There’s no doubt about it.
Being a small business owner, entrepreneur or freelancer can be exhausting and stressful as well as immensely rewarding.
You started your entrepreneurial journey as you wanted greater flexibility and control over your working life and income. You wanted to have a choice over the days and hours you worked, whether that’s because you have a family or you live out of town... you value your freedom.
Yet for more entrepreneurs and freelancers, putting boundaries around “work” becomes somewhat blurred and the “work-creep” invades your personal time before you know it. This isn’t experienced by those just like you, but by many who have a smartphone as it virtually puts you “on-tap” and accessible by clients at all hours and any day of the week.
As entrepreneurs and freelancers, you’re not always buoyed by the security and comfort of being paid by the hour, every week and having the security of paid leave and superannuation and the result of this is that you may tend to work harder, for longer hours, especially in the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey.
However, like with anything in the modern world, it’s of imperative importance to monitor your health and stress levels and to listen and take note of the idiosyncrasies and messages that your body and brain send to you to indicate that you may need to slow down or have a break.
Mash Gribova from Superscript says…
“Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of thinking that the business has to come before everything, with every waking minute dedicated to its success. But in reality, if you continue on this road for too long, you're likely to reach the point of no return - stressed out, wiped out and burnt out. And that's not going to do your business any favours.”
The truth is that you need to focus on what your values are in this stage of your life and prioritise them.
Tomorrow the “to do” list will still be there, the task will need to be completed but your kids will grow so fast and your health can deteriorate quicker than you realise. The only one who can closely monitor this is you!
So here are some tips to keep your well-being in check on your entrepreneurial journey;
1. Your body is your temple; looking after it is important.
Nourish it with food that will help it thrive. This will bring you greater clarity, energy and longevity.
2. Schedule breaks.
This is important. If you’re one who powers through hours of work at a time, set the timer on your phone to have a break after 1 or 2 hours.
Your brain and body benefit when you get up and move . Here at Platypus we have fantastic cafe’s close by. A daily challenge might be to walk down to the Bridge Mall or along Sturt St to grab some lunch. If you really want to challenge yourself, walk up and down Dana St each day. Your body and brain will thank you for it. Using a coworking space is a great way to force yourself to leave the confines of your comfy home. If you park a few blocks away you can find free parking and get the blood pumping and body moving as you walk to Platypus.
4. Dedicate time away from your device (or at least your emails).
Do you know if you reply to your emails super fast, you set the expectation from people who email you, to expect you to email back pronto! The truth is, an email can wait a couple of hours and most definitely overnight so please, if you can, get into the habit of not checking your emails at night or over the weekend (depending on your industry of course) and give yourself the breathing and thinking space you need and deserve.
5. Create a network of like-minded people who can support you!
It’s imperative in the world of business, entrepreneurialism and freelancing to create a network of support around you of people who are “in the game”. People who understand the challenges of running your own business, where it all comes down to you to...these people can be incredible in bouncing ideas around, of picking you up when you’re feeling down and helping you stay motivated. They can also be a great source of business referrals for you too, which helps us all stay in business.
Running your own business is not for the faint of heart, but with setting clear working boundaries, looking after yourself and prioritising your values, it can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.