Insights

4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Achieve Success Without Self-Sacrifice By Guy Remond, with Gary Fletcher

Monday 14 February 2022

Many entrepreneurs are willing to go to extreme lengths to build their business, but if you truly want to succeed, it’s time to step out of the culture of “self-sacrifice” and put personal wellbeing first.

Being the first person in the office (or online) or paying yourself last will not help you drive your business forward or motivate your team. It’s a recipe for disaster.

When EHE Capital co-founder Gary Fletcher and I first started out in business 20+ years ago, the dominant attitude was that sleep was for “wimps” and you had to work to excess.

We now know better; when you know better, you do better.

When you set an example and look after your own wellbeing, you are demonstrating to your team what you expect from them. 

If you’ve been burning the candle at both ends, decide to do something different this year. In this article, Gary and I are sharing the four areas we focus on to help enhance wellbeing and maximise output.

 

  • Sleep

Science shows us sleep is vital to wellbeing. Restful sleep positively impacts on your ability to be creative and efficient.

I aim for a minimum of eight hours of sleep per night and make sure that I reduce my screen time in the evening, or at the very least put my technology onto night mode (also known as dark mode or nightshift), so that my body’s ability to create the hormone that makes us sleepy (melatonin) is supported.

 

  • Exercise

Entrepreneurs often experience mental exhaustion but can feel physically agitated, which is where regular exercise can help.

The benefits of exercise are far-reaching. It helps improve your physical fitness and boost your mental wellbeing by flooding the body with feel-good hormones (endorphins). It helps you feel refreshed, clears your mind and boosts creativity.

Find a physical activity that you enjoy and do everything you can to reduce the barriers that threaten your ability to make it a habit. For example, gym work, football, running, rowing, swimming, or walking your dog are all brilliant ways to feel good and destress. You know your own rhythms, so create a plan that works best for you and includes indoor or outdoor exercise according to your preferences.

I created a space at home for exercise so it’s easy for me to do it every day. I get up, have a cup of tea or coffee, clear my email, enjoy 30 minutes of exercise, shower and get stuck into my working day.

Gary and I both wear an Oura Ring which measures heart rate, analyses sleep and provides personal health insights. Like many entrepreneurs I’m competitive, so having this device that tells me when my body and mind are physically and mentally performing better (or worse!) than my personal standard, motivates me to want to eat, sleep or exercise more to beat my previous score!

Gary: “Exercise is your medicine and you need to take it daily. It’s cathartic and essential to your emotional and physical wellbeing. It will keep you sharp, focused, balanced and make you a stronger leader.

In the early days, work was incredibly stressful. I used to carve out an hour to go to the gym because I felt that if I didn’t, I’d blow up! Sometimes I’d be so exhausted I’d just fall asleep in the sauna because I felt too shattered to work out, but other times I’d bash up and down the swimming pool and leave feeling a lot clearer in my mind. Over time, I found my balance and I know I’d really have struggled without it.”

 

  • Diet

Eat as balanced a diet as possible, and eat early enough in the evening so that your body isn’t wasting energy digesting when it needs to rest.

I’ve made a concerted effort to eat less red meat, and Gary has felt healthier for eating a vegetarian diet for the past three years. Diet is a work in progress for both of us but we always feel so much better when we eat healthily. You can make it easy for you and your teams by having fresh fruit delivered to your workplace; it’s worked well for us.

 

  • Alcohol awareness 

Everybody knows that an excess of alcohol negatively impacts on health. The Oura Ring has increased our level of understanding and encouraged us to make healthier choices.

Gary and I both believed that we slept better after a few drinks, but the Oura data analysis has shown us that our deep sleep is awful. Alcohol increases your resting heart rate which means your body is working harder to combat the effects. As a result, you are less physically or mentally prepared for the next day. 

We both love going out for drinks, but we recognise that the effect of alcohol outweighs the emotional benefits we gain from socialising. When you cut out or reduce alcohol, you will feel the benefits across all aspects of your life and business.

Gary: “You’ve got to learn to look after yourself. Your team relies on you. Don’t feel guilty about putting yourself first, because when you do, everybody benefits. If you are sharp enough to drive the business forward with a big vision, your family and your team reap the reward.

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, business has to be about working smarter, not harder. Smart is not just about the time you spend in the office, it’s about what you do when you’re outside the office. Pay attention to the days that you are working at your optimum, and establish the factors that contributed to you being in the zone.”

Making simple changes to your sleep, exercise, diet and alcohol intake will support you to go further faster. If you’d love to become part of a powerful community filled with entrepreneurs who are enthusiastic and committed to building a successful business without risking their health and wellbeing, come and join us.

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