The importance of good health and well being
Good mental and physical health is especially important when running your own business. As an entrepreneur or business owner your business or ventures will take you on a mental, physical and financial roller coaster. Being in good health both mentally and physically will better able you to handle the ups, downs, twists and turns. Overall good health and wellbeing will give you the energy to run your business and the right head space to make good decisions. Staying in contact and spending quality time with business colleagues, friends and family will help build your support network, generate the flow of ideas and improve your overall happiness and sense of wellbeing.
Listed below are the most common issues that business owner’s face and ways to improve your health and wellbeing.
1. Build self-awareness: The mark of all good entrepreneurs is heightened self-awareness. They take time to think about their strengths and weaknesses and how they respond physically and emotionally to events. Knowing yourself and being able to step back from situations and make sense of everything is a critical skill. Think about how you cope with uncertainty, risk or failure and the steps you will take to overcome these issues.
2. Understand the nature of entrepreneurship: Running a business by its nature can be an emotional rollercoaster with high highs and low lows. It’s natural to feel down when clients cancel deals or the phone stops ringing. The challenge is identifying when this feeling lasts too long. Keeping a level head and being in contact with family, friends and business colleagues will help pull you out of the low times. Moreover, interacting with others is a great source of discovering new ideas and ways to improve your business.
3. Build resilience: If there is a single defining characteristic of good entrepreneurs it is resilience: the ability to overcome setbacks and keep going. Some entrepreneurs are born with it; others develop it through necessity. Having a contingency plan and setting aside financial resources outside the business is one step. Building resilience will also lower stress.
4. Have a cut-off point: Some entrepreneurs preserve with a business for too long and slowly sink with the business over months or years when the smart strategy is to reallocate capital and start again. Sometimes you have to cut your losses and get out, it not worth losing everything (usually the family home or going into bankruptcy) in an attempt to keep a nonperforming business trading.
5. Exercise and a healthy diet: Running a business take a lot of energy! Research shows physical activity, especially cardiovascular, can build energy and be as effective as anti-depressant drugs in treating mild or moderate depression. So make time for a jog/walk or aerobic class at your local gym. A good idea is to join a social sports group (as little as one game a week) and have some fun. It is no secret that a good diet and eating habits will improve your general health and help maintain a healthy weight. However, being stressed, working long hours and being close to the fridge can result in bad eating habits. So talk to your doctor or health professional about eating a healthy diet.
6. Isolation – stay in contact: Workers in big companies may not always realise it, but being able to talk to colleagues with similar experiences each day, and share problems or just have a whinge, is healthy. Business owners, especially those running home-based ventures can feel isolated or lonely. It’s a good idea to join small business associations or other networking groups to meet likeminded people you can discuss similar business issues or ideas with.
7. Work on the work / life balance: Yes, it’s easier said than done, but having clear boundaries between work and life and regular time for you is vital to stay physically and mentally healthy. It is important to set work limits and trading hours. Make time for yourself and spend quality time with family and friends. It is extremely important to discuss how your work commitments will affect your family’s lifestyle with your family members. Very member of the family has needs and expectations, so set rules to make sure these are satisfied. This may mean family dinners three time a week, Saturday soccer or no phone Sunday to maintain a happy household.
8. Systems and process: Develop structures in your enterprise/ business to deal with depression and safeguard workers from inappropriate behaviours. As the owner it is your legal responsibility to look after your employees. It is a good idea to spend time drafting an employee handbook outlining a code of conduct, safe work practices, anti-bullying and discrimination, information about getting help for depression or mental illness and how employees can communicate with you or the company. If you’re running a home based (individual) or family business it is wise to discuss these issues with family or friends. If you or family members are not coping make arrangements to talk to a councillor or contact community based help organisation like Beyondblue (www.Beyondblue.com.au ).
The importance of good physical and mental health cannot be ignored. Take time to think about how you can improve your lifestyle, health, your support network of family, friends or colleagues and business practices. Take action!