Stress reduction for entrepreneurs
Life as a small business owner can involve a range of emotions – from happiness to frustration, from relaxed to stressed. As your business grows, these emotions can strengthen, and become more complex.
Here are five tips to help you handle the emotional whirlwind of entrepreneurship:
1. Adopt a “live and learn” mantra.
Mistakes will happen. Say it with me … mistakes WILL happen. But, it’s not about the mistake – but how you deal with the mistake.
If you made a mistake with a client, simply apologize. A heartfelt apology can go a long way. Also, don’t make a huge issue out of it. The bigger deal you make it, the bigger deal it will be to your client. Don’t project your remorse for the mistake onto your clients. This will just generate more emotions from the both of you.
After you apologize, make it right. Then, move on – making sure that you provide stellar service from there on. How you move forward will define the rest of the relationship. The point is, in these situations, take action, learn from the mistake, and don’t get wrapped up in YOUR emotions. Because remember, it’s not about you. It’s about your clients.
2. Slow down and get help.
Your emotions run the wildest when you run the wildest. As a small business owner, it seems like we have at least 17 plates spinning at any given moment. Keeping all those plates from crashing keeps your brain whirring, nonstop. That can see your anxiety level go through the roof.
By outsourcing some of these spinning plates (aka – tasks and projects), you can regain control over your emotions. And with the lost time that you reclaim, you can focus on what’s really important.
3. Find a friend.
It may sound silly, but you need someone to talk to. Every small business owner does. Find a friend who shares your entrepreneurial streak – maybe someone who also runs a small business. Then share your feelings. It’s likely that you’ve both experienced the same emotions as small business people, and simply that recognition can be comforting. But even beyond that, your friend may have a helpful perspective or effective strategies to share.
4. Cut out the negative clients.
You know the clients we’re talking about – the ones that suck the life out of you. Next time they come knocking, say NO. The extra stress and anxiety is not worth what they may be paying you. Better yet, identify the traits of these problem clients and vet them out from the beginning.
5. Find a happy place outdoors.
This could be a walk around a nearby park, riding your bike, or sitting on a bench overlooking nature. Find a spot where you can give yourself permission to have an ugly cry, loud scream, or even just a place to think. This is a place where you can be alone with yourself, letting you identify your emotions and calm down. Sometimes stepping away for a few minutes is all you need to put you back on the right track.
Emotions are a part of the small business journey. Know that it’s OK to experience emotions – and a wide range of them at that.
You are in control. Don’t let anyone take the pep out of your step when you’re riding high, and don’t let anyone push you further down when you’re feeling low. Embrace your emotions, understand them, and remember that when negative circumstances or emotions surface … this too shall pass.