By guest blogger Michael Dean
Once you’ve established your own business, it’s all smooth sailing from there on out, right?
We wish it was true. We wish we could tell you that everything is going to be much easier from now on. However, there’s one obstacle which every business owner must overcome as they build and grow their new company:
That’s right, it’s stress. Stress is an insidious force which sneaks into our minds and whispers nasty messages such as “you’re going to fail” or “you aren’t working hard enough”.
Luckily, with our handy tips, you too can say “no” to stress and navigate your growing business with greater confidence than ever before!
Open Up to a Professional Mentor
First things first, you need to find someone who can negate your stress’s untrue whispers. That person is a coach or a professional mentor who has been in your situation before and can guide you in the right direction.
Your coach can give you additional stress-busting advice as well as helping you follow the steps outlined in the article. Most importantly, they can “get you outside your head” and help you focus on the reality of your business rather than the negativity of your overstressed mind.
Write Everything Down
Keep a journal. Make to-do lists. Buy a paper calendar or appointment book for storing your daily schedule. Writing things down is the number one most effective method for combating stress and focusing on reality.
Putting your tasks in writing helps you prioritize and focus on what needs to be done now versus what can be put off for later. Journaling allows you to identify and label your feelings so that you can speak about them with your business coach or other members of your support network.
When your brain starts spiraling and feeling overwhelmed, you will be able to center yourself with the help of the written truth.
When you’re stressed, it’s tempting to think that the easiest solution is simply to keep working. “After all,” your stress-filled brain tells you, “if you just work harder for longer hours, you’ll be able to get more done”. However, in truth, that is simply a recipe for burnout and exhaustion.
Set yourself a schedule which includes time away from work. Use an app or software to track your hours and make sure you are keeping to a “regular” or “normal” work week. Encourage similar behaviors in your team members, so that all of you are well-rested and mentally healthy as you move your business forward.
Flip the Script
One of stress’ most effective techniques is forcing you to focus on the negative. It constantly reminds you of all your failures, mentally turning each one into a disaster which could only spell complete failure for your business.
Beat stress at its own game by taking time to acknowledge the positives. Celebrate with your team when a sale goes well or an advertising campaign is successful. Keep reminders of your successes at your desk, in your home and around the office. That way, when stress comes to call, you have plenty of weapons at your disposal with which to fight it.
Prioritize Money Management
As your business grows, managing money becomes increasingly more important. The unfortunate truth is, many small businesses spend a good portion of their early life “in the red”.
Financial stress may not be completely unavoidable – but it can be lessened. Make sure that your company includes at least one team member dedicated to money management. In addition, focus on maintaining a “safety net” of emergency money to get you through the hurdles of building up your business.
Finally, beat stress at its own game by making sure that “relaxation” is an important element of your company lifestyle. Participate in stress-busting activities – such as yoga or meditation – together with your team members. Encourage employees to take advantage of vacation time – as well as doing so yourself.
During your own free time, “unplug” from work by shutting down your computer and focusing on hobbies, exercise, and getting plenty of sleep. You’ll be able to return to work with a much lower stress level and a clearer head ready to take on any challenges that come your way.
Stress is everywhere – and everyone from small business owners to the CEOs of massive international companies experience it. However, every day, all around the globe, people are utilizing these exact techniques to combat stress in the business world.
You CAN build and grow your business without burning out. You CAN be a successful entrepreneur while remaining stable, healthy and as stress-free as possible. Remind yourself of these truths every time stress comes to call, and you will soon be enjoying a happier, healthier work life!
Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.