It’s no surprise that entrepreneurs are stressed. We wear approximately a bajillion hats as the owners of our business, and frankly, the pressure of making all the decisions in your business and navigating all the unknowns can be overwhelming and even scary. NOT TO MENTION that neverending to do list and email inbox that never seems to get down to zero.
After 8 years of running multiple businesses, I’ve learned that it’s how you MANAGE your stress throughout the day that matters most.
I’ve found that these few tips below have dramatically reduced the amount of stress I feel throughout the day and given me more balance in my life. Because at the end of the day, we didn’t trade our 9 to 5 jobs for a 24-hour one.
#1 – Exercise
Moving your body and sweating everyday is a great way to reduce stress and release those oh-so amazing endorphins in your body. According to one study, people who exercise on a daily basis were less likely to take out irritation about work issues on those around them. Not only does it reduce stress but it also gives you more energy. I’ve found that a short walk in the middle of the day is the perfect way to take a screen break, refocus and build up some energy for the second half of the day.
Other great ways to get moving through the day:
- 7-minute workouts – I LOVE this app; short, energizing workouts to keep me motivated and fit without sacrificing my mornings or evenings at the gym
- After-work walks – around the neighborhood or at a local arboretum; the perfect way to close the day and turn off work notifications.
- AM yoga – I love starting the day with a gentle and simple yoga flow. Helps me stretch out and focus on my breathing before I dive into a busy day
#2 – Make Space for Gratitude Each Day
This one is simple! Every day, write down or say out loud at least 3 things you’re grateful for. It makes you a happier and less stressed person. I promise. I try not to repeat the same thing two days in a row but you can absolutely say the same things over and over. It will make you so much more appreciative of your success and gives you motivation to continue on this crazy journey of entrepreneurship.
#3 – Delegate!
I used to cling so tightly to everything in my business. I really struggled giving up control. I almost felt like I was failing if I couldn’t do it all by myself. “I’m an entrepreneur, and this is my business! I have to be able to wear all the hats!” Hence, leading me to have TONS of stress and anxiety about getting everything done (especially when a task was NOT in my zone of genius).
In 2016, I took the leap and starting outsourcing and delegating parts of my business that were either a) taking away from my creativity and ability to GROW my business or b) not in my zone of genius (therefore causing me to have stress and anxiety about getting something done that I HATED doing). After learning how to delegate effectively to my team, I’ve not only been able to focus on new, creative projects but also spend more time doing what I love after work. Delegating is a win-win!
Read more tips for delegating here: Start Scaling Your Business: 22 Tasks You Can Delegate as a Small Business Owner
#4 – Set Up Systems in Your Business (that actually work!)
Oh boy, this is a big one. If your to do list or client deliverables or email inbox are stressing you out daily, you need to invest in setting up systems for your business. Workflows and systems have not only saved me HOURS on my client work, they’ve also reduced the amount of stress I feel about getting everything done. Instead of wondering if I sent that email to a client or forgetting to write a thank you note to a vendor, I have it all figured out in my workflows & systems. It takes out the guesswork from your day to day workload so you can start setting some of that to do list stress aside.
Click here to read a few of my favorite posts about workflows & systems:
- Why Workflows and Systems are ESSENTIAL for your photography business
- 4 Common Misconceptions About Having Systems in Your Business
- 5 Essentials of a Strong Business Foundation
#5 – Use Essential Oils
I never believed people when they said essential oils actually worked. I thought it was weird and woo-woo, some sort of pyramid scheme and gimmick. I’m so glad I was wrong! I was sick for 8 weeks with a sinus infection that wouldn’t quit when a friend of mine covered me with all sorts of essential oils while we were at a retreat together. The next day I felt better and I could literally FEEL my sinuses clearing up. Ever since then, I’ve been using essential oils daily.
My current favorite blends are:
- Brain Power + Awaken: I diffuse this blend all morning until it runs out
- Afternoon Blend: En-R-Gee, Peppermint, Stress Away, Oo La Grow
It is absolutely incredible what a humongous difference in productivity, FOCUS, and stress relief I feel when I’m diffusing these oil blends. Because of this, I make it a daily habit to diffuse these to kickstart a great day.
#6 – Create a List of Non-Negotiables
Your non-negotiables are anything you are not willing to give up because of your business. Defining these helps you create a filter for your work schedule, the things you say yes to (and when you say yes to them) so that you’re not overwhelming your schedule with dozens of different commitments that you’re regretting because that now means you don’t get that free weekend with your family.
Maybe yours is always having Sunday dinners with family, or going to church, or going to Bible study. Maybe it’s bringing your kids to school every morning and picking them up every afternoon. Maybe you really love the Bachelor and don’t want to take any Monday 8PM meetings (#guilty).
Whatever your non-negotiables are – figure them out, write them down, share them with your team if you have one so that everyone knows when things can and cannot be scheduled (including yourself!). This will define a whole new filter for your business so that you never regret your yes and feel less stressed about the decisions you are making in your life and business.
#7 – Make Time for Hobbies
This one goes hand in hand with your list of non-negotiables. One of my favorite ways to fight stress is to make time for the things outside of work that make me happy. Whether it’s kayaking, paddle boarding, taking walks through the arboretum, planning our next vacation, or just enjoying time by the fire pit, I always make time for hobbies and fun.
Pro tip: Don’t just wait until the weekend to enjoy your favorite hobbies. Set a time to end your day at a reasonable hour during the week and get out there! Enjoy some well deserved sunshine and fresh air after a long work day. It makes the weeks FLY by and you get to experience something relaxing and enjoyable every day, not just on your weekend.
#8 – Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People & Other Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship and working from home can sometimes be lonely and isolating. Since you don’t have the daily interaction with co-workers or happy hours with work friends after work, it’s important to establish a community of like-minded people (especially entrepreneurs) who share a similar lifestyle and path to you.
Having a supportive community of creative entrepreneurs around me has changed everything for me. I’ve made some of my best friends through work and I love having people who understand what I am going through and can relate with my struggles, successes and future goals. Trust me when I say, community is everything.
Not sure where to find your tribe, check out my newest Membership Community, the Fearless Creatives Community. We’d love to have you <3
What strategies do you use to manage stress in your business? Share below in the comments! I’d love to learn from you too!