Tony Gaskins once said: “If you don't build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.” Whilst this is a very true, poignant quote that doesn't mean being your own boss doesn't come without a whole lot of stress.
From managing clients, to hiring your first employees, and even trying to juggle it all without burning out—the road of entrepreneurship can be incredibly challenging, not to mention stressful. If this sounds like you, here's 5 ways to overcome some of the biggest stresses you are likely to face as an entrepreneur.
Access to capital
Whether your business is well established, or if you are looking to quit your 9 to 5 and be your own boss, having access to the capital you need to build your vision, is a common stumbling block all entrepreneurs face.
There are many ways to raise capital including traditional business loans or even crowdfunding. However, you can also look at your current expenses to see if you can free capital up this way too. If things are really tough, why not sit down with your accountant or business advisor for some advice on your next steps?
If you are yet to start your business because the financials are holding you back—just start small. Remember that there is no such thing as an 'overnight success'. You may even want to start a side hustle outside of your regular job to save for a startup fund.
Love them or hate them, you need clients to keep your business afloat. But that doesn't mean everything is always plain sailing, which can be very stressful when you are trying to get your business off the ground.
Having difficult clients can be a huge drain on resources, not to mention on your time and patience too. You can resolve this by having clear communication throughout. You may also want to speak to them over the phone if things are getting difficult, as email communication does not always convey tone or emotion.
Late payments can put a huge drain on your capital, and can even threaten your business. One way to overcome this is by staying on top of your accounts, and drafting terms and conditions into client contracts about payment terms. Failing this, you can draft a solicitors letter from as little as £5, if they are still yet to pay you.
If you are having trouble attracting clients in the first place, you need to learn how to market your business. Check out this great article from Forbes on how to market your startup on a limited budget.
Too much to do in too little time
When you decide to break free from the reigns of the 9 to 5 life, you might feel like you're on top of the world. However, there will come a point when you will realise you simply cannot do it all alone.
Whether you need help with building your website, marketing, designing, advertising or the general day to day running of the business, it's okay to accept help!
You can reduce stress and free up your time by hiring outside help. This might be in the form of employees or freelancers to do ad-hoc tasks such as website design or admin.
This can work in the favour of entrepreneurs, because the less tasks that need completing in a day doesn't just mean less stress, it means you can truly concentrate on what is important in the business. It also saves you from trying to do something you are not very skilled at (such as web design) which can paint a bad impression of your company if you get it wrong anyway.
Hiring freelancers is also an excellent way to network, and could land you more leads for your business than if you were doing everything just by yourself, as well as give you new ideas for the business.
Leading a team
You might be excellent at coming up with a business idea or even a new invention, but that doesn't mean you automatically know how to lead a team too.
Being a great leader comes with experience, and there can be a lot of trial and error along the way. Dealing with human beings is not the same as crunching numbers, and the sooner you realise this the better.
Leaders must have great strategy when dealing with clients too. This involves knowing your business and all the key numbers and statistics off by heart. After all, you wouldn't walk into an investor meeting and not know what your turnover is. It's about having great attention to detail as well as a great personality, whether you are dealing with clients, employees or investors.
A great way to lead a team successfully is to develop a company culture. Know your brand inside out, and encourage positive growth based on the ethos you develop. If you have never employed someone before, check out this fantastic guide to hiring your first employee.
What do New York and entrepreneurs have in common? They never sleep! Whether it's attracting new clients or coming up with new ideas for your business, or even managing your employees—being your own boss is a 24/7 operation, and it can get super draining.
Therefore burnout is a real risk factor that you need to work hard to avoid. In fact, an article by Tech Crunch on the issue of mental heath in startups, reported that founders are twice as likely to suffer from depression, as well as a whole host of other psychological conditions.
So what should you do if you are feeling stressed, anxious and overwhelmed as an entrepreneur? Firstly, you should talk to those around you. If you have a team, ensure you have regular meetings and that everyone is clear on their roles, so they know to pick up the pace.
You should make sure to eat a healthy diet and visit the gym. It sounds like old school advice, but it truly is the best way to help promote healthy mental and physical wellbeing. Plus, a cardio session is great for burning off stress! Make sure you are getting a regular, good nights sleep too, as the negative effects of sleep deprivation such as poor performance are well documented—and your startup will be most successful when you're rested and at your best!