Stress management is often seen as the least important thing for new entrepreneurs and startup owners, given their hectic schedules. Starting a new business involves multiple aspects, from choosing your business structure, registering and incorporating your business, opening your business bank account and then handling your business operations.
If you’re battling with any of these, Osome can make your business journey easier. Contact us to see how we can help you.
Why Is Stress Management Important?
When you own your own business, you have a lot on your plate and all your priorities can take a toll on your mental health. Knowing how to manage your stress keeps company relationships intact, maintains perspective and helps you make sound important business decisions.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s now harder for startups and new businesses to weather the storm. Worrying about your company finances, moving to a remote-based working arrangement, and adjusting to working from home are all justifiable reasons for increased levels of stress and anxiety.
We caught up with work coach Adelle Shaw-Flach from The Sweet Potato Consultancy. As an entrepreneur herself, she could readily empathise with the stress it brings: “Being an entrepreneur is one of the most challenging things you can do (I speak here as an entrepreneur) – dealing with rejection, uncertainty and possibility – it’s a constant roller coaster of emotions.
Entrepreneurs have a huge focus – but this is when the problems can start – when you start losing sight of yourself and your business takes over. Entrepreneurs need to be mindful of two things: stress – keeping it manageable and as low as possible, and resilience – boosting your resilience.
It’s important that you stop and check in with yourself: how am I really? What steps am I taking to lower my stress and boost my resilience? Those things need to be priorities – one of the few benefits you have as an entrepreneur is that you can be flexible with your schedule.
Put Resilience Boosting activities in your diary and make them a priority: they might be daily, weekly or monthly – as long as you do them and they give you maximum benefit!”
On that note - let’s have a look at ten ways to manage your stress.
10 Stress Management Tips for New Entrepreneurs
As with all problems, the first step is to identify the source. Perhaps you’re experiencing stress because of your habits and mental perspective, or maybe your personal lifestyle is challenging. Even putting off deadlines can cause stress to build up. And scope creep, or all the little tasks that extend a project beyond it's original timeline, can cause even more stress. Once you know what’s causing your stress, you can then dive into solving it.
Deal with stress head on
For most people, procrastination is a huge issue. When you procrastinate, you feel relieved for that short amount of time, but there remains a lingering thought in your mind that work hasn’t been done, and usually, this develops into anxiety. Rather than procrastinate, deal with the stress immediately—a difficult business decision or an urgent complaint will not settle itself. It’s best that you look into it right away and get it out of your things-to-do list for the day.
Work life balance is super important
Recharging is crucial for everyone, much more for entrepreneurs. If you do not learn to balance work and life, you’ll find yourself stuck in the office for days or even weeks on end. Leave work at 6pm, invite your family members for a meal, have a gathering with your friends, or simply enjoy some me-time.
Delegate, delegate, delegate
We cannot stress how important delegation is. Rather than micromanaging your staff and feeling that you must always know what they’re up to, try paying attention to dividing responsibilities suited to each employee. Often, sharing the load and accepting that you can’t handle everything by yourself is a key contributor to business success.
Keep your business’s financial situation in check
Cash flow, balance sheets, end-of-year financial statements—scrutinising your company’s financial situation is a never-ending cycle for an entrepreneur. If you feel this way, you’re probably on the right track. However, it can be tedious handling all your accounts by yourself. If you’re struggling and you need a hand, we can provide you with all the help you need with your accounting and bookkeeping needs. Have a chat with us to find out more.
Take personal time off for self-care
Self care is the best care, even though it can seem challenging and perhaps irresponsible initially to really tune out of the day-to-day business operations. But we do recommend that, when on vacation, you fully commit yourself to that vacation time. Turn your phone off when you’re getting a tan on the beach. Forget your laptop when you’re out shopping. Most importantly, once you’ve decided on a vacation date, try your best to stick to it. There could be challenges that arise when you’re not around, but trust that your employees are able to handle them till you get back.
Take personal time off for self-care
Starting and running a business already involves a lot of decision-making. Reducing decision fatigue by creating periods of time in which you make no decisions can help you manage your daily stress level. Setting a routine every work day can help: go for a morning run, plan your breakfast meals the week before, and even adopt a micro-wardrobe for work, so you don’t need to make decisions about what to wear every day.
Always plan ahead
Of course, there’s the old adage: fail to plan and you plan to fail. Planning for a big business operation expense makes sure that you actively look for ways to conserve and set aside enough cash flow. Counting the steps ahead of the economy buys you time to discuss future plans with your shareholders, founders and your board. Setting aside 15 minutes at the end of each day, and bookending your week with half-hour slots, to look ahead over the next days, weeks and even months and setting milestones accordingly can help enormously with avoiding stressful pockets of time.
Sweat it out
Exercise is a great way to boost brain function and relieve stress. If you think you’re too busy to fit exercise into your routine, reconsider: virtually any form of exercise—yoga, a walk in the park, or home exercise tutorials—can help to reduce stress. Working out pumps up your endorphins (the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters), reducing the negative effects of stress and improving your overall mood and health. Plus, setting yourself achievable workout goals can be satisfying and help you to feel accomplished for the day.
Separate work stress from your personal life
Working from home has drawn a fine line when it comes to work and personal life. If you’re always on the clock and connected online 24/7, you’ll find it difficult to switch off your work stress when you should be resting. If you’re working from home, try segregating off a section or a room dedicated to work only. Decide on your contactable, actual working hours, and stop working at the end of the way without fail. It can also help to define, and agree with yourself, what you classify as ‘urgent’ reasons to reconnect, to assess whether you should interrupt your personal life in future.
Connect with similar-minded entrepreneurs
Check out these places where you can hotdesk as an entrepreneur for a change of environment.
Starting out on a new business journey is tough, but the good news is that you’re often not alone in this long journey of entrepreneurship. There are many on the same route as you, and you may just find a friend you can trust in your social support network just by reaching out whenever you can. Who knows, you may even gain a business partner you can trust. Virtual and physical local workplaces and entrepreneur groups can be an effective way to share learnings and challenges.
Stress is advantageous, but bad for your mental health in the long run
While having a certain amount of stress in your life is a good thing, having too much of it can cause anxiety and result in bad decisions. When you learn how to manage stress, your employees and partners pick up on your energy as well. As a business owner and being at the top of the management chain, it is paramount for you to remain calm and level-headed.
Don’t forget, Osome is your partner in your business journey. Lean on our team of experts to help you with your accounting and bookkeeping and remove that stress trigger. Just message us to arrange for a callback and let us guide you along your business journey.