It's what gets you up in the morning and what motivates you to meet your goals. It can also overwhelm and make even the smallest task seem impossible. Entrepreneurs know that stress is a part of the job. Unfortunately, some days it’s your greatest asset and others it's your toughest competition.
There’s nothing worse than starting off the day feeling overwhelmed. All the things you want to do get set aside while a major issue is addressed. Once it’s taken care of, the tasks you put off become urgent and next thing you know, you’ve worked through lunch, forget about an appointment, and things just keep going downhill.
Well, we have good news; stress isn't going anywhere. Yes, that is good news. Why? Because it's a universal truth: Every small business owner feels stressed and feels that way a lot. You aren’t alone.
We all go through it yet some entrepreneurs always seem to be on top of their game. How do they do it? Let’s take a look:
Accept the Truth
As Rosalie Moscoe, business stress expert and owner of Health in Harmony, explains on Business News Daily, the first place to begin is with perspective. 'There is little one can do to eliminate the issues that cause stress,' the blog says. 'You’ll most likely be working more hours than you were before, you’ll be overwhelmed and overworked.'
Accepting that things outside of one's control are the cause of stress allows a business owner to instead focus on what he or she can control.
De-stress Your Body
Your body is required for every aspect of your business. Whether it's your fingers dialing the phone or your brain making a decision, an entrepreneur’s physical being makes the business run. Yet between skipped meals and long hours in front of the computer, bodies often bear the brunt of stress. Exercise can be an entrepreneur’s best friend.
How often do you make time for exercise?
Michael Halper explains over at Young Entrepreneur how fitting in a workout even during long workdays is worth the time:
'Even though the work may seem like it never ends, we need to stop periodically and take a break,' he writes. 'Not only will working out have many different positive impacts on your life long-term, but getting in some good exercise in the short-term will release endorphins and these can have a direct impact on your ability to deal with and decrease stress.'
Make a Plan
Running a business is so stressful because not only is there so much going on but everything can seem like a high priority. Although determining what to do, in what order and how much time should be dedicated to each can take up as much time as the tasks themselves, it’s worth it because planning ahead can save the day.
Knowing the concrete goals of your business on an annual, monthly and weekly basis allow those stressful prioritization questions to answer themselves.
'Small business stress can also come from not having a plan or having a loose plan but not knowing how to put it into action,' writes Alyssa Gregory for Small Business Bonfire. 'This is why it’s so important to have a plan for different aspects of your business that is more than 'fluff.' Your plans need to actually outline where you are right now, where you want to go, and specifically what you will do to get there.'
It's amazing what a little change in perspective can do. While nothing will stop the torrent of requests, bills, priorities and more that pour into the front door of every small business, changing your response to that onslaught can make all the difference. With a new perspective, healthy body and clear vision of the future, stress can more often be your best businesses tool instead of your biggest challenge.
When was the last time stress got the better of you at work? How could some advance planning or a different mindset have helped you address the problem?