Starting up your own business can be a very rewarding and exciting time in your life, but 'being your own boss' can take its toll on your mental wellbeing. Your business is totally dependent on you, if something goes wrong it is your fault and what happens if the business fails? Aside from the good aspect of doing what you love every day, there are many worries and stresses in the lives of entrepreneurs. Here are ten:
So you've decided to set up your own business, but no one else seems to understand why. You are completely isolated, with no one to talk to, and you have very little access to guidance should you need support. Your family and friends don't get what you're doing and you're putting in so much work that you never get the chance to socialise. The lifestyle of an entrepreneur can be very lonely.
2) Fear of the unknown
As an entrepreneur, it is impossible to know what will happen in the future, and you will never know what troubles lie around the corner or what hurdle you will have to jump next. No amount of organisation and planning will truly prepare you for what may happen in the future and this can be very stressful. The harsh fact is that 90% of start-up businesses fail, and it's hard to know if you will be in the lucky 10% that doesn't.
3) Financial concerns
Your business becomes your life, you are financially dependent on it and your family may be dependent on you, so what happens if something goes wrong? A poor month of sales or customers not paying on time can have a detrimental effect on your cash flow. With cashflow problems being one of the main reasons why start-ups fail, it is bound to make you feel the pressure.
Take it from me, starting up your own business, and running it, is a lot of work. You may experience sleepless nights, and constant worrying about your 'to-do list'. From all the hours you invest, you may not get much back straight away. The high workload that entrepreneurs experience is an enormous life stressor that must be acknowledged and overcome.
5) Amount of responsibility
Being the owner and director of a business comes with a huge amount of responsibility, both for the business itself and all the staff you employ. If anything goes wrong, it is you who has to deal with the consequences. The stress of this responsibility can have huge implications on your wellbeing and the overall success of your business.
6) Managing time and deadlines
You may find yourself wishing you had more time, or wondering if you actually do need to sleep. Deadlines can be the source of enormous stress for entrepreneurs and managing time can often prove very difficult, particularly when no matter how hard you work, it seems impossible to keep up with everything.
7) Public speaking/Pitching
No one particularly likes public speaking, do they? No matter how many times you've done it, no matter how used to it you are, speaking in front of a large number of people is always a scary thing to do. Entrepreneurs have to pitch their businesses every day to potential customers, investors and partners making it an essential but often stressful process.
8) Finding the right team
You would think that with the levels of unemployment, it would be easy to recruit employees for your business. Think again! Entrepreneurs can experience enormous difficulty in finding suitable workers for their business. When resources are scarce and time is limited, it is essential that you are able to find the right team to help you grow and scale the business. If this is not possible, then this can cause huge amounts of pressure for you as a business owner.
9) Customer interaction
Customer interaction both face to face and over the phone can be a 'nerve-wracking' experience. When a lot is riding on a conversation with a customer, stress levels are elevated. They may ask difficult questions; you may have to persuade them or they may be totally uninterested in what you have to say. Either way, you can't run a business without customers so it is a stress factor that has to be managed properly.
This may sound weird but the thought of rest can sometimes be a very stressful concept for entrepreneurs. You get hit with thoughts like 'have I done enough work?', 'do I even deserve to have a break?', 'what if I miss an opportunity?'. All of these thoughts can lead to feelings of anxiety and make you unable to relax. With entrepreneurs being prone to burnout, it is important that you are able to manage these thoughts and your workload in order to remain productive.
Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner? Are you experiencing stress?
If so, it is important that it is identified and tackled early-on, to ensure that you remain effective.
In partnership with a psychotherapist, I have developed an online course to help you manage your stress levels. To receive your 25% discount, click here.