Stress is a serious business. Recently, I was hospitalized in Riga for almost a week with a severe infection. The doctors told me that one of the main causes of my illness was stress. So how do you get rid of anxiety? While being completely stress-free is almost impossible for us, I want to share my recent experience on how to deal with stress as a micropreneur.
This is not one of those canned “eat healthy, sleep well and do some light exercise” posts about stress. I want to share with you real solutions that worked for me, and I think can work for you if your business is the source of your anxiety.
Those six days I spent at that hospital in Riga, and the slow recovery that came afterward, ranks as the worst experience of my life.
I think I read some time ago that stress is not necessarily bad, that there is good stress and bad stress… And I honestly think that’s bullshit. I am responsible enough for doing my job and meeting my deadlines. I don’t need that “good stress“, thank you.
There are different types of stress, but none of them are good in my opinion. Apart from the work-related stress -that led me to that hospital bed- I had to add the stress of not being properly insured, and the stress of not knowing what was happening to me.
The root of all my problems was the anxiety I had been suffering for weeks. My business, once something exciting, had become a terrible burden for me.
Being an entrepreneur is not just a job. It’s a lifestyle. An amazing journey that can bring you a lot of joy. But also a very demanding occupation. One that can expose you to a lot of stress. So it’s important to talk about it, and be prepared when it hits you.
The Dark Side Of Entrepreneurship
There’s this image of an entrepreneur as an invincible, god-like creature. A young, passionate, Steve-Jobsesque visionary building his or her company from an indie garage. Entrepreneurship stories tend to emphasize this romantic view, and cover only the successful moments and key milestones.
Most podcast and blogs will frequently ask the interviewees about their “a-ha!” moments, but rarely about their sleepless nights or panic attacks. Obviously, the goal of those podcasts and blogs is encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs, so stress is not a sexy topic to discuss.
However, I think we are doing a disservice to the community by not talking more openly about it. Eventually, every entrepreneur will have to deal with it, or perhaps go through an anxiety crisis. While every person -regardless of their job- may be subject to stress, I believe entrepreneurs are particularly exposed to it.
Even if you have a natural resistance to stress, and are used to work under pressure, all that tension acummulates inside of you, until finally exploding. And when it does, it’s not a pretty spectacle, and may have severe consequences for your health, your relationships or your personal life.
Truth is: we’ll all have to cope with stress sooner or later. Today, while having lunch with a friend and fellow micropreneur, she told us how she went through a period of extreme anxiety when some former co-founders of her company tried to steal it from her. And how being involved in a long, awkward trial almost destroyed her.
Her words made me understand that, while these stories are different, they all have the same common denominator. And I think it’s positive to talk about that to realize that we all go through similar problems… And eventually get over them.
Sources Of Anxiety An
d How To Deal With Stress
Days before falling ill, I was completely overwhelmed. As you may know, launching a business on your own is hard. You are the ultimate responsible and, especially at the beginning -until you manage to automate things- the business is you.
That alone is enough to lead you to a stress episode. However, my situation was also the result of a series of bad decisions. So let me give you some recommendations, based on what I’ve learned, to help you avoid stress as the sole owner of your business.
As a result, not only I was spen
All that multitasking was not only preventing me from progressing more on my main business, but also was taking a toll on my health. A lot of pressure, a lot of work, an
So one of my main pieces of advices for dealing with stress as a micropreneur is: try to focus on one thing, and just one thing. Avoid moonlighting.
It might be ok to
I know it’s
Unfortunately, I never truly believe
But the relationship you have with an outsourcing company is
I finally hire
Automate, automate, automate. Automation is key if you want your business to prosper.
I personally think every micropreneur or solopreneur shoul
Wait, you just told me that you should learn to delegate, and hire professionals as soon as possible. Are you telling me now that I should build and maintain the product myself?
Well, not in the long run of course, but at the beginning, it’s going the be just you. Until you can generate some income, you nee
I’m becoming quite obsesse
Also, when you are suffering from anxiety, your min
In my case, it got to a point where I was not able to open the Mail app. The mere thought of going through my inbox ma
I was paralyze
I have been me
I use the Hea
So my advice would be: try to meditate or, at least, some techniques to relax and breathe. In my case, I was surprised on how effective it was for me.
Last but not least, it’s important to enjoy the process of growing your business. When the initial rush of excitement of launching a new business has
I remember that,
So don’t let anxiety deprive you of that. You should enjoy the whole process, and be happy and proud when all your efforts pay off.
We also need to enjoy our free time. Sometimes, we actually need to force ourselves to have some free time. We can get so obsessed with our businesses, we forget it’s not who we are. We are not our job, or our business. You really need some time to disconnect and give some rest to your mind and body.
Lately, I am starting to experiment with tech-detox days. The idea came from one of our friends in Latvia. We had taken the day out and traveled to a natural, wild beach in Lilaste. He mentioned how that day was the perfect opportunity to do a technology detox, and I liked the term. 🙂
So at least one day of the week, we try to stay away from screens, laptops and gadgets. We take this opportunity to go hiking, or biking, or just going out for a walk.
So enjoy the journey. It’s yours, and it’s only going to happen once. But every now and then, do things just for fun, leave the house far behind, disconnect.
After going through a stressful period that led me to the hospital, I decided to write a post about how to deal with stress as a micropreneur, solopreneur or small business owner.
Being the only one in charge of your business is more than a job, it’s actually a lifestyle. An
Years ago, I quit my 9 to 5 job and became a freelancer first, then a solopreneur, and finally a digital nomad. Managing my company back in Spain was a nightmare until I discovered the e-Residency program and opened my company in Estonia. That changed my life.
After some years managing my business, I know the tricks of the trade. I can offer you advice on how to become location independent, found an European company you can manage online while traveling, and avoid unnecessary costs. If you are ready to take the leap, but have some doubts or don't know where to start, let's get in touch.
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