Coping With the Stresses of Business Ownership

Here are 8 strategies for staving off potential burnout

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Make no mistake: Running your own business can be a lot of fun. There’s no feeling that’s quite as good as building your own team from the ground up and providing a useful service to folks in your community.

Yet for all its rewards, small-business ownership can also be a grind. On any given day, your attention might be consumed with budgetary constraints, a hiring deficit, or challenges keeping up with customer demand.

Stress is a part of life, but it can be especially acute for small-business owners. The good news is there are some healthy habits you can form to help mitigate that stress and potentially save yourself from intense burnout.

1) Learn to delegate.

The fastest way to burn out is trying to do everything yourself. To save your sanity, identify the team members you can trust to handle big jobs or new responsibilities without a ton of oversight. There may be some growing pains here, but ultimately, delegating is an essential way to keep stress at bay.

2) Practice project mapping.

Stressed about a big project? Break it down into smaller steps, and assign yourself a deadline for completing each one. Turning a big project into a series of smaller ones can make the entire thing feel more manageable.

3) Map out each day.

The life of the entrepreneur is unpredictable, and there are bound to be some curveballs coming your way each day. Even so, it may help you feel on top of things to block out an hour each day for team development, for marketing, or for whatever other priorities have proven elusive.

4) Find a support network.

Even online gatherings of like-minded business owners can give you a place to vent, to ask questions, and to be reminded that you’re not alone.

5) Learn to say no.

As an entrepreneur, you may find it anathema to tell people no. But if you’re already resource-strapped and overwhelmed, it may be essential to learn how to decline things that are tangential to the overall success of your business.

6) Organize your workspace.

Studies have shown that clutter and chaos tend to increase stress. Schedule a few minutes at the end of each week to tidy your desk area.

7) Prioritize physical health.

If your physical health declines, your emotional health is sure to follow. As you block out time for essential tasks each week, make sure you allocate space to go to the gym or simply to take a long walk.

8) Journal.

You may not think of yourself as a journaler, but taking the time to write down all the stuff swirling around your brain can help you process it, then let some of it go.

Stress and burnout are major concerns for small-business owners everywhere. By following these tips, you can be proactive in promoting your own mental health to the benefit of your company, your career, your team, and your customers.

About the author: Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic, a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and she's currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, California and Dublin. Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects; often engages in content and social media marketing; and drafts resumes, press releases, web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at


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