translate into tangible outcomes. Within the past year, she has been recognized as one of PR News' Top Women in PR, Smart Business Network's "Smart 50" Class of 2016 and Columbus Business First's Forty Under 40 Class of 2016. When she’s not busy being a girl boss, Kate enjoys exploring new cities and beaches, eating Paleo and any opportunity to snuggle a puppy or shop.