Stress and the small business owner

origin_544510865 (2) head scratchStress is a major threat to the health of a small business, quite apart from being a threat to the owner suffering the stress. It affects productivity, it affects creativity, and it can affect the way we interact with our customers and our staff. It is generally bad news.

We have all had those times. I have had a very difficult few months myself, being involved in some litigation unrelated to my business. That is all over now, and although we have (very unjustly) lost our claim against the other parties, we can try to put it behind us.

How did I get through? I worked as hard as I could with my clients, but due partly to the stress itself but also the work involved in putting our case together, my creativity and the amount of my writing and blogging took a bit of a knock.

I coped by talking to sympathetic ears and both my wife and I are grateful for our friends and the support we have had. I have also used my walks and time off to relax a little, although being under pressure my normal “bright ideas” that I have when out in the fresh air have been somewhat eclipsed by the darkness of the court case.

It is all over now, and although we have lost and there are costs, at least we can move forward, and I can again enjoy the business game as I always have.

How do you cope with stress when it strikes your business and you?

Small business and stress

It does not matter where it comes from. Stress is bad for you. Whether you do not organise your business so that you do not have to work all hours of the day, or whether you have family problems or people are simply being nasty to you, stress will cause you trouble.

If you are stressed

  • You tire more easily
  • You probably cannot sleep well without taking pills
  • You have difficulty concentrating on business
  • You are liable to make bad decisions or you cannot make decisions at all

So how should you deal with your stress?

  • Perhaps you should ask a business friend to suggest how you should use your work time in a better way.
  • Go out for a walk for up to an hour every day – I do, come rain or shine.
  • Get a hobby or a distraction from thinking about work for your spare time – I am photography mad.
  • Read a good book.

No, I know it is not easy. I cannot make out that life is that simple. Just the same, useful relaxing distractions combined with a little help from your friends can help relieve your stress and show your path more clearly.

How do you cope with stress?

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