When you’re run off your feet, juggling product development, finance, recruitment and marketing for your business, the last thing you want to do is find the time to go for a run or catch up with a friend over coffee. But looking after yourself is part of looking after your business.
“I think wellbeing is number one,” says Ollie Edwards, founder of Epic Breakfast Company. “I know from teaching for five years that my happiness suffered when I let this slip, and ultimately drove me away from it. It’s easy to look at others doing 80 hour weeks as models for inspiration, but it’s not possible to have a happy balanced life while keeping this up for a number of years. I can achieve more when I’m happy, well fed, well rested, fit and motivated in six hours than a miserable, tired, grumpy 12 hours.”
A study of 500 small business owners from online accounting software provider Xero found that more than 80 per cent had felt stressed in the last six months. The knock-on effects of running a business were that entrepreneurs lost sleep (41 per cent), drank more alcohol (21 per cent) and stopped exercising (7 per cent).
“Time is the single biggest issue I face,” says Gareth Thomas, a single foster carer to three children and owner of Clarified consultancy. “It feels like time is never on my side, but the reality is that we all have the same amount of time each day, and it’s a choice what we do with each minute.”