Running a small business can be a rewarding endeavour, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges and sacrifices.

A recent study conducted by Capital on Tap has shed light on the personal sacrifices that small business owners make for the success of their enterprises and emphasises the importance of self-care to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

According to the study, a significant 32 percent of small business owners have had to make uncomfortable and difficult decisions in their personal lives to ensure the success of their businesses.

This highlights the immense pressure and stress that entrepreneurs often face in their journey to success.

What about self-care?

The research goes on to explore the significance of self-care among entrepreneurs, revealing that 89 percent of successful small business owners incorporate some form of self-care into their daily routines. Recognising the toll that running a business can take on one’s mental and physical health, many entrepreneurs prioritise self-care activities as a means of coping with the demands of their professional lives.

Some of the most common self-care activities among successful entrepreneurs include daily habits like taking a shower (99%), maintaining a healthy diet (93%), and spending time outdoors by going for a walk (92%). Additional wellness practices reported by the surveyed business owners include skincare routines (85%), reading a book (66%), and listening to podcasts (66%). Interestingly, 24 percent of business owners attributed their success to manifestation, highlighting the significance of positive thinking and mindset in their entrepreneurial journeys.

Do sacrifices have to be made?

The study also delves into the sacrifices that small business owners make due to their business commitments. The most common sacrifice reported was missing events with friends and family, with 36 percent of respondents admitting to having skipped important moments. Unfortunately, long-term stress can have a detrimental impact on mental well-being, with 34 percent of small business owners stating that their mental health has suffered due to the time and energy dedicated to their businesses.

The sacrifices made by small business owners can be summarised as follows:

  1. Missed events with friends and family – 36%
  2. Work long and unsociable hours – 35%
  3. Spend less time with family than desired – 34%
  4. Mental health has suffered – 34%
  5. Work-life balance has suffered – 34%
  6. Sleep schedule has suffered – 33%
  7. Had to make difficult personal decisions – 32%
  8. Sacrificed financial security – 32%

David Luck, CEO at Capital on Tap, emphasises the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance and offers some expert tips to help small business owners navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship. His advice includes setting clear expectations for oneself, delegating tasks where possible, automating processes, protecting personal time, and avoiding undue social media pressure.

The study highlights the considerable sacrifices made by small business owners in their pursuit of success and underscores the importance of self-care as a means of coping with the demands of entrepreneurship. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for the well-being of business owners and the long-term success of their enterprises.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.