There comes a time in our lives when we reach a cross road. Do I want to continue to working for others or start up my own business? Those of us who have decided to dive into starting a business will understand where I’m coming from. Theres always that “fear” of not knowing if you will succeed or burn down in flames. Regardless, there are many stresses that accompany starting and keeping afloat your prize possession. After 20 years of working for others I took that plunge.
In a nutshell, these are the 5 things that have helped me to keep stress at bay.
Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
How? You may ask. Well, to put it plain and simple, just do it. We don’t realize how imperative sleep is to our body until it is too late. Sufficient sleep helps with not only proper brain function but also emotional and physical well-being. If you don’t believe me then ask the over 100,000 people and 1,500 deaths that have resulted due to lack of sleep every single year while driving! Lack of sleep will build up over time and sometimes the effects are irreparable.
Just as you would do with your daily tasks, schedule time to sleep. Make it a goal to get at least 7-8 hrs of quality sleep. Make sure your sleep environment will help you reach that time goal and don’t eat at least 3 hours prior to sleeping. Give your body time to wind down and to digest. Don’t go to bed worrying about tomorrow. We have to accept that everyday will have its own stresses to deal with. Sleeping with them won’t help.
Make Sure You Eat Well
This one took me a while to embrace. I’ve always said, “Why is it that food that is bad for you tastes SOO good?” How is it that eating well will help with stress you ask? Great question. Have you ever had “butterflies” in your stomach? That anxious, nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach? Have you tried eating when you felt that way? Some may say, “Oh Yea! I love my comfort food!” The truth is that sometimes we are so consumed with our business and other obligations that we forget about #1. If we consider ourselves important to our business and to those that rely on us then we are going to regulate the fuel we consume.
Foods that are high in fat (fast food), sugar and sodium will eventually raise your blood pressure, cholesterol and spiral you toward an increased risk of heart problems. Try eating healthy foods. There are many easy quick recipes that you can make in a few minutes that are high in fiber including fruits and vegetables. Having a balanced diet will give your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs. Your body will have more natural energy and you won’t have to depend on supplements to stay energized.
Find a Solution or Deal With It
We can all agree that in any business vertical there are daily issues that need our personal touch and attention. We immediately try to find a solution to make sure the company vision and reputation remain intact. These are the type of problems we tend to take home with us. Don’t let that happen. Dealing with issues is kept at shore when we have policies and preventive measures in place.
Nonetheless, normal business problems will occur. That is why its important to have a strong team you can rely on. Listen to suggestions. If its beyond your control move on. Learn from mistakes and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Just like a good ship captain, adjust your sails and stay on course.
If You Have a Team- Delegate
We all struggle with the notion of losing control of our business and possibly losing clients. We all want to be the CEO, CFO, COO and CIO all at the same time. We may feel like we’re OK with the load on our plate but its truly counter productive. As your business starts to grow you need to let certain tasks go. This is where forecasting comes to play.
As you grow, strategize whether an internal employee can be groomed for a new position or start thinking of hiring the right person. Remember, you want to be proactive in your business growth not reactive. When a business is reactive to growth customer service suffers and it definitely doesn’t help employee morale. Stay in control by staying ahead of the curve. Lead by example and make it fun for your team.
Dedicate Time to Meditate
This is something we rarely do because we just can’t find the time to do it. The benefits truly outweigh the hesitations. If you can’t find the time to do it at the end of your day then at the very least once a week for an hour. Think about what was accomplished, what worked, what didn’t and adjust your sails. We should never forget why we started our business. Never lose sight of your vision. Never compromise your business ethics just because others are more successful. We have to accept a certain level of stress in business but let it not be self inflicted.
Remember that failure is OK. Failure helps us grow if we learn from it. We can’t move forward if we aren’t sure we’re on the right track. A normal business practice is not putting out fires everyday. A successful business is one that offers a service or product exceeding customer satisfaction despite all odds. We made our decision at the cross road. To become and remain successful in business we need to accept the stresses that accompany it but need to know how to shake them off and focus on whats important.