Some people have an ambition to start their own business and believe that by having their own business they are not going to be under as much work related stress as compared with, say, working for a large organisation or company.
Well, nothing could be further from the truth. While you might not be exposed to the office politics or the back biting, and you might not have a difficult boss to deal with and all the other things that lead to work related stress when you have a job, there are other things that result in entrepreneurs being stressed out.
Running your own business can in some ways be even more stressful than having a job and working for someone else. Let’s take a look at some of the things that lead to entrepreneurial stress.
Unpredictability and Risk
First of all there is unpredictability and risk. When you run your own business, quite often you never know what’s round the corner. A problem can emerge out of the blue that could affect the viability of your business thus putting you under a lot of stress.
Entrepreneurs also get stressed over their finances, especially cash flow. All it takes is a couple of big clients to not pay you or to drag out payments for several months and that can really play havoc with your cash flow, especially if you have an overdraft or you are on some other form of financing. This can really be stressful because you don’t know if you are going to have enough money to pay the bills.
Dealing With Clients
Dealing with clients can also be very stressful. You need to find out what the client wants and sometimes the client doesn’t really know what he or she wants and somehow expects you to know what best suits their needs. In a similar vain, dealing with subcontractors can be very stressful because you have to explain to your subcontractor exactly what you want so that they can do exactly the job that you want.
This can be another big problem for entrepreneurs. You are continually being bombarded with information, emails, letters, phone calls, etc., in addition to constantly reading up on stuff to keep abreast of changes in your industry, and sometimes the information just becomes too much.
Launching New Products or Projects
Launching new products or projects can be incredibly stressful, once again because of the big risk involved. What if it flops? What if something goes wrong during manufacture of the product? Thinking about all the different things that can go wrong when you are launching a new product or starting a new project can be very stressful.
And then there is maintaining a work/life balance, especially if you have a family and/or you are working from home. When you are at home you are at work and when you are at work you are at home and trying to balance the two can itself be very stressful.
But don’t entrepreneurs thrive on stress? I hear you ask. Well, yes, but they thrive on GOOD stress. Some will even describe themselves as adrenaline junkies, which means they really like those short bursts of GOOD stress. But, they are as vulnerable to the effects of BAD stress as everyone else. Also, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur and sometimes you do not know that you are not cut out to be one until you actually try it, only to find that you can’t do it and that in itself is very, very stressful.
How to Overcome Entrepreneurial Stress
So how do you overcome entrepreneurial stress? Well there are a few ways that you can do that.
First and foremost you want to stay focused. Stay focussed on your business and what the objectives of your business are. And a good way to stay focussed is to unsubscribe from any unnecessary email lists. You are being bombarded with email all the time and this can be very distracting.
Another good way to avoid work related stress is to build a team from the start. No man or woman is an island. You need other people around you to help you build your business. This helps you to share the workload so that you are not putting all the stress on yourself.
Another way is, where possible, put in systems that automate some of the work and also to prioritize the important tasks.
And finally keep it simple. Don’t make things complicated when they don’t need to be. The simpler you can make something, the easier it will be and therefore less stressful.