By Jean Cherry
The U.S. Small Business Administration reports there are 28 million small businesses, which account for 99.7% of all U.S. businesses. That means a lot of small business owners are making a go as an entrepreneur. Starting a business is exciting and rewarding, but included in that excitement are fast-paced demands and risks of the unknown – all of which can lead to stress.
There are both positive and negative stresses when starting a business. A 2017 survey of entrepreneurs found that positive stressors include increased commercial activity, hiring an employee, and launching a new project or product. Negative stressors include being overworked, employee resignations, and poor business performance.
Here are some tips for small business owners to help manage both positive and negative stressors:
Stress levels can be diminished when you’re well prepared and have everything in order. Careful planning allows you to anticipate challenges and come up with solutions ahead of time.
Find a creative outlet.
Great ideas come from many places, so take time to dream, take a painting class, get out in nature, meditate, or write in a journal. Business owners can benefit from building time in their schedules to think about innovative and creative ways of doing things and separate themselves from the everyday stress of running a business.
Listen to others.
As a business owner, you have a lot of decisions to make. Being a good listener will show that other people’s opinions are valued. Employees that are closer to different aspects of the business may provide new perspectives.
Be committed and resourceful.
A recent study found that entrepreneurship is common among people who have endured life challenges. They learned to persevere and manage stress by working harder, seeking help when needed, developing social skills, and networking. Everyone can learn from these entrepreneurs.
One of the most common complaints entrepreneurs have when starting a business is that they feel overworked. Delegation is difficult when there are only a few employees to carry the load, but letting go and sharing the responsibilities of the business can help reduce some of the stress. It’s also necessary to take time away from work and go on vacation. Delegating and taking a vacation helps to avoid burnout.
Exercise and eat right.
Exercise is a great stress reliever. Find something that fits your personality — from walking to marathons to yoga. We have better mental acuity and focus when we maintain a healthy diet. Drink plenty of water, decrease sugar intake, and limit caffeine.
Stress management for an entrepreneur is a balancing act, but the journey can be much more enjoyable with good organization, building on creative ideas, valuing input from others, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Author Bio: Jean Cherry, RN, MBA enjoys sharing her knowledge of health and wellness with readers in her writing for Walgreens, where you can find a variety of vitamins to supplement a hectic entrepreneurial lifestyle at Walgreens.com.
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