Running your own business can be liberating and exciting. It can also be extremely stressful and detrimental to your health. So it is a good idea to avoid stress as much as possible. But when your livelihood depends squarely on you, it can be difficult to decouple your life from your business. So how can you effectively prevent or cope with stress as it creeps into your life as an entrepreneur?
Don’t mix funds
It is important to have two separate sets of funds. Even if you run your business as a sole proprietor and your legal structure designates you as a single entity, you should maintain separate bank accounts. If you’re set up as a corporation, there is a legal wall already in place, making it easier to keep funds separate.
If you ever need to transfer money between the two sides, personal and business, you should consider it a loan and mark it on your books as such. Paying interest on it is actually a great way to eradicate incentives to send money back and forth.
Legal structure and insurance
Being a sole proprietor means your personal assets are legally at risk if your business is sued. That can create a lot of stress. Setting up as a corporation shields you from this problem, and it at least gives peace of mind for your personal assets. The IRS
Consider insurance, especially if you remain a sole proprietor. This will help to cover any losses you might incur from neglect or oversight. It may also be a requirement depending on your state, as each one has different laws. A sudden complaint from a major customer can be stressful, but with insurance, you will not need to worry about becoming destitute.
Kill unprofitable projects
Even if they are your pet project, anything that acts as a black hole for your company’s cash flows should be terminated. You can always pick up the project later, once you have extra cash or a more efficient plan for the project.
Removing the project not only removes the financial stress, it can assist in removing stress resulting from the potential failure.
Keep records in an organized way
One of the worst drivers of stress is the unknown. If you don’t know how much money is going where you will constantly feel stress over the direction of the company. Moreover, come tax time, you can be inundated with nervousness and stress, as you may need to prove your cash flows for the year and your deductions. If simply has a box of unorganized receipts, you’ll certainly waste hours trying to find all your deductions.
Electronic assistance is useful here. You can easily scan and tag your receipts, then search through them whenever you must find something. You should also keep a spreadsheet (or even better, a database) or your customer and transaction data. Organization considerably reduces uncertainty, and therefore the stress, around your finances.
Be optimistic but realistically so
Optimism is great in life, but you need to keep it in check. Being unrealistically optimistic will lead to failure, which will cause greater stress in the long run. On the other hand, constantly being pessimistic will generate unnecessary stress.
Use the data you have to make predictions; this gives you an evidence-based forecast, and while emotions fluctuate constantly, the numbers will not lie. If the project looks good in statistics, be optimistic. If the project seems to be collapsing, evaluate your position and make changes where necessary.
Use optimism to get you out of a rut. If it feels like several weeks have elapsed with no progress, make some changes and be optimistic about your abilities. If you need it, gather reassuring words from your employees or ask your clients for their real opinions.
This one isn’t a method for eliminating the sources of stress, but it can be quite helpful to help you cope. Meditation is an ancient practice that clears your mind to help you think. With this technique, you will be able to refocus scattered thoughts after the session.
Another ancient technique enjoying a sort of newfound interest in mindfulness. This is the practice of completely immersing yourself at the moment. This can remind you why you started this entrepreneurial journey in the first place, and exactly why you want to continue it.