How would you rate your level of wellbeing?
Wellbeing is the condition of an individual which includes physical health and also the dimensions of mental, social, and emotional wellness. It’s the total sum of every element that goes into making you either generally content or generally miserable with the world. As a solopreneur, your quality of wellbeing can have a huge impact on the success of your business.
It’s difficult to be successful in your work when your wellbeing is negative. That’s why it’s essential to understand the different facets that impact wellbeing and how you can optimize each one, for the benefit of both your work and your lifestyle.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) identified eight dimensions to wellness. A UK study identified ten broad dimensions. To be both happy and successful as an entrepreneur, actively taking the time to work on improving these dimensions in your life is essential.
So what are these different wellness dimensions?
Let’s have a look at each one in more detail.
Emotional wellness is how you react to life on an emotional level. It includes how you express emotions, deal with trauma, manage conflicting emotions, empathize with others, and your overall emotional outlook in life. Strong emotional wellness helps professionals remain realistic with expectations, express feelings free from excess inhibition, and form healthy relationships with colleagues and clients.
Poor emotional wellness leads to mental health conditions including acute anxiety and clinical depression. Both of which can derail a solopreneur’s confidence, focus, and ability.
Environmental wellness is a big trend at the moment. A number of famous names are encouraging the world to take climate change and environmental issues seriously. Green causes are especially popular in the West and this shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. Environmental wellness is essentially focusing on the promotion of emotional and physical security in our habitat – both locally and worldwide.
Simple self-awareness in enacting small eco-friendly changes boosts our sense of wellbeing towards the environment. Many people feel happier when recycling, planting more trees, and cycling instead of driving.
Financial wellness is our relationship with money. It includes the emotional responses we have to finances as well as the skills to manage our resources according to needs and desires. Part of positive financial wellbeing is understanding enough about finances to make informed decisions and to live within your means.
Good financial planning includes setting goals for the short and long term. It also includes making sound investments, improving cash flow, taking action based on informed decisions, and choosing the right financial tools.
For solopreneurs, the latter can include high-quality free invoicing software.
Intellectual wellness includes the stimulation of your intellect through activities that expand your knowledge and skills. It involves anything that broadens your horizons in general and deepens your expertise on relevant topics, especially in your chosen specialism or niche industry focus.
It also includes the cultivation of critical thinking, objective reasoning, intelligent decision making, and insatiable curiosity, all of which are essential skills for a successful entrepreneur. As is the ability to concentrate. How well you memorize data and interact intellectually with other people all come under intellectual wellness.
Are you really doing what is in your best interests? Are you really cut out to be an entrepreneur? Is the solopreneurship lifestyle suited to your personality?
Occupational wellness includes the ability to perceive and understand the type of work and career that mirrors your values, abilities, talents, desired lifestyle, and even your belief system. Unhappiness in work quickly cascades into other areas of your life and overall wellbeing.
Occupational wellness also covers your ability to create a healthy work-life balance, develop new skills, innovate, and to seek out learning opportunities, as well as how you handle your relationships with colleagues, bosses, clients, and customers.
Physical wellness is about how you look after your body and physical health. It includes making healthy choices when it comes to exercise, nutrition, posture, and sleep. As a business owner, your physical health can have a big influence on your mental acuity, motivation, and your productivity. Good physical habits over the long-term help to stave off serious health conditions which can later have huge ramifications on your ability to work.
Part of positive physical wellness is attending regular health checks, avoiding unnecessary risks, reducing your intake of unhealthy foods, remaining actively mobile (taking up CrossFit perhaps), and being sensitive to the needs of your body.
A common drawback for solopreneurs, especially work-at-home freelancers, is a lack of social interaction during the working day. There are no colleagues to shoot the breeze with around a water cooler or co-founders with whom to discuss plans and tactics. You’re usually on your own, with a brief client phone call or two, every now and then. That’s why social wellness is such an important dimension for solo-professionals.
Social wellness is the cultivation and maintenance of positive, respectful, meaningful, and healthy human connections, whether with family, friends, or the local community. It’s about building a support network and a place where you feel you belong to a group. Online networks can be great but there’s no substitute for direct human face-to-face interaction.
Spiritual wellness is more of an inward-looking dimension where you find a deeper meaning and purpose in life through belief and/or spiritual practices. It’s not necessarily about religion or even a belief in a deity. Rather it’s discovering a sense of inner peace and tranquility. This can be achieved through prayer, meditation, self-reflection, therapy, yoga, or helping a charity.
A strong sense of spiritual wellness helps the solopreneur to feel more in control of their destiny, more aware of their body, and to better connect with other people on a deeper level.
The dimensions of wellbeing in your life
These are eight dimensions of overall human wellness. Each interconnects, overlaps, and influences with the others, to form a whole.
No one has every dimension balanced to perfection, and they would be superhuman if they did – they’d be a true ninja. But as a solopreneur, with your whole livelihood dependent on your ability to maintain good mental, physical, and emotional health, it’s imperative to seek at least some improvements in each area.
Combined, the eight dimensions contribute to an overall sense of positive wellbeing, which influences not just your work and career success but also your happiness and harmony when it comes to family, friendships, and of course, yourself.