Managing Stress in the Workplace When You’re the Boss

Starting a new business venture is exciting, and a little bit scary too. Along with the butterflies, there’s often a whole lot of anxiety to go along with them. Not only are you now responsible for your own future success, but now you have employees to worry about too. Here are a few things that can keep you up at night as a new entrepreneur and how to handle them.

  1. Money

This is probably the biggest concern for most new business owners. Where will the money come from? How fast it gets spent. Hidden costs you didn’t know you were going to face like insurance, workers comp, and those dreaded taxes.

How NOT to handle it: Using all your own money to fund your enterprise. Your entire life savings should not be completely tied up in this venture, especially if you have a family. Before starting a venture, be sure you’ve put aside enough money to live on for 12 to 24 months while the business takes off.

A Better Way: Other People’s Money! More than a movie title, this is a key strategy for any new business. Consider Angel Investors, crowdfunding and even business loans to get started with.

  1. Fear of Failure

For some people, all the bravado in the world won’t quench that little voice in their head that says this isn’t going to work. If that describes one of the many thoughts screaming through your brain at 3 a.m., you are not alone. Many new people starting new ventures face these same issues.

The WRONG way to fix it: Ignoring the feelings through self-medication. Sadly, many people turn to drugs or alcohol to help them sleep or just get through the day. They think if they can just shut that voice up for a bit everything will be okay. But the truth is, the problems are still there and the only thing you’ll accomplish is developing a habit that can lead to addiction and a visit to an alcohol or drug rehab center.  

The RIGHT way: Face your fears head on. Spend a few minutes and write down what you are afraid of, and get specific. Once the list is down on paper, chances are some of the things won’t be that scary anymore so cross them off the list. For the items that are left, jot down some steps you can take to address each one. For example, if you are afraid that your product isn’t going to sell, make plans to review your business plan and market research to reassure yourself that this business is a good idea.

  1. Responsibility and Respect

This actually ties into both of the other two. You are now the person responsible for the financial stability of a company and its employees. You can’t handle that? Can you? You can’t even manage your own life, how are you going to handle theirs? “They’ll figure out I’m a fraud and don’t know what I’m doing.”

A BAD Idea: Allowing Imposter Syndrome to take over your life. If you don’t think you’re good enough and respect yourself, your employees won’t either. 

Fix it Fast: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome takes time and maybe a little bit of acting skills. There’s an old saying “Fake it until you can make it.” Take it one step at a time, one day at a time, and if you act like you know what you are doing, eventually you will. If you’re employees don’t know it’s an act, that’s all the better.

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