5 recommendations on how to rely on skills, experience, and inner strength you don't think you have.
Editor's note: This article is part of Navigating Change, a Next Avenue initiative made possible by the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and EIX, the Entrepreneur Innovation Exchange.
Many older Americans dream of working for themselves. But new business owners often find entrepreneurship stressful, especially during lean startup times.
Fortunately, experts say that while stress as an entrepreneur is inevitable, you can learn how to better manage it. “Working independently is like running track and field,” writes strategy consultant Stephen Kristol in his book “No Boss!” “It takes not only dedication and persistence, but also training the mind to think and act in a way that makes self-employment successful.”
I recently spoke with Krystle to get her thoughts on the best ways to reduce the stress of entrepreneurship. I also asked Dr. Elissa Eppel, author of The Stress Prescription and associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, for her opinion. Here are her five top recommendations to reduce stress when building a new business.
entrepreneur tips sheet
1. Assess your stressors. Starting a business involves risk, uncertainty, and a steep learning curve. Some people thrive on this challenge, while others feel overwhelmed.
“So many people have dreams of running something themselves, but that doesn't mean they're particularly suited to the rigors of entrepreneurship.”
“So many people have a dream of running their own business,” Kristol says. “But that doesn't mean they're particularly suited to the rigors of entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, they often don't think about it until they're in the middle of it, and then they find themselves in a difficult position. accompanies it.”
So before you strike out on your own, think long and hard about your ability to withstand the stress of being an entrepreneur. If you are risk-averse, uncomfortable with change, or tend to worry easily, this may not be the best path for you.
2. Don't go it alone. Entrepreneurs can be lonely, especially after a long career as part of a large team. Isolation can be especially problematic for people who have little opportunity for face-to-face interaction and work virtually or in e-commerce. But just because you work for yourself doesn't mean you need to exclude people from your work life.
“Don't let your ego convince you that you're too smart to learn from others.”
“Find someone to join you on your adventure,” says Kristol. Since leaving the advertising industry and starting his coaching and consulting business, he has worked hard to develop relationships with other service providers, who over time have become friends, advisors, and collaborators. I did.
“I would have been much lonelier if I had tried to do everything myself,” he says, adding that his fellow entrepreneurs are some of the smartest people he knows who provide him with invaluable support. added. He writes in his book: “Don't let your ego convince you that you're too smart to learn from the deep experience of others or benefit from their objectivity.”
3. Hire help (selectively). Tackling a long to-do list on a limited budget is one of the biggest stressors for early-stage entrepreneurs. “It's hard for him to part with a dollar early on,” Kristol admits. “But doing everything yourself for too long can be counterproductive.” The key is to find ways to get help, but the scope is limited.
Kristol emphasizes that aid payments do not have to be unlimited. “For specific projects, arrange a fixed fee,” he says. “If it's ongoing, set a limit on the number of hours you're willing to pay for and stick to it. Like any good investment, it's important to consider the time and energy you put into getting help, and the amount of time you spend in the first place. The money you part with has consequences.If you choose people and jobs carefully, you will definitely get good results.”
4. Celebrate the benefits of age. Older entrepreneurs bring years of experience and professional connections to their businesses. And Eppel points out that as we get older, we develop more resilience skills.
“We don't pay too much attention to details.”
“We don’t really pay attention to details,” she says. “We have a lot of experience with failure and expect the road to be tough. We look at the challenges and obstacles we face with a broader perspective and a broader lens, so we know how to succeed.” You can face it with more confidence knowing that you will find it.” “
Kristol added that older employees often feel a little more “been there, done it” and feel like they have less to lose at this point in their careers.
5. Prioritize self-care. Although we cannot change many stressful situations in our personal and social lives, we can change the way we respond to that stress. In his book, Epel describes stress-reduction practices (most of the time he only takes 10 minutes or less) that you can do every day to recover faster from stressful events. In her book, she calls exercise “the medicine of movement.”
invest time in yourself
She is particularly passionate about high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is a very short period of intense exercise that is useful for people who want to improve their resilience from stress. (You can also search for her 7-minute guided HIIT routine online. Or, if you've been inactive for a while, try something simpler like 10 minutes of slow to brisk walking.) Please start from ).
Epel also encourages people to get out into nature. By changing your physical environment, you can change your mental state. Immersing yourself in nature allows you to step away from your screens and release your creativity.
“Nature is unique in its ability to soothe and calm the mind, put things into perspective, and shrink stressors that once seemed enormous,” she writes.