Starting a business is always a risk. No matter how sure you are that there is a strong market for your products and services or that your products and services are of high quality, the possibility and fear that your venture will go under, taking all your capital with it, does not really go away.
That is why many entrepreneurs experience anxiety. In fact, one study published in 1997 investigated and found that self-employed people were more likely to experience high levels of stress than those who were traditionally employed. Moreover, previous surveys also found that nearly half of all entrepreneurs have experienced mental illnesses.
It is a common experience among entrepreneurs, but it should not eat you up. Here are some tips to help you cope with it.
One Step at a Time
If you think too much of the big picture, you will feel intimidated and overwhelmed. Instead, take things one step at a time. It would make you focus on each task better and get better outcomes.
For example, if you are setting up a bigger warehouse for your clothing store, concentrate on finding the right location or weigh down the pros and cons of renting a forklift and other equipment that your crew will need for the space. If you shift your thinking toward the next thing you need to do, your mind will be too busy to think about the things that can go wrong.
Trust in Your Decisions
Anxiety can take hold if you do not have self-trust. This is common among entrepreneurs setting up their businesses for the first time. They doubt their own abilities and question their decisions. They tend to worry about not being good enough or being judged.
It will be difficult to shake off the fear of failure. However, it is important that you combat it by recognizing your own value and brilliance. That is why you should always celebrate little successes, especially at the beginning of your career in business. Look back at the moments when you have served your customers and made them genuinely happy. Commemorate the milestone of making your first thousand dollars. Read the positive feedback you have received from your customers.
All these will boost your confidence and help you gain trust in your decisions. With time, you will get better at strengthening that trust.
Plan for the Worst-case Scenario
Unfortunately, the risk of failure does not really go away. Your startup can become a success and turn into an industry giant, but, even then, a series of wrong moves or one national/international crisis will take the whole thing down. Think about all those previous household names that have disappeared in the past several decades.
But, that is not your reality right now. If your business is experiencing problems and you cannot help but think that it will end badly, do something about it. Verbalize what you are afraid of. What will happen to you and your business if the worst-case scenario comes true? Doing so will allow you to prepare for it, mitigate losses, or avert it altogether.
Moreover, ask yourself, “is it reversible?” Most business decisions are not permanent. If it turns out to be the wrong one, you can backtrack and do it over again. It will allow you to be more confident with your decisions and feel less anxious about potential outcomes.
Make Time for Yourself
This is something that a lot of entrepreneurs forget. You need to prioritize yourself every once in a while. Being an entrepreneur is stressful. When you are just starting and have no staff to help you yet, it is also physically exhausting. Give yourself time to eat, rest, sleep, and unwind.
Dedicating all your time to your business is unhealthy, and it might negatively impact your performance or decision-making. You will immediately feel burned out. You will lose your motivation to work, decrease productivity, and make you feel even more anxious, hopeless, and resentful. Physically, you may get sick because your immune system underperforms when you lack sleep and are always exhausted. You may end up in a hospital and nursing a chronic illness for the rest of your life.
In addition to attending to the demands of your business, eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, sleep at least seven hours a night, and, once in a while, go on a vacation.
Running a business is a lifelong dream for many people, but because there is always a risk of failure, many end up experiencing anxiety. It can be overcome by following these steps.