One thing that has remained constant switching from running an English Hagwon type business in Korea to a commerce type (selling of goods) business in Korea, is the fact that I deal with stress daily. When I was teaching at my English gyosoopso in Seoul, I had to make sure my students were having fun, learning, and getting results, so that parents would be happy with my program and I could feel good about the work that I was doing. And at the same time, I had to find ways to grow the business, all the while trying to maintain what was already built. It is a really challenging balancing act, pleasing parents and actually reaching students. And that’s if you are lucky enough to have students! There was a time in my hagwon business where I had exactly zero students. And there was a time in my flower business where I had less than 5 sales a month. So if you are an entrepreneur in Korea, then you will know a thing or two about stress.
You can be stressed about how slow your business is growing or how fast your business is growing. We as entrepreneurs in Korea are constantly being thrown things and we have do to our best to take whatever is thrown at us and make something positive out of it. Even things like the poor air quality in Seoul can be a stressor if you let it. I mean, I never considered the fact that the environment can cause stress, but sometimes I let this type of thing stress me out. It’s like, man, it’s hot today, should I open the window? Maybe I shouldn’t because the air is bad. Or why don’t I turn on the air conditioner. Well, maybe you don’t have air-conditioning or can’t access it at the time. And then if you drive in Korea, then that’s a whole new level of stress. And I drive, and I have to be on time for deliveries, so in conclusion, I have a lot of things that can stress me out. And sometimes I allow these things to stress me out and I get very agitated, and sometimes angry.
So I have been trying to find ways to reduce my stress levels. One thing I have found useful is counting down from 10 to 0 while taking a deep breath for each second. While counting down, I imagine a stress gauge, and I imagine the stress level going down to 0. My wife first laughed when she saw me do things like this, but I believe she secretly does them to when she has to, but she just doesn’t get stressed out as easily as I do. And I always ask her, how do these things not stress you out. And she’s like, I don’t know, you just think too much. And I’m like, yeah, I think too much. Anyways, so I take a deep breath and let it out and count 10, and then I do the same thing and count 9, all the while picturing the stress gauge going down all the way to 0. This actually helps me calm down. So when I have a whole bunch of things that are clouding my mind, I do this.
Another thing I have been doing is starting my days off by listening to some calming peaceful music. Here is one of my current favourites, which also has cute images of animals. It’s called, “Best Friends”:
This music video was created by Tim Janis and you can follow him on youtube. He is very engaged with his audience and will even reply to your comments on his videos. I’m actually considering purchasing some of his music, so I can listen to it in the car.
Oh and that reminds me. I have also been listening to the classical radio station in my car while driving. I don’t know the exact channel, but it’s like 93.1 or something like that. And I don’t know, I am just really enjoying this type of music these days. I even enjoy the Korean classical music when it comes on, except for that one instrument, that has that really pitched sound, which sound like someone is screaming in a painful way. That sound actually ruins the mood, so I’m really considering just purchasing some relaxing type music like the video I just shared, so I don’t have to be interrupted by those really high pitched sounds. And I grew up listening to hip hop, rap, pop, etc. But I just found that classical music and the peaceful music is just so much better for my brain and heart.
I think that it is so important to start the day off properly. Maybe you meditate, if you are religious you may do some kind of devotional, or have a quiet time, or maybe you journal in your diary. What I do is listen to relaxing type of music and have some breakfast. I try to wake up early. And maybe you have a day where you are lazy and just don’t wake up with much purpose. I know that I have these types of days at times and I get angry at myself. But I guess the important thing is to forgive yourself and just start over again.
But I think we all need to find ways to calm our minds, so we have enough mental energy to further build our businesses or to make more sales or to build our networks. If not, you can spend 2 hours on a task, which could probably take you 30 minutes to do. I know I’ve done things like this before. Work like 10 minutes on something, then check Facebook and emails, and then work another 5 minutes, and then go for a walk, and then before you know it, you’ve wasted like a whole hour doing things that you really didn’t need to do. I think we can avoid these types of things if we can calm our minds. I know that it makes a big difference in my day when I am able to calm my mind in the morning.
What do you do to calm your mind? Have you ever considered calming your mind? If not, why not give it a try and see how it works out for you. It just might make your day that much better and more productive.