Don’t skip meals: our bodies rely on our blood sugar to stay level. This helps our hormones, our stress and to keep our brain feeling clear. Have plenty of nutrient-dense snacks available if you’re busy.
All of us know that we have to take breaks in our day to take care of ourselves. “Selfcare is healthcare”, the saying goes. At the same time, we know that when you are a busy leader with enormous responsibility on your shoulders, it’s so easy to prioritize the urgent demands of work over the important requirements of self-care. How do busy entrepreneurs and leaders create space to properly take care of themselves? What are the self-care routines of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders? In this interview series, we are talking to busy and successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, and civic leaders who can discuss their self-care practices and self-care routines. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Helen Peterson.
Helen Peterson is a work-from-home mom in Bend, Oregon who has established herself in the online business industry as a Virtual Assistant & Launch Strategy Specialist. Along with helping her clients with launch strategy & successfully creating & selling their online courses, she also coaches other women in starting their own Virtual Assistant business (regardless of their current career path).
Her passion stems from guiding women into living the life they’ve always dreamt of with no financial boundaries & the flexibility to live & travel the way they want to.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! It is an honor. Our readers would love to learn more about your personal background. Can you please share with our readers your personal backstory; What has brought you to this point in your life?
Istarted out as a virtual assistant when I was a mom to my newborn daughter. I knew I did not want to go back to an office job, so I began to learn more about starting my own business. This is where my time as a virtual assistant began. I started to serve multiple clients and have now branched into online course launch strategy and project management for high-level entrepreneurs. The online business industry is ever-growing and it’s such an honor to be behind-the-scenes of such exciting programs!
What is your “why” behind what you do? What fuels you?
My why is two fold!
My family is what motivated me to start this. I want to stay home with my babies while helping support our goals financially. This fuels me to keep taking care of myself and also to keep growing my business.
Other women are also my “why.” There are women I have mentored and supported who are now able to stay home with their babies, who retired their husband, who paid off debt and so much more.. I’m so excited to show up and do what I do because I get to see the impact that is created in this business.
How do you define success? Can you please explain what you mean from a personal anecdote?
Success is so hard to define because I think it is unique to you. For some, success may be a number goal, a timeline goal, a travel goal, an age to retire, or an impact to make. This is the beauty of success. We each get to set up what that success is.
I can define my success to be staying home with my babies, making an impact on other women, and showing my daughter that she is capable of whatever she sets her mind to.
What is the role of a growth mindset in your success? Can you please share 3 mindset mantras that keep you motivated, sane, and propel you forward?
Growth mindset is so important for success! We need to understand that we can continue to grow to whatever we would like. If we stop believing this, we hit a dead end.
You are by all accounts a very successful person. How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I love giving back and donating to people in need financially. This can be moms in need or new business owners that I mentor.
I also know women and mothers are so important. I am passionate about mentoring them on this journey so that they can take care of themselves while caring for their family. .
Can you share a mistake or failure which you now appreciate, and which has taught you a valuable lesson?
A mistake I made in the beginning was not having a contract at first. I luckily learned quickly that I needed to have a contract to protect myself and I avoided losing a lot of money or having any issues even without one. Today, I can’t believe that I started work without a signed contract, as now this has helped me so many times in my business! But when you’re new to something, there are always mistakes to be made ;)
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Tenacity: Even if an offer, a business, or a life event is new or does not go in the direction I want, I am really good at continuing to push to grow in my business! I am not afraid of things not working and needing to change direction (or pivot as well love to say in the industry). I am also not afraid to call something a success.
Self care: I have experienced health scares, miscarriages, new babies, and just general life. I know how much I need to balance work and read my body when I need help or to slow down some. I set good boundaries and am not afraid to ask for help. I get extra childcare or ask my husband for some time. This is so key to avoiding burnout.
Worthy: I am not afraid of getting a no from a lead. Business is business and not personal. A no, or an end of contract does not mean that I am not good at my job. It is business. This helps me to keep things separate.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting new projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
I am currently working on my new offer of 1:1 VIP coaching where business owners can sit down with me to strategize how to streamline their business. We go over their workflows, mental blocks, and current team members. They leave with a plan of what’s next for them and their marketing vision, as well as what type of team members they may need to bring on to help them bring this to life! This has helped so many women block out the noise of everything they hear online about what they should do, and instead it tailors a plan custom to who they are and what their business does!
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview about Self-Care. Let’s start with a basic definition so that we are all on the same page. What does self-care mean to you?
Self care is when we make time to care for ourselves in ways that provide rest, provide joy, reduce stress, or takes care of our physical self. Self care doesn’t have to mean taking a bubble bath or doing your nails. It really depends on the person as to what self care looks like to you!
As a successful leader with an intense schedule, what do you do to prioritize self-care, and carve out regular time to make self-care part of your routine?
I have a morning routine of meditation and journaling. I also make time for movement in my body. These help regulate my hormones, reduce stress, and keeps me feeling grounded. I also speak up and ask for what I need. This meant I needed help with childcare. This helps me to get work done with a clear mind and be focused and present with my kids.
Will you please share with our readers 3 of your daily, or frequent self-care habits?
This is the main question of our interview. Based on your own experiences or research can you please share 5 ways that taking time for self-care will improve our lives?
Sometimes we learn a great deal from the opposite, from a contrast. Can you please share a few ways that NOT taking time for self-care can harm our lives?
If we are not taking care of ourselves, this can lead to burnout and fatigue in our career, but more importantly — in our personal lives. We tend to take out our frustration or tiredness on the people we love most. That’s why it is so important to recognize when you’re reaching those moments to protect your relationships and love on those around you, rather than take out your fatigue on them.
What would you tell someone who says they do not have time or finances to support a regular wellness routine?
It can take 5 minutes to stretch!
There are free apps for workouts or even yoga.
Journaling can be free and only takes a few minutes.
Even one minute of meditation is powerful! It may be your only slow minute of the day!
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)
I really look up to Natalie and Danielle from BossBabe. They have been such motivating factors for me in growing my business, alongside with being a present mom. I’d love to hang with them!
What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?
Join my email list on petersonvirtualassistant.com or on Instagram @petersonvirtualassistant
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.
About The Interviewer: Maria Angelova, MBA is a disruptor, author, motivational speaker, body-mind expert, Pilates teacher, and founder and CEO of Rebellious Intl. As a disruptor, Maria is on a mission to change the face of the wellness industry by shifting the self-care mindset for consumers and providers alike. As a mind-body coach, Maria’s superpower is alignment which helps clients create a strong body and a calm mind so they can live a life of freedom, happiness, and fulfillment. Prior to founding Rebellious Intl, Maria was a Finance Director and a professional with 17+ years of progressive corporate experience in the Telecommunications, Finance, and Insurance industries. Born in Bulgaria, Maria moved to the United States in 1992. She graduated summa cum laude from both Georgia State University (MBA, Finance) and the University of Georgia (BBA, Finance). Maria’s favorite job is being a mom. Maria enjoys learning, coaching, creating authentic connections, working out, Latin dancing, traveling, and spending time with her tribe. To contact Maria, email her at [email protected]. To schedule a free consultation, click here.