When I started my business three years ago, I was feeling stressed, even though I had been in the same financial services sector for over sixteen years. The fear of not making it combined with raising children got to me.
The biggest worry of all was that I’d have to let other aspects of my life fall by the wayside in order to efficiently run my business. If you are a small business owner, missing the kids’ games or school functions is no fun, but it’s probably a familiar scenario for you. You probably can relate very clearly to me. (Originally provided by Kehinde Thomas from PHP (People Helping People).
Three years later, I have a better grip on this issue. So how does a small business owner deal with stress while raising a family? Here are some helpful tips:
1. Make Sacrifices.
Accept the well-known but ugly fact that building a business is a sacrifice, a commitment that you must be willing to make with the end goal of success. Be prepared to give up comfort for growth as you start your business. I traded two hour workouts for thirty minute sessions. In my mind, thirty minutes is better than no exercise at all!
2. Isolate the Real Tasks.
The reality is that the majority of the stress a small business owner encounters comes primarily from lack of proper guidance or mentorships from other successful business owners. Experience has shown over time that there are revenue producing activities and non-revenue producing activities. I had to map out my sales and business expansion strategies to specifically engage in the activities that would drive my initiatives. It took me over a year to be more strategic in this approach. Once I realized that I had two hours to prospect a day, one hour to call, and four to seven hours for different presentation appointments, my real tasks became my focus. Consequently, this focus on my revenue producing activities boosted my business.
3. Set Reasonable Goals.
A business without a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual goal is like a basketball game without the score. How much fun is that? How do you find leaks? How do you improve your skills? Setting reasonable, attainable goals is the initial step, to be followed by more challenging goals. This strategy increases the believability factor, creates momentum, and collapses achievement time. I’ve found it very helpful to have someone who can keep you accountable and call you out if necessary in a spirit of improvement to meet your goals.
4. Hire Help.
There is absolutely no reason why you should be your own tax accountant secretary, or even cleaner. Yes, money is always tight at the beginning of a venture, but why save money on a menial task when you could be engaged in something worthwhile that will grow your business? Getting distracted by other tasks is one of the biggest reasons why most businesses don’t get off the ground more quickly.
Exercise. A sharp mind requires a healthy body. Physical exercise and healthy eating are key to reducing stress for anyone, especially business owners. For all small business owners out there, your most crucial asset is your brain. Protect it, keep it sharp, exercise it, and reduce your stress!
Stress is a major part of our daily lives, but it doesn’t have to be crippling. Manage your stress and watch your small business succeed!
“Stress and Small Businesses” was originally provided by Kehinde Thomas from PHP (People Helping People).