Creative Tips for New Entrepreneurs: Managing Business Stress
You had a great idea and an abundance of passion in your industry and so, you opened your own business. At the beginning, everything was great! You slept in a little here and there; enjoyed not having to answer to a supervisor; and managed to bring in a string of new customers. But now, something is different. The honeymoon phase of being an entrepreneur has worn off.
Building and sustaining a successful business is physically, emotionally and mentally draining. You’re going to experience stress; it goes with the territory of being a leader. However, learning how to properly manage all that anxiety can help you keep your sanity. Managing business stress is difficult, but not impossible.
In this article, we want to focus on creative ways to help you navigate through the inevitable anxiety that comes with being a business owner.
Tips for Managing Business Stress:
Do Your Homework
One of the best ways to battle your stress head-on is learning more about why other business owners failed in the past. If you learn from their mistakes, you could put yourself in a position to anticipate and prevent stressful pitfalls.
Fortune Magazine’s recent article, Why Startups Fail, according to their founders, shares these popular reasons for failure:
- • No Market Need (42%)
- • Cash Issues (29%)
- • Not the Right Team (23%)
- • Pricing/Cost Issues (18%)
- • Ignored Customers (14%)
Perform market research in your specific industry so you can find the tops reasons why businesses in your field failed in the past. If anything looks or sounds familiar, rework your current practices or policies until you feel confident in that area.
By being proactive and working on preventative measures rather than putting out fires as they happen, you can better manage your stress levels.
Find a Mentor
“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” Bob Proctor
Consider turning to a business professional that you know and admire to help you navigate the stress that comes with owning your own business. A good mentor will offer you invaluable advice on how to proceed and will also be an ideal sounding board for your frustrations. They’ll help you put your business issues into perspective so you can find a solution.
Having a positive mentor/mentee relationship in your life helps you stabilize the pressures you feel as you try to make your business a success. Your mentor can offer you constructive feedback and teach you how to better manage your time.
Experts agree that you should never ask a stranger to be your mentor. This person is an example of the type of business professional you’d like to be in 5, 10, 20 years. You should know their character and their style of business.
Look for a person that:
- 1.) Has succeeded in their industry and is well-known amongst their peers.
- 2.) Encouraged you to start your business because they knew you could succeed.
- 3.) Can commit to making themselves accessible and approachable.
- 4.) Will help you make goals and then hold you accountable to meet those goals.
- 5.) Agrees to give you constructive criticism to make you better and stronger.
As your relationship grows, your new mentor will act as your trusted confident and a friendly ear for when times get tough.
A Quick Exercise
If you’re faced with a great deal of stress at work, you may start to forget why you opened your own business in the first place. This is a definite sign that you’re starting to overwork yourself and you’re near the burnt out stage.
Ask yourself a few questions to get back to the core of why you opened your own business in the first place. Reigniting the passion that you had when you first opened your doors can help you in managing your business stress. Then, start asking yourself where the stress specifically comes from.
- 1.) Why did I become an entrepreneur?
Did you want to create your own work schedule? If yes, are you now working less or more favorable hours? Did you want to stop making money for other people? If yes, is your business making enough a profit to collect a decent salary for yourself? Did you want to escape answering to overpowering supervisors? If yes, do you find yourself now answering to overpowering customers?
This question should show you if you had rose-colored glasses on when deciding to become an entrepreneur. Having unrealistic expectations could lead to higher stress levels.
- 2.) What are three daily tasks that make me happy?
Do you enjoy selling your products/services face-to-face with your customers? Maybe you love to review your sales numbers every day. Whatever the task, choose to focus on the positive aspects of your business responsibilities.
- 3.) What are three things that I procrastinate with at work?
When you procrastinate as an employee, you lose your boss money through low productivity rates. When you procrastinate as a business owner, you’re digging your own grave. Take three tasks and/or projects that you hate completing and find a way to outsource those duties.
- 4.) Who is my favorite customer and why? What customers do I send to voicemail?
Being the CEO, keeping your customers happy and satisfied should be your number one priority. Figure out what you love about your favorite customers so you can try to gain other customers with the same qualities. If there are certain customers that you send straight to voicemail so you don’t have to deal with them, it’s time to start being a bit more selective.
- 5.) What causes me the most stress?
Find the source of what seems to cause you the most stress and anxiety at work.
If you want to learn more about how you can reduce your stress and anxiety levels, we suggest reading one of these articles next:
- • 5 Jobs a Small Business Owner Should Outsource
- • Innovative Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners
- • 5 Tips for Staying Healthy at a Desk Job
- • Forbes 7 Habits of Great Small Business Owners
Let Us Help You With Managing Business Stress!
Managing business stress comes with practice and a whole lot of patience. And sometimes, all you need is a little administrative support on your side. Virtual receptionists, assistants and schedulers can handle the menial tasks of answering your phone lines, scheduling your appointments and providing 24-hour customer service for your business.
Give us a call at 1-800-785-6161 to discuss our affordable rates and your specific stresses that we can help alleviate.