Deciding to chase your dreams and become your own boss is commendable. If you haven’t found out already, however, being the head person in charge comes with a ton of responsibilities which equates to an overwhelming amount of stress. Whether you are dealing with supporting families of your employees or navigating the legal side of starting a company it can often feel like there is not enough hours in the day. Though it sort of comes with the territory of owning a startup, if you don’t manage your stress appropriately, it could very well be the end of your dreams.
What’s All the Fuss?
From the outside looking in, being in charge would take away a lot of stress. It would seem that being an entrepreneur would mean there’s no need to deal with a nagging boss or a complicated coworker, no waiting for someone to give you a raise, and no more working at times that are inconvenient for you or projects that don’t suit your interests or skills.
This would seem to be a dream come true, but there is a lot more to calling the shots than that. Now, you are the boss, you’re the brand, and all responsibilities fall in your lap.
How to Tell When You’re Too Stressed
Being responsible, in some capacity for everything from the products and services to the staffing and accounting, can quickly weigh on you – especially if you’ve never had a job that demanded this much from you. Creating a startup is without a doubt going to be stressful, but you can tell when you’re at your wits end if you notice the following:
- Substance abuse
- Slowed productivity
- Poor quality of work
- Head, back, and neck pains
- Weakened immune system
If you fear you may be dealing with a mental illness or that you’ve developed a problem like using drugs and alcohol to cope with the demands of being an entrepreneur, you probably need professional help. Rehab facilities like Winward Way help participants to kick bad habits, identify stressors, and manage their emotions more effectively.
Doing the Work: Common Problems and Solutions
If you’re stressed to the max you need to do the work to improve your emotional and physical health. One important step in this process is determining what’s got you so stressed out. Once you’re aware of what’s weighing on you, then you can come up with a plan to handle it. Here is a closer look at common stresses for entrepreneurs and solutions on how to reduce or eliminate your stress.
Problem #1: Too Many Hats
Most entrepreneurs have a little trick for saving money in their startup.In order to prevent having to pay for staff, an entrepreneur will work themselves into a hole, waste a lot of time and money, and ruin their brand before it ever gets started. If you’re the CEO, receptionist, accountant, marketing professional, and customer service rep, you’ve got a lot of responsibilities on your plate.
Hire Staff – as early as you can, you need to hire help. If you can’t afford full-time employees, consider hiring part-time. You can also hire college students or interns which cost a lot less. Another way to get assistance is to barter and help other professionals in areas you’re best served in exchange for their help with your startup.
Problem #2: Not Enough Cash
Another stressor for entrepreneurs is finances. It is not uncommon for business owners to empty out their life savings to fund a dream. Since turning a profit can take some time, this often leaves them in dire straits. When you don’t have enough money to cover your household expenses, let alone operating costs for your business it makes getting ahead a challenge.
Money management – You can’t make money appear out of the sky, but there are a lot of things you can do to reduce any stress centered around finances. Create a company budget, find avenues to earn money fast to fund your business, look for free things like software or online marketing accounts, and should you borrow money from family or a lender, make sure that you repay it in a timely fashion.
Problem # 3: Work/Life Balance
If you thought that balancing your responsibilities at work and home was hard when you were employed, now that you’re an entrepreneur you’ll find it to be a lot more challenging. Most new business owners find that they have to dedicate so much of themselves to the success of their companies that they neglect the need for a personal life.
Set boundaries – As much as you want your business to get off the ground and be a success, none of it can happen if you’re too overwhelmed. Set boundaries for yourself so that you don’t neglect important factors like doing things you enjoy and being there for your family. You can set office hours, stop checking emails at a certain hour, and schedule time off to relax and bonding with your family.
Starting and running a successful business probably won’t ever reach a point where it’s stress-free, but it doesn’t have to be so stressful that it impedes on your health, personal life, or ruins your chances at a dream. If you’ve had problems in any of these areas, the above-mentioned advice should help you get things under control.