In this solo episode I chat about the unique health challenges of being a business owner, and the two things we can do to avoid getting caught up in it!

I’d love to know your thoughts!

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Transcript
Hayley:

Hi, and welcome to the Fit For Business podcast with me Hayley Field, also known as the Food Ninja.

Hayley:

I'm here to chat with business owners about their health and how it impacts their business and vice versa.

Hayley:

And to share with you all the latest tools, tips and strategies that are working for myself, and my clients, hope you enjoy the episode.

Hayley:

Good morning, afternoon, evening, whatever it happens to be, wherever you are, thank you for tuning into the Fit For Business podcast.

Hayley:

And this week, again, I've got a little solo issue going on. Still not quite sure how I feel about these solo episodes, it does feel a bit weird to just be talking to a microphone, but I imagine that somewhere someone is listening.

Hayley:

So if that's you, thank you, thank you very much for listening.

Hayley:

Today, I am going to talk about one of the main reasons I started this podcast, really.

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So this podcast is aimed at business owners, and specifically business owners who are pretty successful, they've built their business at the expense of their health.

Hayley:

And I really wanted to provide space, I guess, for people to have conversations about that, because we all seem to be quite ashamed of that fact, which is a bit odd, isn't it really.

Hayley:

So today, I want to talk about the specific health challenges that a lot of business owners experience, it's the things that I've just observed from all the hundreds of clients that I've had.

Hayley:

Avery high percentage of those clients are business owners, entrepreneurs, and I see similar health challenges for all of them. So I'm just gonna run through a few of them. And you know, you tell me, if you can relate.

Hayley:

I'm then going to talk about why those challenges cause particular problems for business owners. And hopefully, after all that, fucking depressing doom and gloom, I'm gonna end on a high by giving you some little tips to maybe address some of them.

Hayley:

So there are a number of things I see, one of the ones that really kind of surprised me, I guess, is the lack of social connection that a lot of business owners have, particularly in the niche that I work in.

Hayley:

I work in the online world, I'm an online coach, I work with a lot of online coaches and business owners. And that lack of social connection can be quite, you know, people can feel quite isolated, and obviously during lockdown that was magnified quite a lot.

Hayley:

And I think also in terms of communication, when we're working online, it can be very hard to communicate with people sometimes. So over email and stuff. Whereas if you're in an office, and you get to pick up on those kind of physical cues, don't you know, if you really to speak to someone and you go by their desk, and they really look as though they don't want to be fucking bothered right now, then you probably avoid a potentially awkward situation.

Hayley:

So that lack of social connection can really affect mental and emotional health. And if you think about it, you know, if you go into a place of work, and you've got colleagues and staff that you can bounce ideas off, and that you can communicate with and have those sort of water cooler moments, if you like that can really help with your sort of sense of belonging.

Hayley:

And you don't get the chance to do that while you're working online. So I think that is something that I see quite a lot, you know, and coupled with something that we've all experienced in the past couple of years, the constant uncertainty and anxiety around our income, job security.

Hayley:

And I know a lot of people say well you chose this life and you know, we do choose that life because there are a lot of benefits but I think it's really important to acknowledge that there are also a lot of challenges that come with it that you don't necessarily expect or or know until you get sort of too far into it, I guess really.

Hayley:

So I've covered their lack of social connection uncertainty and anxiety and also kind of coupled with that, and I know this is something that I've suffered from quite a lot, is having your self worth tied into the to your business and the success of your business and not seeing yourself as a separate entity, I guess.

Hayley:

And thinking Oh, something doesn't go your way business wise, you know, I'm a shit person because I didn't land that clients or you know, my revenues dropped for the past few months I must be shit, I'm no good at this. I can't do it.

Hayley:

Not having a sense of who you are outside of your business can become quite sort of stressful and draining but I liken it to you know food morality, right.

Hayley:

So if you are constantly judging whether you're a good or bad person based on whether you eat good or bad foods, I'm using air quotes listeners, I know you can't see that, is the same thing, you know.

Hayley:

If your business has has a bad month, it's not always down to you. And it doesn't mean you're shit person, and you're no good at what you do.

Hayley:

So I think that's something else that we battle with quite a lot. And the kind of flip side of that is just being, if it's possible, I know a lot of business owners will probably think that this is an odd thing to say, but just being too passionate about your business.

Hayley:

And because you're so passionate, and you love it, and you're really invested in it, you don't recognise warning signs that you might see otherwise. But I think when you're so invested in your business, it's really difficult to see those warning signs.

Hayley:

So for a lot of the time, you know, we do not deal with situations in a timely fashion, we don't nip things in the bud. So that's something else that I see.

Hayley:

And then a few of them which are kind of linked to my favourite hustle porn, which I hate. You know, there's a lot of expectation, and shame around a lot of behaviours for business owners. So this kind of impression management having to have an online presence and manage, you know, how you are seen to your peers, to fellow business owners, to your clients, trying to portray yourself as being successful and on it. And you know, you've got your fucking shit together, right?

Hayley:

That's the impression that you want to give people but when you have those times, like everyone does, when you don't have your shit together, constantly having to manage the impression that you do is really difficult, it's tiring, it's exhausting.

Hayley:

And you feel guilty, because hey, you chose this life, and you're meant to enjoy it, and you feel ashamed because everyone else is crushing it right?

Hayley:

Everyone else is getting up at 4am and having like, five figure months, every month, and you feel ashamed, so you don't seek help for it again, you know, another, another instance, where you are letting things get too far before you deal with them.

Hayley:

So that's, you know, that's one of the things that I see that's kind of related to this hustle and grind culture.

Hayley:

And the same in terms of taking time for yourself in the business world. A lot of the time, taking time for yourself is shown as a weakness, it shows that you don't want it enough that you are not grinding, you're not prepared to do what it takes to be successful.

Hayley:

You know, if you pull those things together, they cause increased stress, you know, that lack of social connection, having no one to talk to uncertainty, anxiety, isolation, self esteem issues, the responsibility,

Hayley:

I guess the buck always stops with you, right, you can see that actually being a business owner starts to become really complex.

Hayley:

And I think that, you know, for that reason, it attracts a certain type of person, right? A 'type A' person, if you like, people who tend to be, and I might be talking about myself here, predisposed to addictive behaviours, and these sort of traits of perfectionism and all that kind of stuff, you can see that having that type of personality just perpetuates a lot of these other behaviours.

Hayley:

Like not asking for help, you know, working until you get something perfect, not taking time for yourself, I'm painting a really fucking horrible picture.

Hayley:

I hope there's no aspiring business owners listening to this thinking, wow, that has put me off for life.

Hayley:

Obviously, there are some amazing parts of being a business owner, you know, the main benefit benefit is you do what the fuck you want, if you structure it, right.

Hayley:

But yeah, those are some kind of really unique health challenges that come along with being a business owner. And like I said, a lot of those are related to the hustle and grind culture.

Hayley:

And I think it's a really important message for us to put out there that you don't have to be part of that culture. You know, I think things are starting to change a little bit, but you don't have to be part of that culture to be a successful business owner.

Hayley:

And in fact, if you're smart, you don't need to do that hustle and grind shit. You know, building a business should not mean pressing pause on the rest of your life, it doesn't mean that everything else stops, because that is not good in terms of balance.

Hayley:

Yeah. And I think with that, also, this kind of, you're kind of always on initially, a lot of clients when they start with me, they're in this really odd limbo place of they're never really on, because they're so fucking tired all the time.

Hayley:

And then never really off because they lose that capacity as a business owner and never really being off always having your phone in your hand always been available that contributes to that feeling of never really being on Isn't it because if you don't take time for yourself and have a break, you can't operate at your full capacity.

Hayley:

So then that just ends up feeling shit doesn't know if You're never really on, you know you're not focused, you're not performing at your best that's makes you feel like shit.

Hayley:

If you're never really off, you feel stressed, you feel guilty because you are not being a good partner, Mum, Dad, friend, brother, sister, whatever that might be for you. So, you know, again, let's add that to the guilt pile.

Hayley:

Something else that I see quite a lot of is people don't do things for enjoyment.

Hayley:

When you're a business owner, you know, when you start a business, you might have had a more balanced life, you might have had a hobby that you really enjoyed. But if you have that entrepreneurial spirit, guess what happens to that hobby, you say, Wow, I could turn this into a side hustle. How can I monetize this?

Hayley:

Never really doing things for joy, just always trying to look for the opportunity and everything in terms of it, you know, monetizing everything.

Hayley:

So yeah, I think a lot of this hustle and grind stuff really feeds into a lot of the insecurities and problems that I talked about earlier. I think if you get into the situation where you're sacrificing food, sleep, relationships, and any fucking joy in your life, for your business, then you are not running that business, that business is running you.

Hayley:

And that is not why you became a business owner.

Hayley:

So you might be thinking at this point fucking out holy shit, that is depressing. But actually, isn't that just part of being a business owner? Isn't that what we're supposed to do? Isn't that how you build a business?

Hayley:

You're just making things hard for yourself.

Hayley:

If you do that all of those problems that I've just talked about, they will cause things like constant tiredness, poor focus and concentration, impaired brain function, you won't, you just won't be on it.

Hayley:

Poor coping mechanisms, poor self esteem. So you'll miss opportunities, you'll drop the ball with clients, you'll have erratic energy levels, you will be shit at making decisions, you'll be snappy and irritable with your staff and just a bit of a dick to be around, basically, and you won't look or feel like a success.

Hayley:

So that is the outcome of not dealing with all those problems that I just talked about.

Hayley:

Now, if you are serious about your business, you need to be serious about your health. There's no two ways about it.

Hayley:

Have I got anything constructive to say instead of just fucking depressing you?

Hayley:

Yes, I have. How can we get past that? Two main things right. So the first thing I'm going to talk about is you need to start looking after yourself.

Hayley:

That should be a non negotiable. If you want to show up as your best every day, that should be a non negotiable. I know a lot of you know me, originally as a nutritionist, so I guess you think I'm probably just talking about a good diet, but there are so many more things that go into looking after yourself.

Hayley:

So you know, looking after your brain, you know, your cognitive ability, mental performance, how you process information, which is obviously you know, about a good diet about getting outside, you know, giving your brain space to breathe, I like to call it.

Hayley:

I'm lucky enough to live in sunny Bournemouth by the seaside. And quite often when I'm a bit inside my own head, I will go out to the seafront because it's a big space, right, and it lets my brain breathe.

Hayley:

I can't explain it. It sounds fucking weird. I know. But it works.

Hayley:

So yeah, I mean, that kind of health, right? It's not just about a good diet, it's about your sort of brain health. It's about your intellectual health, it's about taking ownership for yourself. It's about feeling empowered and educated to make the right decisions.

Hayley:

And it's also about healthy relationships, you know, being connected, not isolated, feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin. That's really important.

Hayley:

And it's about having, you know, a healthy relationship with food and not using it as a coping mechanism, having a positive outlook, managing your emotions properly, and you know, being active.

Hayley:

And yes, that does mean you know, maintaining a weight that's healthy for you, being in optimal physical health by eating properly and moving your body and being hydrated and listening to your body.

Hayley:

Right, your body has so many natural safety nets that it puts in place for you, it tells you like you're full, you don't need to eat anymore.

Hayley:

It tells you you're tired. You don't need to binge watch NetFlix anymore. And you ignore the signals a lot of the time, but they're there as warning signs.

Hayley:

So I think listening to your body a bit more. That's the first thing looking after your health. And I've given you a very potted version there because you know, that could be another podcast episode, couldn't it or two or three.

Hayley:

But I think the second way that you can overcome some of the unique health challenges that business owners have is defining your own version of success and doing that when you start out in your business and constantly revisiting it.

Hayley:

Because society's definition of a successful business owner might be a six figure business or a seven figure business. Is that what you want? Is that your version of success?

Hayley:

Because is that person healthy that business owner if they are, too be tired and strung out to reap the rewards of their hard work, or maybe they haven't got any spare time, or maybe their family just got pissed off with waiting around for them to come home from work and you know, they're not around anymore. That's not success.

Hayley:

Maybe you could define your own version of success in terms of having a successful and fulfilling business that makes a difference in people's lives, that you have managed to build that business while remaining healthy and happy in your relationship.

Hayley:

Think about what your version of success is, you don't have to conform to what other people's version of successes.

Hayley:

And I always find that a bit odd because a lot of the time people set up businesses because they don't want to conform to society's version of what success is like, a corporate career and stuff.

Hayley:

But then we just go and do the same thing. When we set up our business we conform to what for me, for example, people on the on in the online world or a six figure business is successful.

Hayley:

So everyone strives for a six figure business, but maybe you don't want that.

Hayley:

And that's okay to say that so yeah, that's that's two ways of dealing with it, looking after your health and defining your own version of success, whatever that might be, and not being afraid to say that that's what it is.

Hayley:

So that's it for this week. Another short solo episode from me is probably not short, I haven't checked I've probably been talking for fucking ages because that's what normally happens.

Hayley:

But anyway, thank you so much for listening to another solo episode. I would love to know what you think.

Hayley:

If you can comment, or send me an email or comment on any of my socials, and I will be back next week with another guest. Thanks for listening

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