Can your drinking habits really affect what’s going on in your business? In a word, yes. Whether your drinking has got out of hand, or you are just sober curious, this guest article from Sobriety Coach Gayle Macdonald might give you the inspiration you need to make some positive changes.
I wouldn’t have a business if I hadn’t stopped drinking. Although my business is related to sobriety, it could have actually been anything, and the fact that I even have one is purely down to the fact that I quit drinking.
The benefits of sobriety go far beyond losing weight and having some extra cash, although these are without a doubt, great benefits; it’s the transformation within and what happens to our mental well-being when we stop drinking. That means if you are a business owner, then a break from alcohol just might give you and your business a whole new lease of life.
Running a business is hard, it requires a great deal of hard work, sacrifice, dedication and long hours. Alcohol and business go hand in hand, especially if you think of all the networking, business lunches, wining and dining clients and trying to make connections, all of which are done with a glass in hand and often late into the night.
Owning a business can also be lonely, especially if you are a solopreneur and work from home. Often because we are extremely stressed because of the amount of work we have to do, and the time in which we have to do it, we look for a quick fix, an easy option to take away all that stress, to relax, to unwind and to ‘shut off our brain of all the ‘business stuff’. In that respect it is quite reasonable to assume that alcohol plays an important part in professional life, even if we don’t think we have a problem with drinking.
If the thought of enduring corporate events or business lunches without alcohol seems daunting or impossible, never mind wondering where you will get your creativity from to write programs, proposals or come up with new ideas, think about the flip side. How much better will you feel, knowing you are in complete control of your decision making, your time, your well-being and your career.
There are so many benefits of sobriety for business owners, that is seems to me the only way to be successful in business is to not drink!
1: More productive
We are naturally more alert and more productive in the mornings, but even if you don’t wake up with a hangover, night before drinking has a huge impact on our focus and energy. Instead of waking up late, or in a fog of alcohol, sobriety allows us to get up early naturally, we are clear headed and have the focus and drive to get on with our day without the need to ‘recover’ with coffee.
Alcohol affects your sleep and without proper sleep you are unable to perform at your full capacity. Proper nourishing, restful sleep means having more energy and just feeling better – lighter even when you wake up in the morning. This means you can take advantage of your early morning, get through your work more efficiently and with greater ease. No more slumping at your desk at 10am, struggling to get your brain into gear.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, clarity is ‘the ability to think clearly and not be confused.’ In terms of business, this is hugely important. Alcohol is a depressant and while you might get a buzz after one drink, alcohol quickly numbs your senses, clouds your judgement, slows your reactions and dampens the ability to make decisions and think clearly. If you seem to be banging your head on your desk, going round in circles trying to figure out what’s next in your business, or work out why something is not working, then having alcohol in your system is only going to hinder your efforts. When I quit drinking, it was as if a cloud had been lifted and I could really see, for the first time in a long time. Everything became clear and I was able to get out of the rut and sort myself out.
3: More meaningful connections
Connection is so important in business and while you might think that having a glass or two makes you more sociable, more interesting or approachable, the truth is it hinders your ability to really connect with people.
Drinking might give the illusion of loosening us up, or giving us more confidence, but it really lowers our inhibitions, making us less able to listen properly because we’re too busy talking about ourselves. Do you really remember the conversation you had with that great new connection you made the other night? Are you actually making the right connections and speaking to the right people?
Along with renewed clarity about where you want your business to go, sobriety allows you to really connect with those people who are meant to be in your circle and I’m talking real, genuine connections; the ones that matter most.
4: Better stress management
As a business owner, I know you are no stranger to stress and while you think that alcohol helps you to cope with stress or deal with stressful situations, all it is doing is dampening or numbing out the ‘feelings caused by stress.’
The stress is still there and unless you have the clarity (there it is again!) to work out the cause of your stress, then it is only going to get worse. The thing to remember about alcohol and stress is that your brain remembers that when you drink, the feelings of stress go away, at least for a while anyway, so when you are feeling stressed, the craving to drink appears – soon you believe that drinking is the only way to cope with stress and so the cycle continues.
Drinking is a way of coping that makes you less able to cope and there are much more effective ways to do this naturally with much more effectiveness. I have found new ways of coping with my stress which includes walking, lots of fresh air and EFT therapy to deal with particularly stressful areas in my life.
While I was still drinking, I would never have even considered these options and would have carried on in the spiral of drinking to cope but not coping at all. Sobriety allows you to feel and see what is really going on and look at the areas of your life that need help and find ways to manage them. Stress is also more easily managed by self care which becomes a priority in sobriety.
5: A sense of freedom
This has to be one of the biggest benefits of sobriety for business owners. That sense of true liberation and freedom from always thinking about drinking or relying on your liquid crutch to get you through the next meeting, launch, project ,or event.
There is nothing more liberating than being free to pursue your dreams, to take your business in the direction you want it to go, to design your day how you want to, without relying on alcohol to help you cope or to have to deal with hangovers or that overwhelming sense of fogginess and numbness. There is nothing more exhilarating than feeling alive, alert, to be fully present and engaged in everything you do, including your professional life.
Meet the Writer
Gayle Macdonald is a British Mum of two boys living in Spain. She has been alcohol free since March 2018.
Gayle understands that living with alcohol struggles is a destructive cycle in which so many women get stuck, yet as women and mums we are targeted and encouraged even, to drink to cope with our lives as in today’s modern world. This is a dangerous message both to ourselves, our children, and future generations of young women. This needs to change and the stigma, shame and guilt of choosing an alcohol free life needs to be celebrated, not judged.
Gayle is passionate about helping women transform their lives and the lives of their families by choosing to live an alcohol free lifestyle, through self awareness, self care and self discovery. Being a woman, living a happy, alcohol free life is the best thing that she has ever done and has led to so much freedom, peace and clarity.
Gayle’s mission is to help women just like her see that living an alcohol free life is wonderful, empowering and liberating and should be celebrated.
Connect with Gayle via her website at sober-bliss.com