Owning your own business is an exciting way to make a living doing something that you legitimately care about. It can also be very stressful. Failure and success come down to your decisions. That’s a lot of weight to carry around with you.
Too much stress can not only harm your mental health but also make it harder to do your job well. In this article, we take a look at how you can manage your stress levels and stay calm while running your small business.
Do the Next Right Thing
Isn’t that a line from Frozen?
Is it? That doesn’t so—
Yeah, when it looks like the sister dies, and then—
Ok, well, good advice is good advice. And the good folks at Frozen certainly weren’t the first ones to think of taking things one step at a time. Because that’s what we are talking about here. When problems pile up it’s easy to feel so surrounded by stress that you can’t stay in the moment.
Your attention is pulled in every direction by what stressful thing is behind you, and what looms just ahead.
A small amount of worry is sensible. It can give you focus and help you prioritize tasks. But when it transitions into anxiety, you’re only doing yourself more harm than good. Instead, take a deep breath. Work on one thing as well as you can, and then move on to the next task. You’ll work better, you’ll feel better, and you’ll quickly find that the closer you stick to this process, the sooner you will be out of the woods.
Learn How to Delegate
Most people find that they need to do everything themselves when they first start a business. You’re a one-person CEO, accountant, and marketing expert. However, as you begin to bring in new revenue, it becomes possible to hire on.
That doesn’t mean delegation becomes easier. One of the benefits of doing everything yourself is that it gives you total control over your business. Forking over some of that control can be difficult.
However, learning how to delegate comes with many important benefits, including:
- Scalability: As a one-person show, you might be able to handle the labor requirements of a startup. However, the more your business grows, the harder it will be to keep up with the increased demand. You may actually be harming your earning potential by refusing to hire on.
There’s also the question of quality work. You might be doing a good job dabbling at all of the different aspects of your business. However, marketing, accounting, etc, are professions. People go to college to learn how to do them. Your DIY approach probably won’t hold a candle to the work of a trained professional.
- Improved mental health: Even without the scalability concerns, it’s not good for your mental health to run an entire company on your own. The better you get at delegating, the more time you will have for family, friends, and leisure.
One of the compromises of small business ownership is that sometimes you need to place work above your personal needs. Hopefully, as you get used to your responsibilities as a business owner you will figure out which situations require your full attention, and which can be left up to someone else.
Focus on Wellness
Wellness or self-care can feel like luxuries. Indulgences for people with too much time on their hands. The truth is that the people who feel that they don’t have time for self-care are probably the ones who need it the most.
Wellness doesn’t have to mean spending money on little luxuries like overpriced coffee or candles. It can be practical things. Healthy food. Regular exercise. Eight hours of sleep. Basic necessities required for a healthy life that so often get pushed to the side in favor of convenience when times are tough.
You may not be able to do everything you want for yourself every day, but by prioritizing wellness you will soon find that there are more opportunities to live a healthy lifestyle than you ever previously imagined.
Believe in Yourself
That’s a little—
Well, you said it.
Corny or not, it’s advice that many small business owners need to hear. Imposter syndrome is the psychological phenomenon in which a person becomes convinced that they are a fraud. That they don’t deserve their success, and that soon everyone around them will realize it as well.
While a degree of self-doubt can be psychologically useful, encouraging a person to always look for new ways to improve, too much can quickly become debilitating. Simply by believing in the skills that got you to where you are now, you may feel a sense of calm and clarity that will help you to navigate your business’s next big challenge.
Always Be Improving
One of the best ways to acquire peace of mind is to always be able to confidently say you are trying as hard as you can to grow and improve. That can mean developing new products and fine-tuning your marketing. It can mean bringing on new people so that you can reduce your responsibilities and relax a little bit.
It can even mean improving your business’s culture. Company culture initiatives are about more than just avoiding scandal. They mean something to your employees and the community that you serve. Work on diversity initiatives. Sensitivity training. Relatively small changes can change the lives of the people around you.
Note that, as with any initiative, it’s always best to make your moves based on what the data tells you. Talk to your staff. Poll the surrounding community. Find out what matters the most to the people impacted by your business, and explore ways you can incorporate those things into your practice.
Not only will it give you peace of mind to do so, but it will show the community that you sincerely care about doing right by them.