OPINION: Let’s face it, there’s never been a harder time to be a small business owner. There’s so much to take in, consider and process and nobody can give definitive answers to the most important questions.
Mental wellbeing is extremely important to me personally. At Xero we’re passionate about enabling ourselves to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle and we want all small businesses across Aotearoa to do the same.
As part of this, we worked with the Mental Health Foundation last year on research looking into the mental wellbeing of small business employees and owners.
We found only 32 percent of respondents believed their team would benefit from improved wellbeing. This is a stat that’s hard for me to believe.
Poor wellbeing not only impacts our quality of life, but it’s also a big factor in how productive we are at work. An unhappy nation is bad for the economy and mental wellbeing needs to be a big focus as we rebuild from the devastating consequences of Covid-19.
Within the research one respondent who was losing sleep over the state of his business’s finances admitted his main concern was ensuring his wife didn’t find out about how bad the financial situation was. He didn’t want her to face the same stress he was going through.
For business owners and sole traders, it can be easy to bottle up these feelings and bear the weight of the world on their shoulders. It’s this individualistic attitude that can contribute to Aotearoa’s staggering mental wellbeing issues.
Building strong support networks with friends, whānau and other business owners is essential at times like this, as is being able to openly talk about the stress and issues weighing on your mind.
There’s an opportunity for introspection during these times as well. One way of coping with stress is examining our state of mind and our relationship with our emotions.