When you think of a stereotypical entrepreneur, you’re probably imagining someone who is more or less totally burned out, surviving entirely on caffeine, and who routinely works late into the night and gets up early in the morning.
In other words, you’re probably imagining a lifestyle that doesn’t seem too happy or positive on the face of it.
Of course, entrepreneurs do need to work hard, but it’s worth keeping in mind that many successful entrepreneurs and figures in business have managed to build thriving careers without going completely insane, and experiencing complete burnout in the process.
If you’re a new entrepreneur, you owe it to yourself to safeguard your sanity and sense of well-being, both for your own sake, and also for the longevity and future success of your business.
So, here are a few tips for guarding your sanity as a new entrepreneur.
Take Advantages of the Services Offered by Others
When all is said and done, there are a huge range of different “moving parts” that go into running just about any business in today’s world. The need for SEO is ubiquitous, of course, and then there’s writing to take care of, graphical design, different marketing strategies, tax and financial management, and more.
As a solo entrepreneur, trying to juggle all of these different job roles single-handedly is very likely to drive you mad and to leave you with no free moments in the day, either.
Fortunately, though, there are all sorts of professional services offered by third parties, that can help you to cover many of these bases, without having to do everything yourself. For example, a good SEO company will not only be able to take a lot of the work off your shoulders, but will likely do the job better than you yourself would have done – assuming you aren’t an SEO professional, too.
Take advantage of the services offered by others, whether that means contacting freelancers, or getting in touch with companies that offer managed services and solutions.
Schedule Your Days out in Advance, and Set a Defined “Starting” and “Clocking off” Time
You absolutely need structure if you want to make it as an entrepreneur, and that structure has to come in the form of a clear sense of how you’re going to use your available hours and resources.
Ultimately, this means that you need to schedule your days out in advance, and set defined “starting” and “clocking off” times, not only in order to keep procrastination at bay and to keep you focused on the task at hand, but also so that you don’t fall into the trap that so easily afflicts self-employed individuals, of completely losing any distinction between work time and personal time.
There may, of course, be occasional exceptions to this rule, but let those be the exceptions and not the rule.
Get into the habit of “time blocking” your day on a daily calendar or planner, in a way that allows you to dedicate enough time to your key tasks. Then, when it’s time to stop working, stop working and go do something else entirely.
Planning out your days in this way is a great exercise for helping you to stay focused, and to prevent you from wandering aimlessly from task to task. When you know that at a specific time of the day, you’re meant to be doing a particular thing, it’s much easier to stay properly motivated and on track.
It’s also just a lot better for your general sense of well-being to know what responsibilities you will have to deal with, as opposed to just having a generalised feeling of uncertainty and anxiety to contend with.
Find Regular Opportunities for Social Interaction Throughout the Week
If you’re a new entrepreneur – and especially if you are a new web-based entrepreneur – it’s likely that you may be working alone, from home.
While this can have certain clear benefits – for example, you are no longer going to be distracted by the noise, hustle and bustle, and impromptu meetings that you may have had to deal with in an office setting – it can also mean that you become something like a socially isolated hermit, which isn’t a great thing to be if you value your sanity and overall sense of well-being.
If this is the kind of situation you’re in, it’s essential that you find regular opportunities for social interaction throughout the week. It might mean meeting up with friends for lunch regularly, or it may mean getting your work done at a co-working space, or it may mean joining various clubs and signing up to various classes, so that you always have something going on.
Only Ever Focus on a Handful of Things at Any One Time; Don’t Be Too Frantic
Entrepreneurs need to be focused and specific in their aims and their actions, if they want to actually get things done without having a complete meltdown, and wasting a lot of their time and effort.
The key thing here is to always only ever focus on a handful of things at any one time, and to not be too frantic. It can be tempting to try and do 101 different things to streamline the functioning of your business, but you’ll be doing yourself a favour if you avoid that temptation.
Instead, have no more than a couple of projects that you’re working on at any one time, and only ever do one thing at a time throughout the day.
Get Enough Sleep, Eat Properly, and Get Regular Exercise
Stress is always going to hit you harder, and you’re always going to feel worse off, if you aren’t sleeping enough, aren’t eating properly, and aren’t getting regular physical exercise.
Unfortunately, all of these things can easily be neglected by a driven entrepreneur who wants to take the world by storm. Suddenly, “meals” become quick convenient snacks, “sleep” becomes a luxury, and “exercise” becomes a waste of time.
In fact, though, research has clearly shown that people who get enough sleep perform better at all sorts of different tasks, that physical exercise boosts cognitive function, and that proper nutrition is essential for everything ranging from good health to overall energy levels.
So, take these things seriously as a new entrepreneur.