I just got back from a vacation with my husband and daughter. It was a much needed vacation since the gruelling hours we have been putting into kangacoo designs had widdled us down to grumpy zombies barely resembling a family. It took 3 days for me to let enough stress go to lower my shoulders and turn up the corners of my lips. Thank goodness we took 10 days.
We’ve all been there. To a point that it feels our business is running us instead of us running our business. And when you get to that point you start questioning yourself. “Is this what I really wanted?” “Am I doing something wrong?” “Is it this hard for other business owners?”
Let me stop you right there. STOP! Stop worrying it’s only you. But mostly STOP DOING THINGS THE WAY YOU ARE DOING THEM! Assess your Stress! It’s time to take inventory of what is dragging you down, then FIX IT!
Here’s an easy exercise to help you:
1. Pay attention to WHAT is really stressing you out.
You may be at a point that I was at where EVERYTHING seemed to be the only answer but you have to dig a little deeper. When I dug deeper I realized that many things were overwhelming but the bottom line was that I was trying to wear too many hats rather than hire help and delegate. But I did have a few other key areas I found to fix.
Your problem may not be to add more help. It may be to create work/family boundaries. (another of mine) Or you may need to organize your workspace to give you more breathing room and less frantic “where did I leave that moments”. Perhaps you need to create a schedule and stick to it. Or maybe say no to countless custom orders.
At the end EVERYTHING was not stressing me out but a few key things were the culprits sucking the enjoyment from what I do.
2. When you find your culprits, WRITE THEM DOWN.
Call out those little buggers. Don’t let them hide under the blanket of denial. Then…
3. CREATE a plan to fix it.
Don’t put that pen away yet! It’s time to write down possible solutions so you can pick the best one. Ask close friends and family for their ideas. Sometimes people who are on the outside can offer a new perspective. That said it’s best to ask people who know something about running a business or at least a little about yours.
4. Set Goals to Measure Success
Without goals to reach work is just work. You have to set goals to accomplish or you will feel as though you are spinning your wheels. You will also lose focus. Goals keep you accountable and others accountable if you hire more help.
5. REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT
Do this until you have a plan for all your current stress factors. Then do it again every time you feel like you are bailing water out of a sinking ship.