UACES Facebook Emotional Wellbeing and Entrepreneurial Health: A Candid Conversation with Eric Howerton, Head of Walmart Innovations at Flywheel
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Emotional Wellbeing and Entrepreneurial Health: A Candid Conversation with Eric Howerton, Head of Walmart Innovations at Flywheel

by Brandon L. Mathews - December 15, 2023

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I recently had a chance to meet a former Arkansas Business Navigator client who operates a food truck. This individual works night shifts as a security officer and operates their food truck throughout the days and weekends year-round.

I commend this person for their personal drive, grit, and business acumen and ability to show up day in and day out. As a father of two children ages five and two, I sometimes feel overwhelmed with school drop off and pick up, after school extracurriculars, coaching, professional responsibilities, and my personal matters. At the end of the day though, I have the luxury (most of the time) to leave work at my computer and shift focus to my family and activities that recharge and recenter myself. But how do entrepreneurs and small business owners like my client sustain such difficult schedules while balancing all the other demands of life?

There are countless self-help books, LinkedIn master classes, and podcasts focused on promoting personal wellbeing, but I haven’t seen a concerted effort of professionals address these important topics from a founder’s and business owner’s perspective.

Earlier this year, I had a chance to sit down with Eric Howerton, co-founder of WhyteSpider which is now a part of Flywheel where he is the Head of Walmart Innovations. We had a candid conversation about emotional wellbeing and emotional intelligence (EQ) of entrepreneurs, and talked about how he returns to nature to ground himself—and the business, and some of the pitfalls entrepreneurs can face like burnout, poor leadership, and business failure if you don’t take care of yourself.

Brandon Mathews speaking with Eric Howerton

Our conversation features some personal stories and authentic discussion about the human side of business that often gets overlooked by entrepreneurs. And to take a message from the airline industry, please put your own mask on before assisting someone else.

In short, if you as a business owner do not take care of yourself mentally and emotionally, those challenges can and will consume other parts of your life and rob you of the joy and reason you started your business in the first place. You can watch and listen to our full conversation below.

Watch the Interview

Listen to the Interview

Howerton has a bachelor's degree in photojournalism from Arkansas State University. We are former classmates and alums of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce Leadership Arkansas program. This podcast is a bonus episode from our Arkansas Business Navigator podcast which is still available whenever you get your podcasts.

Arkansas Business Navigator Podcast logoThe Arkansas Business Navigator is a program of the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center housed at the University of Arkansas - Little Rock, and is funded in part through a grant through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

All opinions, conclusions and or recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.