Running a business shouldn’t mean running yourself into the ground, but for many entrepreneurs, this is sadly the case. There’s too much to do, not enough people — or time — to do it, and almost always, it’s left to the owner of a small business to keep the show on the road and pick up any pieces that inevitably fall in the course of frantic trading.
And with so much passion, energy and money poured into getting a business off the ground, at the beginning of a new enterprise it can sometimes feel like you’ve signed your life over to your company and have hardly any time for anything else — much less trying to look after yourself. Plus, when you come up with a new idea that you’re certain will be a business success, the last thing you want is for it to fall flat and leave you red-faced among your family and friends.
The drive to succeed is powerful, but it can also destroy — families and your health — and it’s also propelled by fears that you could lose it all and end up with worse than nothing: bankrupt and owing millions. But working yourself to the bone, and not delegating tasks because the business is “your baby” and you don’t want to lose control or risk that something won’t be done right is not the answer.
You end up ground down, burned out and the spark of that initial business passion you had is starting to die out, and you’re no good to anyone. The business becomes rudderless as you flail about trying to keep it on the right track, and because you’re so overworked, and your stress levels have hit the roof, your health may well start to suffer. So what can you do?
Stepping back from all that happens in your business is essential to give yourself a valuable perspective on how things are going and to have a breather. Switching off from everything will allow you to refresh your mind and body, and if you also incorporate some exercise into this important downtime, you can deal with any build-up stresses incredibly easily, as they just melt away while you run, cycle, swim or anything else. Don’t worry, the business is not going to implode and fall apart if you’re not around at this time that is just for you. Instead of feeling drained by being at the helm non-stop, you’ll come back revived, with a clear head and raring to go.
You can also take this a step further by taking regular time out to do some meditation. Many successful businesspeople use meditative techniques to empower themselves with a calmer mind that they can then use to think through any problems the business might be encountering. And if you’re spending a lot of time on the road, and take many international flights of long duration, it’s equally important to take care of yourself when you arrive at your destination or back home, including by giving yourself adequate time after draining long-haul flights and upsetting jetlag, rather than rushing straight into meetings with a foggy mind that doesn’t really get you anywhere.
Watching the Waistline
Just because your business is expanding doesn’t mean your waistline has to as well. In the maelstrom of day-to-day life in the modern office, when we’re rushing from one meeting to another, taking trips to see clients and drumming up more sales, it’s all too easy to succumb to the easiest food choices. That usually means something from a vending machine or nearby fast food restaurant. And it’s likely to be neither real food nor substantial enough to keep you going, the result of which is you’re grazing throughout the day — and piling on the pounds.
Businesspeople should be as lean as their operations, and that means not only keeping in shape and looking great for meetings, conferences and presentations but eating right too. Cutting out almost everything that’s processed, including fast food, snacks and sugary drinks, will do you the world of good in terms of proper nutrition to keep you going and looking on top of your game.
Some businesspeople smoke because it’s a way of dealing with their high stress levels. But as smoking has become so socially unacceptable, it’s highly undesirable to keep lighting up cigarettes if you’re a business leader and trying to set a standard. Staff, clients and others might wonder if you have an issue with control — if you’re not able to kick your addictive habit, what else are you not able to do, especially at work?
If you find you haven’t been able to stop smoking and are desperately trying to quit, you can take some advice from the NHS, which says that using e-cigarettes is one of the most effective ways of doing so. You get the nicotine you want but avoid the toxic cocktail of chemicals found in burning tobacco. And you’ll smell a whole lot better too. Vape kits are a great way to start vaping, as they have everything you need, and e-liquid that contains nicotine salts will deliver the kind of wholesome nicotine hit you’re after.
Taking care of your health and appearance is bound to result in a boom, not a handicap, for your growing business.