As a psychologist I maintain that everyone, regardless of how well adjusted, race, or socioeconomic status experiences at least situational distress here and there. Then there are those that indirectly welcome stress into their lives by pursuing entrepreneurship, a venture that is both highly rewarding and quite taxing. For business owners, the job is more than a job and although you may physically leave the office at six or seven, you probably remain mentally attached to the task at hand…this is true for some at least. At times this intense focus on your business may offer a natural high and leave you feeling exhilarated. On the flip side, it may leave you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed and if this goes on for too long…well we know what happens next. The negative thoughts seep in and rather than focusing on a strategy, you start to look for the nearest exit.
So what are some of the things that increase business owner’s stress?
- Busy schedules: Sometimes your schedule is so hectic that you do not have time for other life events. In the beginning you might embrace the sacrifices that come with your busy schedule…because who doesn’t want to be booked to capacity, right? But without balance, you may eventually start to feel overwhelmed, less rewarded, and resentful.
- Slow periods: This is often a business owner’s worst nightmare. The anxiety kicks in full speed ahead. Oh and the irritability… others may find you difficult to be around or you decide to isolate and shun social settings.
- Healthcare: Health insurance can be very costly, but a must needed business expense, nonetheless. If you manage a business with employees, then the cost is even greater and there is an added stress of others relying on you.
- Retirement: You are your 401 K and benefits package… so contact your Seriously, realizing that you are not prepared for retirement or rainy days may be a source of major distress.
- Taxes…well I will leave you to fill-in the blanks on this one.
This is certainly not intended to represent an exhaustive list. As a business owner what are some of your challenges and stress triggers? How do you cope? Therapy may be worthwhile; but you opt out because your schedule is not time permitting and you cannot commit to weekly sessions, perhaps.
Busy schedules often interfere with self care. But think of it this way, when you are in a healthy space mentally, you are better equipped to creatively and effectively cope with challenging circumstances. Balance is key.
After speaking with a few business owners, I have introduced a new intense therapy and coaching that involves monthly rather than weekly session. This is designed especially for busy entrepreneurs. If this applies to you or someone you know, feel free to contact me.
Remember: Take care of your mental and physical health. Maintain your annual exams. If something feels unusual seek professional help; this could mean visiting your primary care physician and /or seeking therapy.