Everything you need to know about dealing with stress and work pressure
As an entrepreneur, you are undoubtedly busy and most likely experiencing stressful moments.
You suddenly face an important deadline from a client and want to be there for your family in addition to your business. Lack of time is the number one challenge for entrepreneurs and freelancers. As a result, you soon find yourself dealing with stress. How do you deal with it and how do you prevent long-term stress? We give you tips.
A little stress is healthy.
First things first: a little stress is good. In fact, it is very healthy! After all, stress creates adrenaline that makes you perform well as an entrepreneur. Just make sure that stress does not turn into prolonged stress, because then it can actually work against you. The longer you continue on adrenaline, the more reserves in your body are used. And then it's just waiting for your body to say, "Ho stop! Actually, by then it's too late. You are no longer engaged in vital business and that leads to physical as well as physical complaints.
For entrepreneurs, money is key. By this I do not mean that entrepreneurs do what they do solely for financial reasons, but without the necessary financial resources they are nowhere. Money ensures the company's survival and is a guarantee of both continuity and growth. Meeting financial target puts a lot of pressure on entrepreneurs anyway, especially when an important project goes awry. This is especially true for budding entrepreneurs or companies within sectors that have been hit hard in recent years.
It is not surprising that money worries bring stress. It is often nice to have a (solid) financial buffer to bridge difficult periods. Every entrepreneur knows these periods. Sometimes this is caused by wrong strategic choices from the past, but sometimes the economic climate is simply bad. When you know that difficult periods can be bridged, you will also be emotionally stronger and better able to withstand the (work) pressure
Not enough customers
For many an entrepreneur, getting enough customers is a considerable challenge. They have to work hard to find customers and many an acquisition call follows.
Obtaining customers can be firmly against us. Financial reserves dry up and customers stay out. Meanwhile, the mortgage and other monthly expenses continue. Through hard work, you may succeed in getting clients through the Internet, but it still does not provide the satisfaction and reward you had in mind.
Insufficiently profitable clients
Perhaps you have enough clients, but you have to work long hours to make a good living. Soon you're spending evenings and weekends answering all the questions. When you start calculating back what you really get left over from a client, returning to salaried employment almost seems attractive.
Getting the right clients that fit your business requires strategic choices. Indeed, this means starting to say "no" to those clients who cannot align with these choices.
Not every business owner has the power to deploy a huge collection agency. Sometimes it also doesn't pay to collect your hard-earned pennies. Especially sour when a big client (your invoice seems like a pittance) still defaults after 2 or 3 months and, after repeated calls, you still see red numbers in your bank account.
The wrong clients
Wrong clients, clients who don't fit the business philosophy, you get by not having a clear understanding of what you want to stand for as an entrepreneur. All-rounders, in particular, suffer from this. You attract the wrong customers if you do not dare to make choices in business formation. The fact is that entrepreneurs who are experts in a particular field earn more than entrepreneurs who can do a little bit of everything. We expand on this topic at the bottom of this article.
Too many clients
Too many clients can also cause a lot of stress. The work overwhelms you. Yet it's an affirmation of your success and scaling down proves difficult.
In situations like this, it's good to start looking for the ideal client that delivers enough. The clients you can deal with effortlessly and deliver good quality.
This starts with yourself as an entrepreneur!
Being at work day and night
Status and success rate
As an entrepreneur, you have probably built up a certain status. The idea of working for a boss as an entrepreneur is probably daunting to you as well. Don't worry, that's perfectly normal. All entrepreneurs express this fear, and it's understandable, given all you've managed to build.
Once you've managed to build a status, you don't want to lose it, that much is clear. Just make sure that this fear does not dominate. The idea may well lurk in the back of your mind as a motivator, but it should never be a reason to put a solid emotional strain on yourself.
Know that being at the helm of a business carries enough workload anyway, and you can miss that extra added emotional pressure like a toothache. Instead, start from the idea of what you have managed to build, rather than the idea of "what can I lose." Once you are at the head of a business, then you know what entrepreneurship is. Then you have the qualities and perseverance to move forward with that strength and skills, and then you don't have to worry about other things.
Many entrepreneurs employ staff. That staff should be given the necessary guidance, support and direction. These tasks are often more intense than one would dare to expect, it is not for nothing that managers very often face burnout and high pressure. The solution is often very complex and starts with the complete management of staff. Managing staff therefore requires the necessary training and internal/external support. The more you bet on internal expertise, the less the staff needs to be managed.
The more firmly you bet on a change of vision and trust, the more they can take on tasks independently. Possibly consider hiring a people manager or working with a hierarchical structure, especially if you employ more than 10 people. Dare to delegate practical tasks and limit consultation and direction to a few responsible people.
Common problems among entrepreneurs who manage staff:
Wanting to do everything themselves (at least then it will be done right)
Want to keep control
Wanting to be friends with the staff
Expecting staff to have the same motivation as yourself (as an entrepreneur)
Read the biggest pitfalls in managing employees in this article:
Having to work long hours
Although the freedom of entrepreneurship beckoned you when you began as self-employed, you soon feel that you are ruled by your clients. Gone is freedom! Customers with all kinds of demands, wishes and complaints that you have to solve. The customer often makes it seem like this is what is expected of you.
Many entrepreneurs thus make long work weeks of more than 50 hours! Anything to get the "job" done and satisfy customers.
Many entrepreneurs are busy with their business day and night. Even if the work is finished, a website, a facebook page or another project can always use some attention. The business gobbles you up, especially in the moments when it seems like you're close to bankruptcy yet again (we all have that uncertainty sometimes!).
Yet being busy with your business day and night limits your overview and soon you are putting out fires. You are running around without being particularly effective.
More time for family in addition to business
Too little time for family
If you're busy day and night with the business, family (and partner) quickly slip by. Often this starts to gnaw at you. You want things to be different, but your business also requires a lot of attention (and often you really enjoy it).
Too little time for your family can also arise because you are successful with your business and this gives you recognition and appreciation. The call of the business is then great.
Too little time for hobbies and sports
Soon your business snuffs out time for hobbies and sports. This does not mean that you immediately fall completely silent, but the time when you regularly made time to enjoy sports is gone. (An hour rushed into the gym is not relaxation!)
Still, healthy exercise makes for relaxation and a healthy body. It prevents you from gaining weight and developing health problems.
Discover your core values
Stress is deadly normal, let's be clear about that. Although previous examples can all be a cause for nervousness and a high workload does indeed know how to play a major role in it, stress still departs from the inner self. Your perception as an entrepreneur determines how much stress you ultimately experience!
Mahatma Gandhi said this many times in the past and of course there is certainly some truth in it. The solution lies in uncovering your core values. These are the things that you personally find important in life. Does your environment / business / customers not match those values? Then pressure arises.
Uncovering these core values is not easy. Nobody knows you better than you, but rarely do people really look at themselves with an open mind. A solution in that case is to turn to an entrepreneurial coach. An entrepreneurial coach knows what is going on, knows what entrepreneurs are concerned about and knows what can be changed.
On the basis of a personal conversation and years of expertise, an entrepreneurial coach uncovers with you the values that concern you and, in consultation with you, draws up a strategic plan to address these issues.
Make a choice!
We see an awful lot of self-employed people who are 'all-round', or who can do a bit of everything. This is often precisely the problem. You could also say that an all-rounder does not have his core values in order. Just what should you turn to an "allround carpenter" for? The kitchen? The roof? Your fence? There are plenty of specialists for all three subjects.
So why is making a choice so important?
Once you bought a photo camera at an all-purpose store. After practicing for a year or so, you turn out to really like photography. You decide you want more. You want to start taking really nice pictures now. Moreover, you want to edit them better! Your decision is made: there will be a really nice camera now!
Do you go back to that all-round store? Or will you go to a specialist who really knows everything about a photo camera?
How many kilometers would you drive for this specialist? If he knew everything you needed? Would it matter to you that he is slightly more expensive than a provider on the Internet?
Strategic choices as an entrepreneur
So good strategic choices as an entrepreneur are made by first getting to know yourself as a person. Knowing what you stand for, and what your personal core values are. You have YOUR company. Your company breathes your 'being', your emotion and your passion. If you do not know what this is in yourself, then go and find it.
This requires a lot of personal development from you. It involves a large part of autonomy (self-management) with a piece of authenticity (being unique).
stress autonomous entrepreneur
The autonomous entrepreneur
Being autonomous as a self-employed entrepreneur means that your business carries your soul. That you are busy every day doing things that you like and that you are good at. Chances are extremely high that you will soon find yourself in a niche. A niche that many are not good at and that therefore has work in it.
This gets you:
You are in control (you steer yourself, instead of the customer).
You depend on few people
You have decent rates
The right customers find you (same vision)
You keep time
Help with stress and burn out
Reducing stress and recovering from burnout is no easy task. If you need support, you can count on our help. Our coaches are all specialized in your problems. Their years of experience allow them to work with you on your recovery. You will enjoy the results of our 1-on-1 coaching for the rest of your life!
Check out our BYOU therapists nearby at the BYOU app:
BYOU Stress coaching, BYOU Burn out coaching, BYOU Entrepreneurial coaching, BYOU Energy healing, BYOU Mediation, and many more!