Small Business Articles from Make-it-Fly®
Stress-Busting Tips for Entrepreneurs
By Victoria Munro
running a business can be stressful – after all,
the buck stops with you. If you’ve come
from the corporate world of regular paychecks and support
systems to help you get your job done, the challenges
of entrepreneurship can be doubly stressful.
When ignored over time, stress can
take a serious toll on your physical health, your ability
to concentrate and your relationships, and it can ultimately
lead to burnout. If you’re
to be successful in the long run, you must take care
of yourself and learn to handle stress in a healthy
It can be
helpful to discover what triggers stress for you,
then take a look inside and find out where each stressor
came from. Ask yourself, “Where and when did this
start?” Identifying and being aware of what causes
our stress is sometimes all we need to stop continually
falling into the same traps. Unrealistic scheduling
of tasks – setting impractical time frames for
the completion of projects – usually results in
stress. Over-commitment is another stressor that easily
creeps in, especially for new entrepreneurs desiring
to please everyone. Perfectionism and procrastination,
unhealthy patterns of relating to others, even the feeling
of isolation often experienced by entrepreneurs running
their companies alone, can all be stressful.
12 Simple Stress-Busting Tips:
time reflecting on your life – create a life plan, then build your business plan to achieve your life plan. (When stressed, we tend
to develop tunnel vision.)
regularly – it relieves tension. Asking
a friend to exercise with you will provide accountability
and make it more fun.
difficult issues over with a trusted friend
or board of advisors.
– write down all your concerns and how you
feel about them, then throw the paper away and let
time out to meditate, pray or go for a walk
and observe nature – the trees and flowers,
listen to the birds, watch the ever-changing cloud
formations. Spend time with people, get to know
them and develop deeper relationships.
adequate rest and sleep at night
time for fun – laughter is good medicine.
Taking time out to relax and play shouldn’t
be considered a luxury.
you face a stressful situation that is beyond your
control, put it in perspective
by asking yourself how it will feel and what impact
it will have on you five years, or even six months,
on what is positive and see the glass as
half full. Turn your attention to things that have
gone well and praise yourself. List five things that you’re grateful for – it’s hard to be stressed and grateful.
stressful situations, large and small, as opportunities
to learn. Stop, step back and think about
ways you could benefit from them. Velcro®
and Post-It® notes
were invented as solutions to frustrating problems.
five-minute vacations. Stop work
for five minutes, relax, breathe deeply and think
about something fun and pleasant. This can refresh
your mind and you’ll return to the project
with new clarity.
you’ve completed a stressful task, reward
yourself with something you enjoy.
generally a reaction to events, and we may have a choice
of how we respond. List the things that cause
you stress and ask yourself if eliminating, or at least
minimizing, each of these stressors is even within your
control. If it is, then brainstorm and write down possible
solutions, making note of how you’ll handle them
differently in the future. If the stressor is beyond
your control – you just can’t do anything
about it – remind yourself that getting upset
over it is a waste of your energy and let it go. Take
action that will lead to peace of mind.
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.
for printable version.
About the Author: Victoria Munro is
co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly®
LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for
small-business owners through creatively designed programs
and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different
businesses. To receive FREE business success articles
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