How to Deal with Startup Stress

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Stress is a fact of life.  It occurs when a certain situation puts a large amount of pressure on an individual’s life.  Sometimes, the amount of stress that is put upon a person can seem inescapable, which can bring about feelings of discouragement and defeat.  In fact, many people try to avoid stressful situations at all costs because they know all too well what happens when stress gets the best of them.  That said, what many people fail to realize, is that stress can actually be a good thing if addressed in the correct way.  Stress almost acts like a revaluation tool as it slows you down enough to look in retrospect.  In other words, it brings you back down to Earth and allows you to see the big picture.  You can then make necessary adjustments; tweak some aspects of your life, remove others, maybe even add some along the way and figure out a new game plan for your current situation.  You emerge better equipped and better informed for when another stressful situation presents itself.

One of the most stressful situations in life is starting your own business.  It is a major reason why a lot of people avoid starting their own business in the first place.  Some can’t deal with the pressure or the ups and downs that many entrepreneurs experience on a daily basis.  There are accounts of famous people, such as Walt Disney, cracking under the pressure of their businesses, unable to cope and adapt to their new found lives. In an article from, it is explained that as Disney Studios started gaining more and more recognition, Walt Disney suffered from mental breakdowns.  The stress that he was under was intense, and in a TV interview, Walt Disney explained what happened to him; “I had a hell of a breakdown. I got to the point that I couldn’t talk on the telephone. I’d begin to cry.”

Dick Thompson, author of The Stress Effect: Why Smart Leaders Make Dumb Decisions — And What to Do About It, believes that stress causes entrepreneurs to not think straight, which leads them to make more bad decisions in relation to their business choices.  This vicious cycle perpetuates the stress level felt by the entrepreneur to the point where they feel like they have zero control over their situation.

Luckily, there are some steps you can take to relieve the stress you experience in your business.  Here are some helpful pointers for entrepreneurs:

Take Breaks When Possible: Sometimes you get into the zone, but you can’t snap out of it.  A little bit of fresh air can do wonders.  So, if you can, go take the dogs for a walk, hang out with friends or go grab lunch or a cup of coffee.  Not only will these activities be enjoyable, but it will allow you to take some time to clear your head.  When you return to work, you will feel more prepared to confront your problems head on.

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew: Rome wasn’t built in a day and your business is no exception.  Growing a business takes time.  So, when things are going well, don’t add more and more work to your plate.  Finish what you can and if you want to add more to your business, make sure you have the ability to do so.

Be Confident: You started your own business because you believed in yourself.  If things aren’t working out as planned or there are a lot of problems that arise, remember to never give up.  The biggest of storms always pass, so just keep that in mind when the going gets tough.  Starting a business is by no means an easy venture–give yourself a pat on the back every now and again.  Remember to utilize your resources, ask for help and let that confidence shine.  By being confident, you are displaying to the world that you see the cup half-full and that you deal with stressful situations as they come.  If you don’t have confidence in your business, why should anyone else?

Be a Go-Getter: Once you have confidence under your belt, you are probably more prepared to fight for what you want.  You don’t take “no” for an answer and you always strive to your do your best.  You are pounding the pavement promoting your business and spreading the word.  You keep your mind open and always think about way to make your business even better by adopting new, innovative techniques.  Be the epitome of what people think of when they hear the word ‘entrepreneur’.

Starting a business can definitely be more pleasant if you follow these four helpful tips.  Starting up a business should be exhilarating and rewarding, and it will be if you don’t let stress get the best of you!

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