How can entrepreneurs fight the anxiety of having to do everything on their own
At VistaCreate, we admire small business owners. The bravery and boldness it takes to run your own business… You are an inspiration. But we also know that sometimes, especially as your business reaches new heights, a guest comes knocking at your door: the anxiety of having to do it all on your own.
You wake up in the morning, and before you even grab your coffee, new challenges start flowing in. Hiring a good sales manager (oh, what a task these days!), fixing website bugs, calming down a raging client… You name it. But try not falling into that anxious loop. You started your business for a reason, you put your heart and soul into it, so, no matter what happens, keep going. All you need to do is to learn how to manage your anxiety. Look at it as yet another challenge you’ll be happy to overcome.
We have your back here. Below, we’ve prepared a list of 13 practical steps that can help you overcome the anxiety of having to do everything on your own — and actually enjoy watching your business grow.
13 ways to overcome your anxiety as an entrepreneur
Anxiety in entrepreneurs can have many faces — and many reasons. How do you find a way for a more fulfilling, happy business life that isn’t burdened with anxiety? Here are our 13 recommendations:
1. Find the reasons for your anxiety
Anxiety is a nagging feeling no one really loves. Can someone just delete it from our library of emotions already? But no: anxiety is real, and, if not addressed, can cause you chronic stress that will halter your growth. Some entrepreneurs are also having daily battles with their imposter syndrome — check out our list of tips on how to handle that.
Be sincere with yourself as you ask: what exactly am I anxious about? Why do I need to recheck my contracts again and again? Can I pass this task over to my employee? Why can’t I sleep at night? Once you’ve identified the reasons for your anxiety, the next thing to do is clear: act on it.
2. Start with why
Now, ask yourself: what’s your reason for doing what you’re doing? Perhaps you’re now making your childhood dream come true by opening a pet-friendly cafe in the neighborhood. Maybe you have great leadership skills and always wanted to manage a team. Or, perhaps, you’re just not one to work from nine to five ( please, don’t make it 24/7 though!).
Having the reason for your hustle in mind is what will keep you going, even when things are tough and you have too many things to do on your own. Always start with why.
3. Identify your priorities
We know that feeling business owners get: you open your to-do list, and, instead of crossing out tasks, you just add more and more of them. Here, you have to develop yet another superpower: identifying your priorities. Make it one anchor task per day and organize your schedule around it.
Be real here: you can’t do it all at once. Perhaps some tasks will be left incomplete and stuck in your backlog for some time. Don’t worry too much about it: once you keep your main objective the main objective, everything else will follow.
4. Master new skills
Launching a Facebook campaign, conducting an interview, ordering packaging… Sometimes, you do it all on your own with no side help. It pays to always be learning something new, and to be able to do pretty much anything on your own.
Enroll in a new social media management class. Seek advice from your peer entrepreneurs on how to handle international logistics. Learn the basics of financial management. With a bunch of universal skills, you’ll be able to keep your business up and running on your own.
We do hope you have a great team that is always there for you. Of course, it’s sometimes crucial that you do some things on your own, such as conducting an investor talk or handling financial issues. But, as you grow, you need to hire people you can trust — and who can take some burdens off your shoulders. Team work does make the dream work.
Once you learn to delegate, you’ll be surprised to see how much time you have to think about your new strategic goals, or ways to handle long-running problems.
Have a design task in mind? At VistaCreate, we’re happy to help you design a new project in minutes — simply head over to our library of templates, choose the one you need, and play around with it till you get the job done.
6. Talk to your peers
The relief you get when someone tells you: “Yes, I’ve also been there, I know how you’re feeling”… Get yourself a good company of entrepreneurs you can share your thoughts with. This will benefit you in a couple of ways. First, you’ll always be able to share what’s bothering you and get advice from like-minded people. Second, you’ll be part of a community where you can share your business ideas and, perhaps, find someone for your next business projects. Go talk to people!
7. Make yourself OK with saying no
Again, this boils down to what we’ve discussed above — identifying your priorities. You can’t be doing everything, and multitasking is surely not the best strategy at work. Sometimes, you need to let your employees handle the problem themselves. Try not to take on new projects and just focus on your current one.
Saying no can be frustrating and difficult in the moment, but in the long-run — it will just add to your steady business growth and your personal development.
8. Be mindful in your daily life
Many famous entrepreneurs say mindfulness has become their way to overcoming anxiety issues. As you go about your day, try to be mindful in everything you do, be it signing a new contract, giving feedback to your designer, or preparing a presentation. Practice meditation — that is, take 10 minutes every day to just relax and listen to your own thoughts.
For better effect, get yourself into the habit of journaling, and put your worries and ideas on paper.
9. Learn to manage your time
The anxiety in businessmen often comes from ineffective time management. But don’t worry: there are proven techniques to actually get more done. For example, you can try time blocking to allocate certain amounts of time for particular tasks. Or try the Pomodoro technique, where you work for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break.
Check out our list of time management tips for more practical ideas.
Seek inspiration in artists’ routines. Some of them say they’re more effective when they handle light issues during the day and take time to come up with strategies or new ideas in the night, when business chats are silent. We’re not urging you to quit sleeping, though. Just try different daily schedule options to see what works best for you.
10. Praise yourself for your accomplishments
It’s easy to dwell on your mistakes and burdening thoughts. But hey! You’re doing a great job just by being brave enough to manage your own business. So, go easy on yourself here and find some time to thank yourself for your wins. Make it a great habit to grab a list of paper once in a while and note your accomplishments.
Have you aced your quarterly KPIs? Or hired a great manager? Perhaps you were productive and completed everything you planned for the day… Sometimes, you save the words of appraisal for your employees, but know — you deserve them, too.
11. Enjoy your non-business life
It pays to learn that you’re more than just your business. What else is there? Try to find fulfillment in your non-business life. Enjoy a hobby, be it hiking trips or watching classy movies. Be a good friend. Spend time with your family. Take good care of your health by maintaining a regular sports routine and a good diet. This way, you’ll feel the sweet balance between your role as an entrepreneur and the other parts of your life.
12. Let go of the need to control everything
Your business is like your child — and you want it to be alright no matter what. But what if you are trying to control things too much? Having everything under control is a good thing to do, given that you’re keeping it balanced. Accept that there will be some troubles that can’t be handled instantly. Be thankful for what you’ve achieved, instead of wanting things to be different than what they are.
Bottom line: control things (but not too much), give freedom to your employees, and celebrate your achievements.
Last, but not least — just breathe. Try to take all your highs and lows breath by breath. Next time you’re feeling agitated or anxious, tell yourself to stop and breathe for a while. Take a couple of deep breaths, and try to let it go. We bet you’ll feel way better after a short pause.
As an entrepreneur, you sometimes have to manage too many things on your own. But do be attentive to your thoughts and feelings. To overcome your anxiety, we suggest you learn to delegate your tasks, manage your time properly, and give yourself a break. Also, always remember why you started your business — and may you prosper and achieve everything you have planned.