Are you constantly struggling to put yourself and your needs back in the everyday equation? Borrow an idea from one of these inspiring owners or send us your own:

“The consistent thing that always keeps me balanced is running first thing in the morning before work—especially when my kids are out of school and I can get right out of bed, throw on my clothes and shoes and hit the road. If I time it just right, I can see the sunrise ... now that's where it's at.”

—Lynn Meyer; Karma Salon; Athens, Georgia

“This past year has seemed overwhelming! I was spread too thin, working too much, taking care of everyone else. I remember the exact moment I decided I just couldn't do it all anymore. I was behind the chair, working on a client, the phone was ringing, there was a walk-in at the reception area, sales rep at the door ... plus I was running 10 minutes late already! I just stopped. Looked around. Took a breath and thought to myself ... this isn't right. I wouldn't ask this of my team, why am I asking this of myself? I had a vision six and a half years ago when I opened my salon that I wouldn't turn into the ‘spread-too-thin team leader.’ And yet, that's exactly what I was. I went home re-read my mission statement, and visualized my ‘ideal salon’ again. My vision after six and a half years was still the same, but I'd fallen behind on my time frame. I decided I had to get a coach and get back on track. The very next morning, first client of the day ... a life coach! It was a sign! We started our sessions the very next week. I had asked him to be my ‘business coach,’ but what I learned at our very first session was that I needed more overall balance, which meant I needed to take care of ME first, so that I'd then be able to take care of other people and other things. What a difference! In such a short time, I feel better, business is stronger, my team is happier and more productive ... it's all in order! And all because I put ME FIRST!”

—Crescent LoMonaco; Salon Monaco; Carpinteria, California

“As soon as my children’s calendars are printed for the school year, I try and take some of the same days off. This allows for some family time and my clients are not affected because the days are blocked off months in advance.”

—Lora SloanTouche Salon; Libertyville, Illinois

“Being in a high-stress job and heading up a company, here's what helps me to keep the daily stress at a minimum and that feeling of reward and accomplishment at the end of each day as high as possible.

Work out at least 3-4 times a week Cardio, some weights and stretching to help 'decompress.’ This is great 'alone time' where you set your mind free while doing something good and therapeutic for your well-being. 

Leave your work at the salon Once you leave your professional space, focus on the spaces in your personal life that need 'you.' Expand your life circle of friends and acquaintances 'beyond' any work affiliation. There's the 'professional me' and the 'personal me'—two distinctly different entities each needing its own focus and development.”

—Sharon Esche-Irving; Esche & Alexander PR; San Diego, California

“Leaders often feel they must complete everything on their own. It’s simply not realistic. All we end up looking and feeling is crazy. Keep in mind that you didn’t want to wear a clown costume today. Look for ways to save time, energy and money by enlisting the help of others. It may be a friend, co-worker or family member. Openly communicating and delegating to others will ease the stress. People like to help; it makes them feel good. Allow the people in your life to actively participate in the process. When you feel support, you naturally create more grace and ease for yourself."

—Terry Folawn; The Day Spa @ Folawns; San Antonio,Texas 

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