Business owners share the sacrifices they made to get ahead

Written by: Rachel Miller

Date: 7 November 2023

A sole trader works late into the night to keep on top of business

A new survey has uncovered some of the difficult decisions that small business owners say they've had to make to ensure the success of their business, including missing family events and sacrificing financial security.

Research by Capital on Tap has found that nearly one-third (32%) of small business owners say that they've had to make "uncomfortable and difficult decisions" in their personal lives for the success of their business.

The findings show that long hours, in particular, have a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of business owners, reducing the time they spend with friends and family, disturbing their sleep and even damaging their mental health.

Small business owners were asked what sacrifices they had made due to work commitments:

  • 36% said they have missed events with friends and family;
  • 35% said they work long and unsociable hours;
  • 34% admitted they spend less time with family than they would like;
  • 34% said their mental health has suffered because of the time and energy they've spent on their business;
  • 34% said their work-life balance has suffered;
  • 33% reported that their sleep has deteriorated;
  • 32% admitted that they have had to make difficult decisions in their personal life;
  • 32% said they have sacrificed financial security to run their own business.

How to look after your wellbeing when you run a business

Two-fifths (39%) of those surveyed said it's important to make time for self-care each day and 89% of successful business owners include some sort of wellness in their daily routine.

The most common self-care activities among successful entrepreneurs include simple habits like taking a shower (99%), healthy eating (93%) and going for a walk outside (92%). Other popular types of wellness among those surveyed include skincare (85%), reading a book (66%) and listening to a podcast (66%). Another form of self-care is manifestation, with 24% of business owners saying they believe this got them where they are today.

"It's so easy to get caught up in the chaos of running a small business, but no matter how busy life gets, you need to make sure you take care of yourself, and factor in time for the things you love." David Luck, ceo at Capital on Tap.

The research has also found that regular habits matter - 41% of small business owners said that their daily routine has helped them achieve success; a further 41% said they are most motivated when following a schedule.

Seven ways to create a healthy work-life balance

The Capital on Tap study suggests a few simple steps to help maintain a good work-life balance:

  1. Establish a daily routine and be realistic about what you can accomplish in a day.
  2. Delegate some tasks, either within your company or through outsourcing.
  3. Automate some of your processes.
  4. Set clear boundaries and protect your evenings and weekends where possible.
  5. Switch devices off for a little while every day.
  6. Don't compare yourself to others, especially on social media.
  7. Stay focused on your own business and your own goals.

Written by Rachel Miller.

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