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Career Advice » Nourish to Flourish: Of self-care and entrepreneurship

Posted: 26 September 2019 by Wangiwe Joanna Kambuzi

Nourish to Flourish: Of self-care and entrepreneurship

Most people venturing into entrepreneurship will agree with me that entrepreneurship is not as easy as many would believe. Though rewarding in the long term, it is a difficult journey with many ups and downs.  Battling all sorts of challenges affecting your enterprise can be draining. Creating a work-life balance remains the most difficult to achieve, especially, if you are at start-up phase. But how do you incorporate self-care whilst investing most of your time, with less sleep, in meeting deadlines to sustain your enterprise? I can definitely relate!


As crazy as it sounds throughout this year, I have learnt the fact that if you want to flourish you must nourish (not just eating - that is). This means a lot more of taking time off to take care of YOU! Well, another tough nut to crack. How do I take time off whilst trying to make ends meet with my enterprise in such a busy and competitive space? Imagine having to make peace with the fact that if you become malnourished-MENTALLY, you will likely be less productive within your work. CHAOTIC!

Earlier this year, in April, I experienced a melt-down. This followed a series of events including frequent travelling, working late, and managing a crisis we had encountered that would have led to closing down our start up. Waking up one morning, I could barely move my right arm and I experienced terrible chest pains. It only hit me hard after the doctor diagnosed me with Angina, a type of chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. But how? Am not even 30? Pretty much what every young person would ask themselves. Only then did I realise, how I had buried myself into nourishing my enterprise whilst leaving myself drained.

Not only did I learn the importance of self-care on my mental health but as to how it is key for my physical health. I was stressed, exhausted and overworked.  Not to cut out it isamazing; you are self employed and call the shots, you manage your own schedule, build a team that is just as passionate as you but a big chunk of it requires patience, self-discipline and resilience. It's not easy.

Based on my own experiences and through reading for others' experiences, I learnt about these four ways you can stay nourished to flourish as an entrepreneur:

  1. Create time for ME-TIME

This not very easy to do when you have to reach your set goals and ensure your enterprise is up and running. But this is it, take care of yourself. As you create your work schedule include time for you, from a spa visit, going to the gym, travelling to a new place obviously not for work, works wonders. In a world of doing, doing, doing, its important to just breathe, to just be!

 

  1. Align

Destroy the idea that you have to be constantly working or grinding in order to be successful. Embrace the concept that rest, recovery and reflection are essential parts of the progress towards a successful and ultimately happy life. In my case this is still sinking in somewhere in my brain, I surely am a working progress.

 

  1. Celebrate your achievements

During the time I experienced my meltdown, I ultimately was in awe for getting a new funding partner for the enterprise. I am not sure if I celebrated that enough. I was just out there yearning for more. Let’s face it, you will not get everything you aspire to achieve in one day or one year. Small wins mean everything and they deserve to be celebrated. Take some time and look at how much you have learned since you started, what you have achieved so far, and give yourself a pat on the back. Celebrate your every step!

 

  1. Develop new healthy habits

From changing my sleep routine, reading, exercising, drinking lots of water and speaking out more about how I feel, I am now getting better at taking care of myself every day. Its never easy to maintain some of these habits when your schedule is always tight. It requires a lot of discipline and consistency. Choose habits that relieve your stress and blend well with your daily schedule to avoid getting overwhelmed. Dare to do more!

 

What is your experience with mental health, self-care and entrepreneurship? Do you share with that entrepreneur next to you? Please do if you do not. You would be inspiring to keep going or improve their approach towards growing their enterprise to become successful.

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    Wangiwe Joanna Kambuzi

    Miss Wangiwe Joanna Kambuzi is the Founder and Executive Director for Mzuzu E-hub, an entrepreneurship and innovation hub that supports start up and early stage businesses with co-working space and technical assistance by linking them to a network of services for success.  2018 Social Impact Incubator Community Builder awardee. Youth Manifesto Champion-2019 Youth Decide Campaign. Communications Specialist. Formerly a banker and customer service executive.  She is on Twitter: @MissJoa27   Linked in: Wangiwe Kambuzi; Facebook: Wangiwe Joanna Kambuzi; Email: wangiwe.kambuzi@mzuzuehub.org