When you begin to work for yourself, it can be incredibly stressful. The safety net of a regular salary is gone and suddenly you are alone, trying to make opportunities for yourself, plan everything yourself and do all the tasks yourself. Particularly if you also have a family, kids, parents to look after and, if you’re like me, an ever increasing number of animals too.  Anxiety, depression and stress is very common amongst small business owners. Although they might have started with wonderful dreams of their perfect work life balance, the reality of running a small business can be very different, with so many demands on your time. 

It can get overwhelming very fast. So I’ve put together my top ten tips on running a small business without stress and anxiety.

It’s super important to have it very clear in your own mind what your priorities are.  When you know that, you can focus your limited time and concentration on those priorities and don’t do low priority work. If it needs doing, get other people to do that stuff. 

Begin to work out who is on your team.  I don’t mean just who is on your payroll, I’m talking about who supports you in carrying out all the things that need to be done in your life. So, it might be the cleaner you take on, your childcare, your accountant, IT support, your mentor or coach and so on.  You’re going to need everyone to play a part.  Include your life partner in discussions about what they can do to help support you. 

Spend time working on your goals and visioning what you are wanting to achieve.  Get clear on why you are doing this and who it is for. It helps when things are tough, if you are really crystal clear on the reason you are focusing every day on this goal. 

Keep going. Patience and consistent work will pay off. It never feels fast enough, but if you do something often and stick to it, you will see results. 

Don’t expect other people to understand what you are doing or why. It’s your journey, not theirs and they might not encourage you or help you on the way. Instead find people who understand what you are doing and spend time with them. Other small business owners are more likely to understand you and what you’re doing. 

Remember to rest. If you’re tired you need to rest and recharge.  It doesn’t mean that you are not succeeding, it means that you are a human being and need to stop for a while, refuel those batteries and get back to it when you feel rested.

Most entrepreneurs are very driven and they underestimate the need to stop for a while, which means that they get into a stress and anxiety loop. It actually takes some discipline to stop and relax when you are driving a business forward, but it’s part of the experience. It’s vital to enjoy the journey, not worrying too much about the destination.  Build some fun into every day to lighten the whole experience.

Most entrepreneurs are very driven and they underestimate the need to stop for a while, which means that they get into a stress and anxiety loop. It actually takes some discipline to stop and relax when you are driving a business forward, but it’s part of the experience. It’s vital to enjoy the journey, not worrying too much about the destination.  Build some fun into every day to lighten the whole experience.

Top ten tips on running a small business without stress and anxiety

1. Time block your day. This means writing in your daily calendar appointments with yourself for when you will do things, and it stops other people from sabotaging your day. You will create more time and be more productive this way.

2. Allocate time each day for things that you love to do – this gives you balance and helps you remember why you went self employed. If you’re only working on the tough stuff all the time, it will soon feel relentless and hopeless.

3. Find buddies or accountability partners, or others that you can share and help each other.  Joining a local business group is a great way to do this.  You need people you can call who understand what you are doing and going through. They will help and guide you.

4. Spend time imagining your ideal life. Focusing on this, is telling your subconscious mind what it wants to move you towards. Only do things that move you closer to your ideal life.

5. Make sure that you are doing things in priority order. This means you need to know what your priorities are. Make a list of them and do things that are top priority first.  Drop low priority things off the list altogether or have someone else do them for you.

6. Make a finish time every day. So you know that you must finish work and turn the computer off at that time each day.  Don’t keep on working, this is the route to burnout.

7. The biggest benefit to working for yourself is that you get to choose what you do every day. So, actively choose.  Do some fun stuff, can you make a task into a game?

8. Make time for exercise and relaxation as well as working. It might feel like you don’t have time for this, but you’ll be happier and more productive if you do. You could download my free relaxation audio below to help.

9. Eat healthy food.  By giving your body the best fuel, you’ll be able to build a strong immune system and your mind and body will work better. Ideally take a proper lunch break and go for a walk.  Business owners frequently neglect this, and find they get ill and stressed.  Your body will give you anxiety if you don’t feed it properly.

10. You don’t need to compare yourself with others, you’re on your own path, and you’ll get there in your own time.  When you take the “I should” or “ I have to” phrases out of your vocabulary and replace it with “I get to” it’s a game changer. 

Free 20 minute Deep Relaxation Audio

For anyone who needs to feel calmer and more relaxed during the day or to assist in relaxation before you go to sleep.