Top mentors dish the dirt on how to survive business

Catalyst 52

We live in a world where things change at the drop of a hat and if you don’t keep up, you run the chance of becoming obsolete. Entrepreneurs feel these pressures daily and if they aren’t careful they can lose sight of their goals. We called on four seasoned business mentors to share their top tips on maintaining emotional and physical wellbeing while running a small business.

Put on your oxygen mask first

Anton Ressel“When it comes to maintaining your mental and physical wellbeing in spite of all the challenges and pressures an entrepreneur faces, I like to use the analogy of the oxygen mask. When you are in an airplane and it suddenly loses altitude or hits turbulence, an oxygen mask will drop from the ceiling. You need to ensure that you put on your own mask first because you cannot help anyone else (your kids, fellow passengers, the elderly, and infirm) if you are passed out from lack of oxygen. The same applies to running your business – if you are so busy looking after everyone else – clients, suppliers, staff – that you forget to look after yourself, you will burn out and be of no use to anyone.

Take time out to look after yourself – go for a walk on the beach, leave work early and do something you enjoy, mix it up and have some fun, switch off on the weekend. In other words, put on your oxygen mask so that you can be the strong, effective, and focused leader your business needs you to be.”

– Anton Ressel (Fetola Director and Senior Mentor)

Understand your specific needs

Mareli Hofmeyr“I guide entrepreneurs in creating a flexible daily routine according to their circumstances and within their ability. A starting point would be to understand the entrepreneur’s current situation and discussing their fundamental human needs, namely: nutrition, sleep cycle, exercise, and mindful self-regulation.

Further, I would guide them in creating an environment where they feel they belong and where they understand their worth, by guiding them to know who they are and what their values are. When entrepreneurs know what their skills and strengths are, it helps them understand which areas they need support in. This will help them align their business values, processes, and strategies with their own to ensure harmony.

It’s important that the entrepreneur spends time with family and friends or joins a community that they feel comfortable in. Make one step at a time and celebrate the small victories.”

– Mareli Hofmeyr (Owner of Creative Diligence)

Know thyself

Corinne Clack“Ask yourself questions such as “how did I get to this space in my life” and “what are my most important daily realities”, can go a long way to helping you understand yourself better and how it relates to your business, time, energy, and financial demands.  This information is also key to help you to determine and gauge your own work/life balance.”

 – Corinne Clack (Owner of Acumen Business Solutions)


Nurture a positive attitudeCatherine Wijnberg

  1. Celebrate who you are with self-love and send yourself flowers every now and then – you deserve it!
  2. Remember that social media is ‘fake news’.
  3. Practice the attitude of gratitude and count your blessings every day.
  4. Remember that Life is a cycle of highs and lows – and never set your goals when you are on a high because tomorrow you will wake up and feel defeated when the goals you set are too high.
  5. Break your journey into small (event tiny) steps to encourage a feeling of success and forward movement.

– Catherine Wijnberg (Fetola CEO)

Next time you feel like you are treading water and things are dragging you down – remember these tips and just breath.