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Self-Storage Owners: If You Want Your Business and Staff to Flourish, Prioritize Your Own Well-Being

Self-Storage Owners: If You Want Your Business and Staff to Flourish, Prioritize Your Own Well-Being
Times have been tough, but as a business owner, you can’t afford to languish in a rut. A self-storage veteran encourages fellow operators to focus on personal well-being as the best route to improved staff performance and professional growth.

What are you doing today to become the person you want to be tomorrow? This question has been on my mind during the coronavirus pandemic. Business and personal development are intricately linked, and as I spend so much time helping others learn the self-storage industry, I sometimes forget to focus on my own growth.

I’m sure other facility owners fall into the same trap. The problem is, if you’re feeling weary and unmotivated, it’ll show up in your operation, negatively impacting employee performance and business growth. To help counter the effects, one of the most important things you can do is pay attention to how you’re feeling and make your own well-being a priority.

This means getting the rest you need, whether it’s a good night’s sleep or down time during the day. It means eating food that nourishes, and righting your mental and physical balance with movement and exercise.

Spending time with people who energize you is also critically important. Many of us spend the majority of our time with folks who take all our energy and give nothing back. Honestly, if you have employees who suck the life out of your organization, it’s time for them to find their joy elsewhere.

To keep the right frame of mind, it’s important to carve out time and enjoy the simple things you choose. Do more activities that feel good and get you smiling. It’s been a long 10 months. Most of us don’t laugh enough.

Push Forward

As a business owner, it’s dangerous to stay stuck, knowing you have specific goals and dreams but feeling like you’re powerless to do anything to achieve them. What you do today determines where you’ll be in a month, three months, six months and even a year from now. Personally, I’m challenging myself to get specific about how I want to grow and develop in 2021. There are areas of my business I’m going to work on and new things I want to learn.

To drive your business forward, think about the challenges you should give yourself and your self-storage teams. It’s amazing and rewarding to see a goal develop or feel your skills and proficiency improve. It helps solidify the belief that progress is tangible, and you have the power to change things in your life that may often seem fixed or permanent.

There will be down days, but you have to push through! Don’t fall prey to negative thinking. Don’t take the easy way out by listening to internal narratives that limit success, such as:

  • I’ll never be good at X.
  • I’ll never learn how to do X.
  • I’ll never make it as a consultant, area manager, site manager, etc.
  • I’ve never been good at making or saving money.
  • I’ll never lose the weight I want to lose.

Whether we’re talking about business or life, we humans are really good at stacking these damaging beliefs. Don’t be a victim.

I strongly encourage you to get curious about something and remove all the wouldas, couldas, shouldas and doubts. Set a goal for where you want to be in 12 months, and sketch out what it’ll look like to start taking one step at a time toward it. Most importantly, motivate your staff to follow your lead. You can do this. Let’s take 2021 by the horns!

Susan Haviland is the owner of Haviland Storage Services, which specializes in auditing, manager training, market studies and operational reviews. She has more than 32 years of industry experience, from serving as a site manager to acting as vice president of operations at Extra Space Storage Inc. and Price Self Storage. She's a frequent speaker at industry conferences and tradeshows. For more information, call 760.401.0297.

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