One of the best things a business owner can do for their business is continue to breathe. It sounds simple but for some business owners the hardest part about business ownership is finding time for themselves.
Health can be defined in a range of ways but the way I see it is; health is the absence of illness and the presence of vitality. Vitality is that energy and exuberance that comes from someone who is well rested, with energy to burn and the focus to put that energy to good use. I know many business owners that miss the mark when it comes to their own health.
Often business owners believe they need to work 24/7, putting themselves into a situation where it is difficult to sustain for the long term. If your business does not allow you the time to look after yourself over the long term, what makes you think the business will even last that long… Or that you will? By having your business over reliant upon you, it is likely you are starting a cycle that will turn into a cyclone, that can only result in a path of destruction.
What happens is this: first you begin to work all of the time. You are working in your business and doing the hard yards and there is a part of you that thinks ‘this is what I have to do for my business to continue’. You are being a martyr. The pressure on you builds until you are working so much you lose contact with your friends and family. Little did you know, that they were the support system of your life and without them you are left unsupported. Anyone who thinks that they have to do it alone is suffering from what I like to call the ‘Hero Complex’.
The ‘Hero Complex’ describes those people that think they don’t need anyone else’s help. They think they can move mountains on their own and run their business on their own. It is almost an ego trip for them. Little do they realise, that every hero has a sidekick. Someone who helps them when they can’t see an answer. Someone who keeps them focused when the going gets tough. Often it is purely the belief that the sidekick has in them, that reenergises the hero to go on and win. Some heroes even have a whole team to support them in their mission! If you believe you can do this on your own and that your business will only operate if you do everything, all of the time… You are wrong. In every instance you are wrong.
The key to success is having a team of experts to help make decisions… and a pit crew who support you… and cheer squad who believe in you. As Michael Jackson said ‘you are not alone’ and you never should be.
If you have made the choice to be 100% work all of the time, what happens when you are so worn out, so tired and unhealthy that illness and stress rears its ugly head. All of a sudden you are less productive and need a break but there is no break available to you. What if this makes your illness even worse? Stress is also something that needs to be managed effectively when owning and operating your own business. While some stress is healthy, and often entrepreneurs actually thrive under pressure, with one in three Australians reporting feelings of depression, it is important to know where your balance lies (The Australian Psychology Society, 2011, p2 ). Mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health.
The key to success here is, know your limits. You know your own body better than anyone else and if it is giving you the warning signals that you are overdoing it, then maybe it is time to listen… Even if only for your business’ sake! The best thing you can do for your business is be healthy for it and sometimes that may mean taking a step back to sit down for a while and smelling the roses on your path to success.
“Every Human being is the author of his own health or disease” Buddha