Anxiety has taken a toll on the modern world. We are all facing some levels of stress in our fast-paced busy lives. Especially if you are the owner of a small growing business, you will be facing some stress and some anxiety in your daily life. How do you deal with your anxiety as an SMB owner? Mental health is important and getting a grip on it is a “must” for any business owner. In this article, we try to offer you some tips on how to deal with your anxiety, while still making the best decisions for your business.
Are You Suffering From Anxiety as an SMB Owner? You Are Not Alone.
Anxiety is real and it affects a great deal of the population, especially those who are engaged professionally in fast-paced environments. It is estimated that anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States aged 18 and older every year. That makes for about 18% of the entire population.
Anxiety and stress can have many causes, but usually, it all comes down to having a lot of pressure on yourself. That is why anxiety is pretty common among decision-makers and entrepreneurs. There is no shame in feeling stressed or overwhelmed - most of us will be at one point during our lifetimes. But don’t let it get the best of you - you can conquer your anxiety with the right mindset and right actions.
5 Tips On Dealing With Anxiety as an SMB Owner
How to deal with anxiety as an SMB owner? As anxiety is pretty common nowadays, there are a lot of tips out there - from doing breathing exercises to meditation or just going for long walks. These are great tips for when you are in a bad moment, but it is better to have a long-term strategy on this.
If you are an entrepreneur, you will have to blend your personal well-being with that of your business. You will need to take care of yourself, while still maintaining healthy control of your business. Here are a few tips on how to do that:
Don’t forget to celebrate your successes (even the small ones)
As a business owner, it is very easy to keep focusing on plans and goals, and targets. While these are necessary to grow your business, focusing too much on reaching “big” goals can cause you anxiety as an SMB owner.
That’s why you shouldn’t forget to take the time to appreciate your successful moves and your achievements. Especially if you are working with a team, celebrating successes can boost morale and that can increase long-term productivity. Always staying focused on the next goal and not taking the time to appreciate what you are doing well can make it feel like everything is wrong and overwhelming. Don’t forget to take a step back and enjoy your life - and your business - from time to time.
Control what you can, delegate what you cannot
In business, as in life, you can’t control everything. Choose your battles wisely and don’t overwork yourself. Some things - like budgets, marketing activities, and logistics - can be in control of your business; others - like the weather or a global pandemic (thank you, 2020!) - are a bit more difficult to control. Do your best, but stay aware of the fact that you cannot control everything. Stay focused on the things you can actually change.
And when you can’t control things yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Just like the rest of us, you have some skills and lack others. If you can’t do something yourself, maybe you can hire somebody that can. Don’t be afraid to delegate and outsource tasks that are out of your comfort zone. This doesn’t make you weak, it makes you a good manager. Which takes us to our next tip:
Recognize and rely on your team’s strengths
The journey of an entrepreneur can seem lonely, but you will often find yourself working with other people. Choose those people wisely, as they can be your professional support network.
If you are working with a team (of employees or contractors), recognize the strengths of your team.
Understand what your team can do (and what it can’t) and let your team take charge of their responsibilities. You must have heard of micro-management by now - that will only increase your anxiety as an SMB owner. You can’t control everything, but you can count on other people’s help long-term.
Make data-driven decisions
When it comes to making decisions for your business, it may seem like a good idea to go with your “gut feeling”. While that may indeed work sometimes, that will most likely not help with soothing your anxiety as an SMB owner.
So why would you base your decisions on your emotions, when you can base them on data? There are so many tools out there that can offer you great data about your business and your marketing efforts. Keep track of your data, analyze it and let it guide you to the best business decisions.
Two of your most important metrics when it comes to sales and marketing will be:
- Customer acquisition cost: it will help you understand the investment needed to bring in a new customer and make the right decisions on future investments.
- Attribution: which is your best channel and what channels can be improved? It is always important to see where your customers are coming from and how they are behaving.
And what is the good news about being a business owner in the 21st century?! That all this data is very accessible to you. You can access all this information on your smartphone, through a dedicated app. If you are promoting your business through Google Ads, you can use the Google Ads app and the ClickGUARD app to get a nice thorough overview of all your ad data.
Don’t forget to make time for yourself.
This is our most obvious and most difficult advice. As an entrepreneur, you have invested a lot in your business and you will want to see it grow. But you won’t be able to successfully do that long-term if you don’t take care of yourself first. So take that short vacation, go for that walk or meet that old friend. Small things can make a difference. And sometimes taking a step back can help you get a new perspective and better deal with your anxiety as an SMB owner.
These are just 5 tips you can follow to ease your anxiety as an SMB owner. Your “recipe” may be slightly different, but it’s important that you find something that works for you. Taking care of yourself while still monitoring what is going on with your business will seem challenging at first. But it’s not impossible. You’ve got this! 😉