As fun, enjoyable and exciting as running a small business can be, it can also be one other thing – stressful.
No matter how relaxed and laid back you are in general, when you’ve got more things to do than you have hours in the week, it can all get a little too much and you can begin to suffer from stress on a major level (a little stress can be good, but if it’s starting to cause you health problems – and that includes regular sleepless nights – that’s when it’s an issue).
The good news is, you don’t have to become one of those cartoon characters, pulling their frazzled grey hair out, as long as you take the time to prevent yourself falling into a scenario where stress may become an issue – and these three steps should help you to do just that.
Not all small business owners have the luxury of being able to share their workload with other employees, as many small businesses are just one man bands for the first few years. If this is the case and you don’t have anyone within your company to delegate work to, however, it doesn’t mean you can’t do so at all.
Over the last few years in particular (and thanks largely to the internet), outsourcing and freelancing has really took off. Fantastic for all businesses, it’s ideal for small business owners, as it means they can pay for someone else to do the work they don’t like or aren’t overly great at (which is likely to be the root cause of their stress) and allows them to focus on the work they enjoy and excel at.
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2. Take breaks
This may sound like an obvious point, but you really do need to take regular breaks from work, as no matter how much you enjoy running your small business, everyone needs some time away.
It doesn’t have to be anything major – I’m not talking about a week’s vacation every couple of months – and an hour or two before bed every night could be all it takes. Rather than work right up until you go to sleep, for example, read a book or have a soak in the tub – whatever it is, ensure you’re not focused on work and you’ll find when you are back in the office, you’ll be more productive, effective and efficient.
3. Don’t spend beyond your means
A lot of stress is related to money and therefore one of the simplest ways to avoid stress caused by financial issues is to never spend more than you can afford to.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t look for external funding, for example, but the less you’re relying on others to finance your business, the less stress you’ll have – grow naturally and as your profits increase, so can your expenditure, without any worry of being unable to pay a credit card or loan.
Being stressed to the extent it’s being problematic is never a good feeling, be it in your business or personal life. The unfortunate truth is, sometimes, it can’t be avoided – but as a small business owner, there are numerous steps you can take to ensure your stress levels remain as low as they can possibly be.
This post was originally featured on November 5, 2013.