The Top Stressors of Business Ownership, and How to Manage It
There are many reasons people decide to start their own business:
- To be their own boss
- Set their own hours
- Control the people and projects they work with
Yet, the reality of business ownership isn’t quite that rosy. It’s actually one of the most stressful endeavors you’ll ever undertake. While running your own company will inevitably have its maddening moments, some of the biggest stressors can be successfully managed if you know how to approach them. Here are three of the most unnerving parts of owning a business and how to handle each of them like a champ!
- Lack of Predictability
You would think that running a business would mean that you’re in control of everything, with nobody telling you what do, how to do it, and when to do it. And you would be right… most of the time. Paradoxically, by going it alone in the business world, you’re in control over EVERYTHING and NOTHING all at the same time.
With a consistent 9 to 5-hour work schedule, you can pretty much count on consistent paychecks, predictable hours, a stable office location, and even regular vacations. However, once you become your own boss, consistency and predictability become scarce.
Dealing with an income that is not consistent can become a huge stressor, as you never know if you are going to be capable of paying your bills. What’s more, it can often turn into the case that if you’re not working, the business is not functioning. This can make days off and vacations seem like fantasies.
How to Fix It: Prior to launching a business, it’s crucial that you have enough clients to ensure a fairly stable income. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep your day job to pay the bills while you work on stabilizing your new business. Of course, there is no guarantee that any client will stick around forever, so it’s also prudent to set aside several months’ worth of savings to get you through the lean times. Though this may be impossible to do in the beginning, it can also become helpful to hire a robust support staff of top priority so that you can eventually take off time. This will allow you to step away from the driver’s seat for a change.
2. Not Having Enough Time
Unpredictability and time management go hand in hand. Without a structured and enforced schedule to adhere to, it can become really easy to get sidetracked by the day-to-day minutiae that comes with running a business.
Time management is probably the most valuable skill that business owners need to have. If not learned, they will not have the time to handle key tasks and it will wreck their business at the same time.
How to Fix It: First, budget your time by establishing your priorities and then setting aside time to handle each task by hour/day/week/month dedicated strictly. With this in mind, focus on these important tasks first, and fit everything else around it. In addition, it is crucial to figure out the times of day you’re most productive and schedule your top tasks during that period of time. Some people handle the most challenging items first, but others find their groove later in the day. Pay attention to your own energy and build your schedule around it.
3. No Work/Life Balance
Even if you are one of those people who “lives for their work”, you need to devote enough time to rest and relax. If you don’t, your work and life will suffer. Coincidentally, many people launch their own business specifically to have more time for themselves, but once you see what is really involved, you will often discover the business is the one who owns you, not the other way around.
Having an effective balance between work and life is a key to being effective at work and in any other job. Running your own business can take a toll on your mental and physical health if you don’t take precautions.
How to Fix It: One of the first steps to work/life balance is to establish realistic work hours and adhere to them like a job. When you work from your home, it’s easy to let “work time” eat into your “me time” until all you have is “work time.”
Consider personal time just like your top business priorities, set aside time for it, and stick to that schedule religiously. In addition, make time for your family, friends, and for rejuvenating activities such as exercising, meditation, hobbies, and other things that allow you to relax and recharge your batteries.
Rather than seeing these things as distractions from work, you’ll ultimately find they’re essential for maximizing performance and productivity.
One great way to reduce stress is to implement systems that allow you to streamline your day-to-day operations. As your Access lawyer, we offer a wealth of turnkey solutions that will give you maximum control over your business—and your mental health. What’s more, we’ll guide you through those tough decisions, so you can rest easy knowing you’ve done everything to ensure your company is as secure and successful as possible.