How to Handle Stress as an Entrepreneur (7 Steps)
Today’s blog post will focus on how to handle stress as entrepreneur. Deciding to start a business or build your own brand is very exciting. The idea of being able to create something that will have a positive impact on your life and those of your potential customers is very rewarding. But successfully starting and growing your business requires a lot of hard work.
There are a lot of things you’ll need to handle daily in order to become truly successful. All those tasks can sometimes become very overwhelming and eventually bring about a lot of stress for you. As we all know, stress isn’t something we want to deal with at all. It’s difficult to do anything impactful as an entrepreneur or business owner if it continuously stresses you out. So we’ll look at seven steps you can implement today to help with stress management.
Let’s dive right in.
7 Steps for Successful Stress Management as an Entrepreneur
1. Start with a Solid Business Plan
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” This is something I was very guilty of. I’d have a creative idea come to mind but I hardly took the time to sit down and effectively plan out how I was going to make that idea work. The problem with that was halfway into the project, I’d find myself pulling things from all over the place with no set strategy. That’s how the stress creeps in. As entrepreneurs, we hardly run short of creative ideas but if you want to avoid all those things becoming stressful, your first step should be to take your time and WRITE DOWN your business plan. Yes, put it on pen and paper. When you have a plan written down, it’s right there in front of you and you can go back and refer to it at any given time. You cannot afford to neglect this step. It helps you start off on the right foot and presents a clear vision for your business/entrepreneurial goals. Your plan doesn’t have to be set in stone - as a matter of fact it rarely is. As you and your business grow, you’ll make some necessary changes to the original plan you wrote down. But it does however ensure you know what direction you’ll be taking and that in itself is a great stress reliever.
2. Find a Mentor
Want to know the most efficient way to increase your odds of being successful and avoiding stress in your entrepreneurial journey? It is finding a mentor. Having someone in your corner who has been through the same experiences you’re facing is invaluable. It’s often said that there are no shortcuts in business but I believe finding the right mentor is definitely a shortcut. Think of the one entrepreneur that has inspired you to go out and build your own business. Now imagine working with that person on a daily basis. Think of how much stress that’ll save you. The right mentor will guide you throughout your journey and help make sure you don’t fall into the same pitfalls he or she did. I get that sometimes, getting to work with another successful entrepreneur comes at a premium cost, but it is totally worth it. I encourage you to save up some money if you can because the value of the information you’ll get will be worth more than the cost. If you feel like one-on-one isn’t for you or you just really can’t afford it, then there’s mentorship. Most of the successful entrepreneurs or business owners in your niche have books, courses, podcasts, webinars and so on readily available for you. These are often free resources for you take advantage of. You really have no excuse not to learn from the best.
3. Celebrate the Smaller Wins
You may be thinking “What?!” How does that help me handle stress? Typically, as entrepreneurs we have these huge goals we want to achieve, and there’s nothing wrong with dreaming big and working towards them. The problem, however, is that sometimes, once you get to work, you begin to feel like the goal is unattainable. You’re constantly working and doing your best but you just feel like you’re going nowhere. That can quickly become a very stressful situation. The reason this happens is because we don’t allow ourselves enough time to celebrate the smaller accomplishments. It is very important to acknowledge the smaller steps. I am not a neurologist but studies have shown that if you always celebrate the small successes, your brain will continuously process these positive emotions and help fuel actions that will set you up for the big win. Positive emotions help reduce the stressful situations we encounter, and the frequency of success matters more than the size of success.
4. Avoid Perfectionism
If you’re anything like me, then you probably have the tendency to want to create the “perfect” product. I’ve had the bad habit of working on something till I felt like I had absolutely gotten it all correct. It had to feel perfect before anyone else saw it. This meant I’d sit on a project for weeks or even months at a time before I eventually released it. Trying to get everything perfect is so stressful because sometimes you feel like you’re working on something with no end date. If you keep fine tuning every little detail, you’ll hardly ever finish on time. The best thing you can do as an entrepreneur is to Keep It Simple. We often like to be the judge of our own products instead of letting the potential client determine if it is right or if it is what they want. You may not get it right the first time but you won’t know that unless you get opinions from the people you’re serving. It is okay to have some flaws; the important thing is learning from your mistakes and adjusting as time goes on.
5. Focus on Your Strengths
The typical entrepreneur often starts out their business journey as a single individual. Nothing wrong with that. If you need to begin on a business venture by yourself, then by all means do so. The important thing is taking that first step. The problem is that we often tell ourselves we can do it all. That’s when the stress kicks in. We force ourselves to believe we must handle every single aspect or task of the business. Partly because of the previous point above, we want to be perfect and feel as though others may not do the job the way we want it done. Yes, there’s some truth to that but that’s why you need to do your due diligence. You’ve probably heard the word Solopreneur being used a lot. I am a big believer in being a solopreneur but the smartest ones I know outsource a lot of their labor. Focus instead on your strengths and find others to help you with the other tasks. It is possible to do it all on your own but if you want to quickly scale your business and avoid the unnecessary stress, you’ll need help from others.
6. Take a Break
This is a must! You need to take some time for yourself. If you’re working on something and you begin to lose focus or it is becoming stressful, pause and walk away from it for a moment. Allow yourself some time to gather your thoughts. Give yourself enough time to focus on other things - family, friends, read a book, sports, take a trip, etc. Your business shouldn’t consume every other aspect of your life. Hopefully, you can begin to see how the previous two points make sense. It’s tough to take a break when we feel like we have to do it all or it needs to be perfect. Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy but you need a breather from the hard work.
This wasn’t actually something I’d ever considered doing myself but it’s been an absolute stress reliever ever since I began implementing it. Meditation has so many benefits for our physical, emotional and overall psychological wellbeing. It is so relaxing and definitely the key to stress relief. The good thing is that meditation will not only improve your business productivity but it’ll also improve your personal life. Meditation allows you to connect with your true self. It is your time away from all the noise and distractions around us, which we have become so accustomed to. You don’t even need to meditate for hours at a time; start with 10-15 minutes but make sure you allocate that time strictly for yourself. Turn everything off and just focus on Mindful Meditation.
Are you an entrepreneur or aspiring to be? How do you handle stress in your daily routine? Please share in the comments below.
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