Running a successful business involves being at your best physically, mentally and emotionally. Businesses cannot run effectively if the owners are burnt out.

watched countless guides on how to become a successful startup founder. I have read quite a few myself and imagine my utter shock when the frustration from challenges started weighing heavy. From sleepless nights to anxiety, the way an entrepreneur reacts to failure can sometimes be the real enemy they need to conquer.  While it can be tempting to focus all of your time and attention on your business, it’s also important that you take care of yourself.

Depending on the type of business you run, some of the problems you may have include:

  • Constantly working for long hours to get your business off the ground or meet your business’ demands.
  • Partaking in business-related activities such as the creation of products, replying business emails and having business calls – all of which blurs the boundaries between your home and work.
  • Feeling lonely due to the absence of someone to share business ideas or problems with. Or the inability to have someone who understands the demands of being an entrepreneur.
  • Having multiple roles as well as managing the additional demands of running a business.
  • Dealing with responsibilities such as family financial issues.

Early Warning Signs

It’s important to be aware of some of the common signs and symptoms that let you know that you may be struggling with your mental health.

Some of the early warning signs include:

  • Lack of concentration;
  • Tiredness/Fatigue;
  • Unnecessary emotional response/ crying;
  • Easily angry or frustrated;
  • Inability or difficulty with making decisions;
  • Avoiding social situations; and
  • Drinking alcohol as a coping mechanism.

While being an entrepreneur seems exciting – you’re pursuing a passion, being your own boss, making money and working on your schedule; however, the responsibilities that come with the role isn’t easy.

The following are tips to help you enjoy good mental health without compromising your health.

Acknowledge your mental health above everything else

Running a business is a full-time job. Running a successful business involves being at your best physically, mentally and emotionally. Businesses cannot run effectively if the owners are burnt out.

One rule of the thumb is to dedicate an amount of time for you. It could be as simple as reading a book, drawing, making crafts or listening to music. Learn to relax and involve in activities that would make you happier and relieve your stress.

Learn how to ask for help

Many times, people compare asking for help as a show of weakness.  For example, letting someone know that you’re unable to manage your workload isn’t a show of weakness.

And as a business owner myself, I know that the last thing you want is for your employees to know that you’re struggling emotionally or feeling overwhelmed. However, the longer you try to cover it up and overcompensate, the worse it will end up. As doubtful as it sounds, asking for help is a show of strength. Acknowledging your limits and taking the right steps to overcome them is an attribute of a strong leader,

Avoid unhealthy comparison

Social media would have us believe everyone is living their best lives; travelling, buying property, running successful businesses. The line between reality and perception is becoming increasingly blurred, and when you’re having a bad day, this can make you feel incredibly bad about yourself

Comparison on social media is unavoidable, and psychological research has shown that this kind of comparison leads to a list of mental health concerns. Thinking that you’re the only person struggling with your workload or not having reached this [often imaginary] level of success can lead to self-doubt, anxiety, and even depression.

Because social media also allows us to network, connect with our peers and customers, and take our businesses to a global level, it’s impossible to disconnect from it altogether. Managing the amount of time you spend on it and the type of things you do while online is crucial to your mental well-being.

Create a balanced, healthy lifestyle

This one may seem obvious, but sleep deprivation, poor diet, and lack of exercise are just as bad for your mental health as physical. Though it may be difficult in the fast-paced startup life, committing to these important daily activities can be the deciding factor in whether your business fails or succeeds.

Force yourself to go to sleep by a certain time every night so that you’re getting the right amount of sleep and also getting your body into a healthy habit.

Make sure to set aside even 30 minutes of time a day to get in some quick cardio or a short one-hour class at the gym. And don’t neglect your diet! It doesn’t take much effort to take care of yourself, and the benefits are quite literally life-saving.

About Farida

Farida Yahya is the Founder of Lumo Naturals, an Abuja-based natural haircare solutions brand that provides a combination of natural products, techniques, artistic styles and education about African hair and the importance of healthy and natural hair to natural hair owners. She is also the founder of The Brief Academy, a learning hub dedicated to developing and supporting female-owned startups to achieving wealth and scalability. Farida is also the author of Redefining Beautiful, a book that discusses the realities of starting a natural hair business. You can connect with Farida Yahya on Instagram via her personal page @thefaridayahya and her business pages @lumonaturals and @thebriefacademy.

Slow and steady still wins the race. If you’re a broke CEO and your parents are giving you hell, ask yourself: do I need to make money now or do I keep at this for as long as it takes?

We’re gradually moving away from the norm and edging toward change. We question a lot of things, feel powerful because we’re armed. We’re armed with the power of social media. One tweet can change your entire life and this is interesting because exploiting the full potential of this power guarantees us a future our parents never had.

We’re also overly inquisitive and more receptive to new ideologies. We’re embracing newer forms of fashion designing, interior designing, cartoonists, animators, and we’ve even redefined comedy. It is also very intriguing that success can just happen in a minute. You can create something right now that a lot of people will love and before you can say jack the whole world is vibing to your tune (mans nuh hot).

But the universe has an interesting management technique in which everything must balance out. Anything with an advantage must have a disadvantage. Because we’re overly creative, someone is always faster and doing better somewhere. When you think you have this fabulous idea, with adequate research, you find that someone is already doing it. But then, the major disadvantage here is that because we’ve seen that success (which we’ve equated to money and fame) can happen in an instant, it has made us impatient and blind to the process and journey to success. No one wants a business idea that will take a while to flourish. We want the money and we want it now.

However, leaving all these aside for a moment, what I’ve found to be common among millennials is the friction being a broke startup CEO introduces to our relationship with our parents. If you’re someone like Maraji who is at the top of her industry, I don’t think your parents would mind much that all you do is sit at home and make funny videos for Instagram. But if you’re still unpopular and no one pays you six figure amounts to make a video, and you somehow still lean on your parents for financial support, and then refuse to pursue a nine to five, I think we can all agree that the relationship with your parents won’t be so smooth. Arguably, this is the case for nine out of every ten millennial. Having an idea or passion that you believe in, but money is scared of your account.

It probably isn’t helping that we now toss around big titles like CEO, executive director and the likes. “Start-up” sounds so posh and befitting, but half of us don’t even know that we need to be small businesses and not start-ups. Let’s digress and study a bit.

According to Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Blank, the biggest difference between the two company types is in their top objectives. Small businesses are driven by profitability and stable long-term value, while start-ups are focused on top-end revenue and growth potential. In simpler terms, starting a small business means you’re in for making money ASAP, but a start-up is an innovation, a distinct idea that has the potentiality to grow big enough to change the market over time (Apple inc).

Here’s how to know: what do you want out of your life in five years? Financial freedom or a really great idea with the potential to blow up? This helps you choose between the two business types according to your goal in life.

We all want to make money now and live that easy life of being financially free and providing for the parents. But here’s a fun fact: Financial experts say that about eighty percent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria fail within the first five years of their existence, due to lack of experience and other wrong business practices. Let’s face it, Nigeria isn’t exactly an easy place to do business.

We often learn this too late, the effort required to turn an idea, product or service into a groundbreaking and lasting success is nothing short of herculean. There is a huge difference between the idea and the business of the idea. The steps involved are, of course, numerous and complex: refining the concept, defining the market, creating the business plan, conducting the market research, selling the plan to investors, lining up vendors, partners, and suppliers. We get really pumped reading and listening to motivational speeches and tapes but this in no way eliminates the work that needs to be done. Excitement does not sustain a business.

What then is the cure for a broke CEO?

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with starting your entrepreneurial or start-up career with a small business. Building a solid financial base will help create a longer personal financial runway for future start-up ventures, while also eliminating being a broke CEO in your father’s house. Also, establishing a successful small business can build credibility and networks through the business community, which will be hugely valuable when launching a startup that requires outside and huge investments.

Our youthfulness and creativity has cut us open to a lot of pressure. Pressure to make money as soon as possible, pressure from parents, pressure from social media, seeing this one and that one celebrating yet another milestone with a photoshoot and long caption. Pressure gradually builds up to anxiety, self doubt, inferiority complex and even depression.

We all just need to be patient. We need to exit this self imposed pressure and anxiety of trying to be a multi-millionaires in three years. This happens for some people, but not everyone, and the one person we’re truly in competition with is ourselves. Slow and steady still wins the race. If you’re a broke CEO and your parents are giving you hell, ask yourself: do I need to make money now or do I keep at this for as long as it takes?

About Chisom Winifred

Chisom Winifred is a creative/freelance writer, content creator and a self published Author. She’s also the co-founder of C&C Digital a social media management firm, dedicated helping small businesses monetize social media using smart online marketing strategies. Find her on Instagram @chisomwinifred or visit her blog www.chisomwinifred.com

Source: Bellanaija

I call this little strategy the “2–Minute Rule” and the goal is to make it easier for you to get started on the things you should be doing.

Here’s the deal…

Most of the tasks that you procrastinate on aren’t actually difficult to do — you have the talent and skills to accomplish them — you just avoid starting them for one reason or another.

The 2–Minute Rule overcomes procrastination and laziness by making it so easy to start taking action that you can’t say no.

There are two parts to the 2–Minute Rule…

Part 1 — If it takes less than two minutes, then do it now.

Part I comes from David Allen’s bestselling book, Getting Things Done.

It’s surprising how many things we put off that we could get done in two minutes or less. For example, washing your dishes immediately after your meal, tossing the laundry in the washing machine, taking out the garbage, cleaning up clutter, sending that email, and so on.

If a task takes less than two minutes to complete, then follow the rule and do it right now.

Part 2 — When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.

Can all of your goals be accomplished in less than two minutes? Obviously not.

But, every goal can be started in 2 minutes or less. And that’s the purpose behind this little rule.

It might sound like this strategy is too basic for your grand life goals, but I beg to differ. It works for any goal because of one simple reason: the physics of real life.

The Physics of Real Life

As Sir Isaac Newton taught us a long time ago, objects at rest tend to stay at rest and objects in motion tend to stay in motion. This is just as true for humans as it is for falling apples.

The 2–Minute Rule works for big goals as well as small goals because of the inertia of life. Once you start doing something, it’s easier to continue doing it. I love the 2–Minute Rule because it embraces the idea that all sorts of good things happen once you get started.

Want to become a better writer? Just write one sentence (2–Minute Rule), and you’ll often find yourself writing for an hour.

Want to eat healthier? Just eat one piece of fruit (2–Minute Rule), and you’ll often find yourself inspired to make a healthy salad as well.

Want to make reading a habit? Just read the first page of a new book (2–Minute Rule), and before you know it, the first three chapters have flown by.

Want to run three times a week? Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, just get your running shoes on and get out the door (2–Minute Rule), and you’ll end up putting mileage on your legs instead of popcorn in your stomach.

The most important part of any new habit is getting started — not just the first time, but each time. It’s not about performance, it’s about consistently taking action. In many ways, getting started is more important than succeeding. This is especially true in the beginning because there will be plenty of time to improve your performance later on.

The 2–Minute Rule isn’t about the results you achieve, but rather about the process of actually doing the work. It works really well for people who believe that the system is more important than the goal. The focus is on taking action and letting things flow from there.

Try It Now

I can’t guarantee whether or not the 2–Minute Rule will work for you. But, I can guarantee that it will never work if you never try it.

The problem with most articles you read, podcasts you listen to, or videos you watch is that you consume the information but never put it into practice.

I want this article to be different. I want you to actually use this information, right now.

What’s something you can do that will take you less than two minutes? Do it right now.

Anyone can spare the next 120 seconds. Use this time to get one thing done. Go.



credit: James Clear; www.jamesclear.com

In today’s world, a CEO or business owner needs to scrutinise how their marketing spend is impacting on their overall business growth.

Buying signage at the Olympics can be exciting. You get to go to the games, entertain customers, but does the investment translate into more business? Being a title sponsor at a polo charity event can make you feel good, but are you able to leverage it effectively? Or how about sponsoring a music event? It’s great music and fun times, but does it help the bottom line? If you are simply putting up a sign and you don’t have the time to devote to leveraging the event, then it’s a waste of money. You may as well kiss your hard-earned cash goodbye.

Since 2008, sponsorship marketing (sports, arts, cause or event) has slowed due to the economy and as more businesses question what they get for their investment. The focus of any marketing spend, including sponsorships, should be the “Return on Investment”.

1) What is your target audience and what types of activities are most appealing to them?

Knowing this will help you determine the type of sponsorship program that makes the most sense for your firm or brand. For example, if your firm manufacturers a product that is mostly used by moms for their children, then look for activities that appeal to those moms. In some cases, although the mom is the purchaser, the person who actually uses the product is the child or the spouse. In this example, you need to focus your sponsorship spend on your end user and they will influence the purchaser (mom). Or in the case of business to business, your target may be the person who signs the contract for your firm’s services or it might be the person who place the orders.

2) What type of marketing sponsorships does your competition engage in?

Evaluating how your competitor is spending their marketing budget will help you better understand the playing field. It also provides you insight on whether key sponsorship opportunities are still available. Typically sponsorships have a “non-compete” clause when it comes to companies in the same industry.

3) What is your overall marketing communication plan for your business & where does sponsorship marketing fit into it?

You should create a strategic plan each year, which should include your brand’s communication objectives.  During this process, you should be able to determine whether a sponsorship fits into your short and long term plans.

4) What are your specific sponsorship objectives?

It is critical to determine your objectives up front and ensure everyone is aligned. Your objectives might include driving awareness for your products or services, increasing your firm’s community involvement (CSR), capturing sales leads, increasing brand loyalty, driving retailer traffic, etc.  Every objective should be measurable and include specifics around timing and deliverables.

5) Which sponsorship program best supports your brand or business?

Evaluating which sponsorship program to pursue should be done in conjunction with your overall business / brand and sponsorship objectives, your target audience alignment with the sponsorship audience, the sponsorship cost, how you can effectively activate the sponsorship across channels (i.e. consumer, retailer, sales force, distributor and internal teams), and how the event can be leveraged to build the business over the short and long term.

The sponsorship you select should build equity in your brand (or business).  Ideally you should look to identify a space that your brand (or business) can “own” that aligns with your equity message.  For example, Nike sponsors top athletes across the globe, which supports their brand message of inspiring athletes around the world.

6) What is the sponsorship’s Return on Investment?

At the end of the program, it is critical to evaluate the return on investment based on the established sponsorship objectives.  This analysis can be done internally, or through an outside marketing research firm specializing in sponsorship evaluation.  Some metrics to analyze include: sales activity, lead generation, lower customer acquisition cost, attitudes toward the brand or firm, response to sponsorship or event related promotions or ads, and TV logo exposure, if applicable.

The key to managing sponsorships is ensuring you get the “best bang for the buck”, while minimising risk to your brand or business. So, whether you are a title sponsor for a major event, or a smaller sponsor at a local event, setting your objectives, ensuring you have the right sponsorship partner, leveraging the association beyond just a sign, will yield better business in the long run

About Chidiadi Madumere

Chidiadi Madumere is the CEO/FOUNDER of Black Purist Media Limited, an integrated communications agency with a team of expert consultants offering a 360 marketing communications solutions and professional writing to individuals, start ups and global companies within the Sub-Saharan African Market. 

Follow: @blackpuristmedia
Email: chidiadi@blackpurist.ng, 0909 999 1035, www.blackpurist.ng