During Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, here at Pride Road we have been reflecting on the importance of both looking after our own mental health and taking an active role in supporting each other and our colleagues.
There are a lot of benefits to being a business owner and being your own boss – you get to follow your passion, have freedom to manage your own schedule and run your business the way you want – making it work can mean you feel good and rewarded!
But it’s true that there are many stressors and challenges to face too – worrying about cash-flow, time management, juggling current projects with marketing and consultations for new clients – it’s not hard to understand why worry, stress, anxiety, and feeling isolated is common amongst small business owners.
That’s why it’s important to be proactive about looking after your mental wellbeing and not being afraid to discuss your wellbeing & mental health with your close colleagues. Taking care of yourself is imperative – not only to your own health & wellbeing but also to the success of your business.
Put together a working schedule
A schedule (even a loose one!) will help you prioritise what is important and help you stop feeling like you have an endless amount of tasks to carry out. Consider using some form of task management software, like Trello. This way you can visually see what it is you need to do, and get instant gratification from crossing it out or moving it over to the ‘Done’ column! Run your business, don’t let it run you!
Work out how best to show your value to your clients in the most efficient way and incorporate that into your process. Don’t worry if no one else does it that way, be free to innovate your processes so that it suits you better.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Outsourcing work, seeking professional advice, and asking for help with ongoing tasks that take up too much of your time is important.
Outsource whatever time-consuming processes you can i.e. admin, social media activity etc. and this includes your home chores too i.e. laundry, cleaning, cooking etc. This will help free up your time and help you stop feeling like you’re running around doing everything and nothing.
Also, don’t worry about asking for professional advice to solve a problem – it’s a lot healthier than being jack of all trades, master of none!
Get a healthy amount of sleep
Prioritise getting a decent amount of sleep. Not only with this make you feel better emotionally and physically, but you’ll be a lot more productive and potentially less grouchy to your clients!
Schedule time for yourself first
Ensure you make time to do something you love, regularly. Allow yourself time to actually enjoy yourself, your hobbies, your family – and take some time away from your business. Again, not only is this going to make you feel much better, it will give you the chance to take a step back and get some perspective on your business too. Many people find that time away from work is actually when their best ideas and motivation starts to appear.
Eat well & exercise
This one seems stupidly obvious, but you’re probably aware of the unhealthy habits you can develop when running your own business. Eating well and on time can make a big difference to your physical and emotional wellbeing. Take time to step away from the desk, get fresh air and get to the gym or go for a run. Everybody is different so find what works for you, even a walk to the shop instead of driving could make the difference.
Meditate & take time to be aware
Its well known that taking some time to meditate and become aware of your own thoughts & feelings is an invaluable skill to have. Not only will it help to reduce your immediate worries, anxieties and stress – but it will help you develop long term solutions to these problems and become a happier, healthier & calmer person!
About the Author
Pride Road was set up by Lisa Raynes, an architect with over 20 years and an active member of the RIBA council.
Before starting her own practice in 2010, Lisa had worked as an architect for over a decade. In 2009, the recession was well underway and Lisa had been made redundant twice during her career – once while on maternity leave. Although setting up her own practice started as a necessity, it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened.
Lisa set up her first business – Raynes Architecture Ltd – in 2010, specialising in home refurbishments and extensions. Through her business, Lisa was able to carve out a meaningful architectural career that also allowed her to balance her family life. Working closely with homeowners and people with smaller projects, she found a stream of business that was able to ride out the downturn comfortable, while giving her the chance to help develop properties that truly contributed to people’s lives.
Recognising that a change was needed in the Architecture industry, for women and working mums in particular, Lisa rebranded her practice to Pride Road – the architectural practice franchise that helps trained architects escape the inflexible and long working hours of traditional architecture practices. Pride Road help others run their own business and achieve a better work-life balance, with the support of Lisa’s experience and brand.Through Pride Road, Lisa wants to give architects the skills, knowledge and resources needed to build their own successful architecture business, while campaigning to make the profession happier, healthier, more diverse and inclusive.
Are you interested in joining the Pride Road team? Download your free prospectus by completing the form here.