Entrepreneurs can get so focused on their business that they can forget to take care of their health.
There are five categories health can be classified into – mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and social, but for the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on the mental, physical and emotional component.
Here are five ways entrepreneurs jeopardize their health.
#1 Working long hours
Entrepreneurs tend to work longer than most other people, and even when not physically working they are thinking about their business all the time. Those who do not have structured environments fail to learn how to start and stop their work day consciously.
Human beings are not machines, the mind and body is delicate, it needs to be nurtured and brought to rest to recuperate and get ready for the next day.
Most entrepreneurs work more than 12 hours a day, sometimes even on the weekends; this can cause severe damage to their health.
#2 Sitting in front of a desk for too long
Nowadays everything is done with a computer and an internet connection. Most face to face meetings are replaced by video conferencing, skype calls and virtual meetings on slack. We rarely tend to go out to meet people.
Unfortunately, many of us rarely even sit properly. A blog post on DeskJockey says it’s important to get in the habit of sitting properly. The article further states that we should breathe deeply and evenly, fidget, stretch, and find any excuse to get up.
#3 Not managing your finances properly
What has finances got to do with health? More than you think. Entrepreneurs have a dual task of having to manage the finances of their company, and their personal finances.
Poor financial management can lead to a lot of stress, which can eventually cause burn out and several related side-effects.
It’s advisable to use the services of a trusted professional in this area, and spend a few hours a week looking into your financials.
Filip Boksa, Co-founder of King of Maids says “We’re in the service industry, and it’s important for us to be on top of our finances at all times. We pay our bills on time, and we also insist that clients make their payments on time. We also have a sizable amount of working capital to help us during our lean periods. Yes, poor money management can cause a lot of stress.”
#4 Not having a life outside your business
Many entrepreneurs rarely have friends outside their business. Most of the people they hang out with are people from their business circle. This might prove beneficial initially where they could mix business with pleasure, but on the long run, it begins to affect them mentally because they are mostly talking business. It takes up a lot of their mental energy eventually.
It helps to pursue a hobby, and look at your business like a job that has a start and an end.
#5 Not working out
Majority of people – entrepreneurs or otherwise – rarely work out. Working out has several benefits. It helps you sleep better, makes your lungs stronger, reduces stress, releases endorphins that make you happy, and makes you more productive at your job.
Try to workout at least 3 days a week. You’ll realize that working out helps you perform better at work. It tends to make you feel happy, productive, and less stressed. It’s also a welcome break from your desk.
Here are eight things you can do to stay on top of your business and health.
#1 Learn something new every day. As a healthy entrepreneur, you must apply every knowledge that you acquire. Not only should you educate yourself about topics relevant to growing your business, you can also seek and apply knowledge about what it takes to be healthy. This means that you recognize that healthy behaviors have a direct impact on your business.
#2 Make exercise a priority. A healthy body will help cultivate a healthy mind. Even if you’re extremely busy, find 10 minutes here and there to exercise. It will help with alleviate stress and get those endorphins pumped up to take on challenges.
#3 Eat less junk food. Think of food as fuel: The higher quality fuel you put in your tank, the better you’ll perform. You don’t need to diet or cut foods out to eat healthy either. Just eat more real food — stuff that comes from nature — instead of processed junk and fast food. By doing so, you could help improve your energy endurance (no sugar crashes) and mood, among other benefits. Entrepreneurs should consume food that is high in protein, vitamins and healthy fats and avoid foods high in chemicals and carbs since these will likely cause a crash in energy.
#4 Sleep more. All entrepreneurs experience the grind of late nights, early morning meetings and last-minute deadlines. But healthy entrepreneurs know that sleep is vital to their success. Whether you rise early and tackle your important projects first thing in the morning or you’re a night owl, find a consistent sleep routine and stick to it. And never underestimate the power of a good power nap to recharge your brain.
#5 Create balance in your life. Healthy entrepreneurs treat health as a lifestyle. You can’t put a Band-Aid on a bad business plan, just like you can’t eat healthy for a week and expect to lose weight. Successful entrepreneurs wholeheartedly embrace healthy living: They work smarter, not harder.
Entrepreneurship and health go hand-in-hand. Each will teach you valuable lessons about the other.
#6 Drink Water and be sure it’s the best quality
According to the US Geological Survey your body is over 60 percent water and your brain and heart are over 73 percent water. It stands to reason then that water is one of the most important aspects of our life. Drinking water makes your body more alkaline and raises your pH. Many doctors know that water helps to stop disease, increase brain function, give you more energy, slow down your aging process and much more. Your average tap water or bottled water is not going to help you though unfortunately.
#7 Be conscious of your health status.
If you find you’re always tired or tend to doze off at your desk, don’t shrug it off as “just the stress.” Schedule a health check to confirm your health status.
Chronic fatigue can be a symptom of allergic hinitis, anemia, depression, fibromyalgia or some other health condition. If any one of these is at the root of your lack of energy, you need to know about it before you can make necessary life changes to ameliorate the problem. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your health.
#8 Work within well-crafted systems.
It’s the nature of entrepreneurship: battling with deadlines, clients and volatile business environments. Things change quickly and demands become more severe. But you still have your life to live, and that might include the stresses of being a father, mother, husband of wife. How can you cope?
Entrepreneurs can’t allow their lives to dangle in the direction of every new pressure. A good entrepreneur will have plans for every day, as well as weekly plans. Reserve a spot on this list for “no-do demands” — those you won’t respond to, no matter how juicy the offer.
Healthy entrepreneurs know when to hire new staff and spare themselves the hassle. They know, too, when the work requires they take a hands-on approach. Craft a properly functioning system that affords you as much downtime as you need, to rest and live like a normal human being.
Entrepreneurship is a highly demanding profession. Entrepreneurs can sometimes jeopardize their health and wellness, while chasing that big dream. Often times, it also affects their business in more ways than they can imagine. Along with business management, personal management is also an important area that should not be ignored.
As an entrepreneur, you already have enough risk to deal with; credit risk, cash flow risk, market risk. Make sure not to let good health be one of the things risked when so much can be done in the modern world to prevent it. We know that grinding long hours is important to making it big, but living long enough to see your success is by far more important.