Becoming an entrepreneur means venturing out into the world's unknown, brainstorming to come up with innovative ideas and overseeing other people who have joined you in the realization of your goals and mimic your vision and passion for success. It all sounds lovely, innocuous and ideal, doesn't it?
However, in real life, as you know, being an entrepreneur can be stressful, lonely and downright hard.
Thomas Edison, who himself was a visionary and entrepreneur, said the following about innovative ideas and the hard work they demand, " Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration."
Therefore, understanding how to manage your stress is important, because it will always be part of your life as an entrepreneur.
Read the handy guide below to learn how to do just that...
Don't Stress About Things You Can't Control
This is easier said than done, but if you stop stressing about things over which you have no control, such as traffic or weather, then you will reduce your overall stress level. In addition, it is important to remember that although you can influence others' decisions, you cannot control their actions, so stop stressing over them.
Remember the Small Things in Life
When you become successful, the small things in your life can get pushed to the back burner. Make time for your family and activities that are just for fun and offer no monetary gain. Laugh, and enjoy life as much as possible. According to psychologist Paul Ekman, who contributed to Yale Scientific, "when we smile, the brain releases dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that produces happy feelings." Therefore, remembering to take the time to enjoy life and laugh is a great way to reduce stress.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
If you are like most entrepreneurs, you find delegation quite difficult. After all, how can you be assured that someone else will do a task exactly as you would? The short answer is you can't, but it's not the end of the world if they don't. You should train those around you to do tasks correctly, and then let them handle it.
When you constantly have your hand in issues that you don't have to be involved in, such as non crucial tasks associated with your job, you just add to your workload needlessly and at the same time express to your employees that you do not trust them to do their jobs correctly. Therefore, it is important for you to delegate as much as possible, and then concentrate on the tasks that are your responsibility.
Not only will exercise keep you in good shape physically, but it will also keep your stress levels down and thus reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke. What you do in terms of exercise doesn't matter as long as you get your heart pumping.
You can run, mountain climb, kick box, ride a bike, lift weights or do some sort of aerobic workout. Whatever you do, do it regularly as if it's part of your job, because in reality, it is.
Consider the fact that exercise benefits your health and therefore keeps you fit and able-bodied, allowing you to do your job well. Therefore, exercise is just as important as a strategy meeting or coercing a new client.
Talk to Someone
If you are stressed and overburdened, you need to talk to someone. To accomplish this, develop a friendship with a co-worker, or get involved in a peer group where it is safe for you to freely share your struggles without worry of repercussions. In other words, choose one or two friends who you can talk to about your stresses on a regular basis who will not repeat what you say to others.
To save time, since your life is likely packed full, you can combine talking to someone with exercise by working out with a friend and sharing your daily struggles at the same time.
This works great if you both belong to the same gym or enjoy the same activities. You can meet at a set time every day or every few days and work out while talking about what has been going on in your lives.
Remember, be honest with your friend. If things are not going well, tell them. Getting another person's perspective on an issue is often a helpful way to devise a solution.
Remember Why You Got Started
During the day-to-day monotony of running a business, being responsible for other peoples' livelihood and producing a quality product or service, you can forget why are you doing what you are doing. Remember the reason behind the inception of your business, and cling to that when stressed. After all, you are getting to live out your dreams, what could be better than that?
"One of the biggest secrets to success for the entrepreneur is mindfulness" says Dr. Nic Lucas, scientist, coach and author of Finally Free.
Mindfulness is simply the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one's attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment.
So one of the best things about mindfulness is that you can be mindful while you're at the gym, walking, and even while working.
"It's been shown in multiple studies to reduce stress and anxiety and fires up the exact part of the brain needed for success in business ... there's so many reasons to do it, and none I can think of not to do it," stated Dr. Lucas.
Other helpful tips:
- Get plenty of sleep, even if it means stopping productivity temporarily.
- Explore what the worst case scenario of a situation is, and then come up with a solution. Many times, after you do this, you will see that even the worst case is not that bad, and it will reduce your stress level.
- Eat. Being too busy to eat is not healthy. Always make time for meals.
By following the tips listed above, you can reduce your levels of stress and become a more effective and happier person.
Try a few, or them all, and see if they don't help lighten your load and reduce your stress level.