Dealing with the Stress of Business
All small business owners agree that business is not just business. It doesn’t exist solely between 9 am and 5 pm—especially when you’re a small business owner. Your business consumes a lot of your life. You think about it when you’re eating dinner, you brainstorm ideas when you’re at the grocery store, and you worry when you’re in bed at night. Your business enters every aspect of your life. This is especially true if your business is having financial difficulties.
It’s common to hear stories of small business owners being up in the middle of the night, crunching numbers and staring at accounting programs and Excel spreadsheets while everyone else is sleeping. This kind of stress isn’t something that stays “at work.” It takes over your entire life. It hurts your health, your well-being, your personal relationship, and more.
Stress negatively affects your business itself. It makes you more difficult to work for, it leads to lower employee morale, it causes you to make irrational decisions, and it affects your judgment. Stress can make it more difficult to properly manage the business and effectively analyze risks.
While all business owners face stress at some points, it’s important to recognize when the stress is becoming too great and something should be done.
Knowing the Signs of Stress
There are many different signs of stress and each person will react in different ways to stressful situations. However, here are some of serious stress signs that you will want to look out for:
- Feelings of resentment or isolation
- Irregular personal care
- High blood pressure
- Excessive drinking or smoking
- Eating too much or too little
- Mood swings
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
It’s important to know that admitting that you are stressed about your small business isn’t a sign of weakness or a lack of ability. Many people suffer silently with stress until they can’t take it anymore because they are uncomfortable with accepting the fact that they are stressed and won’t deal with their stress. This isn’t just bad for your health, but it can also negatively affect your relationship with family, friends, coworkers, customers and anyone else around you.
Dealing with Stress
Learning to manage stress is crucial as a business owner. Without recognizing stress and taking steps to cope with it, you cannot expect to function well as a business owner.
It’s always important to take the time to focus on your mental and physical well-being. While, obviously, your business is crucial, your health is more important. Listen to your body and pay attention to any emotional and physical issues. Get adequate rest, nutrition and exercise. Take time for yourself. Not only will these things help you deal with stress, but it will also allow you to make better decisions for the business going forward.
As each person experiences stress in their own way, it’s important to develop strategies that work for you. Being proactive, having a plan and learning how to set priorities is crucial. No one can do everything all the time and many small business owners have driven themselves into poor health by trying to handle everything all at once.
It’s important to develop a support network and to talk to this network about your worries and concerns. This can help you effectively analyze situations, make it possible to tackle more serious problems, and it can also prevent you from feeling isolated and alone. Your network can include your spouse, your friends, your business associates and anyone else who you trust.
Recognizing When to Get Help
It’s important to understand the difference between a stressful time and a situation that you need help with. Many small business owners are hesitant to get help with their business. The independence and entrepreneurial spirit that inspired someone to start a business also keeps many small business owners from seeking help when they need it.
If you are experiencing stress due to the significant financial struggles of your business, it is a good idea to speak with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Speaking with a Trustee doesn’t mean that you have to end up declaring bankruptcy! A Trustee will review your business financials and provide you with details on all the options available to you. Once you have this information, you can make an informed decision about the future of your business.