Entrepreneurs deal with extreme stress in their work lives. Their work hours often stretch to close to 60 per week, thus making them arguably the most hardworking of all. As a result, there is little time left for family or fun, making stress a very real threat to the health and wellbeing of new business owners.
Stress is not entirely bad. It helps keep us on our toes and be more alert to our surroundings. It fires us up to work harder on business presentations and makes our sales pitches more innovative. Stress is also, at times, the result of working passionately and wholeheartedly towards a goal, when you cannot take your mind away from what you so desperately want. When you are under positive stress, you assess a situation as an opportunity and work towards a positive outcome, without letting obstacles overwhelm you.
Stress becomes a problem only when you let it make life difficult for you. Anger, health issues, the lack of sleep, disastrous personal relationships, inability to control what’s happening in your life, and extreme sadness/depression are all symptoms of unmanaged stress. For an entrepreneur, these can be life-altering and debilitating.
Here are a few tips to get a better handle over your thoughts and moods, and tackle stress effectively.
1) Manage Time Effectively
Inefficient time management can lead to missed deadlines and lost growth opportunities. It is extremely important that you set priorities and allocate your working hours effectively. Focusing on the small things may result in leaving the big jobs undone.
If possible, stay close to your workplace so that you do not have to waste valuable time in commuting. Sites like Arivify provide tips on finding a suitable neighborhood that is also cost-effective.
Try to substitute hard work with smart work. This will help you make time for yourself at the end of hectic working days.
Consider automating everyday business operations, like accounting and invoicing, email marketing, lead generation, and lead nurturing, social media posting, testimonial and referral requests, and administrative duties, using the many apps and software that are easily available. You can also automate hiring with the right products. So, when it is possible to automate virtually all your routine tasks and save time and money, why not do it?
Time on your hand will not only help you enjoy quality time at home, but you will also be able to explore hobbies or other entrepreneurial avenues.
2) Delegate Wisely
One of the best qualities that a leader can have is to delegate efficiently. This will not only allow the work to get done faster, but also free up his or her time to attend to crucial matters.
It is not possible for small businesses or startups to hire experts for various jobs. A virtual assistant can help manage your meetings and customer calls. You can also turn to freelancers to outsource critical tasks. This can not only save you money through project-based payment, but you can also tap into the best talent without investing in hiring or payroll.
Small business or startup hiring is a complicated process. You need to hire at the right time, when you have both, budget as well as well-defined roles to hire for. Also keep in mind that a poor hire can prove to be too expensive, both time- and- money-wise, for a startup. The mantra is to hire slow and fire fast, before the damage gets out of hand.
3) Exercise Regularly
A healthy body will equip you to deal with stress better. A healthy body will also be a source of wellbeing and happiness, thereby making you mentally stronger to deal with adversities.
A run in the crisp morning air will help clear your mind, produce endorphins and also help you sleep better at night – all of which help in stress reduction. Endorphins are our feel-good neurotransmitters that are also natural pain killers and stress busters. An entrepreneur can take all the help possible in fighting stress, and exercise has the most rewarding outcomes. Swimming, low-impact aerobics, dancing, and yoga are other physical activities that you can easily make a part of your daily lifestyle.
Other stress-busting exercises include housework like sweeping and mopping, mowing the lawn and gardening.
4) Make Time to Do Something for Others
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey where you are worried about work and success at all times. It will help if you can put your worries aside and devote time to voluntary activities a few times in a year. You can sponsor a sport event for underprivileged kids or provide supplies to organizations that work for the homeless. You can also consider spending time volunteering with senior citizens.
Volunteering will help you broaden your perspective and see life in a new light. You will also be able to understand many pressing and larger problems out there, and that you have the power to make a huge and positive impact on the world. And, that your entrepreneurial journey or outcome has very little to do with it.
5) Set Realistic Goals
All businesses do not grow into billion-dollar unicorns. Set realistic goals and monitor your progress on a regular basis. It is far more important to make slow-and-steady progress than achieve super-quick success. Celebrate milestones and ensure that your team is also proud of the achievements. This will enable you to work harder towards bigger goals and stay focused on the job. A happy team that takes pride in the company’s journey will also be positive, enthusiastic and upbeat, thereby contributing to a stress-free work culture.
An entrepreneur or a small business owner will be juggling several roles simultaneously, and coming face-to-face with unforeseen problems. This will invariably lead to stress. But, if you stay mindful and take care to not let situations overwhelm you, you will be able to take control over how people and events affect you, and deal with them wisely.