Owning a small business is exciting and often rewarding, but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. It’s something many people aren’t aware of at first.
In a survey, 62 percent of business owners said the stress outpaces what they imagined it would be, and nearly three-quarters said that it’s more stressful than raising multiple children.
While stress on its own is harmful to your health and productivity, it compounds and makes it harder and harder to move forward and grow. Here’s how to bust some stress and achieve new goals.
For many small business owners, the leading cause of stress are factors outside of their control (weather, shipping problems, errors by business partners, etc.). You’ve probably heard the famous quote about finding the serenity to accept the things you can’t change, changing what you can, and knowing the difference between both cases, and it’s true. The first thing you need to do before taking steps to bust stress is accept you can’t control everything.
Consider some cash flow assistance
Even if it means borrowing, having a little extra cash lying around will help you reduce your stress and set you up to attack your goals. Coordinating some outside small business funding may be the way to go. Consider business lines of credit, Small Business Administration loans, crowdfunding, and grants.
Purge and organize
A magical thing happens when things that are stressing us are acknowledged and steps are taken to begin to address them — they cease to stress us out as much. As Entrepreneur says, “[You] don’t have to worry about [your] business for a time because [you] know everything is waiting for [you] later, and [you] don’t have to worry about forgetting anything.” That’s because you’ve purged your to-do list from your mind and put it on paper, or discussed it with employees or colleagues.
As the business owner, no one task should occupy all of your time, and no few tasks should occupy your time for too long. You need to be a big-picture sort of person — that’s the only way you’ll be able to grow and achieve new goals for your business. Successful delegating (meaning you are able to step away and have the job done right) involves developing an easy-to-follow plan, using technology to help, and hiring employees or contractors that you can trust to do the job.
Your business will only remain as healthy as you do, so with that in mind, the best way to reduce stress and promote growth in your business is to take the time (and sometimes, even spend the money) to take care of yourself. Self-care is one of the main ways to prevent burnout and stay fresh and focused.
Here are some simple ways to do this:
- Eat healthy even when you’re busy.
- Make time for exercise, even if it’s a simple routine in the office or a lunch-break walk.
- Take a vacation. You’ll come back better, more focused, and ready to lead your team.
- Take up some form of relaxation practice. This can be yoga, meditation, lighting some candles and knitting, or whatever puts you into a calm state of being.
- Do something fun that has nothing to do with your business. Don’t look at your email the whole time you’re doing it — no cheating!
Whether you’re looking to hit the new year strong, come out of the gate with a fresh perspective, or need a post-summer pick-me-up as you face the busy season, the time to focus on stress reduction is now. Not only will it make you a healthier, happier small business owner, but that positivity will radiate to your employees and your overall business functions as well.
By Guest Author – Julie Morris, Life and Career Coach
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