Businessman Robert Kiyosake said, “When times are bad is when the real emerge.” Entrepreneurs and new businessowners can thrive in times of high stress. That statement may surprise you, but it’s true. Are you an entrepreneur or a new business owner? If so, you are no stranger to stress. You know firsthand how stressful it is trying to start and run a business. · There is always more to be done and never enough time to do it. · There is more to spend money on and never enough money available. · Getting new clients or customers is like trying to pull teeth – and you are not practicing dentistry. There are so many questions that must be answered. · What do I need to do to keep my business legal? · Should I incorporate or set up an LLC? · Are there licenses that I need to get? · How do I handle taxes? · What about insurance? · Which platform do I need to use to provide the best experience for my clients? …It goes on and on.
Compliance with government red tape, getting clients, and serving customers are not your only challenges. If your business is advanced enough to have a staff – even a small staff – there are management “headaches” to deal with. Headaches is a good word to use here, because working with a staff is often like beating your head against a brick wall. I’m a retired psychologist and a stress relief coach. For more than 40 years, I have worked with many businesspersons and entrepreneurs, helping them address the stress in their lives. I have found that stress is a core factor contributing to almost every problem new business owners and entrepreneurs experience. Not just business-related problems. The stress in your life can create problems in other life areas as well. They include... · medical problems · relationship issues · financial burdens · mental health struggles …and others. In fact, stress can wreck every area of your life. Stress will either help make you or break you as a businessperson. Stress can be your friend, or it can be your foe. Can you relate? · Maybe you are experiencing neck pain, backpain, shoulder pain, or headaches. · Maybe you are feeling worried about things that would normally have little or no impact on you.
· Maybe you are spending much of your night tossing and turning unable to sleep. · Maybe you feel irritated by the small stuff. · Maybe you frequently feel anxious or nervous about what you can’t control. · Maybe you find yourself becoming discouraged or feeling guilty because your business is not further up the ladder of success. · Maybe you are unable to enjoy time away from work because you can’t turn off thinking about your business. If any of these “maybes” resonate with you, stress is probably becoming your foe rather than your friend. What determines the difference is how you manage the stress. To manages tress skillfully, you need to understand what stress is. Here’s my definition… Stress is all the energy generating processes going on inside your body when you have a task to complete, a challenge to reach, or a need to meet. As you can see, stress is not a bad thing. Stress is just your body generating energy. Energy that you need to carry out the many activities that you must accomplish. Stress is like the motor in your car. If you want to get your car from one place to another, you must start the motor. When the motor is running, energy is being generated. You can use the energy to drive the car to a desired location. In much the same way, the energy being generated by stress can help you move your business toward being more successful.
But for you to be successful, the energy must be managed skillfully. If you don’t give your car enough
as, it may stall. You are not going to get far in a stalled car. On the other hand, if you give it too much gas, you may lose control and have a wreck, or perhaps get a speeding ticket. The same is true of your business. Optimal stress can enhance the quality of your work. It can also make your career activities more enjoyable. This helpful stress is called eustress, which means good stress. Here is the bad news. If the stress increases and continues for too long, the eustress can become distress. Distress is anything but beneficial. It results in a host of physical and emotional pain. Your ongoing stress takes a toll on both your body and your mind. The symptoms become stressors which trigger more symptoms. It becomes an ever-increasing cycle. · Your worry and nervousness can escalate into anxiety. · Your discouragement and guilt can escalate into depression. · Your aches and pains can escalate into medical problems. · Your irritability can escalate into altercations and relationship conflicts. · Your efforts to feel better can escalate into alcohol or drug dependence, compulsive shopping, or some other quick fix addiction. Recent research cited by Zippia indicated that 83% of American workers struggle with work related stress. The stressors that these workers are contending with include the amount of work that must be done (39%), relationship issues (31%), and work-life balance concerns (19%). More than 33% report feeling burned out. It is estimated that work stress contributes to 100,000 deaths each year. I can assure you, the impact of stress is just as severe for entrepreneurs and new business owners as it is for the workers. Research has found that
entrepreneurs are more stressed than other professionals. Many studies have found a positive relationship between self-employment and distress. This is confirmed by a recent Gallup survey. The survey found that during 2021 more people worldwide were feeling stressed and depressed than any previous time during the last ten years. However, in 2021, unlike previous years, it was also found that people didn’t experience as many positive feelings. Stress, worry, and sadness were found to be on the way up and joy was found to be on the way down. Why does this matter to you as a business owner or entrepreneur? Because you are the one most responsible for the success or failure of your business. Entrepreneurial stress doesn’t just hurt your personal well- being, it can also have a detrimental impact on the well-being of your business. Your job as an entrepreneur is to find and go after opportunities in the marketplace. One writer describes you as the “recruiter, spokesman, salesman, and boss” for your business. Having many business-related roles and responsibilities can create a heavy burden on you, increasing your stress exponentially. When you are stressed-out, you are more likely to fail as an entrepreneur. In part, that is because you are less likely to recognize opportunities and to be able to make the most of them. As a result, your bottom line suffers. Still, it’s not all bad. For some of you, the many hats you wear as an entrepreneur is what stirs up passion making being a business owner fun. Some of the research indicates that the many stressors new business owners and entrepreneurs face strengthens and sustains their well-being and makes them more productive.
And of course, often starting and running a business frequently enhances the quality of the business owner’s life if the business venture is successful. A successful business can increase your income and help you recover from adverse life events. Such circumstances may well be part of the reason you decided to pursue entrepreneurship to begin with. So, what’s a stressed-out businessowner or entrepreneur to do? How can you manage the stress in such a way that it helps you thrive, rather than wrecking your business and your life? Here are four keys to keeping stress your helpful friend and not letting it become a foe… First, find some ways of putting the brakes on your stress. As stress levels build up, you will start experiencing harmful symptoms. The stress you are experiencing is doing damage. To minimize the harm, you need Rapid Stress Relief. Rapid Stress Relief focuses on the stress symptoms. You must have a few techniques that you can use to bring the stress down in the moment. Second, get clarity on what a less stressful life would look like for you. You need a Big Picture of the life you want to live. It must be a life in which all your major needs are being met. Without such a Big Picture, it is probable that you will reduce stress in one part of your life, in such a way that it causes stress in another part of life. To keep from sabotaging yourself in this way, it is important to know what you want your overall life to be like.
Third, identify mindsets or attitudes that trigger, amplify, and prolong your stress. Most always, stressed-out business owners and entrepreneurs have habitual ways of thinking and feeling that rob them of peace of mind. As you identify and change the attitudes you will find yourself more able to let go of pointless and unnecessary self-expectations. You will be able to maintain serenity despite the “fires” you must constantly put out. You will be able to remain unrattled even when surrounded by “work stress bedlam.” Fourth, identify situations, circumstances, and actions that are needlessly contributing to your stress. Once you have addressed your mindsets, you still must identify and address, stressful aspects of your out-of-balance life. If your life is out of balance, you have tasks that are not yet completed, challenges that have not been reached, and needs that are still unmet. As has already been said, stress is your body generating energy to complete tasks, reach challenges, and meet needs. To generate the energy, it keeps the stress response turned on. To dial down your stress, you must design and live a more balanced life. By doing so you will be able to go from rushed to relaxed, from frantic to fulfilled, and from exhausted to exhilarated. I have written a short eBook that tells you more about these four steps. Its title is Prosper in the Pressure Cooker: The 5 Best Ways to Thrive When Life Turns Up the Heat. I want to give you a copy of the eBook. You can download your copy here. You may be wondering why the eBook addresses five ways to thrive when life is stressful. After all, here I only told you about four keys to managing
your stress. The missing key involves a caution. Get the eBook and find out what it is. ●
How stressed are you? You can find out by completing a scientifically developed stress scale here. There is nocost.Itwilltakeyoulessthan5 minutes to complete the scale. And the results will be emailed to you immediately. Click here to take advantage of this valuable resource
About the Author
H. Paul Stanley, PhD, CPC, is a Stress Relief – Life Balance Coach and a Lifestyle Transformation Coach. Since 1977, he has been helping businesspersons and entrepreneurs better cope with stress by designing and living less stressful, more balanced, and highly satisfying lives. You can read more about Dr. Stanley on his website, HPaulStanleyCoaching.com.