This week, I was reminded how stressful owning and operating a business can be.
A friend had a stress attack that seriously stopped him in his tracks. His doctor said that it could have led to a heart attack from the stress it put on his body systems.
Now, I’m not saying that it was caused by something in his business, but I know he works hard at the business, always looking ahead and thinking about his team, the business key indicators, and on how to improve the business. What I am saying is that for all of us, business is stressful.
As business owners we owe it, not only to ourselves, but to our families and loved ones, and to those who depend on us, to stay healthy and resilient. At the end of the day, resilience is about mental flexibility and the ability to adapt to change and uncertainty.
How do you do that?
Incorporated into our mental flexibility is the mental capacity to understand what you can control, and what you can’t.
You really need to watch this video, and then take some action in changing your habits and mindset to become resilient.
So, let’s run through that again.
First, as I said above, understand what you can control, and what you can’t. Solve issues that you can control. Get help from others, learn new skills, make changes in the systems.
As for issues you cannot control – remember it’s not what happens to you but what you let what happens to you affect you. Learn to see what happens, not as immediate death and destruction, but in perspective. Seek the hidden opportunities. At the very least, be grateful for the learned lesson.
Then let it go.
Step 2 is to learn to recognise signs of burnout and invest in self-care.
There is nothing more important for us lonely business owners out there than to be self-aware. Notice if you are getting short-tempered; understand why you become insistent on my way or the highway; if you are withdrawn at home, what’s causing that? Do something as soon as you notice changes, because this is an issue that you can control.
As part of this process, invest in some self-care. Make sure that you take holidays – schedule them, take them, don’t take work with you. I know for many this might be a little too “woo-woo” but look at doing spiritual and physical things that relax you and give you perspective – get a massage, meditate, pray and commune with what beliefs you share with others, join a gym or an exercise group.
One of the things you can do – funnily enough – is to aim to learn and grow in your business. So, take courses about business skills and learn better ways to operate your business. With knowledge comes strength; with knowledge, any unexpected occurrence becomes a previously learned possibility.
I love small business owners and entrepreneurs – they are exciting people who inspire me and have done so throughout my career. So, look after yourselves because being in business is indeed stressful, become resilient.
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See you next week!