Investing in yourself is investing in your business
As a business owner, your wellbeing and ability to deal with the demands of your company is inextricably linked to the wellbeing and longevity of your business.
If you want your business to truly thrive, and not merely survive, it must be built on strong foundations, and that means bringing your best self to your company every day.
It goes without saying that the long, demanding hours and relentless pressures that come with being an entrepreneur are not easy. But if you lack the mechanisms for dealing with this stress, you could be doing both you and your business a disservice.
Taking the time out to prioritise your own needs occasionally not only means avoiding the dreaded burnout, but ensuring you are at the top of your game when it comes to steering your ship in the right direction.
It is easy to fall into the trap of being so entrenched in the running of your business that you forget to recognise the important achievements you make along the way.
Whether it is making your first hire, or completing your first profitable year, each of these milestones took many hours of hard work and determination to reach, so it is important to celebrate and acknowledge your efforts.
Recognising just how far you have come in your business journey is vital to keeping your motivation up during harder times, and carrying this momentum towards bigger and better things. Think about what lessons you have learned from each of these successes, and how they can be applied to your next big plans.
Burnout is an ever-present risk in the life of an entrepreneur, but setting and sticking to boundaries is vital to achieving more balance in your work and personal life, and avoiding your energy and attention being pulled in a whole slew of directions all at once.
One of the most effective ways to do this is by establishing office hours for yourself. Working to this schedule will motivate you to make the best use of this time, and work with increased purpose and focus. Similarly, having a cut-off time when it comes to answering calls and emails can keep those feelings of overwhelm at bay, while giving you valuable time to decompress at the end of your workday.
It is not only important to implement these boundaries, but also clearly communicate them to those around you, so you can ensure both you and your time are being respected.
Learn to say “no”
For many entrepreneurs, the idea of turning down a potential opportunity may sound counter intuitive. However, building a successful business means making the right decisions at the right time, and this means knowing when to say “no”.
Before automatically accepting every opportunity that comes along, take a minute to consider whether it is aligned with your current goals, will help move your business forward, or whether it will simply be a drain on your valuable time and resources.
Be willing to delegate and automate
While you might be tempted to simply take on everything yourself, doing so can result in overloading yourself with responsibility, and as your business expands, this approach will quickly become unfeasible.
Small, repetitive jobs can become a real drain on time and should be automated, whether it’s marketing emails or staff payroll. This will lighten your own workload, and free up time to work on things that move your business forward.
Likewise, effectively delegating those tasks which are not your speciality will save you additional effort and stress, while increasing your productivity by freeing you up so you can laser-focus in on more important tasks.
Support and self-improvement
Whether you choose to join a business network, or just take time out with friends and family, it is important to not become cut-off from those around you.
Being a business owner can be a lonely experience that can sap at your motivation, energy and quite often, your health, so accessing support when you need it is important for unloading some of those stresses that come with running a business.
Likewise, you can support your own efforts through self-improvement. Doing so will put you in a better position to take on the challenges of your growing business, and there are a wealth of resources for entrepreneurs to improve and develop their skills in a variety of areas. Books, podcasts, workshops and especially coaches and mentors can all assist you on your business journey, so take full advantage of the resources that are available to you.
Given the demands of running a business, it is unsurprising so many entrepreneurs succumb to burnout, or simply develop a lack of passion and motivation for their work, which means business inevitably suffers. However you choose to do it, taking the time to invest in yourself and your own long-term wellbeing is also an essential investment in your business.