When you set up a small business, you benefit from a whole host of positive emotions and rewards. You gain a sense of freedom over your own life, as you can choose what direction your career takes and you make all of the governing decisions over your company’s progression. You can feel refreshed, as you don’t have to stick to usual working times and you may even be able to work from home, which can mean a little more time in bed in the mornings. You can find that your confidence increases, as you grow more and more used to giving presentations, networking, and attending professional events. But it’s important to remember that not every emotion and experience that comes hand in hand with setting up your own company is going to be entirely positive.
Starting out from scratch and taking on full responsibility over the development and launch of your ideas and products can be an extremely stressful experience. Many business owners ignore these feelings and symptoms of stress and anxiety. They just accept them as part and parcel of being your own boss. They also often sweep them under the carpet and hope that they just disappear. But this isn’t how things work and, consequently, this isn’t the best way to deal with this scenario. So, let’s take a moment to get to grips with the basics of stress and to figure out a few ways to reduce its presence in your life, even if you are pursuing a relatively stressful career path!
Believe it or not, stress can play a relatively positive role in your life. When it comes down to it, stress is an evolutionary response that our bodies automatically and independently create when we are faced with situations that threaten us. Stress can alert us to the development of problems or problems that are rapidly approaching. It then kicks a fight or flight response into action, where we decide whether to tackle our problems or flee from them. Of course, this would have been generally useful for our ancestors. If they were faced with an enemy or predator, the stress that they experienced would help make sure that they left the confrontation in one piece. But nowadays, when the “threat” you are facing might be an approaching deadline, you can’t exactly punch it or run away from it in order to make it go away. So, stress has become relatively redundant. The unfortunate news is that besides feelings of unease, stress can have pretty negative side effects on our overall health and well being. It can impact our health by causing muscle tension, headaches, or fatigue. It can affect our behaviour, causing us to make irrational or rushed decisions and promoting procrastination. It can also have behavioural impacts, making it difficult for you to portray yourself in the professional light that you might want to be received in.
Combatting Professional Stress
As you can see, stress really isn’t doing you a whole lot of good. So, how can you combat it? Here are a few ways to alleviate pressure and reduce stress in your professional setting!
Many small business owners begin to struggle when their businesses begin to grow and expand, but they don’t have enough hands to deal with all of the work. Sure, you can get your business to a certain point entirely independently. But at some point or another, you are going to have to relinquish some responsibility to someone else. You can’t do everything alone, or you’ll quickly burn yourself out and you won’t be any good for any business purpose then! So, why not consider outsourcing? You can outsource various parts of your business practice, from market research to specific parts of your manufacturing process, like drilling with a laser. By outsourcing, you hand work over to a third party who will complete it on your behalf and get it back to you in good time.
If you find that you need more permanent help from people who are dedicated to your company and your company alone, it might be time to take on full time or part time members of staff. These individuals can take care of aspects of work that you are unfamiliar with or unqualified to carry out. Or they can simply take care of administrative jobs, freeing up your time, so that you can focus on more progressive parts of your company, such as product development, or collaborative projects. Remember that many hands can often make light work!
Take Sufficient Breaks
Business owners tend to forget to take breaks. They’ll get their mindset on completing a particular project and they’ll work at it until it’s complete. But in order to maximize productivity, you should take regular breaks throughout your working day. Whether this entails grabbing some lunch, sitting down for a quick coffee, or simply taking a breather between one task and another.
Take Some Time Off
Of course, you’re going to want to oversee how your business is coming along at all times. But you do need to take some annual leave at some point or another. Appoint someone to manage your company in your absence and give yourself time and space completely away from work in order to recuperate and relax.
Consider Taking on a Business Partner
If things rapidly progress, you might want to consider taking on a business partner. This halves your responsibility and can also bring a fresh eye to proceedings. They may be able to implement positive changes or provide alternative insight into issues. Working together, you could overcome problems faster! Just make sure to take on someone who you can truly trust.
Sure, running a small business can be stressful. But the benefits and rewards tend to be more than worth the hassle! Just try to be aware of your own well being and incorporate some of the above suggestions into your business’ routine when times get tough! They can help to keep everything progressing in a positive direction.