When people learn I created The Original Worm and am a pretty much one-woman business, they are often impressed and think the life of an entrepreneur offers much more freedom and ease than working for someone else.
Well I have to tell you, it’s not as glorious as it may seem.
It’s a lot of hours, a lot of riding a roller coaster of thrills and anxiety and EVERYTHING is on you, EVERY day!
I think the key to managing the highs and lows is a good, balanced lifestyle.
The hardest thing I had to learn was to unplug and not work!. When you run your own business, and it’s run out of a home office, it’s easy to get sucked into working 24/7. Especially in these days where social media has become an integral way to expose your brand to the masses. The pressure to get the posts out and the constant checking to see how many likes and interaction my posts got would cause me a lot of anxiety. It’s easy to feel like your self worth is tied to how many people like your posts. I learned that limiting the amount of posting to several times a week as opposed to several times a day does not make or break me personally or businesswise and relieved a lot of stress.
Unplugging from social media, email and work tasks is imperative. Scheduling breaks by walking my dog, visiting friends, going to work out made a big difference. Taking days off is equally as important (and hard)! It took me a couple of years to feel comfortable taking a day or two off a week, not to mention a vacation. Now, when I do, I am always relaxed and more clear headed and can function better as a result.
EAT CLEAN AND SLEEP
I’ve always eaten reasonably clean, but have had my binge moments of too much sugar or one too many cocktails, etc. which left me feeling lethargic. I’ve learned that by eating whole, clean foods and drinking tons of water makes a big difference on my energy level.
Along with this, the right amount sleep is so important to my mood. After all the work and working out, my body is worn down and needs to rejuvenate. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep is the key for me waking up, with the energy and spirit to take on the day!
MEDITATION AND EXERCISE
Exercise is something that comes easier to me as I have always been physically active and it is imperative to stress relief in my life. Meditation is more of a challenge, but I’ve found yoga and rowing have been a great blend of exercise with the meditation component built in. This goes back to unplugging and turning of the work grind and calming the mind and body.
Rowing is a great meditation for me. I am lucky to live in a place where there is a river and rowing businesses nearby. I especially love getting on the water at sunrise. There is something about being on the water, watching the sun rise and being among nature that is so soothing to my mind and body. When I make an effort to pay attention to all my senses while I’m out there, it is relaxing and gets my creative juices flowing. I’ve had some of my best ideas on a boat!
I also love boxing! High intensity workouts where you get to hit stuff is a great stress reliever! And, while you are doing that you cannot think of anything else!
Because I spent a good part of my life swimming competitively, competing in triathlons, boxing, practicing yoga and various other physical activities, I’ve also experienced a lot of wear and tear on my body.
This along with my previous life in advertising and package design gave me the idea to create a product of my own. Something that would provide relief to people of all shapes and sizes, easy to use and versatile. On one of those mornings out on the river I came up with the idea of The Original Worm. The fact you can use The Worm at the office, at the gym, at home or while you drive in the car, makes it the perfect tool for the multi-tasking life jugglers, like me who need to get relief from sore, stressed out muscles and joints while on-the-go.
Now, 4 years later I am happy to say that my portable little roller not only provides me with tons of relief, but to many others all over the world! Hearing stories from others on how much The Worm has relieved stress and pain from their lives makes it all worthwhile. So regardless of the stress and anxiety that comes with owning your own business, if you learn to manage it, you are a success!
Karen Atkins is the owner of Wormwide Products LLC and the creator of The Original Worm. Wormwide Products is an Austin based startup featuring its debut product, The Original Worm.
Due to her active lifestyle and constant need for recovery aids that are effective and easy to use, Karen combined her expertise in packaging & graphic design with her knowledge of body care and movement to come up with her first product, The Original Worm. Karen was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised on Long Island. She attended Arizona State University with a BFA in Graphic Design. She has also resided in Los Angeles, Lake Tahoe and Mammoth Lakes, CA. Karen has worked and lived in Austin for 10 years, moving to Austin from New Orleans in 2005 after hurricane Katrina.
For more info about The Original Worm click here.