thriving in business


There are so many potentially stressful aspects of running your own business. Financial insecurity (unpredictable income and cash flow); working long hours; blurring home-work boundaries; having many responsibilities (including managing people); working when sick;  neglecting work-life balance; working in isolation; and the undercurrent worry of failure – makes you wonder why anyone would start a business!   While it is impossible to avoid stress completely, you can find ways to reduce its impact.  Here are four ideas to get started.

1.  Get passionate.  You will lose motivation on occasion when running your business – this is normal! What matters is how you get the motivational momentum going again. Get to know your ‘why’ - what motivates and energises you.  Maybe it’s your family, your responsibility to your employees or focus on why you started a business in the first place.  Knowing your ‘why’ will help you get through the more difficult days, weeks or months.

2.  Get people.  As a business owner, you may feel isolated or lonely, unable to share concerns with anyone.  Creating a good support system around you, with like-minded, trusted people is so important to share experiences and to learn from.  Get people in your circle that you can relate to, whether it be a networking group, online-forum, working with a psychologist or business coach or join a face-to-face peer group, like Transformer

3.  Get balance.  Work can easily consume more and more of your time, so it is essential to learn how to detach and take time for life.  It could be as simple as taking an hour out for lunch, planning a weekend away or watching your child’s school play. This will allow you to spend time with the people or doing the things that are most important to you, ultimately making you happier. It will also mean that there is less strain on your personal relationships. 

4.  Get healthy.  Sleep, eat, move and rest - These four set the foundations for a healthier, happier and more productive life. They are the most basic things that you have control over, to release stress and recover.   Get enough sleep and wake up at the same time every day to optimise your mood, energy and mind.  Make a conscious effort to eat healthy foods and limit junk and alcohol, as fuelling your body and mind with nutrients allows it run well.   Exercising benefits you physically but it can also work wonders for your mental health by increasing endorphin levels, which make you feel happier.  And finally, find time to rest the mind and body, through relaxation, meditation or just quiet time. 

Stress is inevitable in most work places, even more so if you are running the show - you must find ways to cope.  If you are having trouble coping with the stress of running your business, try working with a psychologist – finding the right support and tools for your specific problems can make all the difference between just surviving or thriving. 

by Lydia Rigano