HEALTHY PEOPLE CREATE HEALTHY BUSINESSES
As we bring back normalcy into our lives and economy, health will clearly play a major role. It follows naturally that one must invest in mind and body to do anything productive in life. Here’s a look at the causes, symptoms that one must look out for and a practical guide to solutions. Let’s create a happy world!!
In the last few months, I have been talking extensively on topics related to entrepreneurship and how businesses can survive in these difficult times. I spoke about how businesses need to relook at their strategies and how entrepreneurs need new age thinking to adapt and navigate through challenges. In this article, I will talk about the driving factor underlying all of this i.e. health. Whether it’s a person or a business, health decides what you do.
You are what your mind is. You do things because your mind is able to conceive them. With a fit mind and a healthy body you can take big decisions and implement them easily. Otherwise, even the smallest decision looks like a herculean task. One must invest in one’s well-being to do anything productive in life. For that, there are some myths that must be busted to cross the chasm.
Busting the Myths:
Over time, the world of entrepreneurship and start-ups have developed some adverse culture concepts that must be busted.
First is the extent to which the no pain, no gain policy has been stretched. An entrepreneur has long been trained to take pride in sacrificing personal health, family priorities and overall satisfaction and happiness. They falsely measure their self-esteem against their business success. And with it comes the misguided expectation of success based on quantitative efforts. That is an outdated prescription.
Second is the image pressure. An entrepreneur is burdened by the compulsion to fit in the ‘hero’ image of an entrepreneur, and as such, gets bogged down by the expectation to do the cool things vs. the important things. Because of this, he sometimes forgets to solve the real problem. It can be detrimental and have a long lasting impact on success.
Third is the taboo of admitting burnout. Entrepreneurs find it arduous to say “No” even when they are burnt out, mentally and physically. This must be absolutely avoided. I strongly feel that entrepreneurs should enjoy the journey because there’s always another day. We are running a marathon, not a sprint.
Look out for the Symptoms
Be conscious of your physical and mental limits, on a daily basis. Easier said than done? It’s possible when we accept reality. All of us have our own limitations and that is nothing to be ashamed of. Both Business and People show symptoms of good and bad health. Good health can mean high energy, feeling good about the day on an everyday basis, clarity in thinking, personal and professional growth, etc. Bad health is the exact opposite of this - lack of energy, high burn out, chaos, lack of personal or professional growth, etc. The idea is to focus on boosting good health while eradicating everything from life which can or is leading to bad health.
Boosting your Health
The norms of the way we work, meet and interact with the larger community and do business in general are changing in real time. This means putting in time and effort into learning and adapting. We need to be physically and mentally strong and boost the immunity of both our personal and business health.
The last few months have given us more time than ever before to invest in our personal health. We must fight against COVID-19 by strengthening our immunity through nutritious food, regular exercises, meditation, etc. Many of us are lucky to have our family with us all day. We can watch our kids, have great conversations with our partners, take care of our elders. The key is to make conscious efforts daily to implement them.
Similarly, businesses too need immunity. It is important that entrepreneurs focus on the opportunities that are emerging out of the present crisis. I see now as a very good time for entrepreneurship. The world is in need of immediate and diverse solutions and what better time than this for an entrepreneur? One can turn the unfortunate case of a job loss into an opportunity to start that next big idea which one has been thinking of, but lack of time or appetite to leave a job have thwarted the inner drive for entrepreneurship. You can collaborate with other people who are in a similar situation to start a new venture. If that happens, we will see some good start-ups soon.
Some prescriptive methods to boost your health - personal or business
1. Don’t be a border collie - Stop running 24x7 and focus on what you can control and leave what you can’t.
2. Give your 100% to what you are doing, one thing at a time.
3. Keep personal goals. Try to achieve some of it every day.
4. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity to fall in your lap. Nothing is perfect. We, as entrepreneurs, always know how to make lemonade when life gives us lemons.
5. Don’t beat yourself around things not in your control. Things improve over time. For example, if you get a lower valuation which is important for business continuity, take it. You can always be awarded later in the form of MSOPs when your business picks up.
6. Got a job offer which doesn’t give you a hike or even worse, asks you to join at a pay cut. If you are in need, take it. You will be the first to get that out of order increment or promotion you deserve when the business does good.
7. If you have lost a job and its taking time to land on the next one, learn new skills which you think will help you further in your career. For example, I learned programming after graduation which helped me found my first payments company, Mintzone. I spent 8 months at home learning Ruby On Rails and developed a full stack payment gateway and wallet to kick-off my start-up. That landed me up with funding.
8. For budding entrepreneurs, I would say learn things you don’t know - like coding, design. Read more on strategy, finance, negotiations, etc. Learn to apply them to solve a problem profitably. Perfect the recipe. Rinse & repeat it to create something you will be proud of.
Taking care of personal health and investing in a fruitful career is one of the most satisfying feats one can attain. The challenges that come along the way are opportunities to be better at what we do.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house