6 Steps to Reducing Business Stress
Your ‘expectations’ are your ‘frustrations’ waiting to happen. Business Stress originates from a desire for a particular outcome that may not unfold exactly the way you envision. This type of ridged mental state reduces creativity, positivity and eventually longevity in your field. Building flexibility within yourself and within your business model is guaranteed to reduce stress and make your success that much more enjoyable!
Building Flexibility Within Yourself
1. Change How You See Negative Situations
What kind of emotional reaction do you have to words like setback, failure or mistake? The feelings you associate with what these words represent could be a major source of your business stress. Human Beings are driven by two basic needs 1) Avoid pain and 2) Seek pleasure. The mental links we make between external stimuli and pain/pleasure are called Neuro-Associations in short, if you associate pain (aka business stress) to situations like setbacks, failures or mistakes then whenever these situation happen you’re setting yourself up to be stressed!
Change the meaning you associate with (seemingly) negative situations by choosing to see setbacks, failures, delays and mistakes as opportunities to improve yourself and your business. Turning potentially stressful situations into energy to propel you forward is a crucial and electrifying principle of success. According to The Ancient Bing-fa Martial Arts Strategy: The Science of Personal Power;
“Energy and momentum that you win from your opponents are worth twenty times more than resources that you bring to a contest. The Martial Arts focus on leveraging an opponent’s moves against him.”
The inevitable failures that you experience in your business are the opponents that you must learn to gain momentum from. I have not found a single resource that teaches the timeless art of turning trials into triumph better than Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle is the Way.
2. Accept What You Can’t Change
Acceptance is surrendering to the reality of a situation or acknowledging a process without attempting to change or protest it. The Serenity Prayer goes like this;
“God grant me the serenity (peace of mind) to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Whether faith is important to you or not is irrelevant the core concept I’m trying to communicate is that so many people waste finite time and resources stressing over things they can do nothing about. Evaluating situations to determine what I can change, accepting what I can’t and taking directed action towards what can be achieved has been very effective in reducing business stress in my life.
3. Practice Self-Care
A car that you don’t maintain is more likely to breakdown. Similarly, a mind, body and spirit you don’t maintain is also more likely to breakdown. Meditation and inspiring media for the mind, exercise for the body and healthy relationships \for the spirit are critical for reducing business stress.
Practicing regular self-care creates the fuel you need to sustain the massive hustle that is entrepreneurship. Overworking is retrogressive just as going on a road trip and refusing to stop for gas is. I’d challenge you to view practicing self-care as just as crucial to your greatness as marketing, client follow ups and pitches to investors.
Building Flexibility Within Your Business
4. Build with Scalability in Mind
If you expect to be successful then you’re expecting for your business to grow: more orders, more inquiries, more complaints and more issues. If you haven’t built systems of people and/or technology to absorb that growth you’re setting yourself up for business stress.
Trying to balance day to day operations and grow your business is a sure way to guarantee you’re overwhelmed. Hiring staff to work for my company LordResume removes alot from my plate and allows me to focus on the big strategy decisions that drive growth. You must have a plan to eventually outsource or automate your repetitive operations so you can focus on the high level decisions that’ll grow your business. (Need help with automation? Contact me here.)
5. Aim to Build Residual Income Streams
Residual Income continues to be generated after the work is done versus what most people focus on ‘linear income,’ which is a one time payment in exchange for a one time service. Reducing your business stress can be as simple as reducing your work by creating a system that makes money while you sleep. Learn to repackage your product or service into a book, audio file, online class or subscription to increase your bottom line without increasing your business stress.
6. Leverage Your Network
You can try to teach yourself every skill set your business requires but it’ll take you forever to get to the expertise level you need to be competitive. But you don’t know any coders, marketers, graphic designs, photographers or business strategists so you have to learn it all yourself right? Wrong…You have Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and a smartphone with countless contacts. Attracting talented people who can unite (sometimes temporarily) under your vision is a crucial (and under-discussed) skill of an Entrepreneur.
Reach out to freelancers on your experience level and within your network (because they’re more accessible, cheaper and you already have an established relationship) to help you do the things you’re not particularly talented at. Of course you should be learning all the time but focus primarily on enhancing your strengths rather then propping up your weaknesses. This way you reduce the stress involved in trying to cram your head with too much information or constantly having to search for and interview new professionals who cost too much!
Building a business is a stressful journey however. like all things balance is essential. I hope this helps you along the way; I believe in you and I believe in your dreams.
Julius Q. Holmes IV, Executive Consultant