SaaS founders are often depicted as relentless individuals, putting in ungodly hours to build and scale their startups. But sitting at your desk all hours of the day like a potato can't be good for your health ...
I've always known that building YourPCM would take a lot of hard work and dedication. There are times I've pulled all-nighters getting some coding done and I've had to impose a cut-off time of 9pm on myself so I can slow my brain down before bedtime a few hours later.
There's an often neglected aspect to this journey: health and well-being. You might have heard the phrase "Your health is your wealth," and it couldn't be more accurate for SaaS founders like me. Neglecting your well-being can have significant ramifications.
As a SaaS founder, you might be coding for hours on end, sitting at your desk, engrossed in optimising algorithms, managing teams, scaling infrastructure or even rushing from meeting to meeting. All of this while making unhealthy food choices and drinking excessive amounts of caffeine to keep your energy levels up. Sounds familiar, right? That's me too!
While this might appear to be the recipe for success in the short term, it can have adverse effects on your health in the long run. Poor posture, eye strain, and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to numerous health problems. Similarly, an unhealthy diet can affect your metabolism, induce stress, and even lead to chronic diseases.
Activity of any sort is an excellent way to break the monotony, clear your head, and even solve complex problems that have been troubling you. You don't need to go all out and start pumping iron in a gym or run a marathon. Simple exercises can significantly impact your physical and mental well-being.
- Cardiovascular Exercises: Jogging, running, swimming, or even Zumba classes can help elevate your heart rate and improve cardiovascular health.
- Strength Training: Lifting weights can help build muscle and improve metabolic rates. However, this does require commitment and proper guidance.
- Yoga and Meditation: These ancient practices can help bring a sense of balance and peace, not only improving your physical health, but also enhancing your mental faculties.
But I'm going to mention one simple and underrated health booster and that is the simple art of walking. For those who find it difficult to make time for a rigorous workout routine, a daily walk can be incredibly effective.
A 20 to 30-minute walk can provide you with the following benefits:
- Mental clarity: It allows you to break away from your desk and think freely, which can be invaluable for creative problem-solving.
- Reduced stress: Physical activity releases endorphins, often referred to as 'feel-good hormones', which act as natural stress busters.
- Enhanced well-being: Fresh air and a change of scenery can be invigorating and can significantly uplift your mood.
- Physical Health: Walking is a low-impact exercise that can help with weight management and improve cardiovascular health.
Years ago, when I was a lot younger and fitter, I used to run around a local lake a couple of times a week. I got pretty good at it too, but after my brain aneurysm in 2011, my neurologist told me that activities like running were off the table now. I couldn't even lift weights as the strain on my system would be too much.
And then cancer hit in 2014 and my stamina went out the window. Although I feel I'm mostly recovered from it nearly 10 years later, I still tire easily although that could partly be down to my age now.
Thankfully, I live in the countryside so can be in the fresh air and silence of the fields and hedgerows in just a few minutes. I've slacked off over the summer because I've been upgrading YourPCM, but September sees a renewed effort on my part, going out for a walk every day if I can, though the British weather is sometimes unpredictable.
The entrepreneurial journey is filled with challenges and uncertainties, so it's essential to recognise that taking care of your health is not just a luxury, it's a necessity. Prioritising your well-being can have a domino effect on your productivity, creativity, and ultimately, your business's success.
So, the next time you find yourself stuck at your desk for hours, coding away or strategising your next move, take a moment to stand up, stretch, and perhaps even go for a quick walk.
Your body, mind and your business will thank you for it.
If anything I've mentioned here resonates with you, do call me on 07490 373980 and let's talk.