How to be a happier, more joy-filled biz owner and truly live your life while growing your biz.
Stress is a fact of life. Even the great things in life often bring stress. If the great things like marriage, buying a new house and getting a new job cause stress, what about the constant stress and worry that biz owners experience as they grow a sustainable business? Though some stress is normal, ongoing stress is not healthy.
When I had my health crisis three years ago and I stopped breathing for 6 minutes, then woke up in ICU, I vowed that I would enjoy life, love life, and not sweat the small stuff and not even sweat the big stuff.
I wanted to make the most of my time here on this planet. I felt that I was like that before I got sick, but my sudden illness just amped up my commitment to more joy, more love, more courage, more kindness.
No one says when they are faced with a life and death situation, “I wish I would have spent more time stressed out and worried.”
Here are just a few scenarios that invoke stress for small biz owners.
- Your biz loan is due and you haven’t collected your account receivables at the rate you thought you would.
- You are growing fast, and your expenses are increasing faster than you anticipated.
- You are doing too much, but when is it time to hire additional help?
- Your industry changes and what worked before isn’t working anymore.
- You didn’t get the contract you thought you would.
- You are not getting enough clients or sales.
- You are struggling to keep up with technology and regulation changes.
- Your hours are long and when you are not working, you still think about work.
I could go on, but you get the point. You might even recognize your situation in the above list. The first key to beating stress is to stop mentally fighting and resisting. Accept what is happening right now. Acknowledge your fear. If you keep pushing it down, rather than process it, your fear will keep coming up for you. It might be helpful, to say, “This is plain, old-fashioned fear and worry.”
Then, choose your thought. No matter what your present moment is, you can choose your thoughts
When you come face to face with worry and find yourself losing sleep, you can choose to reframe your thoughts around what is going on.
Chances are you have been playing through worst case scenarios in your mind. Some time spent on worst case scenarios is productive from a risk management perspective, but spiraling downward with negative thoughts and getting consumed with all the ways your business will not work out, creates even more stress. Rather than being over-focused on the problem, start focusing on solutions.
You can reframe your thoughts by asking these questions:
- What would I rather be thinking about? For example, rather than thinking about how cash flow is not coming in the way you want it, focus instead on all possible ways cash flow could come into your business.
- What would feel better? An example of feeling better, might involve taking a walk, going for a bike ride, golfing, and/or taking in a movie or something else. Changing your environment even for a few minutes or hours can give you a new perspective, and help you unlock ideas.
- How can I look at this differently? If previous methods for signing clients and sales stopped working; you can shift to considering new methods. Do some research in your industry. Are others experiencing something similar? What are they doing about it?
- What if I could see this as an exciting challenge? Running a business can feel like an emotional roller coaster, but what if you enjoyed the ride? Being an entrepreneur is full of change, surprises, detours, and winding paths at times. This is part of the draw. You are not in a salaried manager scenario anymore. You chose entrepreneurship to take control of your destiny and to experience more in life. If the passion has waned, you probably had it at one time. Can you jump start that passion again?
- What if I could see this as a game or a puzzle? Our brains love puzzles. In fact, once you pose a puzzle or a question to your brain, it wants to keep working on it, even when you are not actively concentrating on it.
Confidence breeds confidence. Boost your confidence by reflecting on how you have overcome challenges in the past. You have done it already, so you can do it again.Click to tweet
When you are unsure, you are not sending a loud and clear message to the Universe. Make up your mind, and say, “I am doing it. It is happening.”
One day, my husband and I were going to look at cars. My car was a total loss and I needed a new one. I prequalified over the phone earlier in the day. The interest rate was ok, not great, but ok. As we were driving my husband said, “If we don’t get the interest rate or find a car you love, we are not getting a car today.” Though this made practical sense, I was having none of that. I was prepared, I had been looking for two weeks, had four cars that I planned to test drive. I had a favorite car, but I felt open to trying the others. I said, “We are getting a car today. We are getting a great interest rate, a car I love, and we will be in and out of the dealership in under two hours.” I staked a claim for what I wanted. I was decisive. And that is exactly what happened. We even got a much better interest rate when we applied in person. I didn’t go in to the experience all wishy-washy. I decided what I wanted and how I wanted it to happen.
Here are some ways you can be more decisive:
- Decide on a time limit for worry or stress. If you find yourself feeling bad, set a timer. When the timer goes off, you shift to something else.
- Make up your mind that a solution or alternative is out there or even better, within you.
- Decide to practice excellent self-care no matter what.
- Decide to try out solutions. Do something.
- Decide to ask for help or advice.
- Choose happiness. Happiness isn’t dependent on outward circumstances.
You didn’t become a biz owner to be cranky and under constant stress. Reframing your thoughts and actions will help you decrease stress and help you become a more happy, joyful biz owner so you can live your life the way you want to.
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Sheri Kaye Hoff
Coach, Trainer, and Author, Sheri Kaye Hoff, is a Business and Life Coach known for inspiring massive action and a catalyst for personal and business growth, joy, and profits in a way that is fun, relaxing, and fulfilling, Sheri inspires people to the do work they love and make more money. Sheri helps business owners and professionals to relax into success. She uses both spiritual and practical techniques to obliterate blocks and create dramatic change. She is a business, leadership, happiness, and inner game expert. She has overcome nearly dying, and the loss of her brother at an early age. She has made it her life mission to discover the keys to happiness and success and then share them with her clients and community. Learn more about Sheri.