Managing your business without sacrificing your mental health

When you're both the employer and employee it’s a little harder to maintain a work-life balance. For many Kiwi businesses, especially our sole traders, it can be hard to draw a line in the sand with yourself, but a line needs to be drawn. Our latest SME Report highlighted a correlation between low business satisfaction and poor mental health. While it can be hard to find a balance, separating your work from your home life is a game-changer, with improvements to your overall well-being and the outcomes of your business.

Why the balance?

We know when it comes to business, it's not just business, it's personal. But having the distinction between work and home benefits you, your business and your overall life. Some of the benefits:

  • Increased productivity
    Taking a step back gives your brain a break and the chance to recharge, so when you're firing on all cylinders, making the time you spend working more valuable and productive. Not to mention stepping back can help you find the solutions you're after - who hasn't had a brainwave strike in the shower?
  • Fewer health problems
    Striking a balance improves both your physical and mental health. Going for walks, being outside, exercising and spending time on your hobbies benefits you physically and mentally. Preventing you from getting worn down, sick or injured and feeding positively to your mental well-being.
  • More time for the things and the people you love
    Going into business for yourself you likely did it to have more control over your life, set your own hours, be your own boss and spend more time doing the things you love.

So, how do you manage?

We may not have all answers here, and what works for some people may not work for everyone, but we do have some suggestions!

  • Invest in solid resources
    Wearing all the hats of business - worker, owner, manager, accountant and marketer - can be a lot, especially if you're a sole trader. Investing in resources like Xero, CRMs, and various online platforms can be a massive time saver, freeing up your time and streamlining your processes and giving you the time back to focus on other aspects of the business.
  • Ask for help
    Bringing in outside help in the form of experts lets you focus on the aspects of the business you enjoy, as well as get an outside perspective. Consider outsourcing accounting, contracting a business advisor on board or talking to a Yellow Expert to see how we can help support you and your business. 
  • Set time aside for thinking 
    Shifting from a reactive to a proactive mindset takes the focus off just getting the job done and gives you the chance to strategise so you're following a plan, not just coming up with one on the fly.
  • Take a step back for yourself
    Remember it’s not all about business! As much as your business is how you make your money, it’s not your sole reason for existing. Make time for your friends, family and loved ones and take regular breaks to prioritise your well-being. 

Want to learn more about how your fellow SMEs are feeling about the economy and business? Download our latest SME Report for the insights you need. 

For small business owners and employees feeling overwhelmed or anxious, there is free help available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

  • visit First Steps for support for small business owners, ranging from dealing with anxiety to tackling insomnia. 
  • call or text 1737 for support from a trained counsellor
  • call Lifeline on 0800 543 354 or text 4357
  • call Samaritans on 0800 726 666