If I could describe entrepreneurship in three words, they would be: Freeing. Empowering. Exciting.
That does not mean that it is not also STRESSFUL.
While being self-employed has saved me from the world of soul-sucking minimum wage jobs that made me so miserable in the past, it is definitely not a low-stress lifestyle. There are always things to worry about: money, taxes, marketing, clients, my brand, my online presence…the to do list and the concerns are never-ending when you have a business.
Sometimes, when I feel extremely stressed about business, I need to take a step back and think about how I can reduce stress and stay focused. Here are 5 ways you can feel less stressed as an entrepreneur:
I cannot stress the importance of asking for help when you need it and delegating the time-sucking tasks to other people. When you’re a new business, this is almost impossible unless you have people around you willing to help for free or trade: spouses, family, friends, etc. As soon as you have the funds to hire a virtual assistant, graphic designer, website designer, or whoever else will make your life EASIER…do it.
I hired my first two assistants in December to help me with my businesses and blogs. Having so many projects to work on all the time is crazy for one person, and these girls have been superstars and sanity savers this winter. When I met with a virtual assistant coach in January to talk about growing my business and bringing on subcontractors to help me KEEP GROWING, she said, “Of course you need assistants! You need more help like…yesterday!”
We all need help. We all need to delegate. Pick the things you can’t, won’t, or don’t know how to do and hand them over to someone else.
Take Time Off
Oh God, I’m so bad at this. Not working stresses me out more than working does, but I know that if I work at the pace and intensity that I LOVE to work (I am a huge fan of the hustle), I will burn out. My favorite way to take time of is a 3-4 day weekend. Long weekends give me a much-needed break without letting my work slide for so long that I feel insane going back and trying to catch up.
Find the level of time off (a weekend, a long weekend, several weeks) that makes you feel comfortable, but also lets you relax and decompress from work. This is so important to keeping yourself and your business healthy.
Have a Hobby
Or two or three. Find ways to express yourself, occupy yourself, and learn and grow as a person that ARE NOT related to work. I love reading, writing fiction, scrapbooking, and learning languages. Find what makes you happy and make time for it. Seriously. Block it off on your calendar. You need passion projects and hobbies in your life.
Disorganization in your business only adds to the stress of entrepreneurship. Staying organized will help you stay on track, focused, and productive, and when you don’t feel like a hot mess, you’ll be a happier entrepreneur.
For me, staying organized means:
- Having a planner and keeping it up-to-date with all my appointments, calls, and to do’s.
- Having a way for people to schedule appointments and calls with me automatically, so that I don’t have to deal with it on an individual basis every time I need to schedule some kind of meeting.
- Using task management software with my team and using CRM software to keep track of clients and prospects.
Check out this post I wrote about tools that will help you keep your business organized.
You know that phrase, “First world problems”? Yeah, we have a lot of those. If your day sucks because they effed up your drink at Starbucks, your assistant forgot a task, or your website was down for three hours…you need to take a step back and think about the stuff you’re grateful for. I’m not being bitchy – I’m guilty of this too – but we really need to realize how lucky we are to HAVE a business, to be able to pay for $5 custom-blended coffee drinks, to have people in our lives that help us, to be able to access the internet whenever the hell we want.
To be able to afford a car to get us around. To live in a country where mail doesn’t take months to reach us. To be able to email someone in like FOUR SECONDS. To have access to information on ANYTHING by typing it into Google. To live somewhere where our yearly income isn’t less than $2000.
When you’re feeling the heat of stress, take a step back and think about all the things that bless your life instead of the negatives.If you're stressed, take a step back and focus on the things that bless your life. #gratitude… Click To Tweet
All business owners suffer from stress sometimes, but for the people who love self-employment, the positives always outweigh the negatives. The important thing is to cope well with the stress when it comes up. Try some of these tips the next time you’re feeling burnt out or maxed out in your business.