The pressures and stresses of working in insolvency and turnaround.

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How focusing on ‘you’, is giving your client the best opportunity for success

by ABRT Member John Purl RTA.

Did you ever think that working in insolvency or turnaround would come with the physical, mental and psychological challenges that it does? It’s not just about numbers, it’s about managing the emotions, energy and expectations of others. This is not easy, even for those professionally trained in those areas. When I talk with those working in insolvency or turnaround, I hear the stress and pressure they are under, and I see the physical, mental and emotional impact this is having.

Let me provide you some insight into my background. I started working in wealth and investment advisory back in 2004. I worked across big 4 private banks, stockbroking with Morgan Stanley and ran my own firm for eight years, until in 2022 when I decided sell and exit the business and the industry. I was done! I had lost the love and the industry had become to focused on administration and compliance, with the client sitting somewhere around 4th or 5th on the list of priorities.

This was NOT ok. I had however, started a coaching business in 2019, working with business owners and professionals, helping them identify their true end goal (idea of success) and building a foundation, a lifestyle, that was going to support their journey, improve their leadership capabilities and generally make them happier and healthier humans. Building routines, structures and a foundation of health and wellbeing. Providing them with the tools to manage stress, eat better and move more. Holding each one accountable along their journey. Now I find myself travelling the country working with individuals, running workshops for businesses and delivering keynote speeches. I am truly happy again. 

So enough about me! I want to provide you the tools you need to help optimise your lifestyle to better handle the stresses of the industry you are in, to be the best leader you can be, and to be the happiest and healthiest version of yourself. Granted, this could become a very large article, so I will provide you three key takeaways to explore:

  1. Sleep: This is when our bodies Rest – Recover – Repair. Sleep is so important to our physical and mental wellbeing. I would suggest that sleep is the most important wellbeing ‘tool’ as you cannot buy back time. What do I mean? There is no supplement or meditation that will gain back sleep. Once that time has been sacrificed, it is time lost. Aim for 6.5hrs – 8hrs each night. The key however is quality over duration. 6.5hrs of largely deep and REM sleep is better than 9hrs of very broken light sleep. To help aid sleep ensure your bedroom is very dark, cool (about 19.5 degrees), no screens at least 1 hour before bed, use lavender oil on your pillow and lastly, take magnesium at nighttime. 
  2. Meditation: This used to be thought of as very ‘woo woo wah wah’, but now is a daily practice for so many business leaders, athletes, celebrities and every day folk like me. It enables us to remain calm, present and better handle stress. The key with meditation is to explore the types of meditation to find one that works for you. Transcendental is my ‘go to’ as saying a mantra helps me turn off the head chatter. However, if you are looking for a place to start, try a guided meditation app like Calm or Headspace. Aim for 5 – 20 minutes each day. However, do not exceed 10 minutes if you are going to do it before heading to bed, as it will disrupt your sleep . 
  3. Movement: I won’t call it training or ‘exercise’, because the focus here is on just moving. We want to move every single day. This does not mean a 10km run each day, or performing a HIIT class every day. In fact you want to avoid this. For those that have experienced my workshop, we explore the concept of ‘Duration v Intensity’. Daily movement (apart from the physical health benefits), is the proven long term strategy to help manage stress and depression. Walking outdoors (in nature ideally) will lower your cortisol levels and increase creativity and productivity. Set a calendar reminder to move every two hours where possible. Even a 5 minute lap of the block will have significant benefits. Yes, move some heavy weight, elevate your heart rate each day and focus on mobility, but never neglect the huge benefits of just moving. 

When it comes to health, wellbeing, stress management, goal setting, lifestyle management…’s a very personal journey and why people work one on one with me. However, implementing the three keys above will help improve your energy, your focus, lower your elevated cortisol levels and reduce those feelings of stress.

Stress is a good thing in small amounts, not prolonged periods such as what many encounter day in, day out. Focusing on your health and wellbeing is not only imperative to your ‘success’, but means you are operating at a higher level for you and your clients.

John Purl RTA |  Lifestyle Coach

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