Small business prospers when we nurture our own mental health.

Our mental (and physical) health impacts our businesses, especially our small businesses and freelance businesses. Nurturing and caring for our own mental health, allows us to bring our full potential to our business. It’s a win/win scenario.  

Like many of you, I am a small business owner. My mental (and physical) health impacts my business. 

In honour of World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2021, I am sharing some of the positive decisions I have made this year to nurture my mental health which have benefited my business. 

Mental Health as Personal Well-being

The World Health Organisation describes mental health as

“a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” 

My personal mental health is not perfect. I have feelings of anxiety, that sometimes become so much that I enter a depression because I need to regroup. Then I emerge more capable and ready to begin again. I’m working towards that state of well-being described why the World Health Organisation by nurturing my mental health, in my personal life, and in my business. 

Mental Health as Business Health

There are many successful businesses where those behind them have mental health concerns. Mental health as business health is not about being perfect, its about respecting ourselves and our own health as worth investing in, worth prioritising and relevant to the success of our businesses.

In early 2021 I quit a secure job that was hurting my mental health. I took the chance and started my own business that had been building up quiet momentum as a side hustle and have not looked back. These were very big decisions I was very fortunate to be able to make. Since then, I have made several more that have been simultaneously good for me and good for business.

Choosing Clients Wisely

One of these good decisions was to terminate new clients that were not a good fit. Initially I thought one was my dream client, and the other a great opportunity. In the end both parted with me on good terms respecting that it simply wasn’t the right fit. I am very grateful for this, and know it won’t always be that way. 

The more prospective clients I meet with, or jobs I pitch for, the more I realise it is usually clear early on if we are a good fit. For me, a good fit is a personality click. If we click I know I will produce work they will love. It doesn’t matter what the topic is. If I force the click because I want the job, we will both suffer. The client won’t love the work and I will end up working three times as hard to finish with words they only 90% like. As a connection driven human, this sometimes means I feel bad about myself, when in truth, it was simply not a good fit. I’m still a good writer, and a good person.

So I’m wisening to this, networking with other copywriters, learning to refer on clients who might fit better with a fellow writer. This allows us to part well and maybe they refer to me down the track. The world is a big place and our clients are out there if we just find the right way to reach them. For me, that’s networking (lol – a bit like speed dating!), wonderful groups like MyVibe, Women With Altitude and Business at Breakfast, and there is probably a whole separate post to be had on that! 


Ironically (humble brag coming) I achieved a perfect score in VCE Information Processing and Management, and yet I recently outsourced my website development and management. Perhaps VCE was too long ago, and the pace of technology too fast, but something about IT problems throws my brain now. I was really proud of creating my website, sorting my own email, domain hosting, all that jazz. The only problem was, I had developed the online credibility of a Nigerian Prince and my emails kept ending up in spam. Nothing I tried from google was solving the problem so I had to call in an expert. Luckily for me I had just the person in my network and am super happy with the end result. 

The moral of my story for outsourcing in business is that sometimes barking up the wrong tree is painful and adds unnecessary stress. Carefully choosing the parts of business that you don’t enjoy and don’t do well, to provide to service providers that you know, like and trust, does wonders for both business and mental health.

If writing your web content is one of those things you want to outsource then you are in the right place.

Not Standing for ‘Professional’ Mistreatment

Hopefully none of you are experiencing this, but if you are, can you walk away? I had an issue this month which is still a little raw so I won’t detail. Suffice to say a provider I outsourced to disrespected and misrepresented me in ways that had me in tears (yep, and if that seems unprofessional, that’s cool, we probably aren’t meant to work together). Initially I actually found myself apologising to them (for things I had not done) and tried to smooth things over. Within an hour I had realised that I deserved to be treated better and withdrew from their services. 

Absolutely this was complicated. Absolutely it took time and money to undo. But it was the best decision. I walked away stronger, knowing that I had my own back and respected myself enough to take the harder road. In the end, it was empowering.  

Empowered By Good Mental Health Towards Business Success

Each of these business decisions moved me closer to a state of wellbeing in which I can realise my own potential, cope with stress, and contribute to my family and society better. Each taught me something and made me stronger, more confident and more optimistic moving forward in business. 

PS. (Sorry – another humble brag) September was also my most successful month in business to date (despite home schooling and a Covid 19 Lockdown) so I must be doing something right.