Being an entrepreneur is a tough gig. Sure, it’s a job title with some serious wow factor – but those in the know will be the first to tell you it ain’t all big business deals, fancy lunches and yoga classes at any time of the day because, hey, you’re the boss. In all reality it’s closer to working 24/7, pulling your hair out over major cash flow sagas and questioning your decision to work for yourself almost every second of the day.

Just ask Jess Ruhfus, Collabosaurus founder, when she last found time to smash out a mountain pose, beachside run or laps at the local pool and she’ll most likely LOL, a lot… deliriously.

Jess’s background in fashion and lifestyle PR and small business marketing inspired her to create a web platform that made strategic collaborations simple. Thanks to her mad skills and support from a network of professionals, friends and family, Collabosaurus was born – at the time Jess was just 22 years old – #ladylegend. The platform works like a dating site to ‘match make’ businesses of all shapes and sizes for effective partnerships in events, social media, product and referral partnerships. These days it boasts over 4,000 brand partnership opportunities with members in Australia, New Zealand, America, Canada and the UK. And it’s nowhere near finished yet.

But it would be super naïve to think that growth like that has been achieved without battling some pretty big challenges. Along the way, Jess has learnt that taking time out for her mental health is just as important as reaching her 10,000 steps every day… if not more so.

“The tough times are inevitable – the lows are really low and the highs are really high, but that’s what you sign up for when you start a business,” says Jess.

“I think true entrepreneurs thrive on that stuff and, for me, the biggest thing is finding the motivation to get out of those ruts, putting things in perspective and reminding myself that just because things aren’t going right, doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. It’s easier said than done, but putting a positive spin on every failure is so important.”

Jess is the first person to admit she’s her own biggest competitor – but on the flipside she’s also discovered she’s her own biggest motivator. When it comes to physical wellness and exercise though, her boyfriend helps get her out and about whenever possible.

“He’s super active, so when it comes to the weekends he pulls me out on hiking trips and bush walks. It’s perfect because it forces me to get my steps up somewhere beyond the office walls,” says Jess.

“I don’t really have time for hectic gym sessions or anything like that, but right now my priority is just trying to stay at a normal level of health. I refuse to buy in to all those fitness pills and serums – just go for a walk and track your steps.”

“Even my morning ritual of walking to my local café for a coffee makes a huge difference to my day and helps me clear my head.”

Jess’s final pieces of brain magic for burgeoning entrepreneurs are simple:

  • “When things get tough, just keep moving – the best way to move forward is to actually move forward. Don’t wallow, get out there and do something about it.”
  • “Sleep. Sure, there are some days when I’m up at 5am and then don’t go to bed until 1am – but I’ll book time out of my calendar the next morning so that I can catch up. If I don’t get enough sleep, I function at about 50% productivity anyway, so it’s worthwhile getting 8 hours as often as possible! ”
  • “Fake tan. Good old Bondi Sands is a secret to feeling great. It’s a game changer and it just makes me feel good because I’m naturally so pale!”
  • “Do what works for you. For me, cooking healthy(ish) food and making sure I get at least 10,000 steps a day is a manageable goal.”