We’re proud to have been part of the 2018 B Corp Western Canada Business Leadership Development conference that took place in Vancouver. Not only did a few of us from the office attend, we also made sure all attendees had a healthy treat to snack on between presentations with a range of our snacks from Coconut Clusters to Sesame Snack.
In case you’re not familiar with what a B Corp (Benefit Corporation) is, check out this blog post.
Changin’ the World Ain’t Easy
Our President Ian Walker spoke on a panel called “Changin’ the World Ain’t Easy.” That sure isn’t an easy task, especially when so many things demand our attention every day. So the panelists talked in depth about self-care for change agents, activists, and conscious capitalists alike. This may not seem like a relevant business topic, but with burnout and workaholism plaguing our work places, bringing a B Corp’s balanced approach to managing stress was highly anticipated by attendees.
Along with Ian, on the panel were Amir Jafari of Cove Continuity Advisors and Nicolette Richer, founder of The Green Moustache organic café. Each panelist spoke from their unique perspective, and all had great points. Here are a few highlights from the talk:
3 Self-Care Tips for Change Agents
- Prioritizing yourself is a choice. Amir says, “We all have the same 24 hours that Bill Gates does. So how do some people prioritize certain aspects of their life over others? It comes down to choice.”
- Make a list your relationships (ie. relationships with your children, cooking, your spouse, even your nose!). Find out which relationships light you up, which don’t. Eliminate the major stressors in your life. Nicolette realize that she didn’t like cooking, so she traded some household duties with her husband to take meal planning off her list.
- Keep a gratitude journal. On one side of the page, write down some things that made you smile, for example the barista cheered you up today. But don’t neglect your own positive contributions: take note of awesome things you did that day! For example, you were busy that day but noticed someone wasn’t doing so well so you stopped, paused, and asked them how they’re doing. Ian says, “The more you write down, the more you start noticing the little things.”
They three panelists covered a lot more ground, but one of the most relevant things they talked about was how to create better habits, which is perfect if you’re working on anything—including taking care of yourself.
5 Steps to Create Better Habits
- Engineer Your Environment: In her health consulting practice, Nicolette advises her clients to set themselves up for success by making the choice and intention clear. For example, runners can go to bed in running clothes so they wake up ready to go. For smokers, place an apple next to your pack of cigarettes, so the decision is clearly laid out.
- Choose Rhythm Over Routine: If you plan to run in the morning and miss a day, don’t throw it out the window. Run in the evening instead. Building habits is about consistency, not perfection.
- Seek Social Support: Find an accountability partner or recruit your spouse (or children!) to hold you accountable to your goals. Ian says, “I can go to a gym, but my trick is if I go to a trainer, they charge me anyway.” Use social pressure to your advantage!
- Schedule It In: You know the saying, if it’s not measured, it’s not managed. Extending that wisdom, if it’s not scheduled in your calendar, it’s not real. Block off that time for yourself and make it a sacred no-distractions zone.
- Know Thyself: Amir brought us back to the core. Knowing what motivates you is just as important as knowing what you want. Ask yourself: what’s the driving force behind desire for that habit? Is it because the media told you it’s important or is the outcome of this habit truly important to you?
B. Diverse & B. Inclusive
We also love that the conference was very inclusive in many respects: dietary needs were taken into account, there was a quiet room for introverts to recharge, Alexander Dirksen led us through a reconciliation presentation, Breanna from Mills talked about her supportive work environment through a time of gender transition, and more.
We can’t wait until next year’s B Corp conference!