James Macpherson

James’ Lived Experience Story

When I started my company back in 2011, I was wearing all the hats: I was on the tools, writing up quotes, sending invoices, answering the phone, the lot. It is a story many small business owners know well.

The company got busier and busier, but I had not learned how to train staff and delegate tasks. Instead, I fell into the ‘just work harder’ trap.

By 2018, I had a three-year old at home and another child on the way. The time and energy the company required from me was greater than ever. I was stretched too thin and developed poor habits to cope: I was sleeping 4-6 hours per night, eating a poor diet, not exercising, and drinking heavily. By 2019, my mental health had completely disintegrated, and I needed help.

I had to build new habits: an evening routine that set me up for restorative sleep, regular and intense exercise, meditation, cutting back and eventually quitting alcohol, etc. I also had to get educated on how to be a better business owner and leader.

Bringing yourself back from the brink takes time. Day to day, the improvements are barely perceptible. But if you can remain consistent with building better habits, over time you can make progress. Consistency is what it’s all about.

I am grateful to be part of OzHelp’s Reference Group in 2023 and hope to bring the perspective of a business owner / manager / leader to the group.