You Need To Be Paying Attention To Your Health As An Entrepreneur
I get it, your startup is your life. You live, eat, sleep, and breathe work. That’s great – until it isn’t. As a tech angel investor, and a serial entrepreneur, I’ve seen what happens when entrepreneurs pour their heart and soul into building their businesses. They work long hours, sacrifice their personal time, and put their health on the backburner in relentless pursuit of success. What they fail to realize is that neglecting your health comes with serious consequences for both you and your business. Here’s why it’s critical to invest in preserving your own health and wellbeing in order to further the success of your company.
5 Ways To Prioritize Your Health as a Startup Entrepreneur
1. Avoid Burnout
As someone who enjoys pushing vehicles to their limits, trust me: you can’t sustain maximum speed. Entrepreneurship is a demanding and stressful journey, filled with high-pressure situations and constant decision-making, which take a toll on both the mind and body. Many entrepreneurs often find themselves working long hours, sitting at a desk for extended periods, and neglecting their physical and mental health. That’s a recipe for burnout, decreased productivity, and even serious health problems. You have to keep your focus on the longterm goals and push towards success in a way that is sustainable. Otherwise you (and your company) won’t be around long enough to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
My flavors of exercise tend to fall under the “adrenaline” category. But whatever gets your heart pumping works. The importance of exercise and physical activity cannot be overstated – it helps reduce stress, increase energy levels, and improve overall physical and mental health. It also teaches us important lessons about ourselves, helps us build grit and resilience, and gives us confidence that we can endure challenges. You can leverage all that into increased productivity and focus, empowering you to perform at your best. Make physical activity a part of your day, every single day, whether you run, walk, kitesurf, spearfish, or heliski (my personal favorites).
3. Nurture your mind
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Period. Neglecting mental health can lead to anxiety, depression, and decreased productivity, which can have serious consequences for both the entrepreneur and their business. People that try to outrun their stress, hide from failure, or push past the painful, challenging moments in life are headed for trouble. As a leader and as an entrepreneur you have to take steps to prioritize your mental health. You can see a therapist, partice mindfulness meditation, read – whatever you need to do to take breaks throughout the day to clear your mind. Set a good example for your team members, so they know that their mental health matters to you, too.
I hate the no-time-to-sleep culture. If I’m not too busy to sleep, neither are you. Sleep isn’t optional and missing out on sleep isn’t a sign of your discipline or commitment. It’s just a sign you don’t have your priorities straight. Sleep is a crucial component of health and lack of sleep can lead to decreased cognitive function, increased stress, decreased immune function, increased risk of injury, among many other negative side effects.
If you’re a human being, let alone an entrepreneur, you need to prioritize sleep to ensure that you are performing at your best and avoiding burnout. Motivate yourself knowing that getting enough sleep can boost your cognitive performance.
5. Eat smart
I currently live in Italy. I love pasta. I love red wine. I also make it a point to eat a well-rounded, healthy diet. First of all, it’s delicous. Secondly, a healthy diet is essential for overall health and well-being. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats can provide the nutrients necessary for optimal physical and mental function. Entrepreneurs often fall into the trap of consuming fast food or skipping meals altogether. In return, they get decreased energy levels and productivity. Fuel your mind and body for success.
Life is short enough.
You are the foundation of your business. If you want it to be healthy and sustainable, you have to be as well. Entrepreneurship is a demanding and stressful journey that can and will take a toll on your mind and body. Neglecting your health and well-being has serious consequences for both the entrepreneur and their business. As an angel investor, the entrepreneur behind the startup is a primary consideration in whether or not I will invest. If you’re an entrepreneur, I encourage you to prioritize your health and well-being to ensure you’re performing at your peak and achieving your goals. By preserving your health for the long term, you’re building the foundation for a successful and sustainable business.
Enjoy the ride.