Are you a solopreneur? Few will ever understand the challenges associated with running a business by yourself. Those of you who are self-employed, will understand the struggle of constantly having to work smarter than everyone else in order to only work a little harder than everyone else. The truth is, even if you’re working smarter, you’re still working harder than everyone else. This tends to lead to stress. A lot of stress. It can seem like you never catch up while the rest of the world gets to take a break now and again. Shrugging off the stress and staying physically and mentally healthy are crucial components of running a successful business.
Avoiding stress is important in any business, but as a solo professional, it’s absolutely vital. Here are some key ways to deal with stress as a solopreneur:
1.Take care of your boss.
That’s you after all. It sounds so simple and obvious, but taking care of yourself is something that is easy to put on the backburner when business calls. This is not even considering the outside factors that make going solo in business so difficult; balancing family, friends and work is easier to do when the work is split amongst co-workers. Not having co-workers means you’ll be doing all of the balancing. So make sure your work is balanced with a healthy diet, a good night's rest and plenty of exercise. You’ll feel much better, have more energy and get stressed less.
2. Work ahead
It’s not always easy to do, but it certainly always pays off. There will always be something that comes up; whether you get sick, a family emergency occurs, impassable weather or any number of alternatives will constantly throw themselves at you. If you’re constantly battling to just keep up, any of these will throw a wrench in your plans. Work ahead so when the inevitable happens, at least you’ve done some of the work to keep yourself ahead of the curve.
3. Increase your financial flexibility
As a Solo-preneur it’s more than likely that you’re working on a tight budget. Bootstrapping is great, but be conscious of the realities of running a business on a lean stack of cash. If at all possible, build yourself a buffer of finance in case of emergency. Whether you can take a loan or have to scrimp and save, work towards a safe-box for rainy days. This will dramatically reduce stress as you won’t constantly worry about paying that next bill or employee.
4. Take time off
If you listen to podcasts and attend speeches from successful entrepreneurs, you’ll often hear them talk about the endless hustle and how working 18 hour days for 5 years straight is the only way to make it. Don’t let these book-slinging know-it-alls fool you. Everyone needs a break, and whether the ‘hustlers’ of the start-up world admit it or not, they take breaks too. Giving yourself a vacation to look forward to will give you an end-goal to work towards. You’ll work harder just knowing that you have a break to look forward to. If you don’t plan some time for yourself, you’ll get caught up in the “this will never end” mindset and that’s the easiest place to give up.