Protecting your Hauora: Tips for Sole Traders in NZ

Protecting your Hauora: Tips for Sole Traders in NZ


April 23, 2024

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Being a sole trader in New Zealand means that you’re not just the captain of your ship; you’re also the crew, navigating the waters of entrepreneurship alone. Though being your own boss comes with many advantages, it is inevitable to experience a huge toll on your mental, physical and emotional well-being (Becoming a sole trader, n.d.). As sole traders constitute 19.4% of the active working population in New Zealand, (OECD (2024), there is a heightened necessity to emphasise the importance of prioritising and protecting your well-being amidst these demands. Here are some strategies to help you succeed as a sole trader in Aotearoa:

Understanding Boundaries: One of the biggest obstacles for sole traders is their ability to separate their work and personal life. Setting clear boundaries is crucial in preventing burnout, ultimately providing the motivation needed to sustain momentum throughout your entrepreneurial journey. Establishing boundaries involves maintaining a healthy work-life balance with clearly designated working hours and a consistent schedule you stick to as much as possible. When the workday ends, switch off your devices and focus on personal time. This should also translate to separating your individual and business finances.

Building a culture of accountability is also important. You are in business to achieve certain personal goals and business objectives. Ensure that you are constantly measuring your progress against those goals and objectives. Making this a practice will ensure that there are no deviations, and you are taking corrective actions where necessary.

Head of Start Ups, Jacob Varghese says “Investing in processes and automation is vital for your peace of mind. If you are spending more time doing admin than making your product or delivering your service that should be a warning sign.”

Invest in yourself and your other priorities: When running a business, it is easy to neglect yourself without realising. Make time for activities and people that nourish your body and mind. Remember that taking care of yourself and spending time with your family is not a luxury; it’s a necessity for sustainable success.

“[Someone] asked me, when you’re gone would you rather have your gravestone say, ‘He never missed a meeting.’ Or one that said, ‘He was a great father.’ Holding my two kids on my lap, it was a pretty easy decision.” – Steve Blank, serial entrepreneur and Founder of the “Lean Startup” movement.

Celebrate Achievements: Recognising achievements boosts morale and reinforces your confidence and resilience as a sole trader. Regardless of the scale of the accomplishment, finding significance in honouring even the most minor victories is essential. Whether it’s meeting a sales target, securing a new client, or mastering a new skill, each milestone serves as a testament to your dedication and progress on your entrepreneurial journey. By taking the time to celebrate these moments, you not only boost your confidence but also inspire motivation and enthusiasm within your business venture. 

Embrace Individuality: As a sole trader, it’s common to find yourself comparing your journey to that of others. However, success shouldn’t be measured by comparing yourself to competitors or fellow sole traders. Instead, it is important to understand that each and every business are unique, and success looks different for everyone. Each business is unique, and success manifests differently for everyone. Instead of dwelling on comparisons, focus on what works best for you. Embrace setbacks as chances for personal growth and learning. Celebrate your individuality and have confidence in your path, understanding that every step you take brings you closer to your goals as a sole trader in New Zealand. 

Stay Informed: Stay informed about resources and support available to sole traders in New Zealand for maximum potential (, 2023). Keep up to date with changes in regulations, tax laws, and industry trends that may impact your business. Knowledge is power and staying informed empowers you to make informed decisions and overcome challenges effectively. Learn more information you need as a sole trader by signing up for our newsletter.  

Seeking Support: Being a sole trader doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Connecting with fellow entrepreneurs or joining networking groups can be highly beneficial, offering both support and opportunities for growth. Especially during challenging times, an effective support system can provide motivation and encouragement. If you’re seeking comprehensive support and guidance tailored to your business, consider reaching out to our senior advisor, Johnny Aranga at any stage of your journey. Discover additional avenues of support for your health and well-being, including online resources like well-being webinars, e-learning platforms, and podcasts. Explore more resources that work for you here.   

If you are struggling or need more assistance there are a numerous amount of help out there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Call or text 1737 for support from a trained counsellor
  • Lifeline 0800 543 354 or text 4357
  • Samaritans 0800 726 666
  • Contact Mental Health Foundation

Blog Author: Emily Lee


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