Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How to deal with stress when starting your small business

Congratulations! You’ve just got your brand new small business up and running. It took a lot of hard work and planning but you can finally see your dreams coming true. Does this mean that all the stress associated with your start-up is now over?

Sadly, not likely.

As you settle into the routine of operating your small business you’ll be introduced to a whole new set of potentially stressful situations. Number one is family-related stress - the concern that you’re spending too much time at your business and not enough time with your family. Finding a way to strike that balance might be the key to alleviating that stress. Don’t let the excuse of “I don’t have the time” stand in your way. Make the time!

Other than family, here are some more stress busting tips you can start using today:

·         Get Physical: As in exercise. If you didn’t work out before you started your business then this is the perfect time to start. Join a gym and devote some time to sweating it out. This doesn’t mean turning into a gym rat but even a 30 minute cardio workout 3 times a week can help loosen up your muscles and clear your mind.

·         Have a Laugh or Cry: Bottling up your emotions is not healthy. That holds true whether you’re a business owner or not. Watching a funny movie and allowing yourself to laugh is going to release certain chemicals in your brain which will generate good feelings. It’s like giving your brain a “break” from all the things it has to deal with. Likewise, crying can also be stress reducing. This doesn’t mean standing in the middle of your business and breaking down in tears. However, if you can find a quiet moment and the tears do come, let them flow freely. You’ll feel better!

·         Stay Organized: As you embarked on your small business start-up you probably put together a business plan. You need to apply that same level of organization to your new day-to-day routine. Yes, there will be the occasional time which will cause you to deviate from that plan but having structure allows you to be flexible. Perhaps the most important “meeting” on your daily schedule is dinner with your family. That’s one item you shouldn’t neglect.

·         Treat Yourself: Being a business owner means you are suddenly in charge of a lot of people’s economic well-being. You’ll be constantly tending to your staff and your clients. But what about you? Often stress builds up as a result of not taking care of your own needs. As you plan out your week, carve out some special time to do whatever it is that brings you pleasure. It might mean going to the movies alone or spending time in the garden or just sitting by the shore watching a sunset. Whatever that moment is, include it in your schedule. Don’t wait for stress to overwhelm your life.