Burning Brightly Without Burning Out: Balancing Life As a Solopreneur

Novelist Margaret Drabble said that “When nothing is sure, everything is possible.” Sometimes it takes immersion into uncertainty to motivate us to make a change, whether it’s focusing on our health or finding a way to generate additional income for greater revenue diversity and financial security. As with all things, however, balance is key.

It’s easy to lose sight of your health needs while you’re attacking your side hustle with a desperate fervor, so pay attention if you start to have feelings of being overwhelmed. Incorporating health and wellness into your new business is one way to make sure you are taking care of yourself, in addition to any employees and contractors. 

Here are some other great tips, courtesy of Solopreneur Grind.

Mindset shift: Self-care is an essential business tool

Working two jobs, plus taking care of home responsibilities, take up even more of a valuable and seemingly finite commodity: time. Given that there never seems to be enough of it, it’s easy to brush off self-care advice when it involves activities that you have to somehow work into your already full and demanding day.

This is where the necessary mindset shift comes in. Instead of approaching self-care as an extracurricular activity that “would be nice,” accept that it’s necessary for your successful business efforts. This isn’t playing a mind-game designed to convince you. Ignoring your body’s responses to stress and signs of early burnout can weaken your immune system, as well as lead to other significant health problems and even lower life expectancy – consequences that certainly don’t do your business or your family any good.

Recognize also that many self-care habits can be done without drawing too deeply on your valuable time. You don’t have to make time to go to the gym to exercise; taking 10-15 minutes for a brisk outdoor walk does double-duty with physical movement and the benefits of being outdoors. Pick up a smartwatch to track your steps, heart rate, and calories burned. Get even more out of it by eating your meals outdoors as the weather allows. And did you know that your mental and physical health will benefit from even short, 12-20-minute yoga sessions? If you find 20 minutes in your day to pay your business bills and return emails, you can find 20 minutes to perfect your downward-facing dog and tree poses.

Two other essential activities that don’t invite excuses are breathing and sleeping. Practicing deep breathing can literally be done anywhere, while you’re doing anything, and the science proves that it works to reduce stress and helps you relax. Relax and tune out the “noise” of the day by burning some high-quality essential oils. And the good news is that you likely only need between 6-8 hours of sleep. In fact, some research suggests that too much sleep is actually bad for you.

Finally, you can’t ignore your nutrition. With today’s healthy and tasty snack options, there really aren’t any valid reasons to reach for the chips in the vending machines or pantry. You have a multitude of sugar-free but flavored carbonated water options to choose from over sugary soda. Greek yogurt, hydration drinks with electrolytes, and green tea all offer good midday pick-me-ups when you notice you’re feeling sluggish.

Making business changes

Once you decide to make your physical and mental health a priority and approach it as a necessary tool to running your side business – without running yourself into the ground – examine your business routine and habits to see if you can incorporate some efficiencies. For example, if you have independent contractors or freelancers, look for online payment platforms that can simplify your on-time payments and take up less of your time.

If you’re working from home, set aside a designated workspace and make your office as comfortable yet efficient as possible. Make sure this is a space for work, and keep your business and personal lives separate. The good news is that in addition to improving your work, improvements like this also raise your property’s value in terms of appraisals! This also applies to setting aside space for a home gym to help keep yourself active and healthy.

You can also save yourself, and your accountant, some future and long-term headaches if you put practices in place now to separate your personal and freelance business expenses and income. Commingling your business finances with your personal finances is never a good idea. You can streamline the separation by creating a DBA, or “doing business as” name for your business. In addition to separating it from your personal name, you can use the DBA strategy to offer new products or services that don’t necessarily align with your existing business or, if you already have a business name but couldn’t find a coordinating domain name for a website, file a DBA that matches an available domain. Creating a DBA is straightforward – you simply register a business name once you confirm that it’s available.

It’s all possible when there’s uncertainty

You may not have thought you had time to start a freelance business in your “spare time,” but you made it possible. You can do the same with your self-care so that both your personal and professional lives burn brightly through any uncertainty. 

Solopreneur Grind is a community focused on helping others through the grind of starting or growing your own business because of how difficult and lonely achieving solopreneur business success can be. Check out the podcast here.

“Derek Goodman is an entrepreneur. He’d always wanted to make his own future, and he knew growing his own business was the only way to do that. He created his site Inbizability, to offer you tips, tricks, and resources so that you realize your business ability and potential now, not later.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow along on my business journey

Get my daily email for business tips, stories from my day-to-day, motivation and more!