Entrepreneurs Have a Million Reasons for Being Stressed

Entrepreneurs Have a Million Reasons for Being Stressed

To anyone that is starting, operating, and growing their own business – words such as ‘work on your businesses, not in your business’ are far easier said than done.  

Any business owner I have known is truly passionate about what they do.  They exhume enthusiasm in how they landed a really big job, or how they are evolving to grow into new markets. They also work hard, really hard. They understand meeting deadlines, and the long hours that come with making those commitments. Going above and beyond is nothing new to owners of businesses. They shoulder the responsibility of gaining new business as well as losing business. They also carry the weight of knowing that their employees’ families depend on them.

All of this responsibility can come at a large mental cost unless you understand how to keep this responsibility from weighing you down.  

In writing about this subject, I took a look around at how some business owners thrive in their environments – to learn how they successfully handle the stresses of operating their own companies.  Here are some of my observations:

Make Business Plans

Putting down on paper where you plan to take your company can reduce your stress because you have ‘thought it out.’  You can have faith in your plan because you did a SWOT, conservatively estimated your results and costs, and put doable action items.

Thinking out your plan (versus winging it) will reduce anxiety and allow you to trust your plan, and sleep well.

Have a Mentor

Everyone should have someone they can call. Whether you need help with your books, an employee issue, or a late paying customer – having a mentor or group you can discuss these with can be a game changer.  Odds are, many others have faced your challenges and would welcome sharing their experiences.  

There is no need to go this alone.

Warning Signals

One owner shared that stress from a particular client had caused them to break out in shingles.  Others talked about serious heart and skin problems.  Stress can manifest itself into many physical ailments and often starts showing symptoms long before they turn into something major like a shingles outbreak.  

Be aware of your stress and to learn how to manage it.  But the first step…is understanding that everyone has stress (including entrepreneurs); that’s a given.

Healthy Eating

It’s too easy to fall into bad habits when you are working long hours at the office or on the road.  The bad effects from consuming too much coffee, eating fast food at your desk, and grabbing junk food for snacks are well known. 

Demanding a lot from both your mind and body comes to a screeching halt when you treat it poorly. We all know the consequences from not eating well that range from high blood pressure to obesity and more.

Take a Walk!

A friend started regularly breaking out in stress rashes and started taking a walk in the woods during lunch.  A simple walk in the woods made the stress rash go away.  That friend now takes a 20-minute walk at lunch every day. 

How simple is it to take a 20 minute walk each day?  Everyone can make time for a simple stress reducing walk each day.  It’s too beneficial and simple not to be doing it.

Time Off

Some of the most successful business owners that I connect with shared that in the early years of starting their companies, they never took time off.  As their companies grew, they lived in fear of actually leaving for a week; what a catch-22.

After nearly running themselves into the ground (or had a spouse that insisted they get away), they finally learned to trust their staff and the importance of having a break to refresh and renew.  In the end, they wished they had learned this earlier in their careers and found that down-time actually made them more productive as they were finally able to think and reflect about their business.

The stress of owning a business can be overwhelming.  Understanding and managing this stress can make all the difference in the world to your productivity, health and well-being.


By Gerry Chadwick.  CEO at Sunbelt Business Advisors of Southwest Ohio.

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