Sherry Walling on Staying Sane

Sherry Walling

Sherry Walling completed the day's line-up of speakers to discuss the people side of being a micro business, and about thriving at work and at home. Sherry is a psychologist, and describes her work as "helping people pick up the pieces and make a new collage." She's also been with our earlier speaker, Rob Walling, through his journey as a solo entrepreneur.

We must pay close attention to our mental health because, as we have learned, total freedom = total responsibility. While it is great to work alone, it is not okay to be lonely. It is important to think about the impact of our work on our mental health and on our relationships. Sherry has taken a recent interest in psychological price of entrepreneurship.

Being a solo entrepreneur mixes a lot of complicated roles and demands. You could be doing lots of different things all in your work day: a different kind of juggling act than many 9-5 workers have to do.

Here are Sherry's suggestions for taking care of yourself while working towards your microbusiness goals

Screen Breaks – Have the power to turn it off, step away from it. Feel more in control of it.

Time In – Have an inner circle you meet and talk with – people who'll give you authentic feedback about what you're doing in your business. Talk with others and let them into what you're thinking about, what you're doing with your business. Enter into your work in a different way. 10,000 hours of the wrong work is no good.

Self-Reflection – Sherry suggests taking a note of Personal Metrics. You have KPIs for your business, so why not for yourself? You might realise what stuff you're really enjoying. Having that data helps you make big decisions.

  1. Record a daily check in. This could be 2 sentences in a notebook or app. Ask yourself, "What was life giving today? What was not?" Observe your thoughts but don't judge them. Banish the words "should" and "must". Just keep track of the things you hate each day. If you have the same thing every day, examine whether you can give it up, or change the way that you feel about it.

  2. Practice gratitude, and take a small moment to reflect on these things.

  3. React. Grit is great, but remember to re-evaluate what's working and what's not, and problem-solve. Take seriously that there are many ways to live a happy life. If things aren't working for you, change it, or change the way that you feel about it.

Take a Retreat – Sherry recommends taking regular retreats of 48 hours or longer to reflect and plan. Take 48 hours or longer, screen free, somewhere solitary. Focus on specific questions. What have been your recent high points? Low points? Map out your personal and professional goas for the coming year. Ask yourself about your projects: Should I begin __, continue __, end __?

Sherry's closing remarks:

"There's a discipline in honouring the part of you that won't let you be an accountant, that lets you do something different, to make your own thing. To make your mark.

"Nourish the life that you have until it's a life that you love."


Watch Sherry's talk:

Sherry Walling from Small is Beautiful on Vimeo.



Here's more from Sherry Walling through our Twitter live feed:

  Sherry began to delve into some of the more difficult aspects of going it alone in work.

  And here come the tips!

  But it doesn't all have to be work…

  Sherry also recommends taking your work attitude with measurable results and using them for personal evaluation.


Sherry's wonderful closing remark.


And some reactions from our delegates.