Battling the stress of being an entrepreneur by caring for rhinos in Africa

It’s a hard knock life for entrepreneurs. Leading people, making decisions and determining the fate of your business through your actions is frankly stressful. Top that with financial concerns and a possible fear of the unknown then it’s unsurprising most entrepreneurs have a hobby to keep themselves grounded – like helping rhinos.

You heard that right. But why not? Hobbies come in all shapes and sizes – it’s why Real Business created a series of articles to highlight the more unusual ones. We definitely learned a lot along the way. According to Campus Society’s Rashid Ajami, a hobby allows you to keep enjoying the business you so passionately founded. Reedsy co-founders Emmanuel Nataf and Ricardo Fayet are of the belief that it does wonders for workplace productivity.

Booking Live CEO Vinnie Morgan, on the other hand, explained to us that it gave you a sense of achievement beyond the corporate world – and yes, his hobby includes rhinos. In fact, he’s been a life-long fan of them, and even after his eight year old cloud-based booking software company garnered success, asking for more attention, it hasn’t made a dent in terms of his want to help them.

“I’ve always had an interest in animals and conservation, especially when it came to rhinos,” he said. “I don’t exactly remember when I became so fascinated by them. My grandfather carved me a set of rhino bookends when I was a kid – and I still have them – so perhaps that was the start. I also went on a safari in the Serengeti in 2009 and got to see some rhinos in the wild for the first time. Ever since that moment I’ve been really interested in the cause of rhino conservation.”

Morgan told Real Business he wished he could spend more time with them. But for now, travelling to Zimbabwe would have to do.

Check out our other hobbies-focused features:

“I’m returning to Africa in in June of this year, where I volunteer with vets who run a rhino orphanage. I’ll be helping care for rhino babies whose mothers have been taken by poachers. I’ll also be helping with their feeding and treatment and I can’t wait. It will be hard work, and I will certainly be getting my hands dirty, but I think it will be hugely rewarding.

“Another project I follow closely is the Australian Rhinoceros Project. They are working towards establishing a breeding population of rhinos in Australia as an insurance policy in case rhinos in Africa become extinct. This is not a project I’m involved with directly yet, but I follow their progress closely, and it is my dream that if and when I move on from the company I founded, Booking Live, that I could become a full-time volunteer on this project or something similar.”

There’s certainly more to a hobby than pure stress relief, Morgan highlighted. It helps you build your self-esteem and you’ll finally come to realise how much time there really is available in the day, somewhat dampening the effects of burnout.

But whether it be an unusual hobby or a more traditional one, take it slow at first. Bombarding yourself with an activity will only pile up stress you’ve accumulated from work. Just enjoy life.

Image: Shutterstock

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