Being an entrepreneur can be very stressful. As an entrepreneur, the mental, physical, and financial burden of the business automatically lies on you. This alone can threaten your health or make you break down. And the very thing that makes entrepreneurship attractive for most people ends up being the same thing that drives them away.
In spite of the threat to your health, your business demands you to work insanely hard. How then do you do it? How do you satisfy that demand without losing your mental sanity or breaking down health wise?
I have been an entrepreneur for a good number of years now. I know what it is like to feel as if you are carrying the responsibilities of the whole world. I have seen days where I felt my heart thumping in my chest as I tried to handle 20 tasks at a time.
Other times, I have watched myself lose so much weight because I couldn’t even make out time to eat. I have equally broken down and gotten sick a couple of times in the past.
However I got smarted at a point. Yes, I had to start applying wisdom. My life was more important. There was no point working so hard only to break down and not be able to enjoy the benefits of my hard work.
This was what prompted me to start looking out for alternatives. I had to look at the lifestyle of other entrepreneurs who were even more successful than I was. I observed them keenly and tried to align my life to what I saw, and ever since, I don’t even feel like I am working most of the time.
Below is the result of my findings. They are a few habits that smart entrepreneurs use to avoid losing their health and sanity while responding to the demands of running their own business. If it worked for them, it should work for you too.
- They Start Their Day before Everyone Else
Waking up early affords you time to think, meditate, and most especially plan. As an entrepreneur there have been times when I had so much to do that they just kept swimming across my mind like an obstinate goldfish.
I knew I was literally losing my mind. At times, I found it difficult to remember the things that happened the previous day. I had to cultivate the habit of waking up early to help my mental health.
It’s the most quiet and peaceful time of the day. This makes it the best time to meditate, think, write down your plans, and trim them down to fit into your day. This way you don’t have to kill yourself today over something you can handle tomorrow.
2. They Take out Time to Exercise and Workout
There was a time when I thought that hitting the gym or jogging was either for those who wanted to add some muscles or those who wanted to lose some weight. I considered myself the “intellectual entrepreneur” and hence, I didn’t see the need for a workout.
As an entrepreneur, you usually have the task of making very difficult decisions within very short periods. This makes it easy for you to get “brain clogged” just trying to carry all that mental stress.
Exercise, especially early in the morning, has vast benefits on your mind. It keeps you positive and in good moods. And it improves circulation of blood to our brains hence, keeping you sharp, mentally alert and healthy.
3. They Delegate
To delegate effectively simply means to pay someone to do stuff that you are meant to do so you can do more important stuff.
A friend once made a joke when he said to me, “When you delegate, you hold off on seeing heaven’s gate”. Funny as it might have sounded to me at the time, the advice was worth its weight in gold.
Initially, I was a hands-on, all-weather, all-involved entrepreneur. I couldn’t be at rest knowing someone else was doing it. I just couldn’t believe that someone else could handle things as well as I could. As a result, I almost never rested, and I struggled with my health as a result.
Thankfully, I learnt the power of delegation from Jack Canfield’s How to get from where you are to where you want to be. I learnt that there is a certain level of success I will never attain if I don’t start trusting people enough to delegate stuff to them.
You should do the same. If you want to maintain good health agility, and balance, then delegation is a necessity.
4. They Feed Properly and Take Lots of Fruits
The issue is not simply a matter of what we eat, but how we eat. Long and irregular work hours are a primary cause of unhealthy eating habits.
Hard workers often have low appetite and this can very easily degenerate into weight loss, binge eating disorder, bulimia and anorexia.
Smart entrepreneurs take time to eat, I mean they set out some time when they drop everything and sit down to a meal. They don’t eat while standing or working or driving. They seat down either with the family at a breakfast table or they take a break off work to eat.
Smart entrepreneurs take a lot of fruits and food supplements especially organic ones. As I write this, I am presently eating some carrots, because I understand the benefits of fruits. I know for instance that fruits help my heart and systems cope with the stress I go through everyday.
5. They Rest During And In Between Achievements
I had to learn very early in business that “there is no drug as effective as sleep”. I always used to think that I had to have started earning like Bill Gates before I could afford to rest. I paid dearly with my heath for that mindset.
It is not laziness to take a few days off and savor success when you taste it. Pushing yourself harder and harder will sooner land you in a wheel chair than it will in Bill’s chair.
Take out time during and after a major business achievement to throw your head back, lay back and sleep. Go on a vacation. Or simply spend time with family away from all the work demands.
6. They Practice generosity
It’s true that “Karma is a bitch” as they say, But “karma can also make you rich” if you plant the right seeds. Though it sounds farfetched I found out that giving to people especially people who are sick and in hospitals somehow improved my spirit and my health.
They say what goes around comes around. This is no exception.
Smart entrepreneurs value their mental, spiritual, and physical balance just as much as they value their business and financial progress. They live by these habits to stay sane, healthy and successful.
What about you?