Being an entrepreneur is more than just a career path. It almost feels as if it’s in your blood and you can’t ignore it. If you are a big dreamer and have always desired to have your own business, you probably know exactly what I mean…
My dad has been an entrepreneur my whole life. I remember visiting his office when I was seven. I loved sitting at his desk and picking up the phone.
When I was ten, I decided that I wanted to earn my own money. I drew out a chart on a whiteboard and started tracking how many copies I made and the total price I would charge my dad. Honestly, I was always motivated by money because I wanted to be able to buy things for myself and my family. (That year I bought each of my parents the patch for Christmas in hopes they would quit smoking. It didn’t work, but I never gave up, which I eventually learned is a valuable trait as an entrepreneur!)
By the time I was 17, I was babysitting for multiple families and my dad handed me bookkeeping software so he didn’t have to handwrite invoices any longer. I actually loved learning about financials, and it piqued my interest in business, although I was going to school to be an elementary school teacher.
Unfortunately, when I was in college, my dad became disabled from taking the prescription Crestor to lower his cholesterol. Our world turned upside down since he could no longer work. I had to work more in the family business, which was overwhelming, especially as a shy, anxious, and sensitive teenager.
But I had to push past the fear and work harder than I ever had. Plus, caring about my family and being a dreamer were constant motivators.
You could say I learned quite a bit during that time. One thing I wish I knew was to take better care of myself because running a business can be incredibly tiring. I didn’t realize it then, but my dad was an entrepreneur who was always putting everyone else first. His health was out of balance because he ate food on-the-go, relied on coffee, and didn’t make time to exercise.
I started doing research and realized I needed to make changes in my life before it got worse. At the time, I was eating a lot of takeout, gaining weight, and feeling completely exhausted from long hours at work and school. I was also still taking Prozac, which I was prescribed when I was 12 due to anxiety and depression, but it was no longer helping my stress.
I started taking supplements, and it inspired me to go to nutrition school to learn more about health and wellness. I then became a holistic health and life coach, which changed my life.
I have had to “walk my talk” for the past ten years. I can’t eat junk food, drink caffeine, and stay up late but then tell my clients to take care of their bodies and minds. It has kept me inspired and always wanting to improve myself. And honestly, when I have a clear mind and good energy, I’m a much better business owner. I am more creative, patient, and motivated. I am also able to lead from a grounded place rather than constantly feeling overwhelmed and depleted.
With a business, you work long hours and make mistakes, especially at the beginning. You avoid eating lunch or exercising to make sure everything is on track. You may even wipe out your own finances to invest in your vision.
It can affect every area of your life, including your health, relationships, and finances. The stress can be excessive.
That’s why it’s even more important to make the time for yourself. You will always have work to do, so create clear boundaries and take time off. Make sure to carve out time to eat, exercise, relax, spend time with loved ones, and enjoy your hobbies.
Spend as much time as you can working in your zone of genius and delegate the things that suck your time and energy. For example, I’m good at bookkeeping, but I’d much rather be coaching clients, writing, or meeting with my team. So, I eventually hired a bookkeeper, which saves me many hours per month.
Additionally, I have found hiring business and life coaches, personal trainers, and other professionals have kept me accountable and moving forward. Yes, they are an investment, but after I saw what my dad went through, I believe one of the best things we can ever invest in is our mental and physical health. If we don’t have our health, it’s really hard to focus on anything else. Being an exhausted entrepreneur will not help you reach your dreams.
Now is the time to make yourself a priority, especially if you’ve been feeling drained, tense, nervous or having specific health issues. You can start small with just 20 minutes every morning before diving into your busy day. Make sure to unwind every evening rather than being in front of a screen. Do more of what brings you joy, even if it’s not business-related, such as reading, swimming, doing yoga, painting, traveling, etc. This unplugged time will recharge you and give you more insight in your day to day life.
I guess it’s safe to say that I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and it would be hard to see it any other way. But it’s been a journey! I have learned so much and I know there is more to obtain. However, taking care of myself both physically and emotionally is key to being a healthy (and happy) entrepreneur. So take a deep breath and rearrange some things this week to make time for you! The work will still be there when you come back.