Why You Need to Take Care of Your Mental Wellness, Especially When Selling Your Company 

And some of the “latest trends” in taking time for mental wellness.

We’ve seen the after-effects of someone who has been struggling for way too long with too much to do and not enough time to do it.  Add COVID to the mix for the past two years (and counting) and we know that business owners are also having to deal with exponentially increased labor shortages, and supply chain problems along with the uncertainty of inflation and recession.  

The landscape business owners and leaders I talk to are thankful for making it through the past couple of years, (some with great financial results, along with PPP and ERTC moneys), but many have not taken the time to take care of themselves to avoid the harmful effects of long-term exposure to stress.  

I highly recommend that business owners who will be selling their businesses take some time to recharge their batteries before jumping into the selling process.  I am not talking about a month in Nepal, but even a focused vacation (see options below) for a week may make a positive contribution to your mental fortitude.  Selling your business is a demanding process that takes months (if not years) and ideally, you would not begin that process from a position of weakness.   

We learned decades ago about how stress will create a chemical reaction in our bodies.  Here is an excerpt from a Mayo Clinic article describing how the physical changes impact us.  

The natural stress response—from the Mayoclinic.org 

When you encounter a perceived threat — such as a large dog barking at you during your morning walk — your hypothalamus, a tiny region at your brain’s base, sets off an alarm system in your body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure, and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.

Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or harmful in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with the brain regions that control mood, motivation, and fear.

These are great reactions in our bodies to protect us in times of trouble.  Unfortunately, we aren’t just fighting off saber tooth tigers infrequently anymore and instead, chemicals continue to build as we continue to face challenges.  We must take action to stop the cycle.  No one wants to have a heart attack or die young due to lack of sleep.  Eating too much, drinking too much or anything too much will only temporarily remove the effect.  

In addition, most people will have a personality change even if they aren’t aware of it themselves.  Do you have control over your emotions?  Lose your temper?  Become sad and quiet and non-communicative? Choleric? Try to be upbeat and come across like a bad comedienne?  

Everyone looks at you as the leader to remain calm, continue to make good decisions and be a strong role model.  You might want to check in with someone close to you who will tell you the truth:  your spouse, a good friend, a mentor and ask them have you changed?  Are you able to show up as your best self?  Are you the vision setter, morale booster, calm decisive leader, inspirational motivator? It’s a struggle to lead effectively if you are struggling to feel centered and physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and financially strong. 

Don’t let yourself implode.  Secure the mask on your face first so you will have enough oxygen to take care of everyone else.  How can we do that? 

Stress management strategies (from Mayo Clinic again) include:

  • Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and getting plenty of sleep.
  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing, massage, or meditation.
  • Keeping a journal and writing about your thoughts or what you’re grateful for in your life.
  • Taking time for hobbies, such as reading, listening to music, or watching your favorite show or movie.
  • Fostering healthy friendships and talking with friends and family.
  • Having a sense of humor and finding ways to include humor and laughter in your life, such as watching funny movies or looking at joke websites.
  • Volunteering in your community.
  • Organizing and prioritizing what you need to accomplish at home and work and removing tasks that aren’t necessary.
  • Seeking professional counseling, which can help you develop specific coping strategies to manage stress.

Apparently, there is growing demand for resort/spas to provide mental health wellness services along with their other offerings.  This article describes some beautiful spas that are offering those now.  Mental Health Getaways Stress Relief.  Just reading this article made me feel less stressed!   I’m a believer in nature walks, bird watching, beekeeping and gardening.  Relieving your stress by doing something creative and peaceful, gentle, and innocent is a great concept.

If you would like to discuss where you are in the process of preparing for or jumping in the transition for your company, we would be happy to speak with you.  If you are thinking of growing your business through acquisitions, we are happy to discuss that with you as well.  We are also available to discuss other ways to prepare your company for sale for now or for the future.    You can reach me via email: alison@harvestlandscapeconsulting.com or on my cell phone a: 224-688-8838.   We’re here to help you Harvest Your Potential!

Alison Hoffman

has more than 25 years of experience in strategy, operations, mergers and acquisitions and delivering business-to-business client solutions. Her areas of expertise include managing operations for profitable growth, organizational design and strategy activation. She brings a wealth of experience through her work in evaluating, valuing and purchasing over 30 companies, leading company-wide cultural and business integration projects and consolidating best practices among business processes and corresponding computing systems. Read Full Bio