For an entrepreneur, some stress is unavoidable, and stress isn’t always a bad thing. Stress can motivate you to meet big deadlines, make key sales and ultimately, achieve your goals. But too much of it can cause burnout.
Fortunately, some stress can be prevented with simple adjustments to your business plans and schedules, an outlet to recharge and the realization that others can help you.
1. Rely on others
There is no question that many entrepreneurs hate the D-word (delegation), and it does have its challenges. But allowing others to take on more responsibility can be a very useful tool in preventing stress. As an entrepreneur, when you feel you are the only one who can handle certain things, you’re putting more pressure on yourself than needed, and you’re probably wrong — you hired other capable people for a reason.
2. Let old plans go
It seems obvious that when things are not going according to plan, you may need to adjust that plan to keep your stress level from spiralling out of control. Yet many feel strangely tied to their original direction and goals. If things are not shaping up the way you’d hoped, think about whether cutbacks in overhead might be achievable. This is probably a good time to work with helpful advisers and include key employees in developing the new changes.
After making adjustments and getting a new, achievable plan in place, your stress level will begin to improve, and you’ll be able to fathom handling that extra business or managing with less business and still making a living.
3. Take a break
We are not talking about your regular vacation with the kids here. This is the “I’m worried that my stress could lead to burnout and I need a major mental separation from the business” moment. Too often, hard-charging entrepreneurs keep putting off these breaks. Find the thing that really takes you away mentally.
When you take a break for two weeks to a mountain resort with no cell service for example, leaving things to staffers, the business will survive, and you will come back feeling much better, more energized and happy. You will return with a pad full of new thoughts and ideas to improve the business.
As stress starts to build, some turn to therapy. If you have, you have probably learned that therapy is neither the single solution to your problems nor an easy path. But it can be very helpful, especially in situations where your perspective is becoming clouded.
Sara Nana Yeboah: CEO and Founder of The Sangy Nursing Services / Multi-award winning social entrepreneur / Radio & TV Health Consultant.
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