Your Business and Your Stress

By Christina Suter on Mar 04, 2017 at 06:20 AM in Business Issues
Your Business and Your Stress

As a small business owner there are times when you experience stress or at least sense a feeling of urgency when it comes to your business. I have been a small business owner for over 17 years and to this day I'm aware of the need to manage my stress and sense of urgency. Symptoms of stress can be anything from feeling anxious, not sleeping well, snapping at others, to screaming, overeating or overspending.

Stress is an indicator, it's not a problem solving tool and it's not a resolution, so the question is, what's causing your stress. Stress indicates that something is off course, that either within your personal life or within your business, something is off. Stress isn't just for times when things are going bad, you can experience stress when things are going well, too. I had a client who called me, stressed after she received a call from her business partner that made her think she should close her business. I had to reel my client in and get her to focus on the business and not the stress or the feeling of being cornered. The reality of her business was that she'd been growing for two months and her business was sound. The problem was her back office couldn't handle the amount of new business they were getting. Her stress wasn't in the financial part of her business but in the behind the scenes of her business. 

If you're a small business owner who is experiencing stress, start with your bottom line. If your business is not accumulating debt for longer than a month at a time, your business is cash flowing, if it's not, you now know where to focus your attention and that will help you reduce your stress. If you're bringing money home from your business your income and expenses are being met and it's feeding you, the owner, things are going well. If your business isn't doing well and you aren't able to bring money home or pay yourself, eliminating stress will mean taking a long, hard look at your numbers and making adjustments.

You could have a financially functioning business but there may be a stall in your business systems. Systemically there is something that isn't getting the attention is needs and that may be the source of your stress. The promotion of your business, your marketing, may also be a source of stress for you. If there's little marketing there is little chance for ongoing business growth and the thought of that would stress anyone out.

The last source of your stress may actually be you; you may have a way of relating to your business from a position of stress. Your personal workflow management system and time management system has to be separate from you. When you separate the two you will be able to better solve problems and you will be less likely to have a personal failure in relationship with the business. "If it's failing it must be me" is a common thing business owners say to themselves and that belief alone can lead to stress.