Entrepreneurship is a unique endeavor, as any current and prospective business owner knows. While starting and running a business can be a rewarding dream come true for any entrepreneur, hiring employees, marketing your products and services, and managing customers and day-to-day obligations is not always easy and certainly not without its stressors.
Some people deal with stress better than others and are able to use it as a positive, motivating pressure to accomplish more in the course of a business day. But in time, even the hardiest go-getters will have their breaking point. When this occurs, or even if you’re not yet at wits’ end, it is extremely important to understand and practice appropriate coping mechanisms for the stress that comes—if it hasn’t already—with starting a business.
- Remember, you’re not alone. Reaching out to professional peers can alleviate the stresses of starting a new business. These should be people that have gone through a similar process as you are embarking upon, and are willing to provide pointers on how to do the required things for a business. Professional communities can be found online or through your local Chamber of Commerce or other networking organizations.
- Prioritize even the little things: It is important to draw a clear distinction between your new business and your personal life. Finding time to connect with friends, having a quiet dinner with a loved one, or hitting the gym are all excellent ways to detach from your work life for a little bit. This detachment will allow you to recharge your batteries and start the next day with a renewed sense of energy.
- Share with friends and family: Just as professional peers can help you cope with the technical aspect of starting a new business, your personal connections can help you deal with your emotional stress. Of course the topic of your stress should not be the focus of any relationship, but find a trusted confidante who can act as a sounding board for your problems. Being able to communicate with another person about work-related stress will help you release some of that emotional stress.
- Allow yourself to say no: Your time is extremely valuable, but even more so if you are starting a new business. Take time to review and consider all offers that come your way, but do not be afraid to reject something which is not optimal for you and your business. You are the person in charge, and your burgeoning business is your priority. You absolutely must have a discriminating eye when weighing all offers.
- Remain positive: Failure is to be expected. You should properly prepare for the day when something goes wrong or a customer is irate or dissatisfied, as that day will eventually come. When it does, however, don’t allow it to weigh too heavily on you. Instead, look forward to the challenges of entrepreneurship as learning experiences and opportunities to improve. Be mindful of your negative thoughts, and spin them into positive ones.
By having, and utilizing, a support structure that encompasses professional peers and personal friends, creating clear boundaries between the job and home, and remaining positive, new business owners can create a world where they effectively manage the stresses associated with their profession while also focusing on making their business a success.