Protecting your biggest asset, YOU!

Long hours?
Multi-tasking?
Financial worries?
Welcome to the world of self employment!

It’s not all doom and gloom but starting or running your own business can be a pressured time (a report by the London Business School found that entrepreneurs are 50% more likely than the general adult population to report having a mental health condition) so let’s be honest, you need to take steps to protect your mental wellbeing.

When we talk to our clients or local business owners about stress we hear the same things on repeat, running a business is full of things ready and willing to throw stress at you. It appears that no matter what your business or how long you’ve been operating at some point or another stress is gonna get you.

Have a read of some of the most common contributors to stress as well as some fabulous solutions that we have pulled together for you

So how can you avoid burning out and protect your mental wellbeing?

Time management

  • Excessive working hours – As tempting as it may be when the buck stops with you, excessive working can leave little time to relax properly. Something we all need.

Managing your time effectively can help alleviate stress. Breaking down tasks into more manageable chunks can help with feelings of being overwhelmed, allow you to feel like you are making progress, and focus on the tasks that matter most.

Delegate and ask for help.

  • A heavy workload and extra responsibility can lead to higher stress levels that may impact your sleep and risk burnout.

It’s tempting to juggle a variety of tasks when starting a business, but it can be better for your health to delegate certain tasks.

If you can, you could consider outsourcing activities such as bookkeeping or chasing payments to an accountant or invoice factoring company. If you have family members or friends who could help, don’t be afraid to ask them. Even if you can’t afford to pay them, maybe offer them something practical in return – a night’s babysitting, a meal around yours or helping them with a project of their own.

Find business support

  • We all need support, be that just talking or actually taking on some physical responsibilities, It’s finding the courage to ask for it. One thing that we are such supporters of is Networking!

Actively seeking out similar businesses or other start-up business owners can help you to not only share problems but importantly find solutions and lend support to each other.

We go on and on about this because it works and we believe in it! We run networking events and each and every time the individuals who have attended have gone away with new connections and plans afoot. Get in touch to find out about our next event, again, we can not overemphasise the amazing power that lies in networking.

Face your financial issues

  • This can be a massive one. Money is one of the biggest contributors to stress in all areas of life.

If you’re worried about financial issues such as cash flow or the ability to meet loan repayments or pay suppliers, it may be worth talking to a lender or financial institution sooner rather than later.

Many lenders and financial organisations offer support programmes and advice for smaller businesses that may be struggling.

You may be able to negotiate better credit terms, such as taking a payment holiday or repaying just the interest on a loan for a period.

Be proactive.

  • Taking care of your mental health and avoiding burnout starts with you. No one else can do this one for you, taking measures and getting things started is your job. Don’t worry though, this is an easy (and hopefully in the long run enjoyable job!).

Here are a few things you can easily integrate into your life  (don’t feel you have to do them all, chose what works best and feels most natural to you)

  • Talking – friends, family members care about you and quite often just sharing how you are feeling can alleviate some of the stress you feel and they may just have some really good suggestions.
  • Meditation and breathing – taking time to achieve a sense of calm through mindfulness, meditation, and breathing exercises can help tackle stress. The NHS offers a step-by-step guide or you can try one of the many smartphone meditation apps.
  • Sleep – getting enough sleep is a huge one WHen you start the day exhausted it can only get worse. There are numerous apps and podcasts aimed at helping you to get enough sleep. If those aren’t your cup of tea, a warm bath before bedtime and avoiding phone usage is a really good way of helping your brain to get into the sleep zone.
  • Regular exercise – Physical exercise isn’t just good for your body, it can actually help improve your mental healthtoo. Benefits are better sleep, happier moods, and being able to manage stress and anxiety.

The important thing to remember is that your business is YOU so it makes sense to protect your most valuable asset. Keep yourself strong and chances are your business will be too.

For help and advice with all aspects of running your business why not book in with one of our business mentors. Not only are they wonderful friendly folks, they are experienced at helping individuals just like you make sure that they are taking the steps and making the moves to ensure business success. Drop us a line at info@treeshpeherd.org.uk to get things going.