‘Your Health is Your Wealth’ -The Ultimate Guide to Being a Healthy Entrepreneur

Updated on 22 July 2019

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The importance of mental health has recently come into the spotlight with South African entrepreneurs like Sibusiso Ngwenya, known as “Skinny Sbu”, media entrepreneur DJ Sbu and Siya Beyile of The Threaded Man, among those speaking out openly about their battles with anxiety and depression.

Global keynote speaker and venture capitalists Vusi Thembekwayo also encouraged entrepreneurs to look after their health while reaching for success.

“You can make as much money as you want, work as hard as you want, you can acquire ad accumulate as many assets as you want, but if you don’t have the physical body, and the way with all to enjoy it, then what’s the point?

Take care of your physical, mental and emotional health – here is advice from the experts. 

Work on your physical health

Focus on fitness

“Keep the end goal in mind, develop a routine to suit your lifestyle and stick to it and get a sufficient amount of sleep. Your body and mind will function better the better rested you are so wake up earlier.” – Juanita Khumalo, a fitness and wellness influencer and founder of Trove Wellness. More fitness hacks

Cultivate healthy habits

‘Give yourself an hour’ – “Be selfish with the first hour of your day because the rest of the day you give to other people. For example, do jumping jacks, meditate or read. Invest one hour to yourself, to your health.” – Sam Hlonyana, founder of the 90 Days Without Sugar Movement, an online wellness program. How to acquire good habits

Control what you can

“Make changes in your workspace to support physical comfort (visual interest, natural elements like water features and plants, quality of light, air, temperature, sound, and ergonomics); functional comfort, using the right tools and effective interaction with the work environment and psychological comfort, control over the job and the workspace. De-clutter, organise and simplify.” – Erika Kruger, a Workplace Wellness Consultant. Strategies to make wellness a priority

Watch what you eat

“If you don’t plan meals ahead you might get hungry and binge on unhealthy snacks. I’m on the road a lot to see customers because I’m sales executive. I keep healthy snacks like almonds and biltong in the car. – Sam Hlonyana, founder of the 90 Days Without Sugar Movement, an online wellness program. Learn how to improve your eating habits

Find a balance

“While working longer hours may be necessary every once in a while, getting into the habit of ‘all work and no play’ can often result in the quality of your work slipping.” – Kobus Engelbrecht, spokesperson for one of South Africa’s most respected entrepreneurship competition, the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. More advice on work-life balance

Care about your health as much as you do about your business

“Entrepreneurs should care as much about their well-being as they do about the financial and operational aspects of their companies.” –  Erika Kruger, a Workplace Wellness Consultant. Be a fitter, better entrepreneur

Focus on personal growth

Learn something new everyday

“This does not only mean formal education. Many successful entrepreneurs spend a significant amount of time reading, whether for work or for leisure.” – Kobus Engelbrecht, spokesperson for one of South Africa’s most respected entrepreneurship competition, the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. How to prioritise daily learning


“[It’s important to] invest time in getting to know yourself. When you know who you truly are, what you value and where your boundaries are, it becomes a lot easier to figure out what’s important to you and where your purpose and meaning come from.” – Briony Liber, Career and Business Coach and founder of Briony Liber Coaching & Consulting. Hacks for finding your purpose

Find a mentor, coach and teaching tools

“Make use of mentors, leaders and coaches, they serve the role of guiding us through the passage of wisdom. Also, no one knows it all, books and documentaries on purpose and mind transformation are great tools.”- Tshidi Wa Pila, life coach and founder of Imperative Transformation Journey. Hacks for finding your purpose

Manifest success

Follow your purpose

“Look at your journey and the experiences you have gone through, the skills and qualifications that you gained and ask yourself ‘how can I use these things to help serve my purpose?’” – Yvette Ratshikhopha, business coach and founder of The Global Village Hub. Advice for cultivating focus

Be positive

“Affirmations are phrases we repeat often to help with positive self-talk. They need to be believable to you and resonate with you.” – Sonja McKaiser, entrepreneur and founder of Creative Space with Sonja. More examples of affirmations for entrepreneurs

Have affirmations

“Post the affirmations up where you can see it daily – when we see things we believe them.” – Tania Shingler, entrepreneur and founder of Shingler Connect, a business network group for entrepreneurs on Facebook. How to create affirmations

Make a vision board

“Put together a vision board. A vision board helps to show us where we are going.” – Sonja McKaiser, entrepreneur and founder of Creative Space with Sonja. Create a vision board in under 30 minutes

Set goals and write them down

“If you don’t have it written down, your chances of it happening is reduced drastically because it’s a principle of success. You have to have everything you want, written [down].” – Steve Harvey, the American entrepreneur, author and talk show host. How to set goals as an entrepreneur

Develop a growth mindset

Practice exponential thinking

“The entrepreneurial mindset has the potential to unlock these opportunities and more. The key to our success and scale is not more entrepreneurs but instead the need to foster the ecosystem that spurns that thinking. With this mindset we can address not only this continent’s challenges but its opportunities.” – Mushambi Mutuma, tech entrepreneur and founder of the Johannesburg-based high impact digital company, Altivex Foundry. Learn more about nurturing your mindset

Don’t take business personally

“[Separating yourself from your business]  allows you to reflect and laugh at yourself, you also realise your strengths and shortcomings and you end up with a better view of the business as you are not emotionally attached to it.” – Luvuyo Rani, co-founder of Silulo Ulutho Technologies. More benefits of detaching  from your business

Set boundaries

Stick to a schedule

“Commit to each part of your schedule as diligently as you would for work commitments. Treat loved ones like clients and extracurricular pursuits like business meetings. – Jess Mouneimne is an accomplished entrepreneur and author. Learn how to set boundaries

Respect your limitations

“Don’t fall into the trap of working all the time. You’ll be better in so many ways if you take regular breaks. – Jenny Retief, CEO of Riversands Incubation Hub. How to take advantage of small, regular breaks

Don’t try to do everything

“Rather start with defined tasks in your business or your personal life that you can outsource – for example, an external bookkeeper or a regular delivery service for your groceries. Learn to accept help offered gracefully. – Jenny Retief, CEO of Riversands Incubation Hub. Learn how to delegate tasks and to accept help

Make time with loved ones count

“Quality time means being present in the moment. Put the phone and email away.” – Jenny Retief, CEO of Riversands Incubation Hub. Ideas for making time for family

Communicate with those who care about you

“As an entrepreneur it’s critical that you ensure the survival of the business… your business need to share in the mental load. Invite them in to cheer you on, provide advice and unexpected solutions to the challenges you face.” – Jenny Retief, CEO of Riversands Incubation Hub. Work on your communication skills

Practise saying “no”

“if your business is overtaking all areas of your life, the message once more is to devote yourself fully to the moment, to be intentional about your time – all of it – and in doing so, experience both freedom and fulfillment.” – Jess Mouneimne is an accomplished entrepreneur and author. Protect both your time and energy

Take care of your mental health

Accept that failure is a part of starting a business

“New business ventures take an incredible amount of perseverance, so do not be disheartened by the need to constantly re-think or re-define the business offering. This should not be taken as a sign of failure, but rather as a predictor of future success.” – David Morobe, regional general manager SME funder, Business Partners Limited. How to deal with common entrepreneurship fears

Overcome the fear of not having enough time

“Set the goal of completing one task towards building your business each day. These could include finalising a section of the business plan, or starting a social media page.” – David Morobe, regional general manager SME funder, Business Partners Limited. Put ideas into action

Do the work despite rejection

“Find power in rejection. Use that power to fuel you to do even better.” – Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo (DJ Black Coffee),  South African DJ, record producer and businessman. How to deal with rejection.

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