Only entrepreneurs can understand the stress involved in getting a startup off the ground. Pop culture leads us to believe that starting a new company is all about the glamour, the high-life, seed rounds and then hitting that fabled spot of Unicorn.
Alas, the reality is more like biting one’s fingernails to the quick, rubbing one’s eyes from too many late nights, and trying to stay awake from a week of four hours of sleep for three days in a row.
Stress management techniques are crucial for anyone starting a business.
These stress management tips and tricks will help you stay on top of pressure while getting your startup to IPO.
Ignoring stress is the worst sin for entrepreneurs. Stress can be managed successfully when it’s in the early stages. It is a lot more difficult to deal with it when it has gone too far.
By acknowledging the signs of stress, you can take early action and so avoid a meltdown.
There is no honour in a meltdown. The purpose of the battle is to win, not to accumulate battle wounds just so you can show them off later.
Entrepreneurs can get so caught up in accounts, marketing, sales, progress reports and endless other daily details that they never take a time-out.
As a CEO, you need to delegate. You need to surround yourself with people who can get the job done and who will give you precious minutes of time during the day.
The marketing plan wasn’t done right for the sixth time in a row? Get a new marketing head who can do it!
You’re working yourself to the bone. There’s only so far you can stretch yourself. Share the load.
You need to switch off your electronic devices for thirty minutes and do nothing but rest your mind.
Physical exertion is one thing. Mental exhaustion can take its toll too quickly.
Get a good business book and read it. But don’t read it on your tablet or Kindle. Read an actual physical book!
Entrepreneurs erroneously believe that giving every minute of their lives to their work is the only way to prevent failure.
But a clear mind is twice as effective as a tired one.
Don’t forget your life’s joys because you’re working all the time. Those life-joys will help you clear your mind and thereby make you more effective when you’re working.
Take a stroll, preferably in a park or other green area, and just clear your mind. Sit on a bench and look at the birds if you have to. Let yourself unwind.
You could also take up yoga or meditation if you have the time.
And then there’s the opposite tack: Running a mile on the treadmill or slamming your fists into a punching bag at the gym and building up a real sweat. Sometimes, that’s the only way to really get the stress released.
Stay healthy, eat healthily. Avoid greasy foods and make sure that your body can take the strain of long hours.
Above all, get the sleep you need.
Staying healthy and physically active is imperative to keeping your stress levels manageable.
Call up some friends for a drink on a Friday night. Feel free to talk about the office and to let off steam — rant about your frustrations.
Soon, you’ll find that you’re laughing about the antics at the office, and feeling fresh about starting a new week.
You’re working hard, so don’t forget to show yourself some love. Do this especially if you’ve had a particularly good week or just got in a big account.
A popular saying is that life is about the journey, not the destination. This has never been more true when considering the life of an entrepreneur.
Too many entrepreneurs think that the finish line — IPO, perhaps — is the only true victory. If you don’t celebrate the minor milestones along the way, it’ll be a very unhappy journey indeed.
The same is true for employees. Few are the employees that don’t want to see your startup grow. Their livelihood is intertwined with your business’s success.
If you’re under stress, probably so are they.
If the company as a whole achieves a major victory, treat the team to a small celebration so that they come back to work on the following Monday feeling fresh and keen to get rolling.
A team in good spirits can do wonders for a CEO’s stress levels.
If everything is crashing and you feel like you’re about to lose your mind, you need a wingman to simply take up the reins on short notice.
This needs to be your second-in-command, the person you trust the most. It needs to be someone in whose hands you could trust your life.
Because, in a way, that’s what you’re doing.
A lot of daily activities such as digital marketing, social media and simply answering the telephone can take up so much of your time that you feel frustrated (and therefore stressed) at the end of the day.
Consider offloading those activities to an external company so that you can just focus on running your business.