Be The Change Interview Featuring: Global Women 4 Wellbeing

The 2018 Be The Change Interview Series

Week 2 – Featuring: Mim Senft and Nancy Board of Global Women 4 Wellbeing (GW4W)

Here’s the direct link to the recording on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xYz2Eujm7aY

About

GW4W is on a mission to Empower healthy female leaders for a more sustainable world. They accomplish this by:

*Honoring that true gender equity is about addressing both diversity and inclusion issues

*Welcoming women from all backgrounds who want to see positive change and the great men that stand beside us

*Producing quality, unbiased research for women’s health, wellbeing and leadership challenges

*Inspiring through sharing our stories, our wisdom, mentoring and advocacy

*Highlighting self-care for leaders for personal empowerment and to be a role model for those you lead

Mim Senft, CWWS GBA AAI RYT / CEO – Global Women 4 Wellbeing
LinkedIn

Mim Senft has over 20 years of corporate experience in project management, benefits design and wellness program strategy and implementation. She specializes in providing companies with strategies that positively impact culture and create team innovation. She is a certified as a Worksite Wellness Specialist through the National Wellness Institute; has her GBA group benefits designation through the International Foundation of Benefit Professionals (IFEBP); her property and casualty insurance certification, Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI), through the Insurance Institute of America; and became a certified yoga instructor in 2006. Prior to founding Motivity Partnerships, she worked with over 70 clients in a variety of industries including finance, manufacturing, law, fashion/retail and not-for-profit. Some representative companies include Optum @ Goldman Sachs, Springleaf Financial, Tory Burch, Steptoe and Johnson Law Firm, Natures Path, Open Door and Consolidated Precision Products.

Mim is a co-founder of Global Women 4 Wellbeing (GW4W), served on the Board of Directors for the National Wellness Institute and is a member of The Global Wellness Institute’s Future of Well Work Initiative. She is a regular speaker at conferences and roundtable discussions on topics related to employee benefits, corporate wellness/wellbeing programs, and keeping a competitive edge in today’s workplace.

Nancy Board, MSW – Co-Founder / COO – Global Women 4 Wellbeing
LinkedIn

Nancy Board is a long time EAP professional, experienced in corporate health and wellbeing globally, and a leader in workplace mental health, trauma response, risk management and women’s issues. She is also a sought after speaker, facilitator and international trainer for women’s health & wellbeing worldwide, having worked with thousands of women to help them remove barriers to achieving success.

Previously Nancy was Vice President of Healthcare, EAP and Wellness for JP Morgan In the Asia Pacific region, responsible for over 38,000 employees in 18 countries. She is a versatile, technically savvy, culturally competent leader. Having also led individuals, teams and organizations through the chaos and grief of workplace violence and major disasters, Nancy has a unique lens from which to gauge and teach personal resiliency, recovery and trust. As Co-Founder of Global Women 4 WellBeing, she is passionate about doing more good to create gender equity and build inclusive, respectful workplaces for women to become thriving, healthy leaders.

Nancy received her Master’s degree in Social Work/Behavioral Medicine from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo, certification as a Global Professional in Human Resources and certification as Facilitator and Guide for Women’s Circles through the non-profit organization, Woman Within, International.

How You Can Help

You can visit https://gw4w.org/ to find ways to get involved with GW4W and their global mission to empower healthy female leaders.

Resources mentioned

Women won’t have equality for 100 years – World Economic Forum

The medical research gender gap: how excluding women from clinical trials is hurting our health

 

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Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Sign up here for a free copy of The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.

 

When It Feels Like Your Body Is Failing You, It Affects Your Mind and Emotions Too

Before I started my business, I took a small business course at my local community college. At that time, I hadn’t found all the online business “gurus” and only knew about SBDC and local NJ entrepreneurship resources because of my community involvement. This was helpful because I got to understand business foundations and see the value in learning more than just “5 steps to growing your email list”.  At that time, I also didn’t have any intention to start an online business *gasp*. I was going to start a family owned cafe and bakery. I had a great idea for one that I had done research on and saw that there was no-one else in the area with this particular concept. The resources I had located told me to try a business course 1st to see how viable the idea was including, working at a job that would feel similar to the business you want to start…long story short, my lack of resources and my impatience and frustration working in hospitality let me know that the only way I’d own a cafe would be if I was simply the money person.

But let me backtrack. While in the course, the instructor asked us to discuss things like health policies. We all chuckled when those who had already ran businesses, (some brick and mortar) answered “don’t get sick”. I didn’t realize then how much that was no laughing matter.  But even more importantly, I didn’t realize what that type of answer would reveal about the culture of many businesses – from micro businesses like virtual assistance and online business management , to corporations including the incorporated nonprofit.

Our culture has an unspoken rule that illness is taboo. 

Even articles that I read about wellness programs are essentially saying ‘hurry up and be well so you can be a productive, highly engaged workhorse…err we mean workforce for our money making machine’. Ok I’m over exaggerating, but I’m not that far off. Because after being around and listening to the narratives of people who are chronically ill, who have had doctors that were so inclined to be the expert that they stop listening to their plea for care when they’ve told doctors that despite a clean bill of healthy “something isn’t right here”.  Or I’ve listened to those who have disabilities, some seen, others unseen, (like people with heart conditions) and I’ve heard how people treat them because they aren’t the right kind of sick. I’ve learned that mainstream doesn’t have a contingency plan for those who aren’t deemed contributors even when they really are…just not at the moment, or not in a way that fits contemporary expectations.

And truth be told, you have to have a radical self-love practice for your body to contend with the fact that illness is not tolerated for the long-haul and even attacked. 

And yes, this…rejection of your…being messes with your mind. It’s a close encounter with trauma. It’s traumatic to be you and be hated for no other reason than being yourself. And trauma was one of the causes for mental health disorder that came up in the research for my book on mental health and entrepreneurship over and over again. So, advocates like myself combat the trauma of being ostracized while also at the same time proactively encouraging and extending resources for healing.

This is why StigmaFighters exists. This is why large advocacy groups exists. And also why smaller grassroots who address the needs of people often left out in the bid for healthcare reform exists. This is why RadicalWell exists. And even why Love Yourself Love Your Business exists. Why do we have to be advocates even when we’re not mental health professionals? To decrease stigma yes, but really it’s about creating a shift in culture.

Wellness policies that reach beyond bringing in a personal trainer or “an app for that” (though those are important too) but also include health risk assessments, peer advocacy and support for leaders that offer up compassionate resources that say you don’t need to deny your illness and disease/illness management could go a long way. I think this concept of wellness at work is applicable for small business and micro business owners who may or may not be a 1 person shop just as much as it is for the big companies.

“Don’t get sick” is not a health care plan.

It denies our basic humanity and encourages mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. But really it encourages a culture that shames, stigmatizes and traumatizes our human experience. And quite frankly, we can do better than this.

Until Next Time…Peace, Love, and Wellness!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Sign up here for a free copy of The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.

Suicide Prevention where Money and Mental Health Issues Collide

suicidepreventionawareness-badge

One of the main reasons I was motivated to begin working on my book (still in the works) is that I wanted to advocate for mental wellness amongst women in business so to prevent further entrepreneur suicides. Whenever I thought about business owners, CEO’s and entrepreneurs I will be the 1st to admit I assumed “go-getter”, “super strong”, “ultra productive”, and “has it all together”. That was until I became a business owner myself. I quickly learned that whatever load you’re carrying around in your life comes right along with you into whatever business venture you’re embarking on in some form or another. And that included mental health issues. So while yes, we can be (and are) most of those descriptions (I don’t think anyone has it ALL together) we could also be depressed, experience chronic disease, have anxiety, addictive behaviors etc. And I wanted to better understand why.

One of the categories of ‘why’ I plan to explore more of in the book was revisited after recently accompanying my awesome client, Amanda Abella to FinCon 2016. When we hear of people in business bearing the load of money problems, and money mindset issues we typically hear about business failure. As a result, resources like Business Development Centers formed to offer support. There are also women like Melinda Emerson who dedicated Foundations to igniting a movement to end small business failure. What I don’t find too often however, are open and candid discussions about how money problems in business could also play a huge role in suicidal ideation and attempted suicide.

I was originally going to touch on this category very briefly only because I wanted to focus on the “why” of entrepreneurs who had great financial success yet still battled mental health disorders, but I’ve since been convinced otherwise.

After Michelle Jackson coaxed me out of my comfort zone by offering me an opportunity to live podcast right alongside herself and a panel of amazing women thought leaders, I was able to talk about my mental health advocacy work. As a result, I met some other awesome “money nerds” who happened to also be mental health advocates. FinCon panel

Through fellow panelist Kate Dore’s blog post I learned more about The Link Between Mental Illness and Money Problems and was introduced to an organization called Money and Mental Health Policy Institute. According to their research, if you have had a “major financial crisis” within the past six months, you are nearly eight times more likely to experience suicidal thoughts. I imagine a Startup Founder who has literally given their blood, sweat, tears, and very last dollar in the hopes of getting noticed by an investor experiences financial crisis more often than not until they “make it”. I know from personal experience that my own company, A & D Media was formed with less than $200 and dream which was pretty much the last bit of money in our pockets.

I then learned that Kate’s post was in collaboration with Melanie Lockert of Dear Debt who encouraged colleagues to join the blog tour project for World Suicide Prevention Day which was September 10th. While the date for this year has come and gone, all of September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

I applaud these women for stepping up to publicly advocate for mental health and suicide prevention on their professional business blogs. In the business and entrepreneurial world there is huge stigma around mental illness and illness in general. I feel this is even more pronounced for microbusiness owners such as virtual service providers who have to constantly battle for workplace wellness fairness. I plan to link up with these two lovelies and a few others awesome ladies I met at FinCon to better explore the money/mental health correlation for my upcoming book set to publish during mental health month in 2017.

If you or someone you know is contemplating Suicide and/or in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Sign up here for a free copy of The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.

The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business

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So, you’ve…

Filed your “Doing Business As”,

Created a airtight client contract,

And wrote a business plan, right? (One Page Plans are better than No Page Plans 😉 )

You’re feeling on top of the world!!!

These business necessities aren’t just a “break glass in case of emergency” thing that you only think about when there’s a problem.

You thought strategically about how to run your business when you started it. You spent hours studying what makes a business run smoothly. You mapped out how to avoid problems. And devised plans for what to do when a problem rears its ugly head.

But have you thought about making a mental wellness plan?

Let me ask you two questions…

1. Do you know what makes for good mental health? mentalwellnessdef

Good sleep, healthy eating, exercise, meaningful relationships, daily routines, helping others….

2. Are you actively planning how to DO the things listed above?

No one would recommend running a business haphazardly…

Getting in good accounting “whenever you can” & marketing “when the weather is good” & following up “when I feel like it.”

And you shouldn’t run your mental health that way either.

Creating a mental health plan to go alongside your business will help you feel less irritable day-to-day, more in control, & less vulnerable to emotional distractions.

That’s why I wrote The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.

Even if you’re doing work you love & are passionate about, you can find yourself spiraling out of control.

From being a “Yes Woman” to struggling to find a way to meet your needs, you should plan for your mental well-being.

Because while climbing the proverbial ladder to success, you can become absolutely miserable, full of anxiety, & constantly fighting the work/life balance blues.

It’s time to start taking your mental wellness practice just as serious as any other habit or routine you’ve developed to achieve financial success.

Through The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business, you’ll learn 3 basic steps that’ll help guide you on your way.

Sign up here for a free PDF of The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.