Being an entrepreneur can grant us some level of freedom to control our schedules, decide what time we wake up each day, choose what time of day we’d like to exercise, take days off if we’d like, choose who our clients are (ideally), and a lot of other wonderful benefits. Unfortunately, being a business owner can also cause anxiety to sky rocket when project issues arise that we don’t know how to solve, when work is slow and we aren’t sure how we are going to pay our bills, and when we aren’t sure what direction we want to expand our businesses into next. You’ve gotta take some bad with the good, I suppose. Fortunately, I’ve learned some great practices for managing stress and for troubleshooting entrepreneurial problems and I’d like to share them with you. Here are my 5 tips for beating anxiety as a business owner:
1. Be GOOD at Networking – The problem with being your own boss is that you are now responsible for all issues that might arise… and you don’t have a supervisor you can go to for help. So what do you do? If you’re currently in the midst of this conundrum, the obvious answer is, of course, to furiously research how to troubleshoot your roadblock on Google – STAT. You may just have to solve this one on your own. However, fortune favors the prepared and you can, indeed, be prepared for future, high-pressure situations by building a network for yourself. You need to have life lines available. How do you do this? Simple – make friends. Yes, you have to be social and you need to put yourself out there. Go to events and make some friends. And don’t waste your time with cheesy networking events where everyone throws their business cards down each others’ throats either. Go to high quality events and meet real people and build real friendships. What are high quality events? Charity events, galas, happy hours that are actually FUN, exciting conferences and seminars, even traveling! You can join a mastermind group too… this is a great way to problem-solve with other entrepreneurs. You can send messages to fellow entrepreneurs with similar business models (maybe not direct competitors) and ask if they’d be up for developing an entrepreneurial support system with you. Online friends are wonderful too, but this doesn’t give you an excuse to avoid the face-to-face thing! Why does making new friends work? Since many of these people will be in the same types of roles that you are in, you will find that building friendships with these folks will be mutually beneficial as you’ll often have advice for one another and be able to become life lines for each other. If you haven’t already derived this fact from what I’ve written… the purpose of good networking is not to get business from someone, but to develop a real relationship with them that will be mutually beneficial for both parties for years to come. Good networking is not fake and it’s not short-term. It’s authentic and for the long-term, just like any of the personal friends you’ve made throughout your life. As you build your new networks of friends who are also entrepreneurs/leaders, you will learn lots from them over time (and they from you) and you will have knowledgeable people to call whenever you get stuck with your business. This is essential to success! I am in the process of creating a guide for authentic networking strategies. Make sure you are on my mailing list to know when it is available.
2. Adopt a Meditation Habit – Meditation is wonderful for banishing anxiety and helping obtain a fresh mind. However, a lot of people give up on or are intimidated by meditation after their first try, feeling like they are “not being able to shut their minds off”. First of all, it takes practice, that’s the point. Secondly, there are many types of meditation so try different kinds and see what works for you. I recommend newcomers start with guided meditations where someone leads you through a meditation. You can find all sorts of guided meditations – for relaxation, for bringing in more money, for more confidence, for healing, etc. – on YouTube or Spotify by doing a quick search. I like to do visualization-style meditations myself. I usually with some yoga or stretching and lie down with my eyes closed. I take a few deep breaths and begin to visualize roots,, coming from my tailbone and feet, connecting with the core of the earth. Then I picture white light coming from the heavens and filling up my entire body. I visualize any negative energy being cleansed by the white light and leaving my body as black smoke. This gives my mind something to focus on and leaves me feeling refreshed, relaxed, and centered.
3. Exercise – Not only will exercise help combat anxiety (hold the massive amounts of caffeine and pre-workout though), but it will also help you to think more clearly. You are stimulating circulation of blood and oxygen and you are also helping your lymph circulate. When your lymph is properly moving, hormones have an easier time regulating and performing their jobs properly, which will help your emotions stay more even-keeled. I’m personally a fan of consistent moderate exercise like long walks, hikes, and gentle yoga, but do whatever suits you. Just don’t sit on your butt!
4. Gratitude and Manifestation Journalism – There is immense power in writing. Use a journal to dive deeply into feelings of gratitude for what you already have, use it to plan what want to bring into your life or business (manifestation), and even use it to sort out your thoughts of what’s currently going on in your world. Whether you look at these things from a concrete, goal-planning perspective or from a more spiritual perspective, they work. A journal is such a fantastic way to get your business on track and to start welcoming more success into your life. For a detailed description on how to do this, please email me! I’m happy to share my approach to this.
5. Clean – Physically cleaning also helps us clear mental clutter. Not only will it make you feel better about your life and present you with a more productive environment, it will also help you get into a flow state. Flow allows you to get “into the zone” and to access an altered-mind-state. It is similar to meditation. The next time you notice anxiety building up, look around you… is clutter accumulating? Take the time to put on some tunes and do some cleaning and notice how much better you feel afterwards. You’ll thank yourself!
Do you have any trusted anxiety-busting tips? Share below in the comments, I’d love to hear them.