The one thing your business can’t run without

Right now your business depends on you. In order for your business to remain healthy you need to be healthy.

Yes, the goal is to have a day when that’s not true, when you can spend a month in the Bahamas and no one misses you, but today is not that day. You are still central to the life and health of your business.

Since this is true, your health and well being are the most important asset your business has, and needs! This may seem obvious, but if you are sick, too stressed to focus, or so tired you don’t have the energy to make good decisions or compete key tasks, your business is in jeopardy.

So when I hear stories of business owners who are pulling all-nighters, who are working 100 hour weeks. Who don’t have time to relax with their family or engage in hobbies, and get away from their business completely for at least a full day a week I cringe. This is dangerous. Coffee does not make you smarter (it just makes you feel smarter).

If you want to grow your business for the long-haul you need to do (at least) 3 things:

  1. Get regular, solid sleep. Most adults need 6 – 7 hours of sleep every night (that’s time asleep, not time in bed.) Regularly sleeping less than 5.5 hours of sleep a night is associated with increased mortality!
  2. Set regular work hours. We all need times when we work, and times when we don’t work. Set work hours for yourself and then stop working when that time is up! You will get more done with set work hours than you do working all the time! (Remember, part of why you started your own business was that you wanted freedom and fewer work hours.)
  3. Develop friendships with people who don’t care about your business. Part of being “always on” is having to be a business owner in non-business contexts. If you join an ultimate frisbee team, a book group, or a dinner club you can develop friendships with people who don’t care about your business. And that’s a good thing. If they don’t care about your business, then they are more likely to care about you no matter what the state of your business is.

Maybe the idea of making these changes just makes you feel tired. But you know that’s dangerous, right? Start with sleeping more on a regular basis — it really does help me think more clearly and have more energy to tackle these other challenges.

If you don’t have you health (physical and mental) you don’t have anything. Make sure you are doing what you need to to preserve your business’ #1 asset.

Now get some rest!


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