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The Growing Impact Of Mental Health Issues On Male Entrepreneurs

The Growing Impact Of Mental Health Issues On Male Entrepreneurs

Run by the Men’s Health Forum  the second week in June is dedicated to focusing on Men’s mental health . The 2021 focus is on COVID19 and how mental health has been challenge by lockdown and the insecurities of the last year.

In this blog I would like to focus on, in particular, the mental health of male small business owners.

Even at this time of near gender equality, where gender gaps are shrinking, more than 70% of new business start-ups are still led by men.

However, traditionally, men have been pressured by society to be sole provider for their families, and be the ‘breadwinner,’ and although many families now have two incomes, the pressures on men to ‘provide’ have never been greater.

With societal attitudes stating there are opportunities for all, education, peer pressure and family pressure leads many to believe that success is only limited by one’s desire to achieve it. Especially during the lockdown period where there has been a lot of extra pressure to use the time to learn new skills, get fit and achieve great things.

Running A Business

The pressures are many for any small business owners, regardless of gender and many make significant personal sacrifices to run their business. However, the sacrifices are different between men and women.

  • Women are more likely to sacrifice time for themselves and their social lives.
  • Men are more likely to sacrifice time with their spouse and time with their children.

There are also differences in the perceptions of key character traits required to be a good business owner.

  • Multi-tasking – 58% of women considered this a strength, versus only 40% of men.
  • Creativity – Men were 10% less likely to see this as a strength.
  • Empathy – Men were 5% less likely to value this.
  • Confidence – 30% of men listed this as their strongest attribute, as opposed to only 24% of women.
  • Hero Mentality – Men tended to work longer hours and work through lunch breaks.

So, how does this relate to male mental health? Statistics show:

  • Suicide – Male suicide rates account for three quarters of all suicides.
  • Depression – An increase in depression in men; 12% having suffered from one of the common mental health disorders.
  • Dependency – Men are three times more likely to become alcohol dependant than women.
  • Health concerns – More men suffer from high blood pressure, leading to strokes and heart attacks than women.

There is no getting away from the fact that despite the opportunities which now exist for all, different reactions to stresses and society’s expectation of gender is adversely effecting men.

Stress Triggers For Small Business Owners

According to a survey by Xero the top five things that cause small business owners stress are:

  • Managing staff (42 per cent)
  • Admin (35 per cent)
  • Feeling responsible for the success of the company (31 per cent)
  • Keeping up with compliance (26 per cent)
  • Paying for office overheads and expenses (24 per cent)

This can be made worse for male business owners in ‘macho’ or competitive environments where to show any emotion is viewed as a weakness, and there is more pressure to succeed. Research at Cigna has shown that 66% of men suffer from work-related stress, with 13% of them believing it to be unmanageable. Only 12% had spoken to someone about managing their stress

How Can Male Business Owners Destress?

Most small business owners are wearing 100 hats at once, but men also face the stereotypes where they should be providers, where losing isn’t an option, where they have to be strong and not show emotions, and they mustn’t ask for help.

Low productivity, mistakes, missed deadlines, burnout and zero work/life balance are some of the consequences of an over-stressed business owner. This can add extra stress to many male business owners as they do not find it easy to talk about their emotions, and admitting they need help feels like an admission of failure. It’s not.

Here are six things male business owners can do to ease the pressure at work.

  • Talk – whether with a professional, a partner or a work colleague speak about the stresses, run ideas past them, and ask for help and advice.
  • Delegate or outsource – no one has to do everything themselves. Hire virtual assistants, freelancers or consultants to help with roles that are causing pressure.
  • Breaks – Breaks during the working day are a legal requirement for a reason. By ensuring there is at least 30 minutes downtime to eat, have a cup of coffee, or go for a walk will help to clear the mind.
  • Nutrition – By eating a healthy diet and remaining hydrated will keep the mind focused. Avoid grabbing fast food for convenience.
  • Exercise – This is not just for fitness but also for destressing. Take up running, cycling or five-a-side football. Something fun and sociable can help to maintain the work-life balance.
  • Downtime – In the evenings and weekends have a tech-free zone where there are no emails or work-related distractions. Use the time to reconnect with friends and family.

It is clear that everyone suffers from work-related stress, but it should also be acknowledged that men and women handle that stress in a very different way and culturally are under very different peer pressure. The key is to be open and to speak about how you are feeling.

As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved.

 

How To Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed

How To Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed

As a business owner you possibly find yourself managing all kind of jobs, often with moving priorities. You may get to end of your day and wonder whether you have actually made any kind of progress, or achieved anything! This can leave you really feeling aggravated as well as overloaded. Here are some tips to help beat overwhelm as well as achieve efficiency…

 Top Tips To Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed 

 1. Know How You Spend Your Time

Lost time is the significance of inefficacy. This commonly happens as a result of procrastination, distractions or inefficient working practices. The primary step to coming to be a lot more effective is to understand just how you spend your time. This can be analysed quite quickly, by tracking the moment you spend on jobs as well as in between jobs. Tracking can be done either by hand or with a time-tracking application such as Toggl. This simple exercise can also be executed by your team and will certainly help you find where time is wasted in your business and also where enhancements need to be made..

 

2. Processes

Recorded procedures throughout many areas of your business will certainly help boost effectiveness. It saves you and your team ‘re-inventing the wheel’ each time you complete a task. For example, ensuring customer-facing processes are in place, such as customer on-boarding and after-sales care, will vastly improve your efficiency. How? will it means you are able to follow procedure, and use defined templates rather than spend time thinking through and implementing your actions and responses each time, so all that’s necessary is to quickly customise, where necessary.

 

3. Tools

Readily offered online software application will greatly enhance the everyday functional performance of vital areas of your business. There are tools that streamline numerous business areas, for example, client support, project management, accounts, payments and also group communication

 

4. Prioritise Your To-Dos

Focus is in, and multitasking is out! Trying to do too much will just cause you to get stressed out and feel overwhelmed. Leaving you feeling like you have achieved very little. You need to work with your priorities and focus on the most important tasks. Take a look at your to-do list and pick three main tasks to achieve each day. You’re likely to get more done in this manner, as it’s less overwhelming and it’s then a bonus if you manage to complete more.

Another very simple yet effective habit is to plan your to-do’s for the next day, as the last task you do each working day. This means you set your intention and awake with a firm plan for the day ahead.

 

5. Break It Down

People feel overwhelmed and can become inefficient when faced with a large task. However, breaking the task down into smaller achievable steps makes everything more manageable. Additionally, it helps you strategise and see your direction clearly, which can increase your motivation in a big way 🙂

 

 6. Embrace Change

If the method chosen to complete a task continues to achieve the required outcome, oftentimes people resist changing it. However, if the same outcome can be achieved with considerably less effort, in a fraction of the time, therefore making you much more efficient… change should be encouraged!

 

7. Delegate

Many entrepreneurs find delegation challenging because at some point they’ve carried out all the roles.

But, you need to let go – for the sake of your business, for team retention and to allow you and your business to grow!

As a proactive resource dedicated to supporting your business with the exact level of service you require, you can be ultra-confident that your Virtual Business Manager or Virtual Assistant will take on individual tasks, projects or entire roles as necessary to improve your business operations, increase efficiency and help you grow your business.

 

Book a 30 minute no-obligation consultation today to dramatically improve the efficiency in your business.

 

 

 

 

 

How Mental Health Issues Are Affecting More Small Business Owners

How Mental Health Issues Are Affecting More Small Business Owners

A recent report by the accounting software specialist Xero concluded that stress is a growing problem for small business owners. October 10th is designated as World Mental Health Day, so I would like to challenge you to take 5 minutes out of your day to focus on yourself and think about how you feel at this moment in time?

Having personally suffered from anxiety, driven by the hectic workload and pressure of an international corporate role, I know that these things creep up on you. It is a fine balance between pressure that drives you and pressure that inhibits you.

Don’t Hide Behind Your ‘To-do’ List

Do any of these ring a bell for you?

  • ‘I don’t have time to think about myself’,
  • ‘If I don’t do it, no-one will’,
  • ‘I can’t afford to be ill’, there are jobs that need to be done’

However, these can often ‘self-excuses’. Things we hide behind, so we don’t have to admit to ourselves we are struggling. We put on a front that we are coping, in case we are perceived as failing. We hy away from asking for help until it is too late.

Workplace Stress Is A Growing Problem For Small Business Owners

83% of small business owners say they have experienced stress in the last 6 months

Workplace stress, anxiety and depression are becoming more common as technology advances increase the speed at which we work increases. But it is not just workers in the corporate world that this affects. A recent survey of 500 small business owners, conducted by Xero, found that stress is a growing problem for small business owners. The survey notes that 83% have experienced stress in the past six months, with almost half (49%) saying they have been more stressed than normal and 17% admitting they are “highly stressed”.

One in ten says the stress of running a business has had a negative impact on their mental health, causing sleepless nights (41%), drinking more alcohol (21%) and arguments at home (13%).

The findings show that the top ten factors causing the most stress for small business owners are:

  1. Managing staff (42%);
  2. Admin (35%);
  3. Feeling responsible for the success of the company (31%);
  4. Keeping up with compliance (26%);
  5. Paying for overheads and expenses (24%);
  6. Keeping clients happy (23%);
  7. Imposter syndrome (20%);
  8. Filing taxes (19%);
  9. Time pressures (17%);
  10. Multitasking (14%).

Outside factors also causing stress include high street decline (34%) and Brexit uncertainty (18%). One in ten (11%) said they felt vulnerable to economic conditions.

If any of the above resonates with you – that’s good! – you are noticing it, not hiding from it!

There is plenty of help available, doctors are much more aware and sympathetic to mental health conditions than they were a couple of decades ago. GPs can now support by recommending counselling options as well as prescribing drugs if required. Online there are sites such as the NHS site or UK’s Mental Health offering fantastic self-help resources providing podcast, video’s and tips.

Business-wise, outsourcing some of the administration and compliance requirements may lighten your load and reduce the pressure from constant multi-tasking. If you need ideas on what to outsource check out our scope of services or check out our FREE resources.

So, back to my original challenge – and be honest with yourself – how you feel at this moment in time?

Based on an article by start-up donut.