Nurturing your Wellbeing as an Entrepreneur

In the bustling world of entrepreneurship, the pursuit of success often leads to neglecting one crucial element – personal wellbeing. Recently, I had the privilege of presenting at the AIBF Entrepreneurs in Munster conference, where I covered the topic of entrepreneur wellbeing. In this blog, we’ll explore the insights I shared and the need for self-investment in the entrepreneurial journey.

The Reality of Burnout

How many of us have experienced the draining feeling at the end of a busy day? As entrepreneurs, this exhaustion can escalate to burnout, significantly impacting our work. Having spent 12 years as an occupational health nurse, my role was to support the well-being of employees, including leaders. I’ve had countless discussions with people experiencing occupational burnout.
A common thread I discovered was that Burnout didn’t discriminate. What struck me was that many people recognised the warning signs on their path to burnout, but for most, they became aware of this in hindsight, not when they were in the midst of it. This realisation suggests that growing our awareness opens up the possibility of accessing supports and preventative measures. And that’s not to suggest that having this awareness is easy in the first place.

Assessing Your Energy Levels

When it comes to our businesses, we meticulously assess risks, plan our work tasks, and embrace LEAN techniques, but how often do we assess, analyze, and plan our own well-being? Consider the impact on your business if you, as its driving force, are unable to operate at your best. So let’s take a minute to assess your energy levels. On a scale of 0 to 5, where do your energy levels stand today?

The Entrepreneurial Advantage

Now, the good news, in a recent study looking at entrepreneur burnout, solopreneurs have the lowest risk. The sense of meaning, personal autonomy, and job satisfaction in entrepreneurship contribute to lower burnout risks. However, this doesn’t absolve us from developing healthy work habits and recognising the importance of self-care.

Crafting Personal Wellbeing Habits

So we thrive on purpose and believe wholeheartedly in our work, but on the flip side this might mean we develop unhealthy work habits. How often do you find yourself glued to your computer, pushing through without breaks? Forgetting that you have a body with physical needs – like going to the toilet, eating, and moving? I’ve been there. It’s taken intentional practice to weave small yet impactful changes into my routine. Recognising that each person’s work habits are unique, the intention is not to criticise but to inspire positive change.
Personally, I’ve discovered that I feel more effective and focused in my work after taking a brief 10-minute walk outdoors than if I were to push through. Establishing boundaries with myself, like not checking emails after a certain time, improves the quality of my sleep, which, in turn, positively impacts my productivity the next day.
Now, here’s the challenge for you: consider incorporating your version of these changes. It’s not just about trying to avoid burnout; it’s about enhancing your mindset and overall well-being.

The Business Case for Wellbeing

Gallup reports in workplaces when our well-being is thriving, deliver higher performance, we take fewer sick days, have lower rates of burnout and make more profit. And so there is a business case for well-being especially as entrepreneurs.

Conclusion

Reflecting on the AIBF Entrepreneurs in Munster meet-up, I find myself humbled by the opportunity to share insights on entrepreneur wellbeing. Standing on that stage, I was reminded that the journey of entrepreneurship is a collective effort, shaped by the support of a dynamic community.

The privilege of contributing to the conversation about wellbeing is not taken lightly. As entrepreneurs, we navigate challenges, and it’s in these shared experiences that we find strength. I encourage each of you, as I do myself, to consider small steps toward personal wellbeing. It’s not about grand gestures but the everyday choices that make a lasting impact.

Disclaimer

Please note the date of this blog. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or qualified health professional.

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