Managing Small Business Stress

In Strategy by Marc

Stress is the one constant that every small business owner faces day in and day out. If you find that you are frequently stretched thin or overwhelmed, perhaps it is time you learn how to keep your stress at arm’s length. Here are some tips for how to manage stress, and not let it manage you.

Thinking negatively will increase your chance of failure.

Think Positive

It’s trite and corny, but oddly enough, thinking positive thoughts does work. Thinking negatively will increase your chance of failure. When you think negatively, you will not only feel stress, but will also ask yourself, “what’s the use?” That kind of thinking is not helpful in small business and can only cause more stress and anxiety to develop.

Know the Difference Between Anxiety and Fear

Fear is natural and is often a response to danger. Fear will often keep you from making stupid mistakes in your small business. The difference between fear and anxiety, however, is that fear can be considered rational while anxiety is often irrational. Anxiety is what keeps you up all hours of the night. It’s that silly hand-wringer that does nothing but cause you to make irrational decisions and worry over the most ludicrous things. Kick anxiety to the curb. If you find yourself lying in bed worrying about things that you cannot control, you have anxiety.

Get Exercise

One of the biggest stress relievers is exercise. Even 30 minutes a day can realign your outlook on things. Exercise releases endorphins which can improve your mood. What’s more, you can get rid of that excess built up energy and angst.

Get Rid of the Leashes

It’s normal to want to stay in touch with your small business, but at some time, you need to make boundaries and stick to them. Shut off your cell phone; turn off your tablet, iPad, and laptop. Your work will be there tomorrow. In almost all cases, it can wait. If you let technology control your life, you will have no way to rest and recuperate from the work day. If you can’t start on the problem with a fresh face, there is a chance that you will overlook a vital detail.

No One Said it was Easy

Sometimes when you’re in the thick of things, it gets easy to feel sorry for yourself because your small business is not doing as well as you think it should. The reality is that life isn’t fair, and no matter how much you want something to happen, it may not. You need to keep your perspective on your work. Bad things happen all the time. While you may feel like if it wasn’t for bad luck you would have no luck at all, the truth is that you have been fortunate enough to start your own business. Everyone goes through their own share of bad luck — even those who made it big. Don’t be so blinded by another’s success that you overlook the challenges they faced on the way there.

Talk to Other Small Business Owners

Finding people who have gone through what you’re going through can help tremendously. Other small business owners can give you some perspective and advice to help you deal with your problems. A networking group might be just the ticket to start reducing your stress.

Vacation Time

Make plans for a vacation — even if it is only one day. Forgetting about the stress of the business will do wonders and allow you to return fresh, with a more positive mood.

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