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How Satisfying Your Basic Needs Helps Your Business

Too often, entrepreneurs and marketers suffer from bad health all because of their own doing.

We’ve all heard of the successful businessman or woman who has got to where they are by working relentlessly towards fulfilling their ambitions. They have shed blood, sweat and tears in their efforts to be the best they can be. On the outset, things look great for these people – they have all the material wealth they could ask for, and they are seemingly living the dream.

But as these people have focused obsessively on the career aspect of their lives, they have let other aspects of their lives become stagnant, ill, and undernourished. Their relationships with their partners and their children have become strained, their social circles have nearly dissolved, and their physical health has sharply declined. They are likely to suffer from a variety of stress-related illnesses, and what’s worse for them is that their regard for their own well-being is low.

What these individuals, and many others, fail to realise is that their own physical health is tied in with the health of their business.

Business Is A Lot Like Us

Consider a living organism, perhaps a plant or a pet. This living organism does what it’s born to do – if it’s a pet, it might scamper around the house or it’s cage. If it’s a plant, it provides the atmosphere with oxygen and makes the house look a little prettier.

The point is, these living organisms require the basic needs of survival in order to do what they do – they need water, food/nutrients, shelter, and somewhere warm. Without these needs, the pet or plant will die. It’s similar to our own situation – as we are also living organisms, we require these basic needs.

A business is exactly the same.

Though a business may not be what we recognise as ‘living’, it is doing just that but in its own way. A business is still functioning on a daily basis like us, it is still producing on a daily basis like us, and perhaps most importantly, it requires certain basic needs on a daily basis, like us.

The reason for this is because a business is made up of its people – without individuals, there is no business. And I don’t just mean the staff that make up the business, but the customers of the business are also essential for its survival. In other words, though a business may have different basic needs, it still requires them.

Let’s have a quick look at the basic needs for a living organism:

  • Food/nourishment
  • Drink/water
  • Shelter/warmth
  • Sense of community

Now let’s look at the basic needs of a business:

  • People
  • Regular review and renewal
  • Sense of community
  • Money/funds

Can you see the same principle in action? Our businesses are a lot like us because they require basic needs like we do. And without these basic ‘ingredients’, the business withers and dies.

Why Both Sets Of Basic Needs Should Be Met

So now that we’ve established that a business is similar to us, the question is “why aren’t we meeting these basic needs?”

Well, although we (as human beings) have gotten incredibly good at fulfilling our basic needs, we can’t say the same for our businesses. It’s a rarity to find a successful entrepreneur or marketer who has managed to fulfil both the basic needs of himself/herself AND the business on a frequent basis.

Instead of reaching this ‘zone of the elite’, most people involved with their own business fall into one of two categories. They either:

  • Look after themselves, ensuring that they have plenty of food and drink, a good social circle, and sufficient shelter, but fail to provide the same care to their business, OR
  • They put their all into their business, ensuring it’s thriving and reaching new heights, but fail to look after their own basic needs properly.

Remember the type of individual I mentioned at the start of this article who sacrifice their health for their small business success? They fall into the latter category – their business is thriving and (it seems) their life is thriving too, but behind closed doors, they are struggling.

They struggle to keep themselves healthy and they struggle to keep their relationships healthy. Their private lives are in chaos, and their businesses won’t enjoy success for long. Sooner or later, the lack of care in their private lives will reflect in their businesses, and all that relentless effort and hard work that went into their career will be for nothing.

All because they neglected their own set of basic needs.

For those people who have managed to merge the best of both categories, who run successful businesses and live fit and healthy lives, life is good for them. They enjoy their career and their burgeoning income, and they deeply love their families and their communities. Their businesses AND their private lives will continue to flourish because they look after both – both areas will grow together, and they will reap the benefits.

These people have met both sets of basic needs, and they are being rewarded.

Health Has Many Factors Of Importance

If you find yourself putting in so many hours and working tirelessly, go over what I’ve written so far and ask yourself if you’re neglecting your own set of basic needs. Are you sacrificing your personal relationships and well-being for monetary or reputational success?

If so, then here are 5 work life balance tips to help you regain some control over your health, and regain some perspective.

  • Praise Yourself

The very fact that you’re taking action on your aspiration puts you ahead of most people, so remind yourself of this. Tell yourself that you’re doing a great job, and that your skills and attributes will ensure that you reach your goals. Avoid criticising yourself, as it’s harmful and unnecessary.

  • Delegate Well

You don’t have to do everything yourself. Ask others, such as your employees or your colleagues to take on a little piece of the work if they can. It’s important to trust your staff and workmates as they are there for the same reasons as you. Also, they may be more suited to a certain task than you are.

  • Be Patient

Patience is a rare virtue, but it’s essential for riding through the tough times. Success will not happen overnight. Learn what you can as you go, and don’t try to rush things. Rushing brings stress, and that leads to less efficiency. Every day brings lessons and learning if you stop to notice them.

  • Go For A Slow Walk

I can’t think of any other exercise that’s simpler and yet so beneficial, than walking. Walking is good for the body and it helps your fresh air intake. You can walk at your own pace, whether you’re only capable of a gentle stroll or some more vigorous exercise. It also gives you time to reflect and clear your head.

  • Use Sunday As God Intended

According to the Bible, Sunday is meant to be a day of rest where God recovered after 6 days of hard work. That sounds like excellent sense – after all, without care and rest, everything wears out in the end. Follow God’s example and take a day of rest, thereby giving yourself a chance to recover.

It’s A Limiting Belief To Sacrifice Your Health For Wealth

We all want to be successful in life, and we all want to be spending our days doing what we love. This is a natural, human desire.

But it’s limiting to think that you need to sacrifice one area of your life for another. True success is success in all factors – a well-rounded, balanced life is more successful than a life that has far more material wealth but is suffering on the inside.

Remove the limiting belief that success comes at the expense of something else, and look after both sets of basic needs. By doing so, you will move closer to the ultimate kind of success – happiness.

About Stuart Mills

Stuart Mills is a personal development writer, and the owner of Unlock The Door, where he writes about unlocking the potential in your life.

28 thoughts on “How Satisfying Your Basic Needs Helps Your Business

    • Stuart, it’s been awhile, but I’m glad to read this.

      Rockin’ post man, and I think VERY VERY helpful for the blog world.

      I wrote a post on logallot recently that briefly touched on this, how people hold back because they believe they have to sacrifice their health or living conditions.

      That will stop you from shining every time.

  1. HahHAHHHAhHahaha…

    Oh man, I love this.

    LOVE it.

    I’m laughing cuz it’s so smart, so true, so poignant and at the same almost non-sense to me. I more than anyone I know, have a deep understanding of “basic needs”.

    In my life I’ve made lots of money straight outta high-school, I’ve squatted 310lbs x 10 reps, and eaten 7 meals a day. I’ve lived in Yorkville (upscale downtown Toronto) I’ve bought myself super-high-tech. I’ve been there, with everything taken care of.

    I’ve also powerfully, movingly, and effectively coached clients and created websites and held business meetings — *while homeless*, without even my family knowing that was the case — and I’ve rocked them all.

    Would it have been easier and higher value and more improved from a home, complete with basic needs? From most perspectives, yes.

    At the same time, my story shows a kind of value most people can’t demonstrate.

    it goes to show that even people in the third world, who DONT appear to have their basic needs taken care of effectively or immediately, can summon from within, the ability to uplift and deliver value.

    The bums we walk by on the street can be crushed by their situation, or SHINE.

    I am massive, shining, living proof of this.

    Interestingly, you mention the sabbath — well, the one thing I never compromised was meditation/quiet/prayer time, and by doing so I was able to fast while homeless, run on little to no sleep, control my body temperature, and a number of other “rare skills” and “unorthodox solutions”.

    I think there’s something magical here that kind of ‘trumps everything’ — if a person is confident and truly believes their needs are taken care of, they’re worthy, valuable, and deserve to exist — doors open and things work out. If a person has no confidence, can’t see their own value, thinks they’re going to ‘die’ or ‘not survive’, then doors close for them.

    Even when it didn’t look like I was in a position to expand my business, I recently planted the seeds of the Design Branch of RyzeOnline — RyzeMedia, in response to NUMEROUS requests for sidebar buttons, logo & brand design, slick video, info-graphic creation, tutorials, and more. I’m THRILLED.

    To me, the lesson is clear — forget about how things look. Forget about how your ‘basic needs’ as a person, or as a business, LOOK, and focus intensely and incessantly on where you’d LOVE to be.

    I’m reminded of the Nascar drivers, who know that when they’re heading straight into a deadly wall at insane speeds, they have the power to handle it smoothly, or crash hard.

    How? A tiny, simple, shift of focus. If they focus on the wall, it’s wipeout city, if they focus on the turn and where they want to be, their biology, instinct, training and experience kick in and keep them safe, whether smoothly or not.

    Who knew?

    Food for thawtz, y0.

    • Wow, that’s a comment and a half Jason! 😉

      Thanks for sharing your experiences and insights amigo. It was very interesting reading about how you used meditation and other techniques to get you through. I think there’s a key difference between those who truly believe in the meditation and reflection that they’re practicing, and those who don’t – it’s in the results. Someone who takes the time to look within themselves and explore more of themselves will benefit far more than someone who only uses it to ‘relax’. The more you put in, the more you get out.

      Good analogy with the Nascar drivers too – focus on where the escape is, rather than stare at the problem.

      Thanks for sharing, much appreciated 🙂

  2. Thanks your for this article, I found it very interested. I agree that many people who work for themselves do put their health at risk as well as the relationship with those around them.

    With so many pressures we put on our selves, then there can be a sense of overwhelm and stress. Which we know is not good and with this increasing cortisol levels in the body, we are in a constant state of ‘fight or flight’.

    You can resolve this state, as mentioned, by say walking, meditation, or using a therapy such as EFT (Tapping), which is known to have an effect on the brain and the release of cortisol. It essentially relaxes you and you feel stress free….which is good for your health and well being.

    Hope this help


    • Hi Peter,

      That’s exactly it – the more pressure we put on ourselves, the more we run the risk of buckling under the pressure. Keeping a balanced relationship between all of our life factors is good to ensuring we don’t go overboard.

      EFT is good, I’ve heard of it before. I also underwent some Reiki therapy once – it proved so wonderful and refreshing. I highly recommend it 🙂

  3. This article is spot on. I know that I’ve let my personal health/life decline in the past and it can be really difficult to strike a balance when you’re not working the typical 9-5.

    My tip? Workout. Even though it takes an hour out of your day it seems to leave you more motivated and more healthy, so you end up making the time back and then some.

    • Hi Tom,

      Exercising is always a great way to improve the quality of your life, even if it’s just going for a walk for 30 minutes. You don’t have to pump weights – just get those muscles stretched from time to time.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

  4. This is a great post,
    Whilst I wholeheartedly agree with what you say, I would like to contribute an alternative view.
    I was obliged to quit my job due to a medical condition which means that I cannot easily leave my home. I soon realised that my “friends” were really only work colleagues and once off the scene, I was on my own.
    Being able to work on, and build my internet business, has given me a purpose. It has allowed me to be in touch with new online friends and has definitely contributed to my well-being. I know that there a many, many people in a similar situation to my own, who also value working online.
    Sunday’s and frequently, Saturday’s are sacred family time, but if I find myself alone, I’d rather be productive than idle.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      Thank you for sharing your experiences, they provide another element to this topic.

      It sounds like you’re in a better position now, and I wish you all the best. Your weekends are indeed sacred, so continue to spend them wisely! 🙂

  5. Very good advice. We need to satisfy our needs. And definitely blood, sweat and tears go into our blogs and writings.
    I’m kind of excited as I’m going to get to write articles for a company on my blog. I think it will be articles for their different clients. It will be worth a shot and I’m hoping it works out as the money sounds like a good price.
    And I’m just hoping that someday all the ads for my handmade stuff on my etsy site and zazzle store do well. Anything worth it, takes lots of patience.

  6. So true. As a yoga teacher most of my clients are totally stressed and lifes out of balance. In yoga we are taught your health is your wealth. Finding a harmonious happy blend between personal and professional is an ongoing discussion and I am glad to see you address it here.. Take care and thank you.

  7. Great words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing. I work very hard at having a balanced work/life. I am finding that the computer is taking over more time then I would like. Working on how to stream line that. Any thoughts.

    • Thank you for the kind words Rowena 🙂

      Is it procrastination you’re struggling with? I used to be a sucker for that, constantly checking e-mails when I didn’t have to. The best advice I can give is to use your computer only when you need it. Ditch any activity that isn’t essential or important. That way, you save more time for ‘offline’ activity.

      Take care 🙂

    • Some times you can be in a state of overwhelm and when you use the computer you are not being productive.

      Being a practitioner/trainer of EFT, I use this to resolve any overwhelm issues.

  8. I enjoyed reading this Stuart and thanks for some timely advice.

    I always take time out to take a walk, but have to admit delegation is a problem for a control freak like me!

    Thanks for a great post.

  9. i so much enjoyed this article and health is surely wealth. earlier today i was not in the right frame of mind and i forced myself to work on my internet business but i could not – i had to rest a while and get balaned before i could come online and also read this.


  10. I know multi-tasking has become synonymous with “doing two things poorly at the same time” but there’s something to be said for combining health and wealth activities.

    Some examples:
    – Jump on the exercise bike while you watch a webinar (just don’t ride too fast–my brain turns off at a certain point so keep it in the “slow walk” category and it works just fine)
    – Do dishes while you listen to an audio book (I’ve got some wireless headphones that are awesome for this).
    – Do your typing standing instead of sitting (keeps you awake too!)

    Sometimes this is the only way I get both done.

    Great topic Stuart!

  11. Hi Stuart, what a great article! I used to wonder why I always “happened” to suffer from some health problem or other just at the same time as my work was taking off. I’ve only recently realised it was because of the stress I put myself under at those times.

    Now I walk every day and have healthy food delivered to my door… but I must admit I still haven’t beaten insomnia. Any tips for people who think so fast they can’t get to sleep? 🙂

    Best wishes for everything you do!

    • Sophie! I love your progress and steps here, thanks for sharing.

      Regarding your question about sleep. I’ve experienced all kinds of sleep schedules. A couple hours a night, no sleep for days, active days with instant sleep, and more.

      I have a genius-level IQ and when I was younger my mind would run away from me.

      My #1 tip to improve sleep is some form (*there are many!*) of meditation.

      Like anything in life, practice makes perfect, and I’ve never seen anyone practice meditation sincerely and not become better at quieting their mind, relaxing, and falling asleep (if desired).

      Hope that helps.

      • Thanks Jason, I checked that out and I see I meditate by writing. I’ve dabbled in meditation and qigong before but never found my balance or my form, I guess. Maybe I’ll give it another shot now that I’m older and have a whole bunch of new brain cells to train.

        On a side note, is Firepole Marketing a secret den for the high-IQ ex-homeless online entrepreneur? Because I’m one of those, too. 😀

        • That’s fine, Sophie, I love it, in fact.

          Then your options are “write more”, or diversify an add other meditation to your life, with more purpose of sleeping well.

          At least, that’s what worked for me.

          And Firepole is a secret den for some of the wisest, most passionate, uplifting entrepreneurs on the net.

          Are you really one of those too? I’d love to hear more 🙂

  12. Hey Stuart! In a way, it’s all about recognising that you ARE you business (and vice-versa). Doing business is a lot like going out and making friends, we all want people to like us, want to hang out with us, and say nice things about us to others.

    There’s nothing more inspiring to be successful at growing an audience around us that likes, supports and nurtures us, knowing they do so because we give them something valuable no one else can.

    In the past, I tried to keep business and personal things separate. I ended up wondering why both were suffering. This suffering continued, until I learned that both are 2-halves of a whole circle: YOU! All it took was some simple steps. Now both halves (business and personal life) are enjoying success.

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