If you’re a Highly Sensitive Person, becoming an entrepreneur can be the best way to really thrive. And it can also be a challenge, at least in the beginning. Because HSPs get overwhelmed easily and take quite some time to recover from a negative experience ( such as a critical person offering unsolicited advice), it’s super important
The Ups And Downs of Being An HSP
I’ll never forget the time I bumped into a former teacher of mine and the only thing she said to me ( after not seeing me for 20 years) was ‘ You were always too sensitive.’ No hello, just her attempt at insulting me. Because to many people in society, being ‘sensitive’ is considered a bad thing. And in her mind, I shouldn’t have complained when kids bullied me or were unkind. Strange, but that’s honestly her mentality, and sadly the mentality of most of the teachers at that particular school.
Let’s face it. Being a Highly Sensitive Person in our world can be really rough. In order to thrive we need to stay true to ourselves and protect our feelings.
I’m not particularly proud of the fact that it takes me days or even weeks to recover from something negative that has happened, or that I actually have a physical reaction to stress. Nor do I feel happy that I overreact at times. But this is nonetheless how I was made, and I’m still happy to be me, and work hard at accepting that my nervous system and overall being is extremely sensitive to both environments and people.
As Highly Sensitive People, we shouldn’t be ashamed to be different. It’s society that should be ashamed for not making room for the artists and changemakers that see and feel things differently. Although things are changing!
But the good news is that even for introverts, HSPs, and vanguards, we can have the type of freedom & ease we so crave, thanks to the good ol’ internet making working from home and entrepreneurship easier than ever!
The best thing that HSPs can do is really get to know themselves, and to embrace who they are. There are a few tools that can help you do that, and that can also help you structure your coaching business around your sensitive nature.
Living Forward by Michael Hyatt helps you create a life plan so that you only do things that are in alignment with your desires and goals. This is so crucial because HSPs get extremely unhappy when they’re doing things that don’t feel right. And as a Life or Health Coach, you need to find the best business model for your HSP nature so that you’re not only taking on the right kind of clients but working with them in a way that doesn’t drain you.
Another great book is Life On Purpose by Victor Stretcher. This book had such a tremendous impact on my life and I recommend it to everyone. It will help you see the importance of finding & following your purpose, and dives into studies done on how purpose-driven people do in life & business. There is also a free app available that helps you stay in alignment with your purpose, but I suggest downloading it after you read the book.
Highly Sensitive Entrepreneurs may also benefit from doing Myers-Briggs and enneagram assessments, which are available online.
Knowing yourself well takes time and being gentle on yourself!
Set Up Nourishing Routines
It’s integral that Life & Health Coaches set up nourishing routines, and even more so if you’re an HSP. But I know what you’re thinking.
Elizabeth, that sounds great and I agree. But after a day of trying Momming and trying to grow my coaching biz and doing Discovery Sessions, I barely have time to do the things I need to do as a parent & coach.
I feel you. I really, really do. Back when I had my very first blog ( a family travel site), I was in a very similar season of my life. Things were actually very rough, financially, for our family. We had just moved to Phuket from Italy, and my husband’s job opportunity had fallen through. I took initiative and hustled my butt off at doing the only thing I knew how to do: write.
And I wrote about family travel, homeschooling, and holistic health.
I tried hard to grow my blogging biz in an attempt to sustain us while my husband was seeking employment, to no avail. I was consumed by trying to make ends meet and to take care of my then 3 year old.
But as busy as I was, I should have taken as good care of myself as I do now because I can almost guarantee it would have helped me to be more productive as a writerpreneur.
The types of nourishing routines you set up to help yourself as a highly sensitive entrepreneur may be very different than what I do, but consider the following:
+ Take 20 minutes to meditate/pray
+ Read a book that isn’t related to your biz
+ Make yourself a hot cup of tea and savour it!
+ Take some adaptogenic herbs each day to help you feel more balanced
+ Nap when the kids do
+ Journal for a few minutes each day
+ Watch a movie or new TV series ( like Stranger Things on Netflix)
+ Go for an evening walk
+ Listen to a podcast while doing the laundry or cleaning
+ Diffuse calming essential oils
When I say you need to be selective, I mean about everything you do.
Be intentional about who you choose to hang out with, both online and off. I’m a Highly Sensitive Extrovert and very careful about how much time I spend at events or with large groups of people. I have a zero tolerance policy for hyper critical people who give unsolicited advice that’s really just insults painted with an air of it’s-for-your-own-good. Anyone that’s a negative nancy that just haates the fact I’m an entrepreneur or homeschooling Mom or whatever else they deem isn’t good enough is just not welcome in my life. Period. I’m uber accepting of people and their lifestyles and expect them to be the same with me. I want to lift people up, to the best extent that I can.
You know how our world teaches us to suck it up and deal with negative people and co-workers because they exist and we need to just take the blows they deal us? That’s total BS. If you have a co-worker or boss at your 9 to 5 that sucks big time, you need to get out of there. You can’t change a jerk nor should you have to be around them. Maybe I’m being harsh and I feel so much respect for people like my husband who don’t take anything personally and can deal with mean people with ease, but that’s just not me. And if you’re an HSP, it’s not you either.
This is why entrepreneurship can be a great thing for the sensitive woman: you can build a business around the people who lift you up and by doing the things you enjoy doing.
Think long and hard about what types of services you will offer as a Life/Health Coach ( or freelancer) and make sure both your Ideal Client Avatar and the way in which you deliver your services are a perfect match for you energetically.
Do you feel good when you work one on one with clients, or does that overwhelm you?
Would you prefer working with your Ideal Client for a 6 month period, or maybe only short term?
Or would you like to only do small group coaching or online workshops?
It took me about two years to realize that while I love working with my VIP coaching clients, I prefer to work only with a few at a time. I’d rather spend the bulk of my time creating content and doing freelance writing projects. This is the perfect balance for me.
An excellent, must-read book about doing less is Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Doing Less by Greg McKeown. This book is soooo good because it stresses the importance of doing work that matters, and to eliminate that which is meaningless or doesn’t amount to much.
Establish Work Hours
Entrepreneurs can hustling their lives away, if they’re not careful. Remember that while you’re trying to grow your coaching biz, you also need to have a life. A great way to find that work-life balance so many of us struggle with is the set specific work hours for your biz, then let your family & friends know you can’t be disturbed during those hours. I happen to work best in the evening, when my daughter is in bed. I do coaching sessions in the early evening my time, or late afternoon. The rest of my day is devoted to my family and to self-improvement/study and my nourishing routines.
As I mentioned above, I have had various seasons where I worked more and was in full on hustle mode. I’m now using an ‘essentialist’ approach and try to get super focused on what will help me grow my biz, and avoid overwork by limiting how often I’m on time/energy zapping sites (like Facebook).
Are you an Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur? Let us know about your journey in the comments below!