“Entrepreneur”. The word is loaded with a sense of pride and accomplishment for anyone who is diligent enough to have ventured into this type of work, and rightly so! There are so many different “hats” that an entrepreneur needs to wear in order to keep a business going.
Whether working alone, heading a small business or a large business, chances are that at some point in the early stages of establishing that business, there will be a lot of jumping around to different tasks. Accounting, marketing, management, public relations, research, and development could just be a few of the many skills required to get a business off the ground.
There are currently around 528 million entrepreneurs in the world today, a truly impressive statistic, but of that number around 31 million (16.5%) people in the United States workforce are identified as an “entrepreneur”. That means about one in every six adults you may meet throughout your week is running their own business.
Interestingly, just over half of adults have, or will, start a business at some point in their lives, and 26% of those people will go on to launch two or more businesses. Despite how daunting a goal that may seem to many, the statistics don’t lie: about 63% of Americans believe that taking the leap into being a small business owner is a good choice. Part of that may be attributed to the knowledge that, of the world’s wealthiest people (that hold a net worth of $30 million or more), 67% are self-made.
Now while a majority of people in the US workforce may think entrepreneurship is a good idea— with consideration to the benefits of more schedule flexibility, the chance to be their own boss, and pursue a personal passion— few may take the time to consider the darker sides of owning and running a small business.
The Dark Sides of Entrepreneurship
The path of the entrepreneur, however well trodden globally, will always look different. Despite the staggering number of resources and tips and apps to help businesses succeed, doing so can still be very difficult. Entrepreneurship holds a slightly different list of challenges that differ from individuals who maintain a more traditional employment path.
The top three challenges for entrepreneurs are 1) not having or finding enough capital and consistent cash flow; 2) finding employees; and 3) maintaining successful marketing campaigns. Combined with the sobering statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which show that about 30% of businesses fail in their first year, and that nearly 50% fail within the first five years, a more humbling perspective of entrepreneurship begins to be grasped. Much of this is what contributes heavily to the less well-known and often undiscussed consequences on personal health.
According to a study done by the National Institute of Mental Health, 72% of entrepreneurs are directly and/or indirectly subject to issues of mental health. Most entrepreneurs will struggle at some point with a healthy work-life balance and in 2022, a concerning 42% reported experiencing burnout over the last year. Sadly, that number is only expected to keep growing. Overload, burnout, and anxiety are just a few of the more common issues, none of which are experienced in a vacuum. Businesses, employees, and even families can suffer as a result of a lack of personal care.
Despite all this, millions of people choose courage and optimism to move forward anyway. Last year, in 2022, 5.1 million people started a new business in the US. People did so for a variety of reasons. Around 29% of people became entrepreneurs because they wanted to be their own bosses (which was the most popular response).
Others were just done dealing with the annoyances of corporate America (17%); the rest (16%) just wanted to pursue their passions. Whatever the reasons, most everyone will come up against a set of circumstances which will stretch their ability to manage not only the business, but their own health.
As such, the wisdom of tapping into the variety of resources to help maintain good health is essential. One way to keep up personal health, and thus the vitality of a business, is to recruit the assistance of a virtual health coach.
Benefits of a Virtual Health Coach
Virtual Health coaching is different from traditional health care primarily in that the coach and a client are not meeting in person. Sessions can be done by phone or video, so this virtual care can greatly aid a person’s access to appointments with more flexibility. A huge factor when considering the busy schedules of most business owners. That, along with greater ease of access to the coach, allows for sessions much more quickly, and even infrequently. In this way, troubles can be discussed as they happen.
Virtual health coaches attend to a wide variety of health topics ranging from, exercise, to nutrition, mental health, and even guided meditations, but the focus tends to be on initiating behavioral changes. These goals are often customized to fit the individual client and their specific needs or daily challenges. Weight loss to present a healthier appearance to customers, exercise for more energy throughout the day, and increased mental confidence can all contribute to business success.
Plus, the implementation of gradual goals in the areas of nutrition and mental health management aids in the ability for entrepreneurs to regain control of their often chaotic lives. Meant to be used in tangent and addition to traditional services, a virtual health coach can do much to help encourage, motivate, and empower each client so that the goals they have set in business and in life will be more easily attainable with a healthy mind and body.
A surprising amount of the global and US economies are made up of entrepreneurs. The benefits and rewards of owning and running a small business are noteworthy and enticing, but the reality is that managing a business successfully can prove very challenging. High failure rates, unsteady income, and unforeseen circumstances can put a huge strain on a person.
The consistent stresses associated with an entrepreneurial lifestyle are often greater and more common than working as a traditional employee. As such, the risk of physical and mental health concerns is statistically higher in small business owners. Despite the risks, millions of people open their own businesses every year in the US.
A great way to help offset the inevitable challenges of running a business that can lead to poor health and business failure is to hire a virtual coach. Doing so creates a flexible support system that can easily be worked into full schedules to create personalized goals for health and wealth, both in and out of the office. The investment in self- care will prove profitable in every area of life so that, even if things start to get rough, the likelihood of success personally and professionally remains higher.