Bottom Line Up Front: CEO of EnvisionTees Tom Rauen is here to share his top tips for finding success, and they all start with developing your own wellbeing. With insight straight from one of the industry’s best, this breakdown will have you thinking differently about what you bring to the table — and it’ll help you start seeing real-world results.
This might not be the tactical information you’re used to reading on here, but for my first 2020 article with InkSoft, I figured I’d mix things up a little. There’s tons of merit to reading about the practical side of things — tips for running your operations, increasing your sales, and sharpening your marketing know-how — but there’s just as much merit to focusing on the softer skills.
I’m a firm believer that success starts from you. It starts from the inside. Your ability to navigate problems as they arise, manage a team of individuals, and capture the attention — and trust — of customers comes down to who you are.
Are you effective under pressure? Are you empathetic to your staff? Are you a reliable leader — even when things start going askew?
As an entrepreneur, I know how easy it is to get caught up in the daily grind. To keep striving for the next thing, or to spend every minute hustling — trying to keep heads above the water. It’s actually much easier to get stuck in that go-go-go cycle than it is to take the time to pause. But pausing gives you something that a 24/7 hustling mentality won’t: it gives you time to reflect.
Time to catch your breath, and time to learn from your experience.
In this article, I’ll talk about two areas for development that have helped me massively in my time as EnvisionTees’s CEO. The areas? Self-care and Mindset. While both might trigger your ‘buzzword radar’ — especially in the times we find ourselves in now — let me assure you that there’s real, tangible value that comes from giving them a chance. Let’s take a look at how.
What Self-Care Means for Entrepreneurs
In the past couple of years, the notion of self-care has become one that’s pushed itself into everyday life and popular culture. Where there used to be a harsh stigma around mental health, now our perspective is one of open-mindedness, curiosity, and empathy — and while we’re still far from perfect, understanding and attending to ‘brain health’ has become a cultural priority.
I’m a strong believer of brain health lending itself to the power of forward momentum, both when it comes to business life and when it comes to personal life. Knowing how to strengthen your brain health is a skillset that will serve you throughout your day-to-day — and it’ll also set you up for success in the long-term. Self-care should be your go-to strategy for optimizing it.
What is self-care? It’s actually pretty simple. Self-care is the act of taking care of yourself by taking care of your mind, your body, and your soul — all through engaging in activities that promote wellbeing and reduce stress.
We’re all different, so your self-care might look different than my self-care, and my self-care might look different than hers. The purpose isn’t to check boxes or follow formulas; it’s to find what works for you and stick with it.
Examples of self-care could be running, or yoga, or surfing. It could be meditating, or playing an instrument, or taking the time to sit still in nature. There are no rules, and there are no requirements — all that matters is that you’re taking moments out of your day to feed your own needs. You’re giving yourself the space to pause, the space to reflect, and the space to notice what it is you’ve been neglecting inside yourself. And when we’re able to step back and make sure we’re doing the things we need to be doing for our physical, emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing? That’s when we start seeing results.
If you’ve heard of the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” you know that hustling until you’re running on empty isn’t useful to anyone. Least of all yourself. When everything is urgent and rushed, small problems become big ones and your capacity to deal with them with a fresh outlook is diminished.
That’s why it’s crucial to strike a balance in your everyday life. A balance between the time you spend on work, the time you spend on your family, and the time you take for yourself. Find the moments that recharge you and don’t underestimate their power — because when you have a rested, cared for brain, you’re equipped to meet your strongest potential.
In conclusion of self-care: a rejuvenated mind is a successful mind. Self-care gives you the mini-escapes you need to approach each day with a clear head — and the readiness to take on any challenge.
Mindset For Success
The second area for development that I think all entrepreneurs — and people at large who want to see success — should focus on is mindset. It’s not just something you learn about in Psych 101, and it’s not just another fad in the world of self-help. Your mindset really does have the power to change everything.
Just like I’m a firm believer in the benefits of self-care, I’m also a firm believer in the real-world effects of a positive mindset. And not just a positive mindset — but an abundance mindset.
What is an abundance mindset? Here are some core traits:
- Instead of believing that there’s never enough (opportunity, potential, sales), you believe that there’s always more out there.
- Instead of keeping your knowledge, network, and ideas to yourself, you’re happy to spread the wealth to help others reach their potential.
- Instead of being suspicious or unopen to building new connections, you strike up conversations and build trust with new people easily.
- Instead of resenting your competition, you welcome them — competition breeds growth, and you’ll be strengthening the industry together.
- Instead of wondering how you can deliver with the least amount of effort, you wonder how you can deliver more than what’s expected, going above and beyond.
- Instead of being pessimistic or fearful about the future, you’re full of optimism — knowing that more opportunities, more success, and more to be excited about is on its way.
- Instead of thinking small and avoiding risk, you think BIG, knowing that risk is necessary to reap the rewards.
- Instead of feeling and operating out of entitlement or fear, you know that you’re where you are because of the people and opportunities that’ve helped you along the way. You’re grateful, you’re confident, and you’re ready to keep moving forward.
When you start shifting your perspective — how you think about the big things and how you think about the little things — you actually start to reshape what you’re capable of. And that’s when you start seeing real-world results.
It’s as simple as not having your whole day derailed by a misprinted order or a customer complaint, but it’s also as vast as giving you the framework and the confidence you need to make big-picture decisions. When you lead with a positive, abundance-oriented mindset, you’re leading with the quiet, sturdy belief in yourself. In your team. And in your capabilities.
Speaking of your team, a big part of your mindset comes from the mindsets of those around you. If you’re surrounded by negative thoughts, closed-minded opinions, and an unwillingness to learn and to grow, the odds are that some of that will gain entry into your own mind — no matter how positive it is. It’s impossible not to be affected by the people around us; mindsets are infectious, and the mindsets of the people you spend the most time with should be taken seriously.
Because if they’re not, your success is at stake. Positive and abundance mindsets actually work to create opportunity for you — but the reverse can be said about negative mindsets. So don’t let them in. Think about the people you interact with most — in your office and outside it — and contemplate whether they bring positivity into your life. If they don’t, consider sharing the traits listed above with them, and letting them in on the mindset strategy.
Nobody’s born with an abundance mindset. Negative thoughts and fears are natural, and they’re not something to be ashamed of. But the process of working through them, of rewiring your instincts and breeding opportunities as a result, is certainly something to be proud of.
It takes a lot of work, I’ll be honest with you. It’s not just about focusing on what you need to be doing, it’s also a lot of focusing on the things you’re doing that you need to stop. Through experiencing, reflecting, and learning — about yourself and about your business — you’ll be positioned perfectly for growth.
But the positive mindset doesn’t end with you. Like I said: mindsets are contagious, so use yours to affect change with the people around you. Brainstorm with your team, write down goals and ideas somewhere everyone can see them, and get the whole office in on shooting for the stars. Once you discover that the only thing standing in the way to opportunity is yourself, results become inevitable.
In conclusion of mindset: better operations, better interactions, and better business starts with you. Get your perspective right, and success will find you.
Succeeding As an Entrepreneur
To wrap things up, I’ll tell you about one more benefit to working on those areas for self-development. Remember how I mentioned mindsets are contagious? Well, people who maintain a positive, healthy, abundance-oriented mindset actually attract others. They pull them in. That means that securing top talent, locking in new customers, and even generating a larger social media presence are all easier — and more fruitful — when you have the right mindset behind you.
And guess what? A big component to developing that mindset is giving yourself the time you need away from the chaos. In other words: self-care. Yes, it’s no coincidence that it’s all a cycle — but it’s also no coincidence that opportunities are the byproduct.
Self-care helps you rewire your perspective to think positively, confidently, and creatively. A positive mindset helps you invite the best tribe of people you want to work with — and for — into your fold. And the whole feed-loop gives you a way to achieve results that would’ve never been possible otherwise.
Like I said, success begins on the inside. When you start prioritizing the power of your wellbeing, I think you’ll be blown away by what you see.