Starting a business can easily be one of the most stressful projects that you can take on in your life. With that being what it is, it is critical for many reasons to find ways to manage the high levels of stress. Not only can this be important for the health of the business, but is also very important for the physical health of the entrepreneur.
Here are five simple things that you can do to immediately manage and decrease your stress level while starting a business.
1. Simplify your lifestyle
It is part of our human nature to try to progress in what we are doing. As we try to do this, we can often try to accumulate more and better quality material items in terms of our lifestyle. When we improve our quality of life, we typically increase our bills and personal overhead.
There really is no problem with this when we work in the corporate world where we get a paycheck on a regular basis. Unfortunately, there is not as much financial security when starting a business and high personal overhead can have a direct impact on the level of stress.
To counter this, we can simplify our lifestyle by decreasing our activities, decreasing our assets, and decreasing the quality of our purchases. By making these minor modifications, we can decrease our cost of living and this can help to minimize the level of stress.
The 40 hour work week does not exist when starting a business. Not only are there typically longer days, but work often spills over into the weekends. Even though the work may seem like it never ends, we need to stop periodically and take a break. While we should spend some of our breaks purely relaxing, we can also get some of our time away from the business by spending some personal time focusing on physical fitness by working out.
Not only will working out have many different positive impacts on your life long-term, but getting in some good exercise in the short-term will release endorphins and these can have a direct impact on your ability to deal with and decrease stress. When stress builds, there can sometimes not be a better way to get a release than going to the gym or going for a run.
3. Compartmentalize your life
One of the challenges with starting a business is that there are so many different hats to wear. You are in charge of finance, sales, accounting, marketing, engineering, janitor, spouse, parent, and I could probably keep going. This can easily become overwhelming and can create a tremendous amount of stress.
One way to deal with this challenge is to compartmentalize your life to create areas of time that are dedicated specifically for each area. And during the time that is specified for one area of responsibility, you can shut down your attention and concerns for the other areas. Not only can this help to decrease stress, it can also help to make you more productive.
4. Have a financial cushion
If you are reading this and have already started a business, it may be too late for this tip as it can help to decrease stress when you have some sort of a financial cushion when starting a business. This would be some sort of savings or funds that you can dip into when things are slow or take a dip during the early stages of the business.
Having some sort of financial cushion could be accomplished by working to build up some funds prior to taking the leap toward entrepreneurship. Other alternatives could be to sell some of your assets or to secure some funds or line of credit from a financial institution.
5. Keep things in perspective
The last tip that we will discuss is to always try to keep things in perspective. We could lose a deal or see things progressing slower than we would like and this can fuel a tremendous amount of stress. Regardless of the driver for the stress, at some points we need to stop and try to keep things in perspective to realize that there are bigger things in life to get upset about.
Things like health for ourselves and for our family and friends are examples of things that are truly important and worth getting upset over. Bumps in the road with the business should fall well behind those and it can help to keep that in mind when we experience stress from the business.
We should remember that if worse comes to worse, we can always start a new chapter down the road and get a job if our business does not make it. Not the most positive thought to have, but if our stress level gets high, we can acknowledge that we can always get a job if things get really bad.
I hope this helps you to contain and decrease your stress. Are there any other tactics that have worked for you?