Health: An entrepreneur’s greatest asset

Guest blogger Roy Lounsbury is one of the Maritimes’ leading Medavie Blue Cross Insurance agents. Post a comment or contact him on Twitter.

As a small business owner, our local focus on entrepreneurship and the recent push to encourage Nova Scotians to go out on their own resonates with me. And if there’s one piece of advice I’d give to anyone considering striking out on their own, it’s to ensure your health is protected. Your health, after all, is your biggest asset as you grow your business. As we approach a year since the Now or Never: An Urgent Call to Action for Nova Scotians report was released, and hopefully more people decide to start working for themselves, let’s for consider for a moment how important good health is as you build a new businesses. 

Maintaining your health and well-being

If you were to get sick or injured without insurance as you grow your new venture, the costs associated with medication and recovery can be overwhelming at best and catastrophic at worst. Either way, you’ll likely see serious implications for the success of your business–a worst case scenario for any company. While it seems counterintuitive, the best time to get health insurance is when you’re healthy and think you don’t need it. Once you’re diagnosed with an illness, it’s too late to secure coverage for pre-existing conditions. 

How can health insurance protect entrepreneurs?

Personal insurance plans cover the expenses that our public health care system doesn’t, like prescription medication, contraceptives, naturopathic practitioners and massages. It’s easy to forget how much these things and other standard health expenses cost. Most people will still need personal insurance to cover the costs of drugs and medical equipment, routine specialist visits like those to the dentist and eye doctor, and the cost of living if accidents or illnesses prevent you from working. 

You might consider the cost of health insurance to be too high to justify when you’re first starting out, but I can assure you it isn’t. When you need to rely on it, you’ll be so relieved that its there to draw on. Considering that generous plans that include your dependents begin at $52/month and could pay dividends, why would you wait?

Minimize as much stress as possible

When you decide to go out on your own, chances are that to do so, you’re going to be leaving a specific role that had numerous benefits, like health insurance, vacation days and flexible time, for example. When you decide to start your own business, you’re taking on a jack of all trades position and forfeit the security that you previously had. For many people, particularly those with young families, the loss of health insurance can be stressful, leading to anxiety. When you arrange a personal health insurance plan, you’re eliminating the unnecessary stress about how you would pay if you, your partner or child needed support for a health related issue.

We all know that entrepreneurship isn’t for the fainthearted. There’s an incredible amount of pressure to succeed, and to do so right here in Halifax, the city we all love and want to remain in. In the early days, it’s common to work long hours, take on too much and neglect taking care of ourselves, caring for our fledgling ventures instead. However, as we entrepreneurs and small business owners work together to rebuild Halifax, shouldn’t we agree to make our own health a priority?

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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