Why Everyone Should Act Like an Entrepreneur (Your Health Depends
by James Clear
many benefits to running your own business.
You get to
set the hours, you don’t have to ask for time off to take
vacation, and in many cases, you can find more meaning and fulfillment
in your work. But those aren’t the only reasons to become
starting to reveal that, for a variety of reasons, entrepreneurs
live longer, healthier lives than employees do.
talk about why that is and, most importantly, how it can help you
live a healthier life whether you’re an entrepreneur or not.
The Link Between
Entrepreneurship and Health
It all started
with a simple conversation.
I was sitting
in the mid morning sun at a Starbucks in central North Carolina
(the backdrop for every great discovery of the 21st century). Ted
Chandler, a physician for over 50 years and a former professor of
medicine at Wake Forest University, was sharing a story with me
about the connection between the number of small businesses in an
area and the health of the surrounding community.
we were both entrepreneurs who had a passion for health and wellness,
we were interested in the link between entrepreneurship and health.
discussed researchers at Baylor University and Louisiana State University
who discovered an interesting trend by combining data from the Center
for Disease Control and the US Census. What they found was that
(as seen below) as the number of small businesses increased, the
health of the surrounding community improved.
Summit County in Colorado (where there is an incredibly high number
of small business) had a mortality rate, obesity rate, and diabetes
rate that were each less than half of the national average.
article got my wheels turning, but didn’t provide many
answers. For example, a large amount of small businesses could mean
that the area is wealthy. And if that was the case, then was the
improved health due to small business or because people could afford
to live a healthy lifestyle?
thoughts kicking around my head, I set off to find some more robust
research about the link between entrepreneurship and health.
the Health Benefits of Entrepreneurship
my search led me to The Journal of Occupational and Organizational
Psychology, where I found this
compared the health of a “nationally representative sample
of employees and entrepreneurs” and examined a wide range
of health factors for both groups. This included the rates of physical
disease and mental illness, blood pressure, the number of sick days
taken, the number of visits to the physician, and overall well being
and life satisfaction.
After the numbers
were crunched, entrepreneurs were the clear winner in essentially
every category. It was discovered that entrepreneurs showed significantly
lower incidence of physical and mental illnesses, lower blood pressure,
lower rates of hypertension, made fewer visits to the hospital,
and enjoyed higher overall well being and life satisfaction.
Now for the
What does all
of this mean for you?
And how can
you reap the health benefits of entrepreneurship, regardless of
whether or not you own a business?
Why Are Entrepreneurs
Iíve been an
entrepreneur for over 2 years now. And even though my entrepreneurial
career is still in it’s infancy, my experiences have mirrored
much of the information above.
the entrepreneurs that I have met are rarely overweight, often physically
fit, and generally happier than people working for The Man.
owning a business doesn’t make you healthy.
What I believe
makes most entrepreneurs healthy isn’t the fact that they
run a business, but that they approach life in a particular way.
In other words, it’s their healthy mindset that often leads
to a healthy life.
give themselves permission to change the world and to pursue their
believe in themselves and in the control they have over their
trust that, even when things are uncertain, theyíll figure it
wake up with a purpose that drives them. They have a vision of
what they are working towards that pulls them out of bed each
those qualities again.
if you applied those same ideas to living healthy…
- You give
yourself permission to change your health and pursue a healthy
- You believe
in yourself and in the control you have over your own health.
- You trust
that, even when you feel uncomfortable or stupid in the gym, you’ll
figure it out.
- You wake
up with a purpose that drives you. You have a vision of why you
want to be healthy that pulls you into the gym each day.
not hard to see how an entrepreneurial mindset can translate into
a healthy lifestyle.
of empowerment and self confidence that come from entrepreneurship
find their way into virtually every area of your life. Convincing
yourself to go to the gym seems pretty easy when you just spent
all day convincing yourself that you could run a business.
Live Like an Entrepreneur
donít think entrepreneurship is for everyone, but I also donít think
it needs to be.
I have plenty
of friends who work “traditional” jobs and are just
as happy and healthy as my entrepreneur friends. The key is that
these people also tend to be confident and believe in themselves.
working a regular job or blazing your own path, the important thing
is to discover the empowering mindset that entrepreneurs so often
No job, entrepreneurial
or otherwise, will singlehandedly save your health, but thinking
like an entrepreneur can make it easier for you to live healthy
P.S. Do you
want to hear more about this?
is clear: I want to give you the tools and resources you need to
make it easier to live a healthy life.
entrepreneurship has been one of the key ways that I’ve been
able to contribute value to the world and live a healthy life. And
I’m happy to share my entrepreneurial experiences with you,
if that’s useful.
our community is always focused on your health and wellness first
and foremost. And for that reason, I’d like to hear what you
think before I write more about entrepreneurship.
Would you be
interested in hearing more about entrepreneurship, starting a business,
and the link between entrepreneurship and health and happiness?
Perhaps even specific strategies and tactics for getting started?
entrepreneur, weightlifter, and travel photographer in 18 countries.
Visit his website.
2013 James Clear