I had always wanted to be an entrepreneur. When I was young, all the kids in our neighborhood would open a lemonade stand in front of their houses, including me. But only my stand would be able to stay open until the end of summer because the other sellers loved my juice more than theirs. Instead of working part-time at the yogurt shop or skating rink in middle and high school, I was at home, creating fancy bracelets and earrings that I could sell to my schoolmates.
I did not pursue Business Management in college because I believed that I had innate entrepreneurial skills. Instead, I studied marketing and advertising – the two aspects that I would need to kick my business idea off the ground. I was still feeling optimistic about it; in truth, by the time I hit my last semester, I could barely wait to get my diploma and start the coffee shop that I had in mind.
Being An Entrepreneur
So, the day after my graduation, I went around the city on my bike to scout for the best area to erect my business. After a few hours of strolling, I found ideal locations, yes. But the problem was that there were already coffee shops in those areas. I was not the type to pull customers away from other local businesses, so I had to go to the next city, assuming it was the biggest hurdle in my venture.
Before the construction of my coffee shop begun, I already promised myself that I would be hands-on in everything. I would design the interior, pick the beans to brew, buy the machines, create the logos and ads, and interview my future employees. It was a great plan until I realized that all these tasks were too much for one person.
Despite that, I remained stubborn and did not ask for help from anyone. The closer I got to launching my coffee shop, the less sleep I got since I had to ensure that everything was ready. It came to a point where I forced myself to stay awake by rubbing peppermint oil under my nose and eyes. It hurt a little, but it did the job.
After the launch, though, I was already mentally drained.
Boosting An Entrepreneur’s Mental Health
I honestly thought of selling my coffee shop as soon as it opened because of my mental and physical exhaustion. While I was proud of what I did, I did not think it was sustainable health-wise. I could not keep working day and night without expecting that my body would not give up on me after a while. Thus, I decided to do three things to boost my mental health.
Take A Day Off (Or At Least Half Of It)
When I felt drained, I made a rash decision to leave the coffee shop at noon. Luckily, it was a slow weekday, so my two waitresses and cashier could hold the fort during my absence.
Where did I go? I went straight to a spa center to get an aromatherapy massage. I needed a masseuse to work out all the kinks and knots formed all over my body after weeks of having almost no rest.
Once the heavenly massage was over, I went to my favorite buffet restaurant and wolfed down three food plates. I did not care about the weird looks that others gave me, probably wondering how a small woman could eat that much. Then, I slept for 11 hours that night.
Hire A Manager
Feeling refreshed, I went to work the next morning. I decided to put up a newspaper ad for a manager who could handle the coffee shop’s daily activities. This way, I could stay in my office to check the accounting books, talk to suppliers, and think of my next business venture.
Hiring a manager was the best idea I had by far as it took a significant amount of weight off my shoulders. I no longer had to go to work early or go home late at night. I could trust the new manager to keep the other staff in line, too.
Maintain A Schedule
Another issue I had at the beginning was that everything seemed to happen at once. I had to call my bean suppliers, buy the cups and saucers, talk to the contractor, and simultaneously keep the place in order. As mentioned above, I could not even afford to sleep.
When I hired a manager, though, I found the time to create a schedule. For instance, I would catch up with the suppliers once a week, check my to-go cups and buy new ones if need be every Sunday, and see all the receipts accumulated the previous day the next morning. It was an incredible schedule that allowed me to get a few hours off for myself.
I realized that any kind of business required hard work and dedication. I was too quick to assume that opening a coffee shop was easy-peasy, but I got schooled immediately. I would not have survived the first couple of months if I did not think of doing the three things mentioned above to boost my mental health.