While entrepreneurs around the world manage various types of businesses, one variable is common among them all: being an entrepreneur is incredibly stress-inducing.
Whatever the entrepreneur’s situation, whether you are just starting out or are far into the business game, there will always be stressors in your way. Failed deals, bad investments, a lack of effective marketing, the inability for others to see the vision of your cause…the list goes on and on. These situations or occurrences can be avoided in some situations, but most of the time they require effort on your part to reduce their negative impact.
Here are 3 stress reducers, specially tailored for entrepreneurs, that are crucial to helping you better handle your stress levels, thus allowing for more success in your business:
Evaluate what you can and cannot control.
There are plenty of things to worry about with an up-and-coming business, but don’t let yourself worry about more than you need to. Some things you can control, but gauge your current concerns to determine what concerns you cannot control. Stephen R. Covey in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, suggests that we first need to find out where we are focusing our time. Do we spend more time facing concerns within our circle of influence, or are we putting our time into trying to solve what’s outside of our control? Once we determine that, then it becomes easier to direct our time toward those tasks within our control. Start small, if you only have control over minimal tasks, focus on those tasks and shut out the rest. Do what’s within your power and you’ll be more productive with your time.
Just because you’ve gotten this far as an entrepreneur doesn’t mean that you can do everything, and it doesn’t mean that you have to. As your business expands, your resources and delegation need to as well. With help from others, your circle of influence can also expand and your productivity within your business will increase as well.
Putting more on your plate isn’t going to help you in the long run, in fact you may miss out on some opportunities because you wear yourself thin stressing about what you can’t control. So take a step back and evaluate what outside factors are causing you stress, let those go, and focus on what’s within your power to change or manage.
Even when you’ve evaluated your situation, sometimes what’s in your control can still be overwhelming. When this happens, choose to be proactive and take charge of how you respond to the situation. Don’t let the stressors put a toll on you, choose to not let them affect you in that negative manner. This may sound like poor or unreasonable advice, the advice that sounds good on paper, but is near impossible in the real world. If you are thinking that, you may be reacting to situations more than you are acting on them to make a change.
Reality always has to be faced, and it’s true, the hard facts are hard. But what you do with them is going to determine how you manage stress. Covey also addresses this issue, and he notes that on one hand you can say, “That’s just the way it is,” and let the stress envelop you. Or, you can be self-aware and see your capability to be innovative and make the most of the situation. You’ll find yourself with more opportunities rather than closed doors, thus moving your company’s vision forward.
Remember, it’s okay to slow down.
Especially as you start your business or as it picks up speed, you don’t want to wear yourself thin. It won’t be good for your health, but it also will put a strain on your company and its productivity. Scheduling in time to meditate, to go running, to do yoga, or whatever it may be that calms you down, is necessary to maintaing balance within your business.
It may seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to eat breakfast, get enough sleep, or go to spin class twice a week, especially when running a business. Be proactive and make the time. You’ll be amazed how much a little sleep or exercise can help increase that productivity. When you schedule in time to slow down, you’re giving your mind a break as it only has to focus on one task at that moment. Your mind needs that time. You need that time.
Face the reality that you can’t do it all, and don’t let that stress you out. This is one of those things out of your control; no one can do it all.
The variables in our lives that cause stress can’t always be eradicated, but that doesn’t mean the worry they bring us cannot be alleviated with the right practices.