Remember when you decided to start your own business? You were fuelled by promises of freedom, flexibility and financial security – the excitement of choosing the hours you worked, taking holidays when you wanted, for as long as you wanted.
Now compare this to the reality: spiralling overheads and payroll costs, working up to 80 hours per week, struggling with cashflow or financial expertise, dealing with mental health and wellbeing issues, and managing staff and their issues. These are the most common challenges facing small business owners today.
Statistics from the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman show that 97 per cent of Australia’s economy is made up of small business with no more than twenty employees. Yet more than 60 per cent of these fail within their first three years, and the odds are stacked against those that continue.
In addition, in 2019, the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health Report conducted by The Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance revealed one in five working Australians reported experiencing mental illness, with evidence suggesting psychological distress is most acute for sole traders.
But there is hope, there is a way to bring happiness back to your work.
Bring happy back
Just as you have achieved success in your business and life thus far, you can achieve further success with the right support, education, tools and strategies surrounding your health.
Extending your hand for help is the first step towards gaining a sense of control over your environment. Knowing you can change yourself, your business and your life is crucial, not just to survive but also to progress. After all, it is the silent suffering is the silent killer of your business.
Your mindset plays a huge role here. Your perception of your reality powerfully influences the way you view your world and the decisions you make in business. It helps you move from talking about what you wish for to actually making steps, and doing the stuff that will transform your life.
This kind of growth brings feelings of freedom, power, authority, motivation and encouragement. This is a tipping point in your business. You can breathe again and start to find joy in why you do what you do each day. You shift from feeling overwhelmed and helpless to hopeful and in control.
Running your own small business is a 24/7 activity, which is why you need to be mentally healthy, fit, and strong.
There will always be pressure. There will always be setbacks, failures, and obstacles. What counts is how you deal with that pressure, with those setbacks and obstacles. It’s essential to move away from simply reacting to events and toward responding to events.
It is also important to learn how to transition from your professional to your personal life. Learn to keep stress or adversity that you may be experiencing in one aspect of your life from negatively impacting another. Making conscious choices each day about what to eat, when to exercise, and how to switch off from work and on for home is the recipe for success and stamina in small business.
As Phil Knight, the CEO of Nike said, “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”
Maintaining your health and the health of your business requires time, consistent effort, commitment and caring for yourself and your people. But this is the only way you will ever perform and prosper in your business, wouldn’t you agree?
Anastasia Massouras, CEO, Work Happy and CEO & Founder, Pure Insights