Stress Management Strategies for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners
Owning and managing a startup or small business can be stressful. Don't let the stress own you.
Stress, and/or being in stressful situations is an inevitable, unenviable part of starting and/ or running a small business. Small business owners and entrepreneurs across the globe, in effect deal with similar stresses in their chosen paths.
Soon enough, one comes to accept the sleepless nights, the constant worrying, and constant drinking as part of life. Well, maybe that last one is just me, but in any event, small business ownership is stressful. That's the main takeaway here.
So if running a small business is so darn stressful then why do so many of us do it? Well, the answer comes in two equally-important categories. Folks around the world start their own businesses in hopes of being financially independent and also for the emotional fulfillment that ones enjoy when you get to write your own ticket in life.
Once you have traversed the perilous journey of starting a company to the point of profitability, you then get to enjoy the extra time with the family and extra money to spend on the ones you deem most important in your life, the kids, the spouse, the sidepiece, etc.
Based on a recent guide by The National Alliance on Mental Illness ( NAMI), here are five tips to help reduce stress as a Small business owner or entrepreneur.
Lean on Your Network
Look for support opportunities through business associations, local chambers, and groups your small business belongs to. This is a valuable way to create connections with other business owners, who are likely to understand what you’re going through, and could even share coping methods that work for them.
Look After Yourself
Getting enough exercise, rest, and eating well helps regulate mood, focus levels, and physical health, which all directly impact your mental health. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but when you’re busiest and most stressed, these factors are most important.
The simplest—but arguably the most important—tip. When you’re used to working endlessly, it becomes normal, but your mind and body will deteriorate, and you could burn out. If you’re not energized, motivated, and thinking clearly, you’re at risk of losing the focus needed to juggle the countless responsibilities that come with running your business.
Whether it’s during meals, weekends, family time, or for a specific period during the day, choose a time to disconnect, and stick to it. Technology might make business faster and easier, but it can also be tough to disconnect. Don’t feel like you have to be “always on,” and unless it’s a real emergency that requires immediate attention, take the time to disengage.
Write it Down
If you’re overwhelmed and stressed, your attention might naturally start to focus on everything that’s going wrong, instead of what’s going right. Prioritizing tasks—big and small—keeps your focus on one task at a time. Even if progress is gradual, it’s still progress. Be sure to list the things that are going well, milestones you’ve hit, and successes you’ve achieved.