How to Keep Your Sanity as a Business Owner
Running your very own small business is often a dream come true. Behind the inspiring veneer, however, lurks the business owner's constant companion: stress.
The decisions that you have to make, both large and small, slowly pile up, and their combined weight can get to you at times.
Seeing the many business and personal skills it takes to run a successful events business, for example, already puts things into perspective. Here is a useful guide for managing your stress levels as an active business owner:
The Dangers of Lingering Stress
One of the hallmarks of a successful business owner is vision. Prolonged stress tends to suffocate vision and hamper creativity. The exhaustion and anxiety that come with it choke out the creative spark and can push entrepreneurs to act either impulsively or conservatively.
As counsellor and owner of Therapy in London, Philip Karahassan explains: “It is so important to be able to manage your stress and anxiety in a constructive way so that you can keep focused and stay on point.”
The sources of stress
Whilst running your small business, you may tell yourself that you signed up for this and stress is part of the job.
While this is true to an extent, trying to push through it all with a stiff upper lip is counterproductive. Even the most successful businesspeople tend to worry about money, but there are numerous other sources of stress beyond the financial side of things.
The weight of make-or-break decisions, the potential isolation at the very top of the management chain, and the inability to separate yourself from your business are all likely candidates to keep you up at night.
Luckily, there are effective strategies to overcome that and run your business with confidence and unbridled vision!
Step One: Identify the Culprit
Instead of braving a never-ending stress wave, take a moment to pinpoint its source. More often than not, there is one link in your business process chain that does not hold up and spreads excessive tension around. Identify the source of your particular stress and be decisive in eliminating it.
Step Two: Rank Your Obligations
As the founder, owner, executive or any and all of the above, your tasks and obligations are most diverse and challenging. It is tempting to attack a long and diverse to-do list headlong or to always take on the most recent task, but this is a recipe to never get anything done.
Instead, rank your tasks according to importance, size, and difficulty. Prioritise wisely!
Step Three: Delegate
The ability to delegate sets great leaders apart. You may feel compelled to micro-manage and hold your business in the palm of your hand, but it pays off to let go of certain aspects in order to focus on the big picture.
You have doubtlessly assembled a great team; so use it!
As Philip explains: “Being a business owner can be lonely, so it's important to have a support network around you to keep you from getting lost in your own thoughts and feelings.”
Step Four: Get Help
There is no shame in relying on the abundant resources business managers nowadays can access with just a few clicks.
If there is an aspect of your business that you feel still eludes you, educate yourself on it!
There is a fitting online course for almost anything these days. And if the burden of too many decisions across too many fields is getting to you, use that aforementioned support network, or hire a trusted associate with decision-making power and expertise.
Step Five: Take Care of Yourself
Through it all, do not forget to look after your own wellbeing and health. Take control of your schedule, do not let work eat up your full day, get used to eating healthy, set aside time for socialising, and embrace a physical activity that is to your liking.
You may want to believe that you thrive on constant stress, but humans are simply not wired that way.
For your personal benefit and for your business’s sake, effectively manage your stress levels and turn that pressure into creative and effective output!
By Paulyne Antoniou, Head of Content. Paulyne has produced regular videos and editorial for many years with small businesses, franchises and industry professionals for all titles in the Dynamis Stable including BusinessesForSale.com, PropertySales.com and FranchiseSales.com.