Becoming an entrepreneur involves plenty of learning. You’ll need to know how to craft a business plan, secure financing and understand your obligations when it comes to taxes and regulations. More importantly, but often overlooked, is the importance of learning how to manage stress.
Becoming your own boss is a thrilling experience. You’re calling the shots and you get to run things the way you want to. Most of the time this is a hugely positive experience that feeds self-confidence and provides a real sense of satisfaction. But, like any other position of responsibility, it will bring periods of stress and self-doubt. How you handle these times is critically important to the long-term health of your business.
Here are some stress management tips for entrepreneurs to help you navigate tough times.
Talk to Someone
A problem shared is a problem halved. Though it may sound overly simplistic, talking to someone you trust about your stresses is one of the quickest ways to decompress. Even if that person can’t provide useful feedback, verbalizing your worries and fears can often bring clarity. Bottling up your stresses will only allow them to fester and negatively impact upon your mental health.
Exercise is Key
Exercise is a proven way to decrease feelings of stress and anxiety. Not everyone has the time to spend an hour at the gym every day, but your exercise regimen doesn’t have to be that involved. Instead of sitting at a desk to eat lunch, take it outside and go for a walk. Or, consider cycling to work instead of driving. Dedicate an hour or two each week to attending a class. Yoga is widely regarded as a stress buster thanks to its relaxed pace and slow breathing work. How you exercise is a personal decision and there’s no right or wrong plan to follow. Try to increase how much and how often you move your body and you’ll see positive effects.
Schedule a Regular Admin Day
Stuck under a seemingly never-ending pile of tasks? A recurring theme with successful entrepreneurs is their organizational skills. Many dedicate one day per week to slog through their low-priority to-do list and respond to emails. Compartmentalizing your week like this can help to stave off that looming feeling of dread from being under a mountain of work . The more planning that goes into your work time, the more successful you will be in achieving your goals.
Build a Support Network
Entrepreneurship doesn’t need to be a lonely endeavor. There are countless others going through the same challenges you regularly face. Whether it’s online or locally, seek out like minded individuals and network with them. Small Business BC hosts a monthly meetup where entrepreneurs can hear from industry experts while networking with like minded individuals. New to business? Consider working with a mentor as it can hold a surprising number of benefits for your business.
Trust Your People
There comes a point for every entrepreneur – a moment of clarity – where they realize they can’t do everything and they don’t need to do everything. Sometimes we all need help. Understanding it’s ok to delegate is a liberating feeling and will lead to a massive increase in productivity. If you’ve hired employees to work under you, empower them to perform tasks you’ve traditionally taken care of yourself. You hired them because you trust them. Now, set them loose to take time-consuming tasks off your plate, allowing you to spend more time focusing on the big picture.
The Power of “No”
No is probably the most powerful word in the English language. After all, we wield it with the care and respect we would grant to a massively destructive force. Why do we tend to say yes when internally we want to say no? The ability to ignore this feeling is another liberating milestone for any entrepreneur. If you’ve reached capacity and can’t take on any more work, it’s ok to say no. If a client or partnership is proving difficult, it’s ok to say no. Stop saying yes to the wrong things and you’ll immediately cut your workplace stresses by a huge amount.