Friday, April 3, 2009

Take care of yourself

Starting a company can drive a person into the ground in many different ways. You may gain weight—or lose too much of it. You may begin to eat too much of the wrong foods, or you may barely eat at all. Pay attention to your health.

If ever there was a time to take better care of yourself, now is it. I know what you’re saying. “I can’t afford to get sick, so I won’t.” I hope you’re right, because combined stress and long work hours are going to put your health at greater risk than ever. Stress can make you more susceptible to common ailments such as colds. That’s no problem because you can work through things like that. But more serious stress-related illnesses such as high blood pressure can occur, and you won’t be able to ignore them. Also, you don’t have the luxury of turning the reins of the company over to a crackerjack staff while you recuperate. If you’re out of commission even for a week, it could seriously jeopardize the future of the company.

If you already exercise regularly, maintain your schedule as much as possible. If you don’t exercise, now is the time to start. Take walks, go for light jogs, ride a bicycle, rake the leaves, or mow the lawn now that you can’t afford to outsource the job to the neighborhood 14-year-old. Do anything that remotely resembles exercise but in no way resembles your normal work. Sure, you can’t help but think about the business while you’re exercising, but that’s OK. Do whatever you can to keep yourself in at least nominal physical shape. If you’ve never been in good condition, get there now. You won't last long, nor will your company, if you don’t. Exercise is often a nice way to free your mind enough think of creative business solutions. Just consider it multi-tasking.

You are the most important asset your company has. Protect your asset.

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