Human Flourishing and Business Growth
Human flourishing. Have you heard the term being bandied about by the media? In the lunchroom at work? In the hair salon?
It may feel like a buzzword, but ‘human flourishing’ can actually trace its roots all the way back to Aristotle. The Greek philosopher believed that to flourish was essentially our purpose as human beings. Put simply: to live well, do well and be well.
While the definition of human flourishing varies, most versions revolve around the central idea of living up to our potential and with purpose, for the greater good of all. According to researchers, to flourish today ‘means to live within an optimal range of human functioning, one that connotes goodness, generativity, growth, and resilience.’
But how exactly can this human flourishing lead to thriving in business?
How is human flourishing linked to thriving in business?
HOLGRO was founded on the core belief that leaders are built from the inside out. That is, for your business to be the best it can be, you need to be the best you can be.
Being an entrepreneur is not easy work. It typically demands long hours, an ability to withstand stress and infinite mental energy. If you’re not feeling your best, you put yourself at risk of burnout, overwhelm, mental health issues, relationship problems and even physical health issues.
Business and Mental Health
We have long lamented that founders are 50% more likely to report having a mental health condition and work 50% more hours than the average Australian employee.
These issues have been highlighted year after year in the annual Fitness, Fulfilment & Foresight report by KPMG High Growth Ventures, which looks at the health and wellbeing of start-up founders and entrepreneurs. Unsurprisingly, most of those surveyed typically say they are overworked, stressed, not getting enough sleep and neglecting their mental and physical wellbeing.
Amanda Price, Head of High Growth Ventures with KPMG Australia, noted in 2019: ‘A founder’s personal wellbeing, their physical and mental health, inform how they lead – everything from how they communicate, how they hire, to how they foster and build the culture necessary for a start-up to succeed.’
Two years later, when the 2021 report was released, the problems were much the same: ‘Founders are clearly still suffering from high levels of stress, and even if they believe they are managing it, there is a clear acknowledgement that it impacts their start-ups, from decision making to leadership and communications. As a community, we must take the approach that looking after yourself and ensuring you are mentally and physically well is a prerequisite for sustained high performance.”
The research makes it clear. As a community of leaders and entrepreneurs, we need to be proactive and put our wellbeing – our ‘human flourishing’ – at the forefront. In fact, we need to consider it another pillar in the pursuit of business success.
How can we focus on human flourishing?
There are a number of ways we can do the work to focus on our own wellbeing. The list below is not exhaustive, but simply a stepping stone to get you on the path to feeling happier and healthier.
Tip 1: Make time for creativity
Research shows that art and play are just as important as sleep and rest for your wellbeing and stress levels. Take the time to get the paints out or go bowling with friends.
Tip 2: Find new ways to learn and grow
Take up a new hobby or join a group. You’ll be surprised how many local clubs you will find, from birdwatchers to novice cooks, to amateur ceramicists.
Tip 3: Find ways to manage your stress better
Building your emotional awareness skills and learning how to experience your feelings without becoming overwhelmed can be incredibly helpful in managing your daily stress levels.
Tip 4: Make time for exercise
Movement can promote your wellbeing and increase your productivity. Choose one that you actually enjoy and will stick to – whether that’s joining a social netball team, practicing yoga at home or hiking in nature.
Tip 5: Try to reduce your workload, slowly but surely
Yes, we know, easier said than done. We know you’re the leader and that the buck stops with you. But it’s important to model a good balance to your employees and show that your workplace supports a healthy workload, rather than promotes burnout. Make this a long-term goal for permanent change, rather than a temporary quick fix. And remember, it’s okay to say ‘No!’
Tip 6: Improve your work-life balance
Set better boundaries in the workplace. Simple actions such as turning off notifications and setting automatic out-of-office replies for after-hours enquiries can give you a much-needed mental break.
Tip 7: Schedule self-care practices
Opt for whichever self-care practices speak to you. This might be breathwork, mindfulness, meditation, connecting with nature, or simply kicking back with a loved one (including yourself!) to watch a movie and zone out from the world.
Tip 8: Connect with others
Everyone needs a social support network, but this is especially important in regional areas. Connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs as well as friends and family where the talk won’t be focused solely on work.
Tip 9: Be motivated by HOLGRO’s resources
Our platform is all about helping to support you. Explore our great range of inspiring courses.
The ripple effect of social impact
When one person makes a positive change, it has a ripple effect throughout the community. But when other overworked entrepreneurs see the steps you are taking to improve your wellbeing – and how this helps you thrive in business – you will motivate them to take action too.
The current ‘business success at all costs’ mindset is not sustainable, and as a collective, we must take a more holistic approach. Let’s try to change the status quo – we shouldn’t be wearing our overwhelm as a badge of honour. It’s all about HOListic GROwth!
Get in Touch!
If you’re interested in doing the inner work to lead you on the path to more human flourishing and thriving in business, HOLGRO can help. Dive into more blogs, online courses and videos on the HOLGRO® platform and join our community today. Or if you’re interested in one-on-one coaching, contact us today!