Updated: May 5
When it comes to owning a small business, we often get caught up in the numbers, our level of productivity, and our rate of growth. It’s so easy to forget that as we work to grow and scale our companies, we are not machines and so many of us are driven by our passion and vision--which can quickly leave us depleted if we’re not careful.
Mental health and wellness are critical to being a small business owner, the challenges and triumphs of entrepreneurship can take a toll on your mental and emotional wellbeing. The irony is that we push ourselves in the name of productivity while pushing ourselves too far can lead to a decrease in productivity and ultimately true burnout.
Besides seeking mental health counseling through an online platform or your insurance (which itself is one of the many challenges of business ownership), there are other things you can do to reduce to risk of becoming overwhelmed, lonely, and depleted of passion for your business.
Seek A Community of Small Business Owners
One of the biggest challenges faced by small business owners, especially solo entrepreneurs, is the loneliness that comes with managing a business independently. Joining groups and communities can help mitigate this isolation and provide valuable support.
Some ways to connect with others who get it:
Local Chambers: Join your local chamber of commerce to network with other business owners and learn about relevant resources and events.
Group coaching programs: Participate in programs designed for entrepreneurs to share experiences and learn from experts in various industries.
Industry-specific conferences: Attend conferences within your industry to expand your knowledge, stay updated on trends, and connect with like-minded individuals.
Mastermind groups: Form or join mastermind groups with other business owners to exchange ideas, support, and accountability.
Over the last seven years, I’ve been involved in various groups aimed at building community among business owners. Through my local women’s chamber, I’ve not only made business connections but found inspiration and opportunities to learn. I’ve also participated in coaching programs that have made room for me to grow my skills as a marketer, and a creator and how to run my business better. Recently, I’ve worked with friends to form a mastermind group with like-minded women where we discuss our goals and find ways to hold each other accountable. Each of these things has given me a sense of belonging and has allowed me not to be so isolated in my struggles (and wins) as an entrepreneur.
Set Boundaries & Block Your Time
Another important way to maintain your mental well-being is setting boundaries!! I believe in boundaries so strongly that I dedicated an entire chapter to it in the guided journal I develop for mompreneurs.
Setting boundaries is a requirement for maintaining your mental health as a business owner. When you set clear boundaries with clients and manage your time effectively, you make room in your life for the other things that also need your time and attention.
One helpful technique to help you reinforce your boundaries is time-blocking. This technique involves allocating specific time slots for different tasks throughout the day. Time-blocking can help prevent burnout and promote more balance in your life.
Some tips for setting boundaries and using time-blocking include:
Clearly communicate your working hours to clients and stick to them.
Schedule regular breaks and personal time throughout the day.
Prioritize tasks based on importance and deadlines.
Avoid multitasking and focus on completing one task at a time.
Design Your Business in a Way that Aligns with Your Desired Lifestyle
When you chose to go into business for yourself, you likely did not dream of being overworked, stressed, and exhausted. Chances are you started your own business with the idea that you’d help solve a specific problem, make money doing so, and use that money to create your version of freedom and fun! But if you’re always working in and on your business--you may find yourself resentful and worried.
Consider taking a step back and incorporating the following steps into your routine as a business owner:
Identify your values and priorities, such as family time, hobbies, and self-care.
Set achievable goals that align with your values and priorities.
Regularly review and adjust your business strategies to maintain balance.
Put Self-Care On Your To-Do List
You are your best self when you are loved and well taken care of. By taking care of your mental health, you become a more effective leader and decision-maker. So if you must, add your moments of self-care to your task list for each day. Self-care is not just for vacations and weekends, and it doesn’t only have to look like going to the spa or getting a lavish massage (although that’s also absolutely a wonderful way to treat yourself).
Make self-care a daily habit. You can start by doing some of these:
Engage in regular exercise and eat foods that make your body feel good and give you energy.
Do your best to get a healthy amount of sleep and practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga.
Connect regularly and meaningfully with friends, family, and your professional network for support.
Set aside time for hobbies and activities that bring joy and relaxation.
Your Mental Health Supports Your Small Business
By seeking a community, setting boundaries around your time, setting up your business in a way that supports the life you want to live, and making self-care a daily habit, you can reduce the likelihood of mental exhaustion and overwhelm caused by your business.
If you're a small business owner looking for support and guidance, I encourage you to reach out and connect with others who understand your unique challenges. I also invite you to join our mailing list to receive our monthly newsletters and emails about marketing events and training we host for small business owners.