5 Steps to Stop Stress for Business Owners & Entrepreneurs

by | Jul 25, 2012 | Success Mindset

Owning and developing your own business can be a stressful endeavor, which should come as no secret to most people. Even those who have never owned their own company will acknowledge the stress and headaches that can come with being the person at the top of a business. You are responsible for not only your own livelihood, but many of you also for the livelihood of employees who work for you.

Now add the current economic conditions to the picture and it gets even more challenging. Despite best efforts, as a business owner you might be finding  yourself struggling to stay ahead or, at best, stay afloat. The fear of having all of your hard work crumbling underneath you can stress anyone out.

Feeling overwhelmed and emotionally drained can affect many other aspects of  your owner’s life, including your social and family life. And should that stress become apparent to your employees, it could have a harmful affect on their performance and productivity as well, making a bad situation worse.

So how can you as the chief head in your business cope with the stress and emotional strain that can come along with running a business, particularly in a questionable economy?

There are a few simple steps that you can take that to help you not to get so stressed out from your business:

#1.  Expect lots of problems. You’ve probably heard that our reactions are based on our expectations. So, it’s no wonder that if we expect smooth sailing that we would naturally react with surprise and tension when problems arise. If you’re constantly feeling stressed out by running your business practice changing your expectations. Expect that lots of problems are a part of the package.

I used to have an office manager years ago who would stroke out every time she had to deal with the occasional customer complaint. After I saw the pattern of her response I stopped and re-wrote her job description as “head-of-complaint-department”. Once I re-set her expectations that she runs the complaint dept. she began to react dramatically calmer to the occasional complaint since she now was expecting to deal with constant complaints. And,  when you’re in the people business — dealing with so many different personalities she then understood that complaints are normal, and she was no longer taken off guard when it happens.

“Champions don’t focus on the problems. Champions focus on how they will respond to problems in the most positive way.”

– quoted by (me) Yoon Cannon

 #2.  Learn and practice relaxation techniques. You don’t have to run away to a yoga retreat in some remote area of the Pacific Northwest, but there are a few exercises you can perform in your own office that can take some of the edge off when things seem particularly stressful: deep breathing, meditation, visualization, etc.  Practicing relaxation techniques can help you manage those small moments of stress from building up to mountain size stress.

#3. Don’t under-estimate the principles of physiology.

Here’s just a simple reminders — whether you give much credence to these or not, these factors still effect anyone’s level of stress.

 a. Watch what you eat. If you’re stressed, the wrong diet can make matters even worse. There is a direct correlation between eating and your emotional state.

b.  Consult with a physician to find out if there are changes you can and should make to your diet to bring down your stress levels. For many of my clients a visit to the doctor did the trick overnight when these women found out that they were simply menopausal. (ok, so men this won’t help you of course, unless of course if it’s your menopausal wife who is causing you most of your stress).

c.  Eliminate or at least decrease the toxins going into your body. Along with your diet, you should also cut back other things you consume, particularly alcohol and tobacco. While it may seem relaxing to have a drink and a smoke at the end of the day to “calm down”, the two (particularly a combination of the two) can make matters worse. Smoking can elevate the heart rate (not to mention making it harder to breath and perform daily tasks) and drinking can affect your ability to make rational decisions let alone simply think rationally.

d.  Exercise on a regular basis. You don’t have to pump iron or sign up   for a marathon, but a light jog or even a brisk walk can clear your mind and help you see your problems (and possible solutions) in a whole new  light. Choose an exercise you enjoy and it’s a double stress reliever.

#4.  Power down. Ok, so this may sound hard to do particularly for type A personalities, but realize that if you keep pushing yourself you will hit the  point of diminishing returns which only adds to your stress. Put limits boundaries  on your work schedule. As much as you may think that longer hours or on weekends is the answer to “catching up”, it can actually make things more stressful (and, I’m saying this from personal experience as I have indulged in this temptation.)

By cutting down on personal time (vacations, weekends with the family, etc.)  you can become hyper-focused on work and the problems there can begin to magnify, making you even more stress. Allow yourself time to forget the problems of your business (because they’ll still be there when you return) and spend that precious time to “recharge your batteries”.

#5.  Get sound perspectives. If you are trying to serve as your own advisory board you’ve got to feel pretty bi-polar most days. As the president of your company you can’t afford to get stressed out. Even the most intelligent people struggle to think straight when they’re stressed out.

Tension and worry clouds your vision from seeing those inroads and back doors that could help you address, fix, resolve, overcome your problem of the week.

Often business owners will seek the perspective of spouses. Although it’s important to have that line of communication with your partner, he or she is still your spouse and therefore emotionally involved.

You should seek out an experienced business expert who is not emotionally involved in your specific business. If you don’t have one I invite you to reach out to me for a complimentary introductory discovery session. You can get me direct at 215-292-4947 EST or YoonCannon@ParamountBusinessCoach.com

As a small business owner you can indeed win over stress. And, you don’t need to navigate through your business challenges alone.

Here’s to your success!



Go ahead! As long as you give full author attribution as follows:

Business Growth Expert Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of CEOs, entrepreneurs & small business owners achieve dramatic results in sales, productivity and profits. Over the past 20 years, Yoon has started 4 other companies and sold 3 of them. She is the author of numerous articles published in major print media and magazines. She is also a popular keynote speaker. Get Yoon’s free video “How to Find Your WOW Factor” at https://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com. Call Yoon direct at (215) 292-4947.
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