Becoming an entrepreneur requires a special kind of personality. It could be said that the very nature of entrepreneurial pursuit requires at least a small degree of insanity. More than just a small business owner, entrepreneurs are typically risk takers, boldly following their passions and creating a business out of what drives them. It certainly isn’t a lifestyle for everyone.
The Entrepreneurial Existence
For those deciding to go into business for themselves, there are a lot of gains to be had. Being an entrepreneur can be fulfilling and exciting, but there’s also a need to understand how to keep your cool under the sometimes intense pressure of doing your own thing professionally. This is because for many, being an entrepreneur also means being stressed out. By understanding the facts about being an entrepreneur and what goes into it, the mental health challenges and how to balance life out while running a business, one can be a great success.
Bank of America did a study and reported that small business owners claimed that running their business was four times more stress-inducing than raising kids! Furthermore, according to a recent Gallup poll on being an entrepreneur, 45% reported being stressed. Another study reported 35% as being depressed. These are dark statistics, and they should not cause anyone not to follow their passion, but they should make one stop and consider how life may change by going at it alone as a business owner.
On the plus side, there’s something to be said about following your dream and creating a professional life out of something you love. Being an entrepreneur allows for a sense of freedom that can’t be had when you clock into a nine-to-five job. It means being the boss and making the rules. It also means defining your passion and sharing it with the world. These are great benefits that make being an entrepreneur a worthy cause.
Finding Balance and Staying Sane
The key to keeping everything running smoothly as a business owner is finding balance. In all stages of being a business owner, you have to be able to reflect on the ups and downs to better keep the balance. Having time for reflection on good times and bad to better evaluate the causes of stress and how to manage it better. This is how you stay the same as an entrepreneur. This requires an understanding of challenges and what to expect.
Remain Aware of You
It is a common occurrence to see entrepreneurs become wholly invested in their business. Perhaps this is because they are doing businesses based off of their passions, and they are already interested in the topic or lifestyle that revolves around their created business. It could also be because owning a business requires a lot of time. It is easy to get lost in the endeavor and forget about the very reasons why the company itself was created in the first place.
Maintaining a Balanced Focus
It is understandable why some people go a little bit crazy when they lose themselves in work. Whether obsessing over a relationship, the past, daily stress, or a business venture, obsession isn’t healthy.
It is true that many entrepreneurs share a focused demeanor, and this trait can create professional success. That being said, it can also contribute to narrow-mindedness and fixed thinking that can cause one to lose sight of what matters. The key to balancing this focus is remaining aware through flexibility. In turn, this allows an entrepreneurial business venture to remain part of the entrepreneur, and the business owner a unique individual.
Some easy ways to do this include:
- Always remember why you were going into business in the first place and why you wanted to start your own company.
- Create attainable milestones and keep track of achievements.
- Understand your strengths and focus on those.
- Don’t try to do it all on your own. Instead, delegate or get outsourced help.
Additionally, understand that there are certain challenges to being an entrepreneur. Tackle them head-on and prepare for them because just about every entrepreneur runs into a couple of trouble spots.
Square Away Finances Before You Start
One of the most significant contributors to entrepreneurial stress is money. If you’re planning to start a business, taking a close look at finances is an excellent place to start. You would be ahead of the game with that and some long term planning going into what you want. When you consider that nearly 10% of small businesses are started on credit and approximately 15% of entrepreneurs report that they don’t have a financial plan, it is understandable why monetary strain can become a significant source of stress. Thankfully, by making a plan early on or as soon as financial struggles appear, many monetary stressors can be avoided.
Ways to Eliminate Financial Stress
Eliminating a financial burden can often be done by making a plan. For this reason, a solid budget is the first step against unexpected stress. When your business is just starting, try to have money set aside to get things rolling rather than starting on credit. If this means staying at your day job a little bit longer, that might be the best way to keep things afloat in the long run.
Money Tips for Running a Business
- As money begins rolling in, consider using Quicken or another program to track your expenses and payments.
- Get a business account to handle company expenses. Small businesses may get away with using something like PayPal or a debit card from a local banking establishment.
- If poor spending habits for money tracking is a problem, then consider an accountant or financial professional to manage funds.
Avoid Solitary Confinement
When in prison, there is a reason that solitary confinement is considered a punishment. People need socialization and communication. Networking is essential for the successful entrepreneur on a number of levels, but when it comes to staying safe, it is vital in its own right.
Why Entrepreneurs Face Social Challenges
Running your own business doesn’t always offer the same opportunities to talk with others. Many entrepreneurs run their business entirely solo while others have employees, but they have to maintain a boss/employee relationship, which doesn’t always allow for actual networking or connection. Furthermore, many entrepreneurs spend so much time working at their business that they forget to socialize with other people. Eventually, this leads to burnout.
This can mean an end to a beautiful dream for some.
Loneliness: The Hidden Risk of Owning a Business
Consider your circle of influence and your circle of friends. If the two of those completely overlap each other, then you may be surprised that one of your biggest challenges as an entrepreneur is being lonely. Loneliness is linked to its host of mental disorders and is often a huge stressor for many entrepreneurs.
Tips for Overcoming a Lonely Lifestyle
Dedicate time each week to a hobby. As an entrepreneur, you may be following a passion while at work, but life needs to be more than work.
Join networking groups specially designed for entrepreneurs. This allows for the opportunity to talk with others with a similar mindset or lifestyle.
Make dedicated time to spend with friends and family. Don’t be embarrassed if you have to book those close to you into your calendar. Remember they are just as important as your business!
Ask for Help When Needed
It makes it easier to do everything yourself, but believe it, or not no one is perfect at everything. There’s a reason that CEOs across the globe have personal assistants and secretaries. Professionals that are good at their jobs such as accountants, marketers, or public relations are there to help business owners succeed in their goals. As an entrepreneur, you have a specific job, but try to let others do their job as well when you can. This way, you can focus on your business and your passion but still have a healthy work-life focus.