Being an entrepreneur is a thrilling adventure, but it often comes with a sidekick we’d all rather do without: stress. The frazzled entrepreneur is a common figure, juggling a thousand tasks, fretting over deadlines, and battling an ever-mounting to-do list.
Let’s take a friendly approach to explore the reasons behind entrepreneur stress and how to conquer it with some common tactics to put yourself back on track.
Meet the Stressed Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs are known for their fiery spirit and boundless dreams of becoming successful, but those dreams can sometimes turn into sources of stress.
In a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 45 percent of entrepreneurs said they were stressed, 3 percentage points more than other workers.
In fact, entrepreneurs have a lot more common symptoms of stress than the general population:
- They’re more depressed: 30% compared to 15% and 16.6% (APA)
- They’re more addicted to illicit drugs: 12% compared to 4% and 8.4% (SAMHSA)
So why is this the case? What is the archetype of a typical entrepreneur?
Tips for Stressed Entrepreneurs
1. Sky-High Expectations
Entrepreneurs are dreamers by nature. They set grandiose goals and, while ambition is fantastic, it can lead to constant stress as they strive for perfection.
2. Fear Of The Unknown
The entrepreneurial journey is rife with uncertainty. Financial ups and downs, market fluctuations, and unforeseen challenges keep entrepreneurs on their toes, worrying about the future.
3. Blurred Work-Life Lines
For entrepreneurs, the line between work and personal life is often fuzzy. Late nights and an inability to switch off from work can lead to burnout.
4. Neverending To-Do List
With so many hats to wear, entrepreneurs can feel overwhelmed. The sheer volume of work can lead to chronic stress and exhaustion. The tasks never end because business never ends.
If that sounds like you, then you’re definitely at a point of change. This is where you need to think of stress-beating strategies to fight against being a stressed entrepreneur archetype.
Finding Your Stress-Beating Strategies
1. Give meditation and mindfulness a shot
Many entrepreneurs are firm believers in meditation, focusing on the internal for 15–30 minutes each day. Just a few minutes a day to focus on your breathing and clear your mind can work wonders. Numerous apps and guided sessions are there to lend a helping hand, and even some focused on the entrepreneurial stress journey.
As an entrepreneur myself, I’ve gone down the route of mindfulness and meditation before, but I wasn’t able to see a lot of benefits quickly. It takes months to be able to get comfortable and “think about nothing” for even just 10 minutes a day, but I do have to admit that it is a nice routine to have before hopping into a stressful day at the office!
2. Master the Clock
This is something that I myself have a tough time with that causes me stress. Effective time management is your best friend when you have a bunch of projects and needs pulling at your ear. Techniques like the Pomodoro method, time blocking, and prioritization can help you stay organized and maintain a balance between work and life.
3. Learn to Delegate Better
Delegation is a superpower for entrepreneurs. Realize that you can’t do it all alone and start passing tasks to your team or consider outsourcing non-core activities to pros, like an executive virtual assistant.
4. Exercise and Wellness
Physical activity is a proven stress-buster. Incorporate regular exercise into your routine and keep a balanced diet. A healthy body copes better with stress.
5. Lean on Your Tribe
Entrepreneurship can get lonely. Build a network of fellow entrepreneurs and seek support from mentors, family, or friends. Emotional support and fresh perspectives can work wonders. Networks like BNI or Entrepreneurs Organization can help give you a group of like-minded entrepreneurs to be reminded that you’re not alone in this journey.
6. Consider Hiring a Virtual Assistant
One game-changer for a lot of entrepreneurs to slash their stress is to bring an executive virtual assistant (EVA) on board. Here’s how they can be your stress-busting sidekick and save you a ton of time.
- Email Management: EVAs can organize your inbox, filter and prioritize emails, and draft responses on your behalf.
- Calendar Management: They can schedule appointments, set reminders, and help you manage your schedule efficiently.
- Data Entry: EVAs can handle data entry tasks, such as updating spreadsheets, inputting information into databases, and maintaining records.
- Travel Planning: They can research and book flights, accommodations, and transportation for your trips, saving you time and hassle.
- Administrative Support: VAs can assist with various administrative tasks, like document preparation, filing, and organizing files.
- Research: They can conduct online research to gather information on a variety of topics, which can be valuable for market research or decision-making.
- Social Media Management: VAs can help you create, schedule, and manage social media posts, engage with your audience, and analyze social media metrics.
In summary, while the stereotypical image of a stressed-out entrepreneur is all too familiar, it’s important to realize that stress can be managed and minimized. With mindful strategies and the assistance of an executive virtual assistant, you can transform that archetype into one of resilience, productivity, and joy. Embrace these stress-busting techniques and the magic of a virtual assistant, and watch your entrepreneurial journey become not just successful but also stress-free and fulfilling.