Why is it crucial to look after your wellbeing as an entrepreneur?
I believe this area of entrepreneurship could do with a bit more exposure. If you, as a business leader, are not functioning at your best and nurturing your health and wellbeing, then this can have an adverse affect on the output of your work. You’re the heartbeat and visionary behind your business and it needs you to steer it.
Forbes shared a survey of 2,000 small business owners in the UK, which revealed that 66% of male entrepreneurs had suffered from stress over the previous 12 months, while 60% of female entrepreneurs said they had succumbed. While a little bit of stress can be helpful – it can motivate you, help you focus and signal to you when something needs to be done – too much of it can result in poor mental health. So how can this issue be managed?
Over the years, these are a few choices I’ve made as part of my working practice that have been pivotal, not only for the growth of my business but for maintaining good mental health and wellbeing. Sometimes the simplest things make the greatest impact.
Discover what ‘balance’ means to you
Be honest with yourself about taking breaks when you need them. Our body has a phenomenally smart way of sending us signals when stress begins to build – listen to those signals. Small snippets of time away from work, planned breaks in the day and scheduled time to switch off completely from your to-do list can help you work smarter, rather than harder. Not to mention nurturing your levels of creativity and productivity.
If you predominantly work from home, ensure you get out of the house at least once a day. A walk, fresh air and engaging with other people can do wonders for your wellbeing. Where possible, try to aim for at least 2-3 meetings a week, which will help you to build relevant contacts, network and enhance collaboration opportunities. This also helps you to ensure you have some kind of separation from work and home life.
Allow others to help you
Find events and workshops to attend where you can build your skills yet also meet like-minded people. This is not necessarily for the sole purpose to network or pitch. While this is beneficial, for some it can feel daunting so it’s important to look at it as an opportunity to meet others with similar interests. You never know who you will come across who can help you on your journey, and vice versa. I’ve personally made some really valuable friendships in the entrepreneur world, which can also give you a consistent source of encouragement and motivation.
Seek emotional support when you need it
Sometimes we don’t need advice – we simply need an ear to listen, to air our thoughts and make sense of what we’re going through. Make sure you have people who can offer you emotional support when you encounter any challenges. This can be found in family members, friends, mentors or entrepreneurial friends – it can be nice to have a balance between those who truly know and love you, and those who you connect with in the business world, who understand what it’s like and the kinds of challenges you come up against. There’s no shame in admitting when you need support. We all need that from time to time and it shows strength to ask for help.
Feeling troubled? Get a fresh perspective
Running a business presents you with opportunities to learn what works, what doesn’t and to grow from each experience. Having this outlook can significantly help to reduce feelings of stress and keep a perspective on the big picture.
When faced with a stressful situation, ask yourself “Will this feel like a big deal in two weeks, one month or six months time? What can I change, what can’t I change and what do I need to accept?” Often it’s our own perspective that can get in the way of our own success and taking time to look objectively and shift your perspective can enable a pathway of opportunities to open up and help you see your situation clearly.
Remember, you’re worth investing the time to nurture your health and wellbeing. There’s only one of you, after all.
Tania will be running a workshop Thursday February 22nd at our Hatch Social Club– Be sure to register today to secure your free space!