Many business owners saw their efforts to make progress frustrated throughout 2020. Adapting to the global conditions that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic required a lot of effort, after all, and everything being in a state of flux made it brutally hard to see where things were going. Now, while things clearly haven’t been resolved yet (and this pandemic isn’t going away in the near future), we do have reason to think that this year can be big for entrepreneurs.

That it can be big for entrepreneurs doesn’t mean that it will be, though. The opportunities are there, and people need to take advantage of them. That said, anyone aspiring to great success must do more than just work hard and remain determined. They also need to prioritize their wellbeing. If they can’t do that, they’ll struggle. Allow me to explain why.

After such a tough year, burnout is even more of a risk

2020 was gruelling in so many ways, and few people managed to get through it without enduring some major stresses. Those with essential jobs had to work harder with limited opportunities to enjoy conventional social activities, while those who lost their jobs faced the anguish of being unemployed and stuck at home with unclear prospects. Each path led to significant anxiety, exhaustion, and lack of motivation.

And while 2021 is a better prospect in many ways, the sudden appearance of new opportunities can’t instantly make up for that wear and tear. Those who launch directly into hard work this year are at risk of burning out, even if they spent much of last year now working at all — and if they hit that point then they may find it unbearably hard to face starting all over again. Only by looking after their mental and physical health can they move in the right direction.

Top entrepreneurs know how to work smarter, not harder

Giving something maximum effort is obviously important, but that doesn’t mean working flat-out all the time. If you exercise all day every day, you’ll injure yourself and totally fail to get fitter or stronger: this is because your body needs time to heal and rebuild. Similarly, working yourself to exhaustion won’t get you results. You need to be on top form.

In addition to taking breaks, this means ensuring that your body is properly supplied with nutrients. Issues are common in entrepreneurs who don’t maintain healthy diets. One example is folate deficiency, a problem that can lead to fatigue, lethargy, and irritability. Since those are things that can prove disastrous for business owners, it’s vital to eat accordingly (and if you can’t get enough green vegetables, sites like Seeking Health have l-methylfolate supplements).

Success doesn’t mean much if you don’t enjoy it

What are the goals of entrepreneurialism? Making money, yes. Building a brand, sure. Achieving a stable position in life, absolutely. But is that where the list ends? Surely there’s something else that matters enormously: enjoying your life. If you spend years working on a business that only ever makes you miserable, is that really the best use of your time?

Among the things we’ve learned from life during a pandemic, one of the most important is the need to appreciate what we have (practice gratitude, as Happify suggests) and enjoy life as much as we can. That doesn’t mean you can’t work hard to pursue your goals: it just means that you should enjoy that work, and maybe dial things back if you’re feeling dissatisfied.

We now know how quickly things can fall apart

Here’s the last reason why entrepreneurs should prioritize wellbeing this year: if they focus entirely on their businesses, sacrificing their health in the process, they might end up disappointed. It’s abundantly clear now that even the strongest businesses can collapse if the world changes around them, and we can’t know if (or maybe when) things will change again.

Due to this, which makes the better investment for an entrepreneur? Their health, something that will be vital for all their future business endeavors? Or their current business, even though there’s no guarantee that it’ll survive the year? The answer, quite obviously, is the former. Investing in your business and your health is the way to go, but the latter is more important.