Starting Up My Own Business Improved My Mental Health
Most people’s reaction to starting your own business are negative…
‘It’s going to be super stressful’
‘You’re going to have sleepless nights’
‘Aren’t you scared you won’t be able to pay the bills?’
‘Most businesses fail in the first year, how are you going to manage?’
A cocktail of uncertainty awaits you and your mental wellbeing is going to be tested and pushed right to the edge.
But surprisingly, that’s not what happened to me, my mental wellbeing changed for the better and here are the reasons why.
1. I gained control
Working in London completely wrecked my routine and diet – I was utterly out of sync. Waking up early to fit in a stupidly long commute, long intensive work days, eating when I could (not when I wanted to) and consuming absolute rubbish to sustain me through the day.
Losing control over my health scared the crap out of me. At its worse, I was getting anxiety attacks everyday, my periods stopped and I was exhausted all the time.
But when we started the business, I finally got the chance to be in control of my rhythm and base the working day around it. I slept as much as my body needed (that’s between 9-10 hours), I ate when I wanted to eat and I took rests when I needed to.
And it’s completely changed my productivity and mental state.
Since starting, my severe symptoms of PCOS have reversed, I’ve lost all the weight I gained and stabilised my blood sugar, I’m working smartly and most surprisingly I’ve not suffered from a single anxiety attack.
2. Time on my terms
Gaining control of my day has also meant I can take time out when I need it. I used to be hyper hungry and burned out all the time and my concentration would be out of the window by 3pm. But now when I’m feeling down or uninspired, I just take time out because its not smart trying to force yourself to work if you’re not feeling it. In that state your not productive, so I just do something else; go for a walk, watch a bit of TV, whatever I need to re-energise.
I’m finally working to my clock and not one that’s dictated by the “rules” of work.
Allowing myself to take time out has transformed my daily mood and happiness. I don’t feel like a headless chicken – quite the opposite, the day is much more manageable and I don’t feel like life is flashing past my eyes. Everything feels much more present.
3. Responsibility and Trust
When you think about it, from childhood to adulthood, you’re told what to do your entire life. When are we ever given the chance to be responsible for ourselves?
Being responsible for clients and their businesses has given me a higher purpose. I’m not just a small cog anymore, I’m actually making an impact directly on people’s lives. But also I’m trusted to do what I know best. Having these two things has made me feel grounded and given me reason in why I’m doing what I’m doing.
Additionally, having this responsibility of my own destiny has been liberating – I’m not relying on someone to make the moves with my life anymore, it’s all in my hands and I love it.
4. Positive Network
When I was working in London, being part of a company had its perks. The camaraderie when times were tough, the banter and exposure to different levels of expertise. But there’s a lot of negativity too. You’re surrounded by the same people feeling burnt out, hating their job, wishing they weren’t working late. You’re trapped in this weird bubble of love and hate.
But as part of the regular activities of running a business, I’m continuously exposed to talented and inspirational people. From young to old, across various occupations, there’s a mutual respect for one and other. I’ve met senior leaders to young startups and everyone has been so positive and open to learning more. By having this human connection with new people every week my mind gets revitalised every time. Getting to share good and bad experiences with people who understand and won’t judge is really relieving when you’re feeling down. In some ways your entrepreneurial network becomes a much more effective counselling and coaching support.
5. The challenge of taking risks
Looking back, this time last year, the days just melted into one. It was pretty monotonous; eat, sleep, work and repeat and maybe once a month something challenging would happen.
That wasn’t enough for me, it was far too controlled. Setting up a business has been a challenge in itself but the realness of this decision has invigorated me too. The challenge makes me feel alive, the day isn’t laborious anymore. When something doesn’t go to plan I’m weirdly excited to problem solve because there’s a satisfaction and accomplishment that you’ve been able to sort it out yourself.
6. Increased emotional resilience
Similarly, the ups and downs of running a business has also built my emotional resilience. Yes, some days won’t go your way, sometimes your told no, but when that happens I just pivot and try something else. Before, I used to freak out if I had missed a time sheet and dwell on the mistake but now I choose to learn and move on.
Having to take risks, be responsible for other people’s livelihoods and experiencing the general activities of running a business really puts your emotions into perspective and teaches you not to flip the lid.
I’m not going to deny running a business can be tough and sometimes your daily schedule can be mad, but not once have I ever regretted my decision to be my own boss. Because i’ve gone from being exhausted everyday to getting up excited, dancing to my own rhythm and working with my body not against it. This all happened because I started running my own business which enabled me to put priority on my health. Overall, I’ve been the most productive, most energetic, most healthiest and most emotionally balanced for the first time in my life.
I really believe running a business is one of the most liberating things you can do and it can positively transform your health and wellness for the better. So if your mental wellbeing is being lost as a cost to your job, then starting a business could be your remedy.
Keep up to date with our journey and work on Instagram @kiss_branding and our website www.kissbranding.co.uk 🙌