Tension Headaches – An Entrepreneur’s Worst Nightmare

(I used to feel like this dude ever day!)

For a long time, I was plagued with constant headaches. They weren’t as painful as migraines, but they occurred every day, all day. I tried everything to cure them. That included banging my head against the wall and popping tylenol capsules like tic-tacs. Unfortunately, nothing worked!

After speaking to a few friends who had the same headaches, stress levels and hectic schedule I did, I came to the realization that these headaches were simply a symptom of our busy lifestyles. Stress is the number one cause of these types of headaches. I finally found a cure, and it didn’t come in the form of a pill.

Put simply, I had to learn how to “chill.” Here is a few things I did to rid myself of this problem:

  1. Stop taking pills and start drinking more water. For all those people taking pain relievers and chasing them down with massive amounts of coffee (you know who you are!), stop! Tylenol doesn’t help and caffeine can actually spur on these types of headaches.
  2. Go Rag Doll at least 3 times a day. This works! At least 3 times a day, you need to find a quiet place, completely relax your body, take deep breathes and work on clearing your mind. Do this for no less than 5 minutes. When I say rag doll, I really mean it. After doing this enough, you’ll learn how to relax every muscle in your body, which can relieve headaches, stress and anxiety. When you become “stressed”, a process in your body referred to as a “cascade of cortisols” begins. This process basically puts your body into a flight or flee mode thereby creating anxiety. The rag doll exercise relieves this.
  3. Workout! Whether it be calisthenics in your living room or a brief jog down the street. Physical exercise is crucial to living a healthy lifestyle and it will help relieve that nasty tension causing those headaches.
  4. Make sure the A/C is working. A warm work environment doesn’t help and can actually be counter productive.
  5. Most importantly, take a step back. Whenever I got a headache, my first instinct was to power through it and continue working. Just ignore the pain. Right?? Wrong! Your productivity falls more than you think. These headaches are your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Your body is saying “Hello?! Are you there? I need attention and if I don’t get it, I’m gonna kick your ass!” So try to lighten your workload and spend a little more time on you. Don’t worry, the work isn’t going anywhere! :)

These are the steps I took to decrease my anxiety and headaches, and I’m confident they can help you. These are things I learned from personal experience, not from google searches. There are no magic pills or quick cures.

I’d love to hear some of your remedies as well. Feel free to send them to me and I will post them for the rest of the readers!

Fight, Flee or Just Plain Panic!

Rome was not built in a day. Yea I know…so cliché, but so true. No matter what kind of business you plan on starting, the beginning is not going to go smooth. It never does and it never will.

Whether it is a restaurant or a dotcom, things just pop up and cause headaches. The only thing one needs to remember when this occurs is to stay calm and find solutions.

We unveiled our new menu tonight at my restaurant and it was chaos! It reminded me of our grand opening two years ago. Food was flying in all directions in the kitchen, customer wait times were exceeding 40 mins (yikes!), employees were getting into fights with each other and numerous other problems occurred. But as a seasoned entrepreneur, all I did was observe and learn.

Don’t try to fix all the problems at once. You’ll have a heart attack or your head will explode (seriously). Begin fixing problems or as I like to call them “inefficiencies” one at a time.

A clipboard and a calm demeanor can do wonders when observing your business (that not so well oiled machine) in action. I’ve noticed time and time again that many business owners get caught up in quickly “band-aiding” the problem instead of trying to understand why the problem occurred in the first place. That’s a total rookie move, and it took me 10 years to figure that out.

So when the sh%# hits the fan, just step aside, plug your nose and endure. If you keep a cool head and fix the cause of  the problems, everything will be just fine.

 

Pop Ups

Funny Artwork

Well if I had seen this before I opened a bakery / cafe, I may have thought twice! I came across this while surfing google images looking for funny bakery artwork.

I had a meeting with a friend of mine today who is a business consultant doing some work for me. He brought up a term that I had to laugh at called “Pop Ups.” And while we weren’t discussing the internet, these pop ups are just as annoying.

He was referring to the sometimes relentless pace at which problems can arise while operating a business. Now I’m not talking about big problems. I’m talking about the little tedious tasks that can sometimes swallow up your time like a fat mid-westerner at a hot dog eating contest.

A quick summary of my day today: We’re out of receipt paper, we need it quick…a customer just called in and wants a different cake, they’ll be here in 3o minutes…repair guys are here to fix the walk-in freezer, wouldn’t it be funny if the health inspector came today…the health inspector just got here…we ran out of lettuce, can you get some…oh, we’re out of sugar too, can you go back…the phone lines are down…there goes the internet…what!? Our credit card machine is hooked up to the internet…one of your vendors is here to yell at you…make that two vendors…can you go to Home Depot real quick…oh, you already went, can you go back? I forgot about payroll, oh well…gotta do the books, pay the bills, count the drawers, open the mail, get change and somewhere in there consume about 4oo calories for the day.

Yes, this was my day today, and this was only half of it. The point of the story is this, get an assistant! Ha ha…I’m just kidding. The truth is, all business owners will have to deal with this in one way or another. The restaurant business just happens to be one of the best at creating these problems. But there’s always problems in every business, whether it be brick and mortar or virtual. This is where delegation comes into play. If one were to focus entirely on these tedious little tasks, you would never get anything done.

Sometimes I feel so discouraged from having to deal with these problems over and over, but that’s where the strength of being an entrepreneur and a self starter comes into play. Learn from everything! And never stop fighting…running your own business is not an easy task, and it’s much harder to give effective orders than to take them.

Busy Body Fitness Tip #1

Workout

A healthy mind requires a healthy body. That goes for everyone, whether they’re an entrepreneur or not. These days, most don’t have the time or energy to actually make it to the gym. They use that as an excuse for not working out.

But who says you need to workout in a gym?? You can turn your office, bedroom, living room or just about any other room into a temporary workout area.

Here’s what you need:

My workout routine consists of 15 minutes of jump rope to get my heart pumping, followed by 3 to 4 circuit training cycles consisting of:

  • Leg lifts
  • Push-ups
  • Regular sit ups (use your couch to anchor your feet)
  • Pull ups
  • Stationary lunges while holding dumbbells at side
  • Standing shoulder press with dumbbells
  • Bicep curls

Try not to rest in between exercises, but allow yourself 2-3 minutes of rest between circuits. As you progress you may add repetitions or weight to each exercise, but always remember quality or quantity. Ten repetitions in perfect form will be much harder and more beneficial than twenty repetitions in bad form.

Do this 3 – 4 times a week and I promise you will be feeling better and thinking clearer in less than a month.