World Mental Health Day 2019
I, like many, struggle with my own demons, but this blog is not about me and they are nothing compared to what so many people are dealing with every day. However, this is such an important area that it deserves some time to be spent on it today – World Mental Health Day.
To be honest, until I started working with a new client recently, I had no idea how many workdays were lost each year to mental health problems. According to The Mental Health Foundation:
“Mental health problems are the leading cause of sickness absence from work. A staggering 70 million workdays are lost each year due to mental health problems in the UK, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion per year.”
Clearly, if you manage teams of people, you need to be focused on this area and hopefully your organisation is on top of this – if not I can recommend clients of mine who can help. But what about the mental health of business owners, of coaches and consultants? If we fall ill there is unlikely to be anyone who can take our place so looking after ourselves and our mental health is key.
Mental health is something everyone needs to be aware of every single day. Shocking statistics I’ve read over the last couple of days state that one in four suffer from mental health issues at some time in their life, but that statistic increases for business owners to 3 out of 4 being troubled by poor mental health, with three fifths of those who participated in the study by Aldemore feeling that their business had contributed to their problems.
Sadly, mental health issues can still be too easy to ignore, and there can still be a stigma attached to it.
There are 5.7 million small and medium sized businesses in the UK – that means that potentially there are a lot of business owners out there going through a pretty rough time right now.
Why is this?
Clearly, there are many contributing factors, but one significant one is that business owners put themselves under a lot of pressure to do everything in their business themselves. It can be a financial struggle to outsource, certainly in the early days, but how can we be good and knowledgeable and creative in all the areas necessary to run a business?
On top of that there is so much tied up in confidence, ambition and pride – proving those doubters wrong. This can mean new business owners put so much pressure on themselves whilst hiding it behind the façade of upbeat, can-do attitude. Fear and stress make it difficult to ask for help. No-one wants to be seen not thriving, or as an unsuccessful business owner. You fear letting clients down and yet at the end of the day, if we as business owners are ill, there is rarely anyone to step in and help and so our business comes to a standstill and that just adds to the stress.
And this is exactly why I bang on about processes and systems! They really do help!
A certain amount of short-term stress can be good – it propels us forward and it’s exciting to do something different – but that can quickly change and become very unhealthy.
If you feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious or depressed, talking to friends and family is so very important, especially if you work alone. If you already feel that stress and depression have started to kick in, please seek immediate help, don’t wait for it to escalate. Talk to your GP or a therapist or call the Samaritans on 116 123.
So how can you invest in your mental health and try to avoid issues in the future?
Here are a few ideas. Do please share your own – it may help someone else who really needs support right now.
- Remember why you started your business and remind yourself frequently.
- Celebrate your successes; we British do like to hide our light under a bushel, don’t we?
- Take time out each and every day – current advice is at least 20 minutes. (I think that should be much longer than 20 minutes!) Do something you enjoy – go for a walk, a swim, meditate, read – it doesn’t matter what, so long as you do something.
- Create repeatable processes which are unaffected by the emotion of the situation they were formed to assist.
- Have the right systems in place to support these processes, helping to make sure that a bad day is never an unproductive day.
- Be organised, keeping your end goal in sight.
- Plan on how you are going to get to your end goal and stick to the plan, reviewing it frequently and revising when necessary.
- Network! When you go out and meet other business owners you won’t feel so isolated.
- Masterminds are another way to share your stresses and learn from the experience of others.
- Try and separate work and home life – what is the perfect balance? Is there one? I personally don’t think so, but just take a step back and think about what works for you and those around you.
- Respect your body – eat healthily, don’t skip meals, and don’t cut into your sleep time so that you can work.
- Give yourself a pat on the back and a hug. There are 5.7 million small and medium-sized businesses in the UK – lots don’t survive. Your business’s survival and growth are largely dependent on you, and that means on your physical, emotional and mental health.
Most of all, be kind to yourself and others. Remember you are awesome!
How I can support you
My goal is to help you as a business owner to grow your business, by getting the most value out of your 3 most valuable assets:
- your contacts/data
- your processes and systems
When you make the most of your contacts/data you are in the best place possible to increase your revenue. When you have efficient, repeatable processes in your business you reduce the cost of sales. Both of these give the business owner more head space to focus on growing their business.
The overall result is an increase in net profit.
I help my clients grow their businesses by:
> Designing and creating bespoke Contact Relationship Management (CRM) systems (often CapsuleCRM), integrating with systems such as Xero and Mailchimp to enable the business to make the most of their contacts, manage their pipeline and provide a consistently high level of service to their clients – resulting in an increased net profit year on year by increasing revenue and reducing costs.
> Creating the right systems and processes to improve efficiency and free up the business owners time to do more of what they want and need to do, and less of what they don’t want or need to do. Using the correct business tools will help nurture the growth potential of any business. Blake Consultants work with a number of business tools such as CapsuleCRM, Mailchimp and Xero, and weaving these into the fabric of your business will help you move from today’s struggle to tomorrow’s reward.
Running my own business and working with clients for more than 9 years gives me insight and experience of the issues and challenges faced every day by business owners. I take pride in my creative, can do attitude to turning challenges into opportunities.
Contact me to have a chat by clicking here to find a time which works for you.