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Top 12 ways to support local small businesses - Fitness Challenge - Self-Acceptance Body Scan

I started into the business market back in 2013 after tiring out of season-to-season work (Irrigation Summer/ Snow Removal Winter). I've also had a hard time securing myself within workplaces; I was either teased by management, surrounded by aggressive ownership or environments (which being a highly sensitive person doesn't help), or the position didn't match my passion. I figured out a long time ago... I enjoyed doing various work tasks, having a flexible schedule, and needed multiple income streams to outlast a changing market. This does involve ample focus which is why organization, task lists, and calendar reminders are a saving grace.

My first company provided business assistance to various industries and small business owners; the step before hiring a full or part-time employee. I worked on a casual, flexible basis and within the business owners budget. I enjoyed the journey I was able to grow through. I worked as a website builder, designer, content writer, sponsorship coordinator, receptionist, business consultant, researcher, marketer, cold calling associate, events manager, network representative, and much more... it provided me with a lot of experience in many industries and I met some really great people. I ran that company until 2016 when I shut it down to work under a company I thought would be my retirement plan. Through a series of unfortunate events, I found my self unemployed again 2 days after my Dad's funeral. Technical business didn't quite have the same heart I was looking for anyway... so I've learned to view that transition as a blessing. What was truly important became apparent... life over business. That's when I found Personal Training - it was a way to take control of my own health and help others along the journey too. I also needed a more human approach to business... no marketing gimmicks, hefty price tags, or empty promises. Just my knowledge, education I could afford (without extreme debt on a paycheck to paycheck living), and I started to feel the passion behind business again, instead of feeling it necessary to keep up with the 'applied system' of sales.

Now, most people these days, through Covid-19, are experiencing systematic burnout. The old measures of business aren't exactly working anymore in an upturned economy. We have to think outside the box, look deeper into our client's core needs, and be reasonable with our profit margins. Local heart should be the forefront.

Support (in my definition) is showcasing, showing up, or sharing someone else's passion without expectation. You're filling a need they either didn't know they needed or bringing benefit to them without obligation or expectation.

Here is my list to help support the local small businesses (and people) you know:

  1. Acknowledge Their Efforts - say... "I've seen the posts you've been doing recently, great job!" ..."the effort you have been showcasing is amazing"... or simply let them know you can see how incredibly hard they have been working. Being seen can make a difference in someone's perseverance, especially throughout the hard times.

  2. Offer Gentle Critiques or Ideas - ask first on this. An outside perspective looking in sees things that may be overlooked but can also forget the emotional, mental, and physical sacrifices made. Perhaps they've already been considered. This is why I say, be gentle and ask if they would appreciate suggestions. Owning a business is hard... accepting unexpected criticism can be mighty defeating.

  3. Ask How You Can Help - Volunteer without being Volun-told. A friend or local business you care about shouldn't have to beg for support. Ask occasionally if you can doing anything to help and follow through with their request if you can. Sometimes they may say 'no' out of guilt or not want to bother you... in this moment, you can take it upon yourself to offer a specific task or (in some cases) just do something.

  4. Find Out All Of Their Current Services - Especially right now there are so many new programs or incentives being rolled out to match the economy... take it upon yourself to find out everything being offered. That way you know if you come across someone who may need their services. Grab some business cards and help refer ideal clients.

  5. Invest In Them - This can be as simple as donating money toward their efforts. Another way is to spend money with them, for their services or products. It is important, even more so now, to put our dollars into the pockets of our friends. Think of the money you spend on international or commercially marketed items or services... is there something (or someone) you could invest in closer to home?

  6. Leave Reviews - Search them out on Google, on social media, share recommendations after reading, trying, or experiencing their product or service. A kind word can do wonders to a small business... make it a regular habit to leave reviews.

  7. Tell People About Them - This is similar to reviews but you act more like a supportive representative. Talk about your friends business or a local company with heart that you know. Word of Mouth is an important part of business. It's authentic.

  8. Demonstrate Support Vocally - Goes hand in hand with the last point too. Use your voice to show support... not just to potential clients either. Sometimes it's nice for the owner (or friend) to know how much you're spreading the word. People tend to believe in themselves more when someone else believes in them too. Remember that, especially if someone you care about goes silent after a lot of visible effort.

  9. Be Consistent In Your Efforts - This is where we falter a lot of time. It's nice to show up once or twice, but the difference is made when you're a personal cheerleader. Find a local business that matches your passion, your interest, or your direction, grab your pom-poms, and start showing up regularly; investment, word of mouth, or assistance.

  10. Actively Market With Them - Seems a lot the same as my other points but there is a slight increased degree of effort. To actively market you wear, carry, or attend. This means to become a live billboard for them; sticker on your car, clothing with their logo, go to events they are hosting, give away marketing products for them. Many options.

  11. Expect Less, Be Forgiving - I include this because sometimes we get comfortable expecting more for less from people we know and sure sometimes it does help to have connections. But, to support local, doesn't mean to complain to get credit... expect items for free... get comfortable paying less... or spread the word of a bad experience (obviously if it was serious then it's your own discretion). Perhaps the issue can be solved behind the scenes, maybe it was a one-time oversight, and heck they may even be a sole proprietor dealing with serious life situations and stressors. Refocus from commercial, over-marketed, 'perfection' and realize we are all human making our way through this messy world.

  12. Share Their Story - Does their story inspire you? Do they inspire you? Is there something you know that is super impressive about them? Do they develop content you can share? ...learn to support each other like your favorite celebrity. At least, your local business (or friend) may thank you personally.

There are many ways to show support.

It takes attention to our own actions.

Where are you putting your money, your word, your support?

Today's task, find a small, local, business to acknowledge and support.

Fitness Focus: SCAN: how does your body feel?

A body scan is a way to take a moment and check-in with how you are feeling. Not in an emotional sense, but in a temperature, aches, pains, relief, appearance sort of way. It takes a few moments to focus and can be a great tool to understanding ourselves more.

To perform a Body Scan (3-Parts - Sense, Vision, Touch):

This may seem like a strange task and heck it kind of is. We aren't used to slowing down and reconnecting with ourselves intimately. I created this exercise (combining meditation, sensory input, and positive self vision) to give us the opportunity to be at peace with who we are right now, feel a sense of home in our own skin, and listen (tune-in) to our body. I have the pen and paper with me to write down self-care habits I'd like to work on, any changes I come across, and positive affirmation statements.

  • Scan from head to toe, you can take your time or do this quickly if you wish. The first few times I spent longer to learn, now it's a less time intensive check-in with myself. Use internal sense first (mental perception). It is helpful to close your eyes so you can recruit more of your mind's focus onto the objective, but you can keep your eyes open if that's more comfortable. Try to sense any hot or cold spots, nerve tingling, tightness, tension, soreness... feel your whole body as much you can surface layer, bones, muscles... even organs sometimes. It's about acknowledgement without trying to change anything, accepting just as we are, right now. Tell yourself, and any discomfort, it is okay to let go... to feel better. Remember to breathe.

  • Then step in front of a mirror. Use your eyes to go over yourself (free from judgement)... creases, lines, identifiers, blemishes, colors, marks, modifications, scars. You can do this clothed or naked. Thank yourself for carrying you all these years.

  • Next use touch. Run your fingers gently over your body head to toe... note the texture and temperature of your skin as you go from your face to your neck, down your arms to your fingers, across your torso, and down your legs to your toes. Clothed of Unclothed. Once you've completed this say a positive affirmation or statement to yourself out loud. Something like: "I'm proud of you for the journey we have taken together so far". "Look at all we have been through, thank you for seeing me through". Or... "We can work it all out, I appreciate and acknowledge where we are right now".

**If you have underlying self-confidence or trauma related challenges you can work up to each step in this process. If anything is too uncomfortable or affects you negatively, its okay to stop. Emotion can be a friend, but all in our own time. For further help towards self-love, it's okay to ask for help. We all have the right to know our worth... you are valuable by just being you, in your own skin, the way you are. We can all work towards that smile in the mirror again. Click <HERE> for more resources in one of my previous blogs.

We have all been through so much... being alive is a blessing.

Well Day 19... how are you doing?

Any questions, message me anytime.

Once you've completed the day... comment below with your findings and progress, I'd love to support you while we challenge ourselves one day at a time. #DayOneAlways mentality with #believeagainfitness effort will create the #healthylifestyle consistency we need. Social media hashtag #februaryfitnesschallenge2021 and be sure to have FUN.

We've got this together.

🌹 Take care all and much love.


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