Written by: Eva Vanderwaeren – Georgia Marie Copywriting
Translated to English by Angie
So you finally decided to start your own business! From now on you will be your own boss and start building up your own business. With great joy and full of determination you embark on your journey. All the necessary paperwork is taken care of, and now the work can begin. But then suddenly, stress strikes. Am I going to feel okay again?
Let me reassure you right away: it’s perfectly normal to feel a little insecure and stressed at times. As fun and cool as it may sound to start a business of your own, there are times when it can be a source of stress as well. That’s why I’ll share a few simple tips with you to reduce your stress levels as a (budding) entrepreneur.
1. Create a proper schedule
When you’ve just started your business, there’s a big chance you say yes to every potential client that comes your way. Full of excitement, you take on the new project. “Of course, you will write those articles!”, “No problem, your order of 750 face masks will be completed by the end of the week.”
I know you’re very excited, but don’t forget about what’s already on the agenda for that week! Are there other deadlines you need to keep this week? And don’t forget you have a household and a private life, as well!
Set realistic goals that are manageable.
Tip: Plan for the upcoming week every Sunday evening. Write down all the appointments that are already set; a visit to the dentist, shopping, work, or bringing your son to his judo class. You can even use your personal custom notebook to keep track of everything easier.
Mark the time blocks that are already reserved in your calendar. This way it will be clear to you how many hours you can really spend on that new project or assignment.
2. Define your ideal customer
Granted, when you’re just starting out, you’d rather not be too picky about your customers. Customers = making money, right? Nevertheless, you will benefit from determining your ideal customer in advance: to whom do you want to offer your products or services? Imagine your ideal customer as a real person. Create a persona and determine his or her home situation, environment, hobbies, and age … What does that person need? What is your target audience looking for? Or the other way around: who is looking for your product or service?
When you target your ideal customer, you reach people who are more likely to do business with you again in the future.
Tip: it can also help to give your ideal customer – your persona – a name. This way Mila, Johan, Lies, Jeroen, or Nathalie become more real and tangible.
3. Dare to say NO
This is your business and you call the shots. Don’t feel good about a client or a project? Dare to say no. Focus on projects that have your full support. You have determined your vision and ideal client. Stay true to this vision! You don’t have to answer anyone.
Will every client or project be all fun and games? Of course not. There will be an occasional eye roll here and there that you won’t be able to suppress. But there’s a difference between “Sigh a little and move on” and “I feel incredibly bad about this.” If it doesn’t make you happy, then why would you do it?
Tip: Don’t just fixate on the amount of money that is attached to a project
4. Don’t stay on your island
You are an expert at what you do! Your specialization is your superpower. However, you will encounter an obstacle from time to time. Maybe you find it very difficult to optimize your website. Or those social media posts are simply not your thing.
Hire experts to help you out! There are many people that can help you with that website or manage your social media. This way you’ll have more time to focus on what you really like to do and where you excel.
Tip: Still not convinced to outsource some of your tasks? Then please, count the hours in which you have struggled to get your bookkeeping in order. Or count the evenings that you were sweating over the design of your website. You’ve worked those hours completely for free! And someone else is able to perform those tasks a lot faster! Yes, let that sink in for a moment… you’ve worked for free! … Ouch!
5. Join a community for business owners
Nowadays there are several groups on Facebook that you can join as an entrepreneur where you can connect with other (starting) entrepreneurs. The best tips and tricks are shared in those groups, and you’re allowed to ask all of your questions… plus, you’ll quickly find out you’re not the only one struggling with feelings of insecurity and stress!
A community supports you, encourages you, and wants to see you succeed! Kumbaya, baby! However, bear in mind, those groups aren’t there to promote your business for free. It’s about connecting and sharing knowledge mostly. Use it to your advantage!
6. Don’t lose yourself
Running a business means working hard. It’s not a 9 to 5 job and you’ll often find yourself finishing a few tasks in the evenings or during the weekend. Still, it’s important to set aside some time for yourself on a regular basis. Allow yourself a moment to clear your head completely and do something that completely relaxes you.
This is necessary to recharge. Only then can you keep going. There is no point in continuing to push forward while you are dead on your feet. If you do that, you will make mistakes and may lose customers too… So take a break now and then, breathe deeply, and surrender to relaxation.
Also read: The best mindfulness exercises for managing stress
Tip: Did you already start creating that schedule I mentioned earlier in this post? Great! Then schedule a moment for yourself right here and now!
Whether you’re just starting out as a business owner, or if you’re already an experienced entrepreneur, it’s crucial to keep these tips to reduce stress in mind.
Also, keep in mind what it is that you want to accomplish? Who do you want to serve? How does this all fit into your weekly schedule? But above all: put yourself first, listen to your gut feeling and dare to take a step back when stress is threatening to take over. You got this!