Entrepreneurs and Stress: A Dangerous Combination
This is a guest post from stress expert Shirley Noah on the topic of entrepreneurs and stress.
“If it wasn’t for the stress, I’d never get anything done!”
Every entrepreneur has loads of stress, but they handle it differently. Do you use stress as a motivational tool? Is this how you motivate yourself to deal quickly with business issues? Do you let the most stressful issues get addressed first, which likely isn’t a great prioritization strategy? Could you find more creative ways of dealing with stress. It this is how you deal with stress it can kill you if you are not careful! Let’s take a closer look at the connection between entrepreneurs and stress.
Since stress is part of your entrepreneurial life, you would do well to cope with it sooner rather than later. No person is stuck forever with this mindset. Here are a few tips on how to react to situations with more ease.
What Is This Thing Called Stress?
The definition of stress involves both cause and effect. Stress is “the action on a body … a force that pulls on pushes against or tends to compress or twist another body or body part. Physiological stress is an unfavorable effect by environmental factors. Prolonged stress can affect physical and chemical states may lead to pathological conditions.
Stress can come from many places, both inside your company and from outside your office walls. Stress from one source can leak into another. You as an entrepreneur may bring your business stress home with you, which leads to a bad influence on your marriage, children and overall quality of life. Likewise, bringing family and social stress into the workplace creates barriers to getting good work done and reaching your business goals.
Business itself offers more than enough potential stress points. Partners, co-founders, board members, investors, customers, suppliers, competitors, government agencies, even economic influences can stress a leader. The bad news is that none of these stressors are escapable – they always abound. How you deal with stress determines how well you and your business do.
Entrepreneurs and Stress – It’s Our Personality
Entrepreneurs don’t suffer from stress because they invite it. This may sound odd, but the things that cause mental stress to other people may just be an exciting challenge to you as an entrepreneur. Problems become motivations to creating your vision. It doesn’t matter if it is a monumental engineering design problem, an aggressive new competitor, employee situations, or an IRS audit – it is problem-solving that you may consider as a challenge, a project, or a fun new game.
But this willingness in and of itself is insufficient. Many stress points come from people and personalities. Here are the personality traits good entrepreneurs have and how they help turn negative stress into positive action. See if this fits you:
- Optimistic: Entrepreneurs are optimists by nature. Stay focused, stay positive, and know that by being smart and proactive, your odds of success stay high.
- Face Fear: Courage is the quality of mind that enables you to face difficulty without fear. Fear commonly comes from the unknown. Banish the unknown and you become fearless.
- Networking: Genuinely connecting with people puts them at ease and allows you to understand their needs, concerns and desires. You achieve through your people, so know them.
- Cash: No business failed from having too much cash on hand. Manage cash, avoid debt, and be frugal.
- Good employees: Surround yourself with good people. Hire as you would pick a spouse. Employment is a long-term relationship and should be treated as such.
- Customers: You can pick your customers and your markets. It is better to serve a smaller set of customers very well and make them insanely happy than it is to serve a lot of unrelated customers poorly and annoy them immensely.
- Determination and persistence: Never give up. The moment you consider the option of giving in, then doubt has won. Optimism begins with the notion that you won’t quit.
When a person reaches a level of constant stress, your body moves into a coping response. It continues to produce a large amount of stress hormones, especially cortisol. Cortisol is secreted when a person just thinks or rehashes a stressful event in such a way that the endocrine system stays revved up.
When the body is under prolonged stress, cortisol remains elevated. This often leads to insomnia and sleep disturbances. Later your brain eventually loses it sensitivity to cortisol and is unable to regulate cortisol production. This makes you produce even more cortisol which can lead to obesity, hypertension, osteoporosis, and a myriad of many undesirable results.
Bottom line: Become aware of the consequences of entrepreneurial stress. Seek out ways to help you relax and stop the cycle.
Once you put some healthy stress reducing practices in place you will be on your way to a “stress-less” life and to experiencing a peace that passes all understanding.
About Shirley Noah
Shirley is the founder of In Good Health Coach, she has a background in research about health and wellness with an emphasis on being a stress expert. She pursues natural health techniques and sharing information on the use of herbs, essential oils, eating and foods for a healthy lifestyle and more. She believes that we – not just the doctor or dentist – have the responsibility of investigating to find the best tools to achieve and maintain our own health. We are the ones having to live with the results of our choices. It is her hope to make the learning process easier for you to implement the foundational truths.
For a FREE 8 Day Reduce Stress Course, check it out here.