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How to manage stress as a business owner

Do you feel like there’s a new thing to stress about every time you turn around? Stress is one of those things in life that no one can avoid forever. As a small business owner, you have much more to stress about than most people and it can be very challenging. Money, time, competitors, family and friends are just some things that will stress you out daily.

Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. When stress lasts for a long time, it may harm your health.

As a business owner, one major perk is all of the stress that comes with it. If you cope poorly with stress, it might lead to worse physical and mental health outcomes. That’s why learning to manage stress is crucial for small business owners. Reducing stress should always be at the top of your to-do list to keep you and your business healthy. However, knowing what to look out for and the proper methods to address the common causes of stress can help ensure you don’t experience a breakdown.


Read: 4 helpful ways to deal with difficult customers


Do any of these scenarios sound familiar in your own life as a small business owner?

  • You’re the kind of person who worries about your business’ future, then you know that’s just one more reason for stress. When you’re worried about your business’ future, it’s easy to feel like all your hard work will be for nothing. But here’s the thing: worrying about the future of your business isn’t going to do anything but make things worse! So take a step back from those fears and focus on what matters most: ensuring everything is running smoothly.
  • You tell yourself you’re not good enough. A significant stressor is self-doubt. When you tell yourself that you aren’t good enough, it can cause a lot of stress for an entrepreneur. The good news is that an easy way to combat this issue is by being kinder to yourself!
  • Do you feel stuck when working? You feel stuck and don’t know what to do next. Do you feel like you should close your business? Many business owners have the same feelings and thoughts at some point in life. Things change over time – Needs, goals, and even hopes.
  • You are always on the go but don’t feel productive. It is human nature to resist getting things done every once in a while. For some business owners, productivity delays are due to a lack of direction. A business owner may know their end goal but have no idea how to get it done.
  • Too much to do, too little time. It seems like you are juggling a ton of tasks of things. The most obvious question is always “Where do I begin?”. As a business owner, many of your tasks are time-sensitive and multitasking can be daunting.

So how can you manage stress?

Here are some steps you can take:

1. Recognize that stress is a natural part of life. Everyone has it, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing—it’s the response our bodies have to any change or challenge. The key is learning how to handle it productively.

2. Take five minutes every day to do something you love (like watching a movie, coloring, or reading) and focus on that activity instead of worrying about your business. This will help reduce stress and give you something positive to think about during the day.

3. Don’t compare yourself to others; you are unique! Focus on your strengths and what makes you special instead of comparing yourself with others who might be more successful than you at this point (if they even exist).

4. Stay organized. If your office space is disorganized and messy, it will feel like chaos from day to day, and that can lead to more stress than necessary. Keep everything in order by ensuring everything has its place and trying not to let things pile up unnecessarily on your desk or in drawers/cabinets where they don’t belong.

5. Set reasonable goals for yourself and your team. The more realistic your goals, the less likely you’ll feel overwhelmed or stressed out by them.


In summary, make it a priority to schedule downtime in your calendar and then resist the urge to fill that time with more work. Never allow the stress to mount up for too long, or you’ll risk burning yourself out, or worse, taking time off altogether because you have nothing left in the tank. Taking care of yourself is essential so that you’re at your best when it matters!

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