Look After Yourself (Episode 3) – Self-Care: Fit Your Mask First

It’s all about you Episode 3 – Fit your mask first.

I’ve been focusing on you for a couple of videos because you’re important. And I’ve had a bit of fun with boots and utes and have made some serious points as well.

Today I want to talk about looking after yourself. There’s a saying in the business coaching fraternity, in fact, I’ve knicked it from my business coach, Taki Moore. It goes like this, “Fit your mask first”. 

I’m going to fit mine. It’s not really an oxygen mask but it will do the trick for the purposes of today, 

It comes from the airplane industry when we go on flights. They teach us at the start of the safety check to fit our mask first before we help somebody else. And I think specifically, they’re referring to our kids.

Fit your own mask before you fit your kids because if you get all dizzy and flippy and pass out, you can’t help your kids or anybody and kids are a bit useless anyway. They might not be able to help you because they’re children.

Our businesses are dependent on us.

So, fit your own mask first – take this across to your business.

If you’re not okay, you can’t help anybody in your business. Your business is very dependent on you, for most of us, me included.

Our businesses are dependent on us. Without us there being the pivot around which it all turns, it doesn’t work so well. Things fall down, things don’t go work right and we’re all trying to build businesses that do without us. But for most of us on that journey and at the beginning of that journey, we are really necessary for the business to function. So if you don’t function well, things aren’t so good.

We don’t need you performing poorly. We don’t need you getting sick, or going on benders or just generally being sh*t and useless and making poor decisions, or shouting at people when you shouldn’t.

It’s important to be look after yourself. And I mean this in a few senses.

Recommended Reading: The Story Of The Dog’s Tail Sitting On The Nail

I’ve just done it myself. The business needs you and you need to perform a lot for your business to be okay. But also, you need to look after yourself because it’s bad if you’re not having a good time.

Who went into business to be overworked and not have a nice time, and not have a social life, and get fat and unhealthy and miss out on your family and things like that? 

None of us do, so don’t let yourself do that either.

Fit your mask first.

Too many people, in trades businesses particularly, put their heads down and get on with it and work long hours.

I’ve talked with other people and they’re working 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90 hours a week because they build some sort of obligation to it. They have to and they’re afraid it won’t work without them.

The truth is you don’t have to work that hard and long to be successful. In fact, I know that’s got you here so far but that’s not what’s going to make you more successful down the track.

Fit your mask first – in order to do this, you have to do a few self-care actions. You have to:

  • Acknowledge and accept it’s a good idea for you to look after yourself
  • Give yourself permission to put yourself first sometimes
  • Let go of the martyring and the sacrificing instinct: “I’ll just get on”; “I need to do this for the business” – Let go of some of that and you need to recognize and acknowledge that you’re important and that looking after you is important. You need to allow yourself to do that and give yourself time to do that.
  • Understand that burying yourself in work is staying inside your comfort zone and although, it feels safe, it’s costing you because you’re not making progress, you’re not being okay and you’re not progressing your business.

I see a lot of people who neglect themselves in one or more of the following ways:

  • They neglect their fitness and then health. Work and no play does make Jack a dull boy. But it also means neglecting exercise. It means eating poorly or on the run, and it means getting fat or suffering from a bad diet or having too much coffee, sugar or booze, you shouldn’t be doing that. You should look after your health.

  • People neglect their mental health too. They don’t manage their stress. They manage it with booze so they can sleep at night and calm down. Or they don’t manage to sleep well. Or they allow themselves to get caught up in depression. They don’t manage it, and don’t go and seek help.

  • They neglect their families and their relationships with their friends or their partner. They end up feeling isolated or just kind of missing out on having family and friendships and things like that. And I think too many years of really just working and sleeping is a waste. Don’t do that to yourself either.


I want you to do an honest self-assessment.

“Are you looking after yourself properly?”

Self-care tips

If you’re married or partnered, ask your partner. Or ask somebody else close to you – your mum, or dad. or your best friend, etc. Ask them if they think you’re looking after yourself if you can’t give yourself some honest feedback.

And if you’re not, do something about it. Here are some self-care steps you can do:

  • Join the gym.
  • Make space to stop everyday and have a proper lunch break or buy something healthy.
  • Go at tea-time and eat dinner with your family or your partner .
  • Consider not going back to work after dinner – The work will still be there tomorrow, it really will. Nothing is going to go terribly wrong if you limit yourself to an 8 or 9 hour a day.
  • Get help. Don’t try and do this on your own.

If you’ve got into some bad habits, which is really what we’re talking about here, at least be with somebody else, your partner, your friends, your doctor, psychologist or me.

There are lots of people who can help. It depends on what you need help with as to who the right people are. I can help you with this a little bit or I can help you by helping you figure out how to get other people doing some of your work and how to make more money so you can afford to have other people doing some of the work that you feel like you’ve got to do yourself.

I’m only a business coach. I can really only help you with your business. I don’t want to step outside that. If you need help with those two things I’ve just explained, maybe you should come and talk to me.

You service your vehicle, you service your tools or they’ll break down – don’t forget to service yourself.


There are four ways you can engage with me:

1. Subscribe to these emails and get them once a week in your inbox so you never miss a video from me.

2. Join the Trades Business Toolshed Facebook Group where you can watch these videos, ask me questions or talk to your peers.

3. Attend my next Tradie Profit Webinar.

4. Book yourself a 10-minute chat with me. We’ll talk about whether coaching is right for you now and if it is, we’ll go further into the process before you have to make your mind up.

See you later.

Click here to book a money maker call with Jon.