Work and Wellbeing · 13 October 2021

Mental Health and Entrepreneurial Spirit: Lucy Rout explains

Working hard but keeping positive with healthy routines is the key entrepreneurial success, explains Lucy Rout, Founder of Tabuu.

Most entrepreneurs that I know are hardworking, driven and high achievers. They are also usually perfectionist and as most will start out by themselves, without a team, get very used to doing everything themselves to their own standards. All these traits combined are brilliant for starting a business but without clear boundaries entrepreneurs can quickly become overwhelmed and stressed.

The past few years have seen businesses around the world having to adapt to operating with challenges many of us will have never seen before, both in the context of Brexit and the pandemic. Costs are at all-time high, predictability of pretty much everything no longer exists and we’re all trying to figure out what on earth the future may hold; it’s essential that we check in with ourselves to take stock of how we’re feeling.

Since launching my business, I have made some ground rules to follow. Here are 5 active changes I’m making to help protect my mental health:

  1. Stop comparing my business to others. The journey of entrepreneurship will inevitably look very different for everyone, and I’ve quickly come to realise that you will only ever see the positive sides of things on social media. For every viral story of someone selling out overnight, you won’t see the thousands of others with lofts and living rooms full of unsold stock, worrying about where their next order will come from or how to finance the upcoming VAT bill.
  2. Making myself find one thing to be positive about every day. Whether that’s getting an order from a customer, posting a piece of content out on social media or even recognising that I’m starting to feel burnt out and getting myself out for a walk, I see every positive step forward for me as a positive step forward for my business.
  3. Setting boundaries. I find I get a lot of questions from non-business owners about business details, which initially made me feel very anxious. Innocent questions about margins or number of sales which always come from a good place of intrigue, I found made me feel like I was being judged, so I now no longer give answers to those questions and make a conscious effort to never ask information of that nature from other entrepreneurs. A simple “I tend not to talk about details like that” and moving the conversation on works perfectly and allows me to feel comfortable in the discussion.
  4. Asking for support when I need it. Again, in the age of social media, everyone seems to know exactly what they’re doing the whole time which can be really intimidating. As someone who started my business bootstrapped and googling everything as I go, I often get very overwhelmed with imposter syndrome and on speaking to others it’s clear I’m not alone. In moments where you are lacking a confidence, feeling low, or simply want some advice on an idea or process, there is absolutely no shame in picking up the phone and asking for help. It may well end up being the most productive thing you do for yourself and your business that day.
  5. Taking each day one step at a time. Whatever your business aims are, if you look at them all at once, it can be terrifying. I now set myself small, manageable tasks and put one foot in front of the other until things get done.

 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Lucy Rout is the 26-year-old founder and creator of Tabuu, a brand creating sustainable and stylish modern day pill cases, designed for people who don't want their medication to define their lifestyle. After being diagnosed with a rare pancreatic cancer in 2019, Lucy was told she would need to take medication every time she eats, for the rest of her life. Her journey led her to find that there were no plastic-free, sustainable, stylish and durable pill cases on the market and after feeling let down by the lack of products available for people living with needs like hers, she designed her own. Lucy launched Tabuu in September 2021 whilst also working for Amazon as a Startup Development Manager in Sustainable Innovation. With a bachelor’s degree in Business and Management from Durham University and previous experience at Unilever and Just Eat, Lucy has sound business knowhow and strong entrepreneurial acumen.

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