Being is business can be stressful and can keep you up at night- not enough money and sales, employee issues, customer complaints, problems with equipment and delivery and so on…

Your mind is constantly under pressure making you anxious and exhausted. You may end up working longer hours, facing work-life balance conflict, feeling not being in control of the business. The pressure of meeting day to day challenges/deadlines and improving cash flow just adds to the stress.

Having worked with lots of business owners and being a business owner myself, I know few things about small business owner stress and anxiety levels. However, once you overcome these challenges, being in business can be very rewarding. Here are my five tips for managing stress in your business.

  • Plan your Quarter and Year ahead

“Begin with end in mind”- Steven Covey.

Half the stress is caused by lack of direction. Business owners usually get too busy running the treadmill that they forget why they got into the business in first place. Having a 5-year goal, broken backwards in Yearly and Quarterly goals will keep you focused on the important things. It will also help you prioritise the tasks and activities. Biggest pitfall for any business owner is spending too much time IN the business rather that ON the business.

Ask yourself, what is the next step for you get a clear plan for your business?

  • Manage your time and Discipline Yourself

Everyone has 24 hours, however what you do with those hours decide where you are in life or business. The key is managing your time and yourself to do the right things. Figure out Most Valuable Activities (MVA) and Most Profitable Activities (MPA) and then measure how much time you are spending on them every week. The process for success is figuring out what to do, when to do, how to organise oneself and lastly staying disciplined to do it regularly.

Analyse where most of your time is being spent currently and what needs to change to make you more efficient.

  • Focus on what’s working well

As you’re working in the business, it is easy to focus on all the things that aren’t going right. This brings down the energy and increases stress. Focusing on things that are going right, reminds you that you are making progress. A good place to start is to list all the milestones and wins over last 12 months. There are more than you realise. Another good thing would be reward yourself every time you achieve a milestone. Most people kick themselves for not achieving the milestones, however they forget to reward themselves when they do.

When was the last time you focused on things that are working well in the business?

  • Build Your Physical and Mental Health

Good health is one of the most important things when you are in business. Early mornings, late nights, no weekends can have a toll on your mind and the body. You need to ensure that you stay physically and mentally fit to win the game. Choose healthy food, exercise regularly (30 minutes/3-times a week), get enough sleep, schedule switch off time and drink lots of fluids. It can be difficult to prioritise these when you are fighting battles every day, however remember being in business is supposed to build you, not kill you. You would like to healthy to enjoy the fruits in the end. How would you rate your current efforts for staying healthy?

  • Build Your ‘A’ Team

You are shaped by the environment you are in. Biggest challenge business owners have is they don’t have anyone to talk to. You may not want to talk about challenges at home or with your team and you are too busy to have time with friends. Surround yourself with people who motivate you. Ask yourself who would be person I can speak with if I am down or facing challenges. Who would be I share my success and wins with?

My clients appreciate the fact that I am there to listen and ask them right questions to help them move forward. Also, they are part of community of like-minded entrepreneurs and can reach out to other clients share their wins, challenges and just hang out together occasionally. Who would be part of your ‘A’ team?

Remember business is a vehicle to allow you to live your ideal life. Are you living yours?

Once you commit to implement these things every day, you’ll notice an improvement in your stress levels within a couple of weeks.