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As an entrepreneur, your energy is infectious to those around you.

How many times have you met someone and been blown away by energy and enthusiasm with which they talk about their business? You find yourself drawn in and wanting to know more.

Conversely, recall the times you have met people who almost seem bored when talking about what they do.

Entrepreneurs don’t perform miracles every day, sometimes it can feel like you’re standing still or even moving backwards, keeping your energy up is imperative in growing a business.

As energy levels drop so does our motivation which impacts our own productivity. If you’re having a good day you can lead the team to great things, having a bad day and that negativity is infectious to those around you.

To build a great business you want to be operating with positive energy, but how is this possible when there is so much to worry about? Here are a few ideas that can help:

Recognition

Understanding your own state of mind is the first step, many people consider this a soft skill that is overlooked and ignored. Through being open with yourself you can begin to recognise the signs.

If you find yourself staring at a screen feeling disillusioned this is a sure sign your energy and motivation has dropped.

Morning Activity

The US Navy Seals are known for making their bed every morning this creates a sense of achievement and by doing so you have accomplished your first task and look for another.

If you’re not into exercise, something as simple as stretching or taking a walk gets your blood flowing. This wakes your body up, puts you in a positive move and gets your brain working for the day ahead.

Water

Even mild dehydration severely impacts your ability to focus. Drinking 2 litres of water every day will lift your energy levels – you may be visiting the bathroom every half an hour for a week but your body soon adapts.

Organisation

Staying organised gives you focus, having a working to-do list along with general ideas that support your business strategy allow you to pick up tasks at any time. If you find yourself plateauing have a read through and pick a task that appeals to you at the moment.

Get Social

Our energy picks up when we engage with others, to generate energy for undertaking a dull task get some of your team involved and tackle it together. You will feed off each other and improve your output. If you are a solo entrepreneur, working in a shared office allows you to feed off the energy around you.

Business Mentor

Having a trusted advisor to talk to can be invaluable, whether you need advice or are feeling low they will help you focus and pick you up again.

Recognise Small Wins

At the end of every day reflect on what you have done and highlight at least one positive that you have achieved, generally, these will not be milestone events but will give you a sense of accomplishment.

Finally, go and do something else you enjoy

One of the reasons you are an entrepreneur is because you want to be your own boss and manage your own time. If you are asking yourself why you are running your business get out and do something fun and different for a few hours. This will clear your head and some of the best ideas come when you’re not focussed on thinking about them.

Written by Andy Wheeler

One of the most common emotional states for entrepreneurs is that of feeling completely overwhelmed by how much there is to do when running their own business. This overwhelm can lead to procrastination, the sticking of one’s heads in the sand, getting distracted by bright shiny objects and a growing feeling of anxiety that the to-do list never gets shorter.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed today. We get constant notifications from Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Instagram, emails, calls - 24/7. People expect instant replies. Everyone has a different opinion about the best way to build our business. Then we have our life to run on top of that.

But overwhelm can stop us from doing what’s most important, whether that’s the key tasks in our business to enjoying the key moments of joy in our life.
Here are a few recommendations to let go of overwhelm and to enjoy doing less and achieving more.

Do a brain dump. Overwhelm happens when everything that we are worrying about, everything on our to-do list, all our thoughts and plans go around in our head and we can’t separate what’s important from what doesn’t need to be worried about – the small stuff.

By getting it out of your head and onto paper or onto post-it notes you can start to put a plan in place.

Once everything is out (and most people already feel better) you can then start sorting as follows.

1. Park – this is everything that you don’t need to think about right now –schedule it into the diary to think about and deal with at a future time. For example, if you have a presentation coming up, book a date in the diary to think about it and let it go until then.

2. Pass on – what could your family or colleagues help with? What could you outsource? Just because we can do anything, it doesn’t mean we have to do everything. Learn to say no more often.

3. Purge – what doesn’t deserve your attention? Maybe it’s old worries that you can’t do anything about? Maybe it’s activities which don’t bring you joy and waste your time? For many, this is excess time scrolling the Facebook or Twitter feed. Have you ever found yourself looking at your friends’ cousins’ brothers’ wedding photos?

4. Be disciplined with your social media. Switch your phone to flight mode if you can, go to your phone settings and turn off notifications.

5. Prioritise - what is left should be the important stuff. Break this down into small, easy to achieve chunks. Focus on one thing at a time and celebrate each tick off the list. Stop working on your ‘never-quite-done’ list and do the one thing that will make the biggest difference in your life.

Finally, remember to take a step away from what is overwhelming you. It may be the last thing you want to do but going for a walk or having a shower will allow you to get things into perspective. You will find that ideas pop into your head about how to do things more quickly and more easily and your stress levels will thank you for it.

Written by Joanna Ellis

Entrepreneur insomnia – dealing with the 2 am night sweats

Waking up with a start at 2am in a pool of cold sweat isn’t anyone’s idea of a good night’s sleep. And while it happens to us all from time to time, if you have your own business then chances are these night-time disturbances are a bit more frequent than you’d like.

Running a small business is hard. Whether you’re thinking about marketing, sweating over payroll or working to a tight deadline, there is always, always something going on.

For some, this aptly named entrepreneur insomnia is caused by a hyperactive mind, for others, it’s their competitive nature that does it. Or, it might just be a case of burning the midnight oil a little too much and messing with your sleep patterns. Whilst anxiety is a normal human emotion and waking up from time to time is too, when business worries spill over into your sleep those wakeful moments in the dead of night can become all too frequent.  

Sleep: the facts
The recommended amount of sleep for an adult is eight hours a night but according to one survey, many of us are getting a lot less than that. In fact, the average is around six hours and 32 minutes with just 6% of us managing to get our full quota. If you combine that with nocturnal disturbances caused by anxiety about your business, the amount of quality sleep you are actually getting is even less.

Lack of sleep makes you grumpy, more judgemental, snappy and working below par but according to the NHS, the effects can be far more profound than that, having an adverse impact on your physical health. As well as putting you in a bad mood and causing lack of focus, it can increase your risk of serious medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Dealing with entrepreneur insomnia

Entrepreneur insomnia doesn’t have to take over your life and there are plenty of things you can do to tackle it, but it does require a two-fold approach – tackling your sleep routine and tackling the things in your business that are stressing you out.

  1. Business worries

Getting a handle on your business issues can go some way to breaking the 2 am wake up cycle. If you have less to worry about, you’ll be less likely to wake during the night, churning things over in your mind.

  • Give yourself business hours – I struggle with this one I admit but it really makes sense to limit the time you spend on your business for your own sanity. Recently, I’ve stopped answering emails on a weekend and do you know what? My business is still surviving.

If you want a 40-hour week or less, you can have it – you just have to be ruthless with your time, create a schedule and most importantly, stick to it. Do you really need to be answering client emails at 11pm? Or taking a phone call in the middle of your family dinner? Probably not.

  • Delegate – When running a small business, you tend to try and do everything yourself, but this can really impact on your time…and leave you lying awake at night worrying about everything you’ve still yet to accomplish. Payroll is not my forte, in fact, I wouldn’t know where to begin. When I first got staff, I gave it a go, got stressed and gave up. Yes, it’s an added cost, but paying the accountants to deal with it for me is a weight off of my mind.

Concentrate on the areas you thrive in and delegate the rest to outside contractors or your staff.

  • Brush up your time management skills – Get organised with a diary, keep track of how long tasks take, use project management software to stay on top of it all and delegate the unnecessary things to others. By making more effective use of your time, you’ll be able to finish on time.

  1. Sleep routine

Nailing the business side of it is only half the battle to getting a good night’s sleep. You need a routine that promotes sleep and relaxation, not one that heightens your anxiety.

  • Have a set bedtime – Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. It might take a while to adjust but your bedroom should be for sleep, not an extension of your office and a place to cram in some extra work.

  • Digital detox – Choose a time when you stop checking emails, writing content etc. and stick to it. Give yourself at least an hour before your bedtime where you turn everything off. Light from laptops and mobiles can stimulate your brain rather than prepare it for sleep, meaning you take longer to fall asleep and your sleep quality is lower. Switch off the phone, invest in a proper alarm clock and read a great book instead.

  • Get a good mattress – Your sleep could be disturbed because your mattress needs an upgrade. Invest in one that’s supportive. Pay for decent bed sheets and pillows too – we spend a third of our lives sleeping so make sure it’s in a space you find relaxing and comfortable

  •  Drink herbal tea – Yep, I know this one sounds a bit hippy-dippy but trust me, it does help! I’m not talking about chamomile which is supposed to be relaxing but rather valerian. You can find it in different blends in the supermarket but my go-to is Dr Clipper’s Sleep Easy tea. Unlike caffeine in builder’s tea, which keeps you alert, this stuff makes you feel relaxed and ever so slightly sleepy, setting you up for a good night’s kip.


The importance of decent night’s sleep cannot be underestimated and knocking the night time wakefulness on the head is an essential part of this. Sort your sleep and you’ll find you function better, work more effectively and enjoy greater productivity during the day.


Written by Fay Millar

The first step is to acknowledge you are in control of your day and then deciding how you’re going to spend it.

Become more conscious, see what really needs doing and then simplify how you work. Be more efficient and effective and remember to clear time for what matters most in your life!

You may have heard of the 4 D’s of Time Management. If something on your list isn’t absolutely necessary, Ditch It. If a task is not urgent and you could probably focus on it better another time, Defer it. Are you tempted to do everything yourself? There is often someone who can do it quicker, better or cheaper than you, so Delegate it! Whatever is left, you just have to get on and Do.

I choose just three things I’m going to do each day. They are tasks that once completed, take me further to where I want to be and will give me a feeling of satisfaction in their completion.

The best entrepreneurial advice I received, was to spend the first 90 minutes of the day working ON the business. These concentrated periods of time allow you to get so much more done! I suggest you clear any distractions and focus on one task at a time. Make sure there are no interruptions from email, phone, or anyone in the building. This will help you grow your business quickly.

Time management is all about taking back control, working smart, and ensuring you also have fun every day!

Written by Karen J Burge.

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