Managing stress in all its forms is a challenge that many entrepreneurs face.
The impact of starting a new business from scratch and making it grow can be felt not only in your work life but in your personal life too.
It’s critical to be aware of feelings of stress and learn how to reduce them. Being clear-headed and in good form is key to growing your business. It’s only when you can think on your feet and be creative that you’ll find ways to outdo your competition and make customers happy.
Though there are many ways to manage stress, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out the best way to take care of yourself. This is where this blog post comes in.
Here’s my best advice on how entrepreneurs can better manage their stress and stay healthy while they face the challenges of growing a company.
What does stress mean for entrepreneurs?
Stress can appear from different sources for an entrepreneur. For example:
- Dealing with pressure from investors to create returns
- Feeling self-doubt and coping with imposter syndrome
- Stress from continuous work including late nights and weekends
- Lack of personal time
- Feeling disconnected from family and friends and not being able to make time for personal matters
- Putting out fires as different problems appear in different areas
- Lacking knowledge and skills to market the company
With this long list of pressures, it’s no wonder that starting and managing a business leads to stress and other issues.
But it’s possible to manage such challenges with the right tools and the right mindset too.
How entrepreneurs can beat stress
Here are some helpful ideas that you can apply to feel happier and be productive but without the strain of trying too hard.
Set realistic goals
It’s understandable; we all want to achieve our goals and feel a sense of accomplishment. But very often, people set unrealistic goals that inevitably lead to poor performance.
Some unrealistic goals include wanting to earn high profits in a very short period of time. Or expecting to beat a well-established competitor right off the bat.
In order to succeed as an entrepreneur, you must understand how to create some realistic expectations for yourself and those around you. Being able to create goals that make sense is an art in itself.
Take a look at your current expectations and gauge whether they’re doable. You’ll make your own life and that of your employees better when you set up SMART goals.
Prioritize what matters
A major contributor to stress is having too much on your plate. It’s inevitable for an entrepreneur to have a long list of things to do. However, when it starts to feel like the list never ends and that they’re more work piling up, it’s a short road to burnout.
I strongly recommend reading Getting Things Done by David Allen. The problem with having a lot of things to do is not having an organizational set up to categorize them under. As a result, you have tiny tasks occupying your mind and bigger projects looming ahead of you.
To start with, go ahead and do the smallest tasks that are pending. For example, answer every email that needs only 2 minutes of your time. Delete and unsubscribe from email marketing messages. These jobs take a short amount of time and once they’re over, you’ll feel a huge sense of relief.
Disconnect from work
As important as work is, you need to have a complete break from it every now and then. Many leaders mistakenly believe that they’re meeting their goals faster when they’re doing more. But that isn’t necessarily the case.
When you completely disconnect from your work, you give your brain the best chance of relaxing. You also allow your mind to process problems from work and unconsciously come up with solutions.
Have you ever come back from the gym or a trip and revisited a problem only to ask yourself ‘Why did I struggle with this simple issue for so long?’
There’s no question about it. If you want to reduce stress and be a better entrepreneur, then you need to completely disconnect from work from time to time.
Practice hygiene for the brain
We often drink lots of water and eat healthy foods to have healthier bodies. But such practices also impact your brain health.
Aside from eating healthy foods, exercising, and drinking enough water, you also need to sleep well. Get at least 8-9 hours of deep sleep each night and add meditation to your routine.
Also, make sure that you disconnect from social media from time to time. Did you know that 27% of people wake up and go to social media right away? That’s how normalized social media consumption is. However, it’s well known that too much time spent with electronic screens and the addictive nature of social media content disrupt sleep and your wellbeing.
Health and wellbeing practices aren’t just for your body. They’re also for your mind and emotional wellness. So, focus on your health and as you treat your brain better, you’ll reduce stress and also perform better at your job.
Being an entrepreneur is no easy job. But its rewards are also well worth the effort. Dealing with stress is a common experience for many business owners. But you shouldn’t have to get overwhelmed by your goals and responsibilities.
I’ve shared many ways you can reduce your stress and feel good. Apply these tips today to start making positive changes as a leader.