Regardless of their age or stage in business, entrepreneurs may collectively agree that they love certain aspects of entrepreneurship. The ability to be their own boss, work flexible hours and pursue their dreams are all major upsides to being an entrepreneur. Though these upsides often motivate entrepreneurs to keep going, being an entrepreneur isn’t easy.
There are no set hours in the position, with small business owners often working late nights and seven days a week. Entrepreneurs must wear several hats and perform tasks that they may not have experience with, like bookkeeping or social media management. They have a hefty legal to-do list to complete that includes filing annual reports to stay in compliance with the state.
How about those moments when revenue is up and business is going smoothly? No time to coast! They have to ride the wave of momentum and keep strategizing for ways to reach a wider customer base and establish partnerships with like-minded businesses. Everyone succeeds when the business succeeds, so the wheels must be perpetually in motion.
An entrepreneur’s work is never done, and that’s a stress-inducing thought if you reflect long enough on it. The idea of being “on” for an undetermined amount of time, no matter how much you love what you do, can often be difficult to envision in the long term.
Entrepreneurs are certainly likely to face some stress when running a small business, but there are many ways they can de-stress at every stage of their journey.
Currently feeling overwhelmed? Pause and take a moment for yourself with one of these activities.
Connect — and reconnect — with colleagues
Remember when you first started your small business? You might have worked alongside a few people, like a business coach or mentor, who helped prep you on the path to success. As time progressed, you likely took what you learned from them and used it to move forward. This allowed you to grow the business, but also gradually grow apart from teachers in your early days.
Conversely, running a small business can have a stressful, insular impact on entrepreneurs. They may set plans to go out and network more, then skip a networking night to tackle a last-minute assignment. Getting work done is great, but there’s a fine line between focusing solely on work and sacrificing opportunities to make new connections.
To stay connected without stress, set aside a few hours each week specifically for making connections and reconnecting.
How to make connections happen:
- Find a networking night you want to attend and RSVP for it, as a way to hold yourself accountable for attending.
- Reach out to a mentor you haven’t spoken to in a while to see if they’d like to catch up over coffee.
- If there’s someone in your industry with a career path that inspires you, follow them on social media sites like Twitter and Instagram. Start liking their posts and commenting so you’re able to establish a rapport together.
Making time for colleagues in your field is a win-win for everyone. It gets you on their radar, and they can get on yours in return.
Leverage resources with experience
Resources, like budgets, are often limited and make it difficult to hire employees in the early days of a startup. This leaves entrepreneurs to take on the workloads of several individuals in addition to their own. After a certain point, how can this not get to be stressful? There are only so many hours in a day to do it all — and you can’t do it all for years on end.
How to shed stress but still get the work done:
Once revenue is steady, it’s beneficial for entrepreneurs to start hiring skilled employees to help. By letting go of some responsibilities, entrepreneurs can focus on growing their company and taking it to new heights — while ensuring the necessary day-to-day of running a business continues to chug along.
Stay healthy with a proper diet and exercise
Do you ever feel crabby or irrationally irritated? Do you work through lunches or have to remind yourself to get up and go to the bathroom? Are some days so draining that you spend the rest of the night on the couch eating takeout? Poor diet and exercise habits may very well be the source of your stress.
How to maintain a healthy lifestyle while maintaining a healthy business:
No matter what stage of entrepreneurship you’re in or how old you are, it’s important that you make time to take care of yourself. Exercise, which can be anything from joining a Pilates class to rising early for a quick run around the neighborhood, has been scientifically proven to boost your endorphins, making you naturally happier. Find little ways to keep moving all day long, from scheduling a walking meeting to running up a flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator.
The same goes for prioritizing healthy eating habits. It’s very easy to slip into a diet of restaurant lunches and drinking too many cups of coffee. Combine this with a lack of exercise, and it’s not surprising to hear that you’re feeling sluggish. Learn to cook (For many, cooking is actually a major stress reliever!), and make healthy, balanced meals to keep you fueled each day.
Find balance with your tribe
Ever heard of the phrase “your tribe is your vibe?” I love it. I live it! Every entrepreneur has their own “tribe.” This is the community of people that include family, friends, employees, colleagues, partners and so many more.
Support and uplift
An entrepreneur’s tribe is critical for professional and personal success. Each member supports and uplifts one another. They are present for one another. This is easier said than done sometimes, especially when entrepreneurs get lost in endless to-do lists and meetings. They forget to return a text or call, cancel a dinner outing or skip soccer practice. The more this becomes a habit, the more difficult it gets to be present for and find balance with your tribe.
Your small business is important, but it’s just as important to remember what really matters at the end of the day. The members of your tribe should always come first. Your entrepreneurial journey may not always be easy, but handling the bumps and hurdles along the way will become easier with healthy habits and the help of your support network.