How to Manage the Stress of Owning a Business
Thursday Sep. 30th, 2021
For some entrepreneurs, owning a business is a dream come true. However, without proper stress management, that dream can quickly become a nightmare. What you need to ensure this doesn’t happen are the right stress management techniques.
With the right techniques, you can cope with the stress of owning a business, so that it, your team, and yourself thrive.
Stress Management Is Key
Stress management is a key element of keeping yourself and your business healthy. You should never feel guilty for stepping back to prioritize coping with the stresses and strains of owning your own business.
Stress-related burnout in business owners can affect physical and mental health, and it can slow down the company’s momentum. Managing and coping with stress isn't just better for you, it benefits the business. It can even be the reason you continue to operate or end up closing your doors.
What Is Stress Management?
Stress management involves learning various skills that can help you cope with the various stressors you encounter. Those skills may include time management, relaxation techniques, problem solving, and ways of improving interpersonal relationships.
By implementing those skills, you can transform stressful situations into opportunities for empowerment and growth. With that in mind, let’s explore stress management tips and techniques for business owners.
1. Identify Sources Of Stress
Stress management begins with identifying the stressors (sources or causes of stress) involved in owning a business. When you know what your stressors are, you can start finding potential solutions.
For business owners, a large portion of stressors stems from unsolved problems. It can be difficult to find ways to solve these issues when you’re constantly busy with 101 other things that demand your attention.
Take a step back from the situation and pinpoint the areas that are stressing you out. Next, identify your responses to those sources of stress. This may sound simple, but merely identifying your stressors is taking a step in the right direction. Knowing that you’ve begun to do something about the situation can help you feel better about things—and that’s only the beginning.
2. Identify Your Strengths
Identifying your strengths and areas of success is as important as identifying your stressors. Consider the areas in which you cope well with stress and the techniques or skills you use to do it. When you know what your strengths are in terms of managing stress, you can build on them or adapt them to help you cope with other stressors.
The other upside to identifying your strengths and successes is the positive attitude this can inspire in you. It’s especially helpful to do this if you felt despondent after identifying the challenging aspects of running your own business.
You can put the changes you make and the growth you achieve into perspective by noting areas of progress. No matter how small or insignificant they seem at the time.
3. Say “No”
Entrepreneurs who are trying to build a new business usually tend to say “yes” to virtually every project, commission, order, client, or another opportunity that comes their way. This is perfectly understandable. But it’s not the best approach in the long term. Learn to say “no” to requests that will not help you or your business achieve your goals.
By thinning out the amount of work that doesn’t add meaning to your business, you can remove unnecessary stressors and focus on meaningful projects. The boundaries that you create when you say “no” can help protect your physical and mental health as well as your company.
4. Learn To Delegate
Knowing that your employees don’t have the same level of investment in your business can make it tempting to try to do everything (or as much as possible) yourself. A situation like that is a recipe for stress and burnout.
Delegating or even outsourcing some tasks is an important part of managing stress when you’re a business owner. For example, if you struggle with writing copy for your website, blog, or social media posts, delegate the task to an employee who has the skill to do it. If no one on your team fits the profile, outsource the job to a content creator, freelancer, or SEO company.
5. Create A Strong Schedule
Not having a regular routine for your day or week can leave you feeling like a loose cannon, which can add to the stress you experience. Create a strong schedule to add structure to your day. You should find that this increases your sense of self-confidence that you can take what happens at work in your stride.
Our bodies appreciate routine, as it supports our circadian rhythm, which some refer to as our “body clock.” Take your own rhythms into account when planning your schedule. If you know that your concentration and energy levels dip mid-afternoon, avoid schedule intensive tasks for that period.
6. Find Helpful Tools
Downloadable software and apps, as well as other work tools, can help streamline or automate some of the tasks and processes that might be stressors for you. For example, if keeping track of invoicing and payments are causing headaches, it’s worth using invoicing software to alleviate the burden. Or if tracking employee hours is an issue, time tracking apps can streamline the process considerably.
Finding the right fit for you, your team, and your business may take some time, so prepare yourself for some trial-and-error.
7. Prioritize Time For Yourself
Too many entrepreneurs know that personal time is one of the first and biggest sacrifices they make when establishing and growing a business. Prioritize time for yourself to avoid getting sucked into the trap of all work and no play. Your stress levels will thank you.
Make a conscious decision to separate your work from your personal time. Unplug from your mobile phone, email, and work-related social media accounts. Spend time with family and friends. Indulge in self-care.
Your time off from work should be an opportunity to recharge mentally and physically so you can better cope with the demands of the next week at work.
Be Your Own Champion
Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. But it shouldn’t be a source of debilitating stress. Use these stress management techniques to help you rise above some of the challenges and make your venture a success.