In a CNN money report, money was quoted as a greater stress inducer than politics for millennials. The reasons for stressing about money included worrying about not having an investment plan to how to fund one’s retirement.
For small business owners in particular, stress sources range from juggling one’s work and one’s personal life to low-income months and cash-flow difficulties.
But stressing about money can lead to financial troubles on a different scale. For instance, many studies have focused on the connection between driver stress and accidents on the road.
According to West Coast Trial Lawyers, an accident attorney in Los Angeles, “Millions of Americans are injured every year in motor vehicle accidents. […] The cost of medical care associated with treating car accident injuries can be extreme, and in many situations the injured individual may not be able to return to work for a long period of time, if ever.”
So money worries can cause stress. And stress can cause accidents and harm one’s health. Which results in steep medical bills, which further creates more money worries. In short, stress can kickstart a bad money cycle with repercussions that widen as the stress and bills accumulate.
How can a small business owner keep stress from doing a double whammy to your health and your money?
Here are the strategies you can put into place to zap stress before it comes knocking.
Look at staying healthy as part of your business
You can’t run a business efficiently on 4 hours of sleep. Nor can you be an effective entrepreneur from a hospital bed. Maintaining your health is an essential aspect of you being able to run your business. You come first. Without you, there would be no business.
Taking care of yourself should always be at the top of your daily to-do list. This means that whatever you need to do to stay healthy should be done first and foremost.
Get enough sleep. Don’t pull all-nighters. Figure out an exercise plan that works for you. Strategize on how you will eat nutritious meals daily. The healthier you are the more you will be able to work.
Have a support system
It’s likely that running a business is not the only hat you wear. You might be a parent, raising a couple of kids. Or a daughter, caring for elderly parents. Or perhaps you have more than one business that you are running.
No one is going to give you medals for attempting to do it all on your own. Get help as soon as possible. Create a support system that you can lean on when needed.
Your support system can pick up the slack for you. For instance, with children, work out an arrangement with your close friends or family for babysitting duties. And be sure to return the favor when they need help.
Or in the case of running a couple of businesses, train someone to take care of the duties that you won’t be able to get to on certain days.
Get comfortable with saying no
Establish clear boundaries and practice the art of saying no, kindly but firmly. Small business owners are often faced with many demands on their time. And without clear boundaries, they can get roped into agreeing to something that they do not have the resources to carry out.
Know your limits. Pushing past your limits might be advisable in certain cases when you deem the payoff worth it. But only when it’s you deciding to push your own limits. Not when others make that decision for you.
Worried that you could be losing clients and alienating people you need on your side? There is an art to saying no. A flat out “no” with zero explanation will do more damage than good.
One easy way to do this is to explain your boundaries as rules that you have put in place for your business. For example, “I have a rule about not working after 5PM.” Or “I have a policy about accepting X type of work.”
The bottom line to cut stress from your life? There are strategies you can enact that will make your life as a small business owner a lot easier. It only takes small daily steps to keep stress in check. But the payoff will be worth it. Not only will you be safeguarding your finances, but you will be able to enjoy both your life and your work once again!