We’re calling this month “Mindful May,” inviting you to take the opportunity to look more deeply at how you do business and interact with the world. Are there details that need tending to that you’ve been putting off? Are there relationships in your network that need special attention? Maybe the area that is overdue for attention is yourself!
Becky Lauridsen, Founder of IOME Guilt-Free Self Care, has been a member of LoCo Think Tank for three years this month. She was happy to share with us some of the ways that her business helps individuals be their best selves by minding their needs. And she leverages the resources of her LoCo chapter to mind the needs of her business, recently opening a new location!
Read on to learn more about Becky’s path to a balanced work life.
So… What does IOME stand for?
“It's an I Owe Me instead of an I Owe You offering Guilt Free Self Care by providing quality mental wellness,” Lauridsen explains. “We partner with local businesses to offer quality discounted self care services and products to individuals, groups, and employers.” At the heart of IOME is the belief that we can take a preventative approach to both our physical health AND our mental health. . As founder of this innovative company, Lauridsen has made it her mission to help people have easier access to quality mental wellness services and to develop a deeper awareness of themselves and their surroundings.
“Through our Mental Wellness in the Workplace Program, IOME is one of the first to take a preventative approach to our mental health and wellness by providing onsite/virtual mental wellness services directly to places of employment,” says Lauridsen. “This approach is proven to increase overall mental health awareness, decrease costly turnover rates, and decrease the stigma by providing simple, comprehensive, and convenient access to services.”
Lauridsen’s Unique Perspective
We wanted to know, on a personal note, what’s Lauridsen’s “special sauce”? How did she get into her business and how do her unique characteristics enhance it? She responded:
“I founded this company five years ago and I remember everyone asking me how I was feeling and I would always respond with ‘I'm feeling peacefully anxious.’ What an oxymoron, right? But that's basically what I do, I move forward with peace even when I don't know what the outcome will be. I truly believe that we have to take risks and try something new because even if it fails, that is still progress because now we know what NOT to do! That keeps me pushing through new challenges of my business day in and day out. I think the other piece to mention here is that I am not afraid of some hard work. I am really good at a "work hard play hard" lifestyle.
In her conversation with LoCo Founder Curt Bear on The LoCo Experience Podcast Episode #9, Lauridsen shared her journey of entering the counseling field right out of college and burning out a few years later when she neglected her own self care in the work. She spent some time with another business learning all about sales and marketing before returning to her passion of helping others on a deeply personal level.
LoCo Think Tank’s Support
Lauridsen knows how to network and partner with other organizations to amplify her impact. And she knew where to turn when she needed business support. LoCo Think Tank Chapters provide resources that help people cultivate skills that are essential to not just success but also well-being as a person. LoCo stands for "Local Community" and is a group of like-minded business owners who come together regularly to share their experiences, struggles, successes, and advice. Through this community-driven approach, they help each other overcome obstacles in their businesses while improving their overall well-being.
For Becky, joining LoCo was a transformative experience. She found that listening to her peers' perspectives on her challenges helped her gain new insights into how she could improve IOME's offerings. By discussing different strategies with fellow small business owners facing similar issues as hers – whether it was about marketing tactics or operational inefficiencies - Becky was able to adapt these ideas into meaningful changes within IOME itself.
“The biggest theme I have learned from my experience [with LoCo],” Lauridsen says, “is to not think so small. Surrounding myself with successful business owners who are doing BIG things is causing me to think BIG and lean outside my comfort zone. I'm grateful that my facilitator is able to lead by example, he has learned a lot and is able to share from his experience and able to encourage us and believe in us even on the days we want to quit! Thanks, Moses!”
When asked to describe a meaningful connection she’s made through LoCo, Lauridsen says:
“All of them! Truly, having a group of people who GET IT is incredible. When I was first starting my business I found myself wanting to talk to other friends or families about business decisions or the stress or even the success, but it always fell short because they truly didn't get it. I am so grateful to have a group of people who understand me and truly understand what it takes to be a small business owner.”
And when it comes to an issue her chapter helped her process in the growth of her business:
“The latest support I've really been able to lean on my chapter with is the decision of purchasing our Windsor office location. It was a really scary and big leap for me in my business and I was able to process this with the group and they were so helpful in simplifying the reasons I should instead of allowing me to stay stuck in the emotions.”
Mental Health = Business Health
In today's fast-paced world where stress levels are often high, it can be easy to overlook how much impact mental health has on an entrepreneur or small business owner. While anxiety might seem like par for the course among startups or new ventures, Lauridsen wants you to know that it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. More emphasis can be placed on self-care practices such as taking breaks regularly, enjoying simple pleasures and making moves which one feels comfortable with rather than what they think they should do.
“We are so passionate about allowing people a space to tell their story, to check in, and be intentional about how they are ACTUALLY doing,” Lauridsen shares. “Not what the filters show, the job titles describe, or the casual small talk. We want our clients to have a space to really process that feeling in the pit of their stomach, the trigger that keeps coming out of nowhere, or the overwhelming urge to shut down completely.”
What suggestions does Lauridsen have in bringing a mindful focus into the month of May?
“The best suggestion I could have for my clients (and you!) is to take an inventory of your day. For a minimum of a week, each time you sit down to eat a meal, instead of grabbing your phone, check in with yourself. Ask questions like:
Then do a body scan and notice any tensions or any other discomfort and dig further and try to identify where that is coming from,” Lauridsen says. “Take notice if there is anything that caused you to feel better or worse at that time. Gather all of that data and see if you can find any commonalities. Self awareness is so important for our overall wellness so start being aware of yourself!”
Through IOME's various offerings such as counseling, massage, yoga, employee assistance programs and more; they aim to provide valuable resources to individuals looking to improve their physical health or mental health to maintain mindful balance in their lives. And participation in LoCo Think Tank has helped Lauridsen tend to the health of her business. Her words of wisdom to fellow small business owners and community leaders are simple:
“You'll be scared but do it anyway. You won't know all of the answers but do it anyway. It won't be perfect but do it anyway. Truly, I still don't have all of the answers, I am still learning from my mistakes, and I am still the furthest thing from perfect BUT I am still doing it anyway! And it's awesome! Lean into your strengths and delegate your weaknesses, doing this will give you SO MUCH freedom. And remember, “You deserve the best because your loved ones deserve the best of you, not what’s left of you.