Over the course of a working life, there are few challenges more ultimately rewarding than taking the plunge into entrepreneurship. Learn to stay afloat and navigate its waters, and you’ll have the satisfaction of calling your own shots, along with a truly universal skillset that will stand by you for life.
It’s not all rainbows and unicorns, Entrepreneurship is an extremely demanding path to take, and there will be easily as many lows as highs to face over time. Unless you learn to look after yourself early on, there’s a very real risk of things going awry in terms of both your mental and physical health.
In this piece, we’ll step through four quick tips for keeping body and mind together in order to steer clear of the dark side of entrepreneurship.
- Learn To Love Failure
In the real world of entrepreneurship, failure is a daily reality and an engine for growth – you need to get comfortable with it fast. Unless you’re regularly failing in some respect, you’re almost certainly stagnating and risking ruin. Getting familiar with failure and learning to embrace it is a big ask, but it’s a non-negotiable part of being an entrepreneur.
- Get Serious About Your Social Life
We’re not talking about slacking off and partying here! Running your own business can be a desperately lonely endeavour, and it will take a serious toll on your friendships and relationships if you’re not careful.
Make sure you’re actually forcing yourself to stay engaged with friends on a regular basis, rather than disappearing into an entirely work-related shell where it’s all too easy to lose context and let minor matters spiral out of control. Remember, friends keep you sane – make sure you’re making time for them.
- Don’t Write Checks Your Body Can’t Cash
There’ll be no shortage of sleepless nights and long hours when you’re starting off, but there are practical limits when it comes to your health that you are well advised to pay careful attention to. Though the temptation is to simply put your head down and barrel through the work at hand, you need to be extremely conscious of your overall physical health as an entrepreneur.
You can get away with burning the candle at both ends for a while physically and mentally, but sooner or later that cheque comes due. Make sure you’ve got enough in your physical bank to cash it or you risk early burnout and mental chaos.
- Realise That You Are Not Your Business
One of the many things nobody tells you when you go out on your own, is just how personal everything feels. This is an incredible boon in terms of motivation and drive, but there’s a potential dark side lurking there as well. It’s very tempting to inextricably link your value as a person to the success or failure of your business. This is a very risky road to travel, so make sure you’re consciously maintaining distance and perspective in your head at all times.
Becoming an entrepreneur is a task that will tax you to your limits in all sorts of surprising ways, so you need to be constantly on your guard to make sure you’re operating at your best. Work the four tips we’ve covered into your worldview, and you’ll be well positioned to dodge a whole series of classic pitfalls throughout your entrepreneurial journey!