Written by Justin Song, a senior research analyst at LendingTree where he has experience covering topics such as personal loans and small business lending.
If you’re just getting started, you may view health insurance as an untenable expense and forgo it all together simply to avoid the monthly payment. However, this could ultimately be detrimental to your business if you wind up in the hospital. Not having health insurance could be the difference between sink or swim when it comes to your entrepreneurial dream.
Here’s how you can look after your own health while also starting a business.
1. Don’t miss a health checkup
You might be tempted to skip routine checkups, especially if you’ve always had a clean bill of health. However, early detection is crucial in finding effective treatments for many health problems and could lower the overall cost of care to heal your condition. Stay on schedule for your yearly checkups and health screenings, such as Pap tests, mammograms and prostate checks.
Try finding a doctor’s office that allows you to make appointments and changes online. Schedule visits when they’re least disruptive to your daily flow and add them to your calendar right away so you can plan around them.
2. Be proactive
Protect your health now by incorporating healthy habits into your lifestyle. While it might seem like a night of networking drinks is necessary, try switching that out for other networking activities: Join a gym, take up golf or tennis, or pursue whatever is popular in your industry. You might be surprised to see how many connections you can make while also doing something good for your mental and physical health.
If you prefer to exercise alone, use the time to advance your learning. Listen to an educational podcast about your field or a business process you want to improve.
3. Protect your mental health
According to the World Economic Forum, founders are twice as likely to suffer from depression and three times more likely to suffer from substance abuse. Working on your own business can be isolating, but there are strategies you can implement to ease the burden. For starters, automate as many of your business processes as possible.
Worried your business results might take a hit if you don’t do everything manually? Don’t stress; the data proves the opposite. This case study, for example, shows business owners can recover up to 58 percent of sales from abandoned shopping carts when they use automated methods. Sounds like a win-win, right?
4. Get covered for emergencies
In worst-case scenarios, like a car accident or cancer diagnosis, you won’t want to pay for your medical care with your emergency savings—at the expense of your business pursuits. Even though health care coverage seems like a hefty expense, several affordable health insurance solutions can save you in the long run.
5. Develop a routine
Do you regularly find ways to get less sleep? Is your entrepreneurial lifestyle so erratic that you never have time to cook your own food? Challenges like these are common to many entrepreneurs, but a key to long-term health as a business owner is having the discipline to create a healthy routine and stick to it. Yes, that probably means getting enough sleep each night and eating foods that make your body happy.
Stay Healthy From the Start(up)
You already know that entrepreneurship is all about hustling and working hard, but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of your health. Take the time to invest in your well-being, and you’ll see the dividends for years to come.