Stress and starting a business seem to go hand-in-hand. New entrepreneurs quickly learn that the prospect of financial flexibility and freedom does not come easily. That’s not to say that everyone’s path has to be difficult and stress-inducing, but most are to some degree.
But how much stress is healthy for your growing business?
Stress, in healthy doses, is beneficial. It pushes you forward to try harder and to do what you didn’t think you could do before. But too often we put more pressure and stress on ourselves than is necessary. We think that if we are not stressed out or putting everything into our business 24/7 then we are failing.
One business consultant saw this in action. She spoke to a client whose business seemed to be doing great. She owned a well-working fitness studio that was increasing in revenue everyday. But the client felt unhappy for some reason. Her consultant got to the root of the problem and found that, “[the client’s] business was going so well that it was starting to freak her out…she started looking for things to be stressed out about.”
If you feel like you need to be stressed to succeed, stop! Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the more stress you put on yourself, the better of an entrepreneur you are.
Stress does not equal success. That isn’t to say that success doesn’t require a great deal of work, it does. Starting an online business will take all you’ve got, but not to the point that it destroys your peace of mind, your relationships and your business yourself.
Lessen the Stress
Your everyday functionality will suffer if you don’t get a handle on your stress. Not only will your physical body take a huge toll, but your mental capacity and ability to focus will suffer as well. Stress affects more than one part of your body. It will affect your emotions, your thoughts and ultimately your actions.
Learn how to manage stress when running an online business. The future of your brand may depend on it. Otherwise, you may start taking out your stress on the people you care about more than the world. You may also start taking it out on yourself or on your business. Remember you don’t have to feel stressed or worried or anxious all the time to become someone great.
Don’t let your stress get so bad that it does start ruining what you are creating. Begin by learning and implementing new methods for managing your stress. As one study notes, “Recovery from and resilience to daily stressors is crucial for health and well-being.” This includes the well-being of your company.
Below are a few ways to unwind and lessen your stress. Find which ones help you the most to reduce stress and to start seeing your success in a new light.
Unplug Before You Sleep
Calming down before you go to bed can help prevent those nights when you lie awake out of panic and worry. You need your sleep if you’re going to be a productive business owner.
Some entrepreneurs boast about all their sleepless nights when they slaved over making their business possible. Yes, you may have some sleepless nights. But don’t feel like you need to. Make sleep a priority so you can be all there for your business when you wake up.
When you are getting ready for bed, it’s tempting to want to check up on your social media posts or read those emails you’ve been neglecting all day. The more you can unplug, though, the more ready you are to get a good night’s rest.
Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, makes a habit of turning off her cell phone before she turns in for the night. Otherwise she’s tempted to catch up on emails or current social media in bed. But the good night’s rest she gets from unplugging before bed helps her manage whatever stress she encounters the following day.
Find Something You Love
You need to take some time for yourself. Schedule in time to do something you love. Depending on where your business is at, that may mean “you time” only every week at first, or maybe once a month. Ideally, though, you would take the time to do something that calms you down once a day. But don’t spend forever on this activity or let it come before the tasks you need to get done first. You’ll enjoy your hobby more if you don’t have to worry about pressing needs in the moment anyway.
Find what you love and what works with your current schedule. Make it work if you can’t seem to find the time. Several studies identify leisure activities, “as a coping resource,” to help reduce the negative effects of stress. Who wouldn’t want that as they start running a business?
Participate in Physical Exercise
You may not feel like you have time for exercise, or the motivation to begin, but exercising your body can be one of the quickest ways to decrease your stress levels. Endorphins are hormones that are produced as your exercise. They act as your natural stress reducers, helping you to feel more focused and optimistic.
Get your endorphins pumping a little every day. Even taking a short walk can clear your mind and lessen your stress so that you can refocus on the essentials again.
Take Care of Yourself
Sleep and exercise are both excellent ways to begin taking care of yourself. But be sure to take care of yourself in other ways, too. Your business won’t thrive if you are not feeling well physically, emotionally and mentally.
For starters, eat healthy, and just eat period. Have you ever heard a businessman or woman talk about never having the time to eat? They talk as though they should be rewarded for giving up eating for their business to progress. Like with unhealthy sleeping habits, though, this lifestyle can worsen your well-being the longer it goes on.
Sometimes that sacrifice is required to make an important meeting or to meet a pending deadline. But at other times, when your body needs that energy from a hearty lunch or a short break in the day, then take it. Do what you need to do for your body and your business. Don’t fight through the pain; address it, then take the steps to get yourself feeling well again.
Your business needs you. If you can’t be there for it, then it can crumble before your eyes.
Recognize Stress Triggers
Begin to identify what makes you stressed each day. Unfortunately some stressors you can’t avoid in business. Embrace them, but prepare yourself as needed for when they come. The first step is identifying how you feel and why.
You may find that some things that trigger your stress are those unnecessary worries you put on yourself. If what is making you stressed does not move you or your business forward, eliminate it from your routine. If, however, it’s a stress that opens an opportunity for your business, work through it.
This is easier said than done. But overtime the stress will lessen, especially when you see the reward for your work through challenging times.
Don’t Do This Alone
Sometimes when you are under a lot of stress, you need to distance yourself and regroup your emotions and thoughts. But distancing yourself completely from others can be harmful.
Like anything in business, you can’t do this alone nor should you. Talk with those you can trust, remember how much they care. Let others help you with tasks or projects that are causing extra stress. When you have a strong support system, the big stresses seem small and the small stresses don’t even matter.
Your life will not be devoid of stress. When you become an online entrepreneur you almost agreed to that. Take necessary steps to lessen that stress or to use it to your advantage. You have what it takes to make it in this world. Don’t let superfluous stress destroy that potential you have for greater success.