Why Business Owners Should Invest In Their Health First

Last month, a study by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that the health of many entrepreneurs is seriously at risk. For all the rewards of owning and running your own company, there are serious risks to both mental and physical health that come with it. 

The analysis, which encompasses five years worth of research complied from the organisation’s members, showed that small business owners referred through their medical advice service had developed serious, sometimes life-threatening health complications linked to the nature of their jobs, such as mental health issues, orthopaedic complications and even cancer. 

Many of these issues have their roots in work place stress, which is often acutely present in the lives of small business owners, who deal with the responsibility of running operations and ensuring the survival of their company, often single-handed. This is coupled with the seemingly impossibility of taking time off work with health issues, which is often prohibitive for those who are self employed and so don’t receive sick pay. 

Entrepreneurs are also likely to fall into bad health habits due to the all-consuming nature of starting up their businesses, including working late into the night, neglecting exercise in favor of sedentary hours at the desk, not eating right, and the pressures of not spending time with their families while they try and pull in business. All of these factors can spell bad news for business owners. 

Too often, personal health gets relegated when there are so many other factors competing for your time. But the saying ‘health is wealth’ is never more true than when you’re the CEO of your own little empire. Without good health, all the efforts you have put in to build up your company could be in jeopardy. Your health is a crucial part of your business assets. 

Just a few simple changes can vastly increase your health and help to protect your assets. Here’s what to do: 

Create An ‘Hour Of Power’ 

There’s never enough time when you’re running a business, and yet carving out an hour to dedicate to your health is one investment that you may end up wishing you’d made. Setting aside an hour in the morning for health and well-being may sound like a big ask, but it could pay dividends for both your physical and mental condition. The trick is to take the time before you start your working day. It’s too easy to have great intentions that never get carried through once you check your email and get sucked into dealing with the day’s workload. So for the first hour of your day, have an email ban. Use the time to work out, take a moment to reflect on your goals and prepare a proper, nutritious breakfast for yourself. This simple investment will enable you to begin your working day recharged. If you can exercise outdoors, it’s all the better for your mental health- you just have to find something that works for you, be it a run or even a session or yoga, and stick to it. Find some healthy quick breakfast recipe ideas and take your time to clear your mind while you eat. You might be surprised how much better you feel with this one simple change. And getting up an hour earlier will make you feel like you’ve squeezed more out of a busy day. The process is all part of establishing boundaries between your personal and working life- a hard lesson to learn, but one that is vital of your goal is to build a sustainable business. 

Prioritize Quality Sleep 

Our sleep is one of the underpinning factors of our health, so making sure you get a good night's rest is no trivial matter. Without enough sleep, you are likely to make poor business decisions and find it difficult to focus, as well as experiencing a lowered immune system, and a lack of energy to exercise and make healthier food choices. It’s key to find ways to decompress at the end of a busy working day. And as hard as it may seem when you’re the one running the show, you must develop boundaries in your home life, such as a time of night when you step away from the laptop. If you find it hard to switch off, focus on developing a nightly routine centered around things that relax you- perhaps listening to a favorite podcast, or taking a bath. Have a ‘blue light blackout’ in the bedroom and don’t allow electronic devices over the threshold. These practices seem tough at first, but they quickly become habit, and you’ll benefit from deeper, more restorative sleep. 

Stay Alert To Mental Health 

As well as your physical health, you need to pay attention to your mental health- the two can often be complexly interlinked. Mental health charity Mind reveals that one in four people experience difficulties each year, and with their high-pressure lifestyle business owners are acutely at risk. Many don’t have the right support or adequate resources to safeguard their own well-being. If you begin to experience lethargy, restlessness, or sudden mood swings, it could be time to take action. Make sure that you have someone to talk to about your situation and concerns - either a close friend or family member or a trained professional if you prefer. 

Make That Health Appointment 

If you’re putting off making an appointment for a niggling health concern, stop procrastinating and phone up to book now. Problems with your health, just like problems in your business, have a nasty habit of getting worse when ignored. Use the power of a flexible schedule to get an appointment with a specialist, such as Zenaptic Chiropractic, when it’s quiet and get on top of that bad back once and for all. A little time invested now could really head off some major health issues later. 

Get Covered 

If the worst was to happen, and you got seriously ill, what would happen to your business? Key person insurance cover can step in at times of emergency and ensure you have the funds to keep the business ticking over while you focus on your health, yet it was recently found that only a quarter of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have any in place, in a study by insurance agency Royal London. Although there are many expenses when starting out your business, insurance is never one that you should cut corners on. Use a broker to make sure you’re getting the best deal available. Knowing you have the correct cover in place will help to minimize stress if you do fall ill.

I hope you enjoyed this article about why business owners and entrepreneurs need to make sure they're investing in their health.

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