You might not realise this, but research by Nadac Shir at the Stockholm School of Economics shows that just being an entrepreneur promotes individual wellbeing. It satisfies the basic psychological need for autonomy, freedom and positive relationships. Unfortunately, at the same time being an entrepreneur can also be the biggest cause of stress, fatigue and mental health issues particularly in the early stages of creating a new business.
For those who can’t navigate the uncertainty of the early stages, the pressure can be detrimental to both physical and mental health. Shir believes that this is one of the reasons that so many new ventures flounder and also why people who work by themselves can experience higher levels of stress than those working for someone else.
However, for those who succeed in developing a thriving organisation, the benefits of the entrepreneurial journey can be outstanding, from skills development to personal fulfilment and financial freedom. Shir believes that the entrepreneurs who thrive get a positive wellness kick from the process of starting up and establishing a new venture. He calls it the ‘Entrepreneurial Well-Being’ factor (EWB) which he says explains how entrepreneurs have the focus and motivation to keep engaged in their venture.
Being a solopreneur, when there is only you in the business, brings stresses that employees just don’t experience. Knowing that the success of your venture is influenced by the amount of time you can work can create a cycle of never ending activity. Add to this the need to promote and administer the business, not typically the reason for starting on the entrepreneurial journey, and the solopreneur runs the risk of being on an endurance marathon rather than having a positive work life balance.
So, as an entrepreneur or solopreneur, what can you do to manage your own health and wellbeing? Reducing stress, therefore, has to be a key objective for any entrepreneur so think about:
- Accepting that you need time away from their business in order to rest and rejuvenate. After all, working yourself to the bone is the biggest cause of stress and fatigue and will ultimately reduce your effectiveness.
- List all the elements of your daily routine and identify the things that you are good at and love doing. Then find a way to enable you to bring others in to support you in doing those things you aren’t good at and don’t like doing.
- Reminding yourself about the aims you had for your business when you started out and why you wanted to work for yourself.
For more information on specific wellbeing topics, including the support that is available to you in Jersey, have a look at the pages below.