A major reason why entrepreneurs experience daily stress is the sheer responsibility they have. The role of an entrepreneur can be highly rewarding, but it is also a very stressful one. It requires developing know-how in all areas of management in addition to the burden of endless decision-making.
Entrepreneurs have certain qualities and skills that set them apart from the herd. They have good risk-taking abilities, creative thinking, self-discipline, and a healthy dose of grit, among other qualities.
Nevertheless, these qualities do not make them immune from daily stress. If anything, their position exposes them to higher stress levels every day, making it harder to strike the perfect work life balance.
You don’t have to become overly stressed by your career as an entrepreneur.
That’s why I have put together some of the common reasons why people in this role experience daily stress and how you can avoid or at least reduce the stress.
Let’s get started.
1. Shouldering Enormous Responsibility
Typically, employees have only themselves and their families to worry about. And while that can feel like a considerable responsibility, it is pale in comparison to what an entrepreneur worries about, particularly startups.
Entrepreneurs don’t just think of themselves, their families, business growth, and taxes. They also shoulder the responsibility of each and every employee on their payroll.
As an entrepreneur, you play a huge role in how well (or not) your workers care for their families.
If your business goes under for some reason, it can cause a negative ripple effect, including the following:
- Several families will go hungry and even lose their homes.
- Kids will drop out of school for lack of money to pay tuition.
- A constant tension between couples because of money issues.
As you can imagine, this is a considerably bigger responsibility for one person to bear. Little wonder, many entrepreneurs go through high stress levels almost every day.
That said, you can use this enormous responsibility as motivation instead of a stress trigger.
Think about it this way.
What would life be like without responsibility?
Shift your mindset from seeing considerable responsibility for others as a source of stress. Redirect your thinking so that you see this responsibility as a tool to motivate and help you be more, do more, and have more.
You probably have noticed that plans are great on paper! But anyone who has ever tried to build a business from scratch knows that even the most brilliant plans are not perfect.
How does this cause stress for entrepreneurs?
Knowing that things can go wrong at any time makes it difficult for many entrepreneurs to relax.
And being unable to relax often results in stress!
Beyond this, though, many budding entrepreneurs fuss too much about getting everything perfect right from the start.
They focus on getting the right designs and logos for their websites, spending valuable time attending unnecessary meetings, and doing things that don’t necessarily lead to tangible progress.
In essence, they end up overanalyzing every step.
Don’t take this the wrong way. Planning is great, but you can never be 100% certain about any outcome in your business.
And when you think about it for a minute, isn’t the boredom that comes from predictability one of the reasons you choose to become an entrepreneur?
Here’s one piece of advice I would like you to always remember, even if you forget everything else:
An entrepreneur’s world is filled with uncertainties, and you can’t function well in that world if you cling to the predictability mentality of an employee.
Predictability and uncertainty are mutually exclusive.
Let uncertainty be your motivation to plan better instead of a reason to live in constant stress.
3. No Proper Sense of Direction
Take a minute and picture yourself lost in a completely unfamiliar town, and it is getting dark. You don’t have a map, no access to a phone, and everyone in the town seems hostile.
That’s enough to cause you some serious stress, right?
This is exactly what it feels like to start your business with no clear directions.
You will end up overworking yourself, making avoidable mistakes, and quickly burning through your resources if you don’t have a sense of direction.
This won’t only leave you stressed; it can also make you broke, frustrated, and lonely!
Here’s the deal.
You can’t hit a target unless it exists, you can clearly see it, and you know how to shoot.
That’s another way of saying you need concrete plans in place, starting with a business plan.
Also, you must develop the necessary expertise in all areas of managing your business, including operations, human resource management, marketing, finance, and procurement.
You don’t have to wear all of the hats, though. A good team can help you in this regard.
Quitting your 9-to-5 one day and putting whatever little resources you have into the first business idea that pops into your mind the next day doesn’t make you an entrepreneur, at least not a successful one.
If anything, that’s a quick way to set yourself up for failure, disappointment, and stress. If you’ve always asked, “What is a main reason why entrepreneurs experience daily stress?” this right here is one of the causes.
4. Inability to Control Situations
Try as much as you may; you can’t control everything that happens in your business. Sometimes, things can spiral out of your control despite your best efforts.
What should you do in such situations?
Let me start with a small list of what you shouldn’t be doing in such situations:
- Beating yourself up
- Blaming others
Worrying and stressing about misfortune or how bad things are won’t make any meaningful change.
Here’s what I suggest instead: adopt an attitude of gratitude.
How can you be grateful when things are going bad? Heck, what should you be grateful about?
I already answered those questions in this easy-to-read article that shows you how to focus on the good and stay positive in any and every situation. I suggest you check it out.
Gratitude may seem like an impractical solution to managing stress, but consistently practicing it can help you deal with stress and live happier, even if you are a busy entrepreneur.
5. Stiff and Constant Competition
Unless you are in the class of Thomas Edison or Nikola Tesla, you probably aren’t selling anything completely new.
In other words, you have plenty of other entrepreneurs who are likely in the same sector or industry as you. And that means lots of competition.
For some entrepreneurs, fierce competition helps them thrive. Others are not cut out for stiff competition in business.
Regardless of which side of the divide you fall, you’ll get more value for your time if you don’t obsess about what your competitors are doing.
Just focus on what you want to accomplish, match your own beat, and simply do you.
Being an entrepreneur is hard enough. Why should you bother yourself with an additional burden of what your competition is doing or not doing?
Of course, it is okay to look at the trend in your industry for inspiration or to avoid mistakes. However, worrying whether others are doing better than you will only cause unnecessary stress.
6. Working Too Much or Trying to Do Too Much at Once
Freedom often comes to mind when people think of becoming entrepreneurs. The idea that there’s no one bossing you around because you are your own boss can be quite appealing.
In reality, however, this isn’t always the case.
Many entrepreneurs find themselves working longer hours than employees in a 9-to-5 job. And if you’re like most struggling entrepreneurs, you’ll find yourself forfeiting sleep most nights and working through dawn on most days.
Working for long hours can leave you overworked, overwhelmed, and stressed. And to make things worse, many entrepreneurs have little or nothing to show for all their efforts.
While it might seem as if you are doing your best by overworking, this approach is usually poor because it can burn you out too early in the game.
As I’ve already pointed out earlier, a good team can help you reduce your workload, so you don’t have to wear all the hats in your business.
However, whether you work with a team or prefer to work alone, you need to set up systems and processes that align with what you want to achieve.
This is a better approach than jumping all over the place and overworking yourself.
7. Unrealistic Expectations
Setting big goals is great, but many entrepreneurs tend to hold themselves to unrealistic standards for success.
This mistake can eventually lead to low self-esteem if they continuously fail to achieve such lofty goals or unattainable standards.
Beating yourself up each time you fail sends a subtle message to your mind that you are a failure, at least in that aspect of your life or business.
Eventually, you will lose sight of your “little” successes and get stuck in the mindset that nothing you ever accomplish is ever enough.
All of this can put you under unnecessary stress.
To be clear, being driven by a healthy desire to be better or do better shouldn’t cause you stress.
On the other hand, pursuing a goal will likely cause stress if the desire comes from an unhealthy place, such as being driven by ego or fear.
8. Personal Money Issues
In addition to thinking about the responsibilities of employees, entrepreneurs still have to face their personal money issues.
The thought of not being able to meet your basic needs, let alone support your business and employees, can be both dreadful and a source of stress.
Many people who rush into starting their business make the mistake of combining their personal funds with their business accounts.
Of course, once business debts start to pile up, it will affect their personal finance.
This is where proper planning can save you a lot of headaches. Researching and doing your due diligence can reveal a number of ways to set up your business so that your personal finance is separate from any debt incurred by your business.
For example, structuring your business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) will protect you from the liabilities or debts of your company.
This way, you don’t have to cringe under financial worries while also managing the daily operations of your business.
Starting a business usually means blazing a trail for others to follow. It worsens if those closest to you don’t believe in your dreams.
Being an entrepreneur can get lonely with no one or too few people to support you.
We all need the support of others in one way or another. But that doesn’t mean you should fixate on who supports or doesn’t support your work.
One useful skill any successful entrepreneur should have is the ability to grow their network. Leverage that skill and network with like-minded business owners.
Another way you can handle loneliness is to seek a psychologist or life coach to guide you, especially during those difficult times when your dreams seem too out of reach.
What is a main reason why entrepreneurs experience daily stress? There’s more than one reason, as I’ve outlined above.
Whatever the cause of your daily stress, the good news is that you can effectively deal with it, so it doesn’t affect the quality of your life.
Start by being proud of yourself for what you do. After all, not many people can take the bold step of becoming entrepreneurs.
Cut yourself some slack. You may want to be fiercely ambitious, and that’s a commendable trait. But don’t beat yourself up when things aren’t going according to plan.
Remember that you are more likely to do better when you are in the right frame of mind – with zero or little stress.