It’s great owning your own business, isn’t it? You get to choose your own hours, you get to choose who you work with, you can be at your kids’ school concerts without having to ask permission, you don’t have to endure the daily commute, you might be able to work in your PJ’s, and listen to the music you choose to while you work. You don’t have to be told what to do by someone who knows less than you do, you don’t have to justify your every decision to someone who doesn’t entirely understand your job, but still gets to judge you on it.
You get to guide the direction of your work, you get to make powerful decisions on a daily basis, you are totally responsible for the profile, values, vision and mission of your business. You get to set your own income standards rather than having someone else decide what you are worth. And so much more. I am sure you can add in countless other reasons why you love owning your own business.
But it can be really hard can’t it? Running your own business might have more rewards, but boy do you have to work for them. The long hours, the endless marketing, promotion, admin, planning, creating, the responsibility, the lack of sick pay and paid holidays, the solitude and more can make being a business owner really tough at times.
Today, I was a guest with Tracey-Jane Hughes of Manage Those Things, on a livestream. I shared about what stress is, and how it can affect you mentally and physically. After scaring everyone with the adverse effects of stress, I then went on to give my Top Five tips to help you beat that stress…. In true Esther style, half way through I decided I had to make it 6 tips!
If you prefer to read, here are my Top
Five Six Stress Busting Tips for business owners
Get a good night’s sleep.
You might think you will have a better, more successful business if you work till 2am then get up at 7 to start the day again, but you will find yourself stressed out, under performing, and eventually you will crash. And take it from me, that crash is not fun. So give yourself a break, and get enough sleep each night. Your business (and your health, your friends, your family and your clients!) will thank you for it.
Take some time for yourself
Before you rush into your working day, spend some time just easing yourself gently into the day. Sit and meditate, do some exercise, write your Morning Pages, sit and eat a leisurely breakfast, watch the sunrise and listen to the birds. It really depends on you, what nourishes your soul and gives you the chance to take time to simply be before the day starts. Try to avoid checking emails and Facebook first thing, because that is a sure fire way to get sucked straight into work mode!
Take a break
Be sure to take some time through the working day to take short breaks to clear your mind and move your body. The Pomodoro technique is excellent for making sure you do this; you get quick bursts of focused work time, with 5 minute breaks in between. You brain really does need to rest and step away from the work – you will find you work improves as a result, as well as reducing the low level stress that you might not even notice until it’s too late.
I’ve written lots in the past about the many healing benefits of gratitude. Whenever you are feeling stressed, grab a piece of paper and write down all the things that you are grateful for right now, as many as possible, even things like ‘I am grateful for running water in the taps’, and ‘I am grateful that I have XXX problem because it is giving me a chance to learn XXX’. The more you can see the positives in life, and look for the rainbows in the rain, then you will find that you stressed feeling dwindles, as stress and gratitude cannot co-exist.
You might be the business owner, but that doesn’t mean that you can, or should, be doing everything yourself. As much as possible, work within your area of expertise, and get in others to perform in their zone of genius in the other areas of your business. If you aren’t a designer, get a professional in to do your design work, if you are not a writer, hire a freelance writer to write your business copy for you. You don’ have to do it all yourself, and you will make yourself ill trying. Also, get emotional support from other business owners, join masterminds and Facebook groups so that you have someone to turn to when you need to ask a question or vent your frustrations.
My absolute favourite! Conscious breath, deep intentional breath, is an absolute gamechanger in terms of stress and wellbeing. Take a few deep breaths before you start work, during your 5 minute breaks, before you write your gratitude list, and before you go to sleep at night, and you will find your stress level drops considerably. Take the time to learn to breathe properly, and you will notice that your stress levels drop, your energy rises, sleep improves, you have greater clarity and so much more. I have written much on the subject of breath, you might enjoy these blog posts to learn more:-
What do you do?
Do you have any great strategies to beat stress as a business owner? I’d love to learn what you do – share your thoughts in the comments below, and please share this post with any busy business owners you know!