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Deep Dive on ‘Self’

It’s not Selfish, it’s Crucial…

Unsplash.com - John Sting

In a very social world filled with so much noise capable of sidetracking people from accomplishing goals and causing a serious lack of focus, it’s super important that we up our game when it comes to working on ourselves. This article is in no way meant to advise people to be selfish, but it’s meant to ensure that we all take the time to focus on ourselves, our families, work and the community we live in.

I break my commitment to ‘self’ down into 4 core areas that are important to me: my health, my family, my business and what I can give back to the community. Let me dive deeper:

HEALTH

I look at both the mental and physical aspects of my health.

From a mental perspective, I prioritize positivity and mindfulness. When mindfulness meets positivity and optimism, they can unlock some great ideas! I also rely on meditation and dedicating a small amount of time daily to reading in order to help me develop, stay grounded, grateful and to remind myself why I do what I do.

On the physical side, I am committed to breaking a sweat at least 3 times per week, in addition to maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. Diet, for me, is my biggest challenge, especially because I am Italian by blood and with that comes a history of overeating and indulging in large amounts of carbohydrates. Recently, I entertained ways of the Weight Watchers diet and it has actually been working quite well. It particularly does a great job helping me control my portions and tests my commitment to achieving a goal (ex. not exceeding my daily point allowance). And being a goal orientated individual by nature, it keeps me very committed.

No matter how you look at it, Jack Dorsey, Founder of Twitter & Square, puts it best: 

A healthier lifestyle ultimately makes me more creative and allows me to think more cohesively.

As a business leader, business executive or business owner this is extremely important.

FAMILY

Family is everything. Spending time with my family keeps me grounded, focused and motivated to be better and do better. My wife is my support system and my children are my fuel. I prioritize eating dinner together as much as possible and ensure weekends are dedicated to quality time, as much as possible. From time to time, work does occur over the weekend due to the fact that I’ve decided to integrate it with life instead of balancing it. This approach works for me and actually gives me more time to be with my family on weekdays since I am always on top of my tasks, and work efficiently to complete them quickly and concisely. It is important that I am always in control and never playing catch up! Nevertheless, the time I spend with my family constantly reminds me of who I am and who I am working so hard for. My family provides me with strength and support, and challenges me to grow continuously and adapt. For example: someone once told me: “Wow! You’re having kids? You’ll never be a successful entrepreneur”. And my answer to that bold statement was – “Incorrect! I am resilient, I adapt, I adjust and do what I have to do in order to continue doing what I love to do…even if that means going to bed later and waking up earlier. My family is not a deterrent to success, they are an accelerator for success”. Overall, I value my time greatly and make every second count – and every second spent with my family gives me the ability to take action on things in life even when I feel uncertain.

As Chip Wilson, Founder of Lululemon once stated:

You can’t meet your professional goals if your personal life isn’t working.

BUSINESS

As the CEO of BizON, I focus a lot on how myself and my team can develop when it comes to our individual skills and our business. Over time, I’ve identified 5 key areas in which we all need to work on individually, in order to better ourselves and contribute to the growth of the company:

1. Self-awareness: What am I good at? What am I not good at?

2. Self-discipline: Have I removed the negativity in my life? (People, things, hobbies, etc)

3. Self-sacrifice: Is there something else I should be doing instead of what I am currently doing to contribute to my personal and business goals?

4. Self-development: What can I do to get better today, not tomorrow?

5. Self-respect: Do I feel valued? Do I feel appreciated?

As a team, we know that we are in this together, however, in order to contribute value to BizON, everyone needs to be “focused” on ‘self’. I always remind my team to focus on these key areas in order to positively contribute to the growth of our business, and most importantly, ourselves.

COMMUNITY

I truly believe in community involvement. My way of contributing to my community as a business leader is by doing the following:

Mentorship:

I am a mentor for my local Chamber of Commerce. I am currently providing mentorship to 2 powerful and inspiring female entrepreneurs. I have committed to 2 weekly meetings in order to provide as much guidance, advice and best practices as possible, so that they can achieve their business goals and objectives.

#BizCHATS:

I am currently the host of #BizCHATS, a social initiative that is leveraging the growing power of Instagram LIVE stories and BizON’s growing, engaged audience. The goal of this digital program is to have meaningful and insightful conversations with expert guests, increase their profiles and discoverability, and to inspire connections and potential local commerce to occur. I have had the privilege of interviewing high profile guests such as Dragon’s Den’s Michele Romanow and Bruce Croxon. The feedback from the segment has been positive as small business owners, entrepreneurs, franchise owners and professionals are loving the content and format of the chat.

Publications:

Writing this for Thrive Global is a great example!

Speaking Engagements:

I have been on a variety of podcasts, panel discussions and have done numerous presentations for my local Chamber of Commerce, Masterminds and Immigration Welcome Centers. Furthermore, I like to contribute to Startup Chats on Twitter and be an active Alumni at the business school I attended.

Charity:

I truly believe in empowering people, not aiding people. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. This famous proverb is the best way to describe BizON’s commitment to donating to Pencils of Promise – a for-purpose organization that builds schools, trains teachers and funds scholarships. Our hope is to educate, create and inspire more business owners, franchise owners and entrepreneurs.

In the end, my focus on my “self” is crucial to my well-being, my personal and business development, and ultimately how I treat and respect others in my life. We cannot positively contribute to our environment if we are not focused on working on ourselves in order to be the best person we could possibly be. And when we are that person, the people in our path will benefit greatly.

How do you focus on yourself?

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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