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Being a business leader requires extra energy and passion, motivation, utter concentration and the ability to inspire your team and to show them the right direction when everyone faces a creative block or has more or less given up on a project. Putting up with the responsibility and the pressure such a demanding role brings could be exhausting at times. In order not to fall victim to a burn-out and to be able to conserve your energy and health you’d better have a strategy you won’t compromise with.
Here are a few ideas on how to excel at putting your health and happiness first while you remain the business leader everyone looks up to.
Our founder and managing partner, Terry Tateossian, gives her take on the subject as well. You could read her opinion under number 5. Limit Toxic Relationship
(The Expert Panel was initially published at Forbes.)
Entrepreneurs, especially when first starting out, often fall into the trap of overwork. While any successful business needs a firm hand to guide it, your body and mind have their own needs as well. Taking time off for relaxation and socialization in a non-work environment is critical to maintaining your health and the productivity you need to run a growing company.
Unfortunately, not all business owners see it that way, and eventually those long hours will take their toll on their mental and physical well-being. Here, eight experts from Young Entrepreneur Council look at what entrepreneurs can do to put their own happiness and health above their business’ needs.
1. Take Sabbaticals And Unplug During Your Day
I schedule trips throughout the year and spend every morning on meditation and fitness. I never sc
hedule calls early in the day, and I ease into my workday with creative tasks such as writing or planning before I spend the afternoon answering emails and calls. This is so valuable to me, because it sets an example for my teams to treat their time and themselves with respect. If your teams are tired and run down, without outlets, their performance suffers. I need to rest and recharge and my team does, as well. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
2. Prioritize Sleep Above All Else
I’ve prioritized sleep above everything else in my life and watched my productivity soar. My attention to detail, ability to cast vision and solve problems without losing my cool are all impacted by how much sleep I get. It’s been the No. 1 thing to move the needle in my business beyond working out every day or even hiring the right team—and I’m the team girl. When I’m rested, I simply show up better. I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum, where I prioritize business at the detriment to my sleep and when I put my rest above all else. I’ve seen proof in our metrics and in my well-being—my health determines the success of my business. – Trivinia Barber, PriorityVA
3. Exercise And Eat Healthy
Commit to a scheduled exercise regimen and a healthy diet. Sitting in an office for 80 hours a week with little to no physical activity does your body and your business no good. And even if you’re currently successful, you probably won’t be for long. The same thing goes for a healthy diet. Never make the mistake of thinking you’re too busy running your business to prepare and eat healthy meals or take the time to make healthy choices when dining out. If you’re not happy and healthy outside of work, you probably won’t be a successful entrepreneur for long. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
4. Get A Dog
Being an entrepreneur, you are pretty much connected from the moment you wake up to when you shut your eyes to go to bed. Your success largely relies on you being able to communicate quickly and connect with many people every day. It’s easy to wake up, start responding to emails and then all of a sudden realize it’s evening. Having a dog is a physical reminder that periodically you need to get up and go for a walk. Your dog will make sure to remind you if you don’t! These daily walks help get the blood flowing and, more importantly, allow you to take a step out of the hustle and gain some perspective, which is good for both your body and mind! – Tony Scherba, Yeti
One specific example is limiting toxic relationships, whether they are professional or personal. Nothing sucks the life and happiness out of someone like having a lot of negative energy bouncing around on a daily basis. Something I started doing in 2020 was simply eliminating connections that don’t bring gratitude, empathy or respect to the table. My personal motto is to walk away from people and situations which one does not feel grateful for. That obviously goes both ways. I encourage people to walk away if they are unhappy or seek a different arrangement. It may be difficult in the short term, but you will always feel better in the long run. – Terry Tateossian, Socialfix Media
6. Make Time For Your Passion
Make time for your passion—your passion outside of your company. Your business shouldn’t be the only thing you’ve got going on in your life. Our minds simply can’t sustain doing the same thing day in, day out, forever. You need variation. That’s where a hobby comes into play. Whether it’s reading, writing, playing sports, drawing, painting, playing an instrument or whatever else you’re into, make sure you carve hours out of the week to devote to the passion projects in your personal life. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find that your mood and productivity improve dramatically when you set aside time for these leisure activities. – Amine Rahal, IronMonk Solutions
7. Be Thankful For Everything
For me it is all about being appreciative and thankful for everything each and every day. It is important that you acknowledge your health, your success, your family and your happiness. All of this comes first and then comes your business. But if you keep going through each day, not seeing the positive and not being grateful, you will get caught up in the negative, the worrying and the stress. Take time each day to journal and write down what you are thankful for. This will help your health and happiness and allow you to be a better entrepreneur. – Lisa Collum, Top Score Writing
8. Know When To Walk Away
It’s crucial to know when to walk away, and the best thing to do is to remember why you’re doing what you do and what’s important to you. For me, it’s my family. If my job suddenly takes me away from the precious time I have with them, then there’s no real purpose to what I’m doing. I always make sure I spend important time with my kid and some quiet time with my wife—those are moments you can never get back. Your business will still be there when you’re ready to work. – Richard Fong, Ready Green