The old-school ‘hustle and grind’ is on the out and the new wave of success is entering—set with a positive mindset, knowing the value of self-care, and doing what you love.
Lauren Armes, Business Coach and Founder of Welltodo, has grown a business she never imagined herself having, from something that didn’t exist in the UK to the profitable (and increasingly global) six-figure business it is today—all in just six years.
Doing work you love
She’s a firm believer that everyone should be doing work they love and has set about a mission to make that happen.
I know what it’s like to feel that disconnect between the work you do and your personal passions. If what we do [at Welltodo] can enable more people to align those two things, then we’ve succeeded. I have a strong belief that you can do what you love and make money, whether that’s starting a career or changing job.
And while Lauren has built a business she loves, it doesn’t mean that the ‘ride’ has always been easy. As her website bio reads “I’ve been down to a double-digit bank balance and asked myself (tears streaming) whether it’s all really worth it.”
Having built a brand that has wellness written all over it, I wanted to know how she manages the need to stay ‘well’ in her own life whilst balancing a growing business.
Staying well amongst busy
She said instead of buying into the busy and stress that could easily take over, she’s learned that growing a business takes relentless optimism. She tries to catch herself when she’s feeling like she hasn’t ‘done enough’ and instead focuses on what she has achieved that day.
And while the culture of busy still exists, this advice is key for anyone experiencing stress regardless of whether they’re running a wellness business or progressing their own career. Given the brain’s natural negativity bias, many people will spend more time focused on everything they’re not achieving which can lead to even more stress.
Slowing down to speed up
The Health and Safety Executive calculated that over half a million workers suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2017-18, making Lauren’s quick ‘mindset reframe’ even more essential.
Lauren’s advice for anyone feeling some of these pressures or wanting to get ‘unstuck’ from that busy trap, is that it’s often a counterintuitive process to slow right down in order to speed up.
Something she admits she struggles with at times, although now knows to plan things well in advance and ask for support from her team in order to have that space to herself. Your own self-care and putting your needs first is essential when it comes to business (and arguably your advancing career and even life itself).
The temptation is to go a hundred miles an hour (and society typically glorifies ‘busy’) but it’s also important to establish whether what you’re spending your time doing is actually the best use of your time, is creating the foundations for a sustainable business, and to constantly be evaluating whether or not you’re still enjoying what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to put yourself first for a little while.
People want more meaningful work
It’s clear people’s needs from work (and life) are changing—they’re seeking a different lifestyle that integrates more meaningful work. A Harvard Business Review article late last year, co-authored by world renown expert on the relationship between happiness and success, Shawn Anchor, reported nine out of ten people would even take less pay to do more meaningful work.
Welltodo started as a business to pull together a disparate (at the time) and growing, number of wellness brands, influencers, and investors. Now, it’s also serving this fast-increasing group who also want to love what they do—connecting passionate people to incredible jobs.
Aligning your values
Lauren’s personal and professional success is a testament to this possibility. Before starting Welltodo, she craved her own sense of flexibility and doing something that aligned with her personal values. Having this month just returned from an extended period in Australia (yes, still working), she says she’s now bringing to life a lifestyle she’s been visualizing for years.
Powerful tools for success
While she does experience stress and anxious thoughts—she’s quick to reframe them and says she’s armed with “some powerful tools”, from meditation, through to a call with a friend, or simply quiet journal time.
Lauren says when she finds herself worrying, her biggest question is “how can I make this easier for myself?”, believing that life itself is to be enjoyed. Which is fitting advice for today’s International Day of Happiness, that celebrates happiness as a fundamental human right, that your success and true wellness lies in enjoying what you do.
Lauren Armes is one of eight UK ‘Women In Wellness’ I interviewed in 2019 across different types and stages of business, to understand how they are growing successful businesses whilst bringing balance and well-being into their own lives. The remaining articles will be published throughout March in celebration of International Women’s Day.
First published on Forbes.com 20 March 2019.