By Jerry Mooney
Reading through a lot of the received wisdom around running a business, it seems as though there is a general consensus. It is as though everyone has decided that the world of business is nothing but continual stress and exhaustion. It goes without saying that running a business does require a lot of time, focus and energy. And, yes, left unmanaged, stress can soon come rearing its ugly head. But to treat it as an inevitable part of it all is to miss a vital point. The fact is, plenty can be done to minimise stress in business or avoid it altogether. If you are in charge of your own business, and you would like to know how to make it less stressful, then read on.
Allow Time For Changes
Whenever you make a big decision in your business, it can be tempting to expect immediate results. Too often, we rush around looking for the answer that we hope to see. This alone causes us a huge amount of stress. What’s more, it is stress which is entirely unnecessary. Instead of waiting to pounce on the result that you are hoping for, learn to have a little patience. Everything takes time to develop, and nowhere is that truer than in the big decisions you make in business. Whenever you make a significant change, make some room. Allow enough time for the changes to really take hold before you start evaluating whether or not they landed successfully.
Keep Things Simple
Reducing stress for yourself is intrinsically tied up in reducing stress in the wider business. As long as you are working towards making others in your business happier and less stressed, the same will happen to you. You should, therefore, work hard to find ways to make your colleagues less stressed. One of the main stressors of the workplace is the experience of something being too complex. If your people do not understand something, it will likely cause a ripple of stress through the office. One area of common consternation is technology. Similarly, investing in some decent IT support could make all the difference to how your business operates. Your employees will likely appreciate this, and their work will be evidence of this.
Limit Your Focus
After the initial panic of setting up a business, you then often have a lull to deal with. Once things start flowing smoothly, it can sometimes feel as though not much is happening. The temptation here for many entrepreneurs is to immediately branch out, try and make the business stretch further. While your business might well survive this, it is likely that you will experience a huge amount of stress in the process. If you are keen to limit your stress, however, it might be a good idea to limit the focus of the business a little. Take things slowly, expand at a pace which feels comfortable but without stagnating. This is the way to ensure that your business grows while keeping you calm.
Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of Zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter @JerryMooney