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Business Blues

This week we all heard the tragic news that actor and comedian, Robin Williams, had died from suicide. More so than most celebrity deaths, the comments on my social media feeds were that of shock and genuine sadness at the passing of this comedic genius. Many wondered how someone so brilliantly able to use humour to entertain millions of people could succumb to depression.

If nothing else, the ‘positive’ effect of a tragedy like this is that it gets people talking again about depression. And in the business world, the incidence of depression is remarkably high.

As those of you who are business owners know, there can be a great deal of pressure. Some of this is from external sources, such as clients, finances, the workload itself, and so on. But a lot of this pressure also comes from ourselves. We want to succeed! And sometimes we can put inordinate amounts of pressure on ourselves to do so.

Leanne Faulkner, founder of successful company Billie Goat Soap, was interviewed a few years ago about her struggle with depression. She said “I used to read all these stories about successful entrepreneurs and wonder why I was such a failure”. She likened the superficial stories she read to a “schoolgirl with anorexia who thinks that super models are the norm”, and took a long time to “realise that very successful entrepreneurs are the exception”.

Small business owners are often less likely to seek help because they may feel that if people know you have depression, it will negatively affect your business. There is no shame in seeking help. In fact, it is no different to the help you would seek in any other aspect of your business.

If you need help, contact Beyond Blue www.beyondblue.org.au


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Evaluation

Many business owners use the New Year season to take stock of their business and life in general. It is a great opportunity to set goals and plan for the coming year, and make changes where necessary.

Hopefully when you started your business, you went into it with your eyes wide open. If you didn’t, it would not have taken you long to learn that running a business means you will need to sacrifice some blood, sweat, tears, money, time and so on in order to achieve success. The tricky part is maintaining some semblance of balance. You need to ensure that your sacrifices are not outweighing your success.

The very first ‘sacrifice’ you should evaluate is family time. There is nothing wrong with short periods of time where work has to come first. But if you spend little time with family and friends and spend most of your nights and weekends working, you need to make some changes. Reflect on what is most important in life and work towards creating more, not less, time on that.

Find a leisure activity that is completely different to your ‘work’ and make it a regular (i.e. at least weekly) pastime. This gives your brain time to recharge and will ultimately provide you with more focus and energy. Ensure that you take regular holidays, where you completely ‘switch off’. This is critical now more than ever in the age of 24/7 access to technology.

Evaluate whether your ‘normal’ state is one of stress and anxiety. If it is, you need to decide if a shorter life span (which is ultimately what extreme, constant stress results in), is worth it.

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Shel Design
PO Box 8142, Glenmore Park NSW 2745
0412 701 147
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ABN: 88 695 161 542

Contact Us

Shel Design
PO Box 8142
Glenmore Park NSW 2745
0412 701 147
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
ABN: 88 695 161 542

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