Growing a Business by Focusing on Health

By Adriaan Brits
Monday, June 29, 2020

In 2018, Elon Musk recommended that people need to work “80 to 100 hours per week” to change the world. Businesses certainly need lots of attention, especially in the early days; in that sense, Musk is right. However, this cannot be healthy. Entrepreneurs that work long hours for extended periods risk suffering from burnout and unsustainable stress.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stress increases the risk of injury, causes headaches, upset stomach, mood and sleep disturbances, and even disturbed relationships with family and friends. These problems interfere with success.

Health Strategies for Entrepreneurs

It is wise for entrepreneurs to balance their long hours with strategies to improve and maintain their health. We discuss some of these key strategies below.

Get Enough Sleep

By working up to a hundred hours per week, entrepreneurs fail to get adequate sleep and may make erroneous decisions that may prove to be costly. Studies have found that sleep-deprived people have between 20% and 30% chances of making dangerous mistakes that cause irreparable damage to brands.

Another problem is that lack of sleep increases stress and may lead to poor health and lost productivity. For entrepreneurs whose time is highly valuable, the value of lost productivity is huge.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Of all the factors that affect health, food has the most impact that should never be downplayed. After researching the topic, the World Health Organization announced that eating a balanced diet increases productivity by about 20%. Therefore, a person who eats healthy food has an equivalent of an extra day of productivity per week.

A study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology also found proof that eating more than seven portions of fruits and vegetables a day had a huge positive impact on participants’ moods and enabled them to face challenges better. Considering that entrepreneurs face challenges all the time, they should eat these foods daily.

Exercise Regularly

Many entrepreneurs rely on exercise for health because physical activity offers many benefits, including fitness, lower stress, and better mental health. One study found that worker productivity improved by 72% on the days that participants exercised. Another study found that a “sit less move more” policy improved performance and interpersonal relationships.

It is therefore advisable for entrepreneurs to adopt a daily exercise routine by joining a gym, and stick to it. Better still, they should encourage their family members to do the same so that they can exercise together. This way, everyone becomes healthier, happier, and more mentally balanced.

Practice Mindfulness

Entrepreneurs should never automate their lives to the extent of dedicating their energies to work only. This can lead to undesirable consequences such as high stress, poor decision making, and loss of focus. Therefore, they must find time daily for mindfulness.

This strategy is supported by studies in which mindfulness training increased focus significantly, made decision making clearer, and reduced stress levels.

Listen to Music

Though most people don’t do it, listening to music in the office relaxes the brain and reduces stress and tension in the body. Good quality music has frequencies that help listeners to anchor in the moment and to enjoy what they are doing, even if it’s boring or stressful.

By playing music in the office, entrepreneurs can remain motivated, focused, and generally happier throughout the day.

Get Social Support

Everyone needs other people. Research has found that those who have good relationships with others within or outside their business tend to look happier and have lower workplace stress.

Business owners are no exception. Entrepreneurs should seek social support where necessary in the form of mentors, business associates, friends, and family. They should also develop strong relationships within their firms.

Focusing on Good Health is Essential for Success

For entrepreneurs, focusing on personal health is not optional but a must. It gives them the fitness and physical and mental health essential for making optimal decisions.

With good overall health, entrepreneurs can become pillars of their organizations as they drive them to success and growth.

About the Author

Headshot of author Adriaan Brits

As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.

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