I happen to work with a lot of small business owners in my practice and one of the biggest challenges is isolation. When you work for someone else, there is a system giving you some sort of parameters or expectations. When you work for yourself - YOU are the boss and that can feel overwhelming.
"Is this the right decision?"
"Am I capable?"
"Will this work out?"
So many questions and uncertainties. And that is the attraction to being in business for yourself - the thrill, the autonomy, the creativity. The balance between risk and sanity can be hard to maintain. So here are some tips to managing the stress and enjoying the ride of entrepreneurship:
- Put down your phone: I know your email is probably buzzing constantly. But there is a time to check your phone and a time to put it down and be present with what you are doing. Don't have a closer relationship with your phone than you do with others.
-Manage your time: Sounds easy! It takes discipline. Heck, I still struggle with this. But having time set aside for business and then other time set aside for relationships, health and other facets of life is important. Sketch out your calendar. Color your time slots for different categories (work, self care, relationships, sleep) and start to see where the colors are unbalanced.
-Reach out to other business owners: Knowing you aren't alone is key. Get support. There is enough business in the world to go around. Don't let competition isolate you from other business owners. Share your struggles and support one another.
-Get physical: If you work from home or sit in an office all day, you have to move your body. It can be so easy to keep working because the work will never end. This even applies to listening to your body's needs - water, nourishment, meditation.
-Let it out: Therapy can be a great outlet entrepreneurs because while they seem more gregarious, inside they can be in turmoil. Being able to process the internal dialogue in your head and getting support can be an important part to coping with the stress.
If you are a business owner - I have a lot of respect for what you are going through. I get it. I live it. Your emotional health is important. Give to yourself so that you can continue to give to others.