How Busy Entrepreneurs Can Stress Less for More Success
When asked to describe what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, what words come to mind? Independence? Opportunity? Drive? What about stress? According to a Gallup poll of over 6,000 entrepreneurs, 45 percent report feeling stressed daily. While the study goes on to reveal that entrepreneurs are more likely to feel accomplished and optimistic about the future, this doesn’t mean stress has to be the price. The following tips will help you keep your stress in check and make room for success.
1. Find the Source
Have you ever considered the fact that stress is the symptom of a much larger problem? Perhaps your finances aren’t where they should be, you’ve taken on too many projects, or haven’t attracted a new client or customer in weeks. The key is to find ways to overcome it. As Forbes explains, “Stress will always be a part of the entrepreneurial life, but with enough effort, it’s possible to break its control over you.” When stress starts to creep in, think to the source and find ways to overcome it. The following are just a few areas that could be causing stress, and some ways to fix it.
2. Find Ways to Manage Stress
You might absolutely love your work, but it is important that you find a separate outlet to manage stress in a healthy way rather than turn to negative coping strategies such as drugs, alcohol or smoking. Plus, studies show that entrepreneurs are at an increased risk for depression, making your mental health a priority. To avoid falling into a rut, look for ways to let off steam such as exploring new hobbies, spending time with family/friends and exercise. Find other entrepreneurs in your area via networking events like the ones organized by the Hustle + Charm Community, making social media connections, or using the MeetUp app to put together a weekly outing whether it is lunch, an exercise class or movie night.
3. Get a Handle on Finances
Finances can be a source of stress for everyone, including entrepreneurs. When you are the one in charge of keeping things organized, it can be a little harrowing. Getting your finances in order should begin with you planning for the future, including periods of time when cash flow is slow. Come up with a budget that enables you to pay off both business and personal necessities. Don’t forget that it is up to you to save for the future, so be sure you are allocating funds to go toward a retirement account. If paying off debt is preventing you from truly maximizing your financials, shift your focus to repairing your credit and chipping away at your debt to keep your credit score at its best for when you might need some additional capital later on.
4. Attract Clients (And Revenue)
It’s doesn’t matter if your business revolves around selling a product or a service, if you don’t have the client/customer demand, you’ll find yourself stuck in a rut. You don’t have to launch a pricey marketing campaign to attract clients. In fact, there are plenty of low-cost ways to expand your reach and client-base. For example, you can utilize your social media pages to start a contest. Everyone who shares a particular post gets entered to win a free item, service, or luxury price, and you get to benefit from the free publicity. Other ways to get your name out there include a website, blog, flyers, as well as registering your business (for free) on online directories such as Google Places or Yahoo Local.
5. Handle Deadlines with Ease
Even mentioning deadlines might fill you with a sense of dread, but they shouldn’t. A deadline holds you accountable, helps develop your time management skills, and serves as a source of motivation. If you have several projects going on at once, create a calendar or post the due dates and progress of each project in a spreadsheet. Break up a project or task into phases to make things a little more manageable. If you find that you aren’t going to meet a promised deadline, be upfront and honest, use it as a learning opportunity and keep trucking forward.
Running your own business is hard work, and stress will inevitably creep in. Rather than let it run the show, take steps to alleviate it. Remember, you’re the boss!
Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. It’s easy for her to relate to clients who feel run over by life because she’s been there. After years in a successful (but unfulfilling) career in finance, Julie busted out of the corner office that had become her prison.