Running a business or being an entrepreneur is by no means an easy journey. For those of us who embark on the road towards business ownership the reality is somewhat different from the stories we hear about the successful people such as Richard Branson or Steve Jobs. From the day the business plan is written to the moment the doors open for the first time, the second time and every day after stress is a constant in our lives. That stress comes in many forms such as financial, family, relationships, employees, customers, sales and so on. While it is impossible to get away from stress there are ways they I have found, in my busy career and small businesses, to manage it. Here are five things we can all do to better manage stress when it comes to our small business, start-ups and entrepreneur journeys:
1. It’s always ok to ask for help
Asking for help is never a sign of weakness nor is accepting it. Today, more than ever, the stigma associated with help seeking is being pulled down and replaced with the message that its ok to reach out. The need for help in a small business comes in many forms. One is reaching out to a mate to come and help you in the shop for a weekend to help you get on top of things through to help with the books or just getting some basic jobs done. By not seeking help when it comes to small things, those small things tend to fester and grow. All of a sudden the help needed is out of all proportion to when the problem began. Asking for help is ok and you would be surprised at the number of people that will step in at a moment’s notice to give you a hand.
2. Keep a social circle of friends
The truth is you need to get away from the business and one way of doing this is to maintain a social circle of friends. Always make time for a coffee with friends or maintaining a social schedule; even if it’s only once a month. In doing so you create a stress outlet for yourself. By being in the business all of the time you can soon become overwhelmed while maintaining a social circle of friends will give you an escape; an opportunity to recharge the batteries and start a fresh. Social circles are also good sources of help when you need it the most.
3. Sleep, getting home and eating well
Whatever business you are trying to get off the ground you still need to sleep, eat regular meals and make sure you get home a reasonable hour. In all reality if you don’t maintain a consistent sleep pattern then you will forever be trying to survive on a few hours a night. All of sudden exhaustion can creep in and next thing you know you’re out for the count. The same is true of eating regularly. Always make sure you make time for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even if its only 20 minutes for each – a healthy diet combined with regularity of sleep is fundamental to managing stress. Always make sure you finish work at a reasonable to manage the balance between home and the business.
4. Ensuring the home front is with you
When we start-up a new business we sometimes forget that the impact on the home front can be just as daunting and stressful as it is in the workplace. That is why its always important that if you have a partner or a family to include them in the decision making process or give them insights into how things are running. This will lead them down a path of both understanding what it is you are going through and give them an opportunity to help where they can. Too often we hide the reality of our situation from our partners and families and its only in the final analysis that the truth comes out. Sometimes the truth comes out too late. Always, always include you family – don’t let them watch from the sidelines – include them as part of your journey and together you can share the load.
5. Its ok to fail
We often think that failure is a bad thing; indeed that’s what we are led to believe. Failure is not a bad thing especially if it means we have learnt some very important lessons. Failure often leads to the next venture being successful. That means its ok to make the decision to close things down. Yes, it will be emotional and may leave some debt but, if the only alternative is to struggle through and never reach that light at the end of the tunnel then for your own wellbeing, it’s ok to move on.