Stress free, Richard Branson Photo credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Starting a business can be stressful even when things are going well. With the economic and political uncertainties that lie ahead entrepreneurs are really feeling the pressure, which can impact on their health and wellbeing, and their business. Some of the most successful business founders have their own way of dealing with stress and don’t mind sharing their secrets.
Virgin boss Richard Branson faced some huge business risks and challenges whilst building his brand. His technique for keeping pressure and stress at bay is daily exercise. He said: “I always make sure I include exercise into my daily routine. I wake up around 5am, which means once I’ve exercised and then spent some time with the family, I can work through most of my emails and take calls. It’s important to have that time before you get into work mode.
“To anyone starting a business I would say make sure you enjoy what you are doing. We spend most of our lives at work, so it’s important we do what we love and love what we do. You’ll be fighting an uphill battle if you don’t enjoy your work and your business comes up against challenges. Once you’ve got that box ticked, you need to make sure you’ve got a healthy balance in your life.”
For Tim Kitchen, head ninja at digital marketing agency Exposure Ninja, the best way to beat business stress is to go to a cricket or football match and watch other people battle it out instead.
From its launch in 2012 the business has grown to a team of 62 people. He said: “With no one in the business having any management experience, our biggest stress points are usually around people and scale. That includes finding enough good people, onboarding them, designing training for a number of different services when the platforms we’re using change every six to 12 months.
“I live over the road from Trent Bridge cricket ground and went to my first game a couple of years ago. It’s so good to watch others battle it out and it helps to be completely lost in the game, ready to come back refreshed for another innings!”
Louise Lederman, co-founder of children’s book publishing company Jungle Jam, has the perfect remedy for startup stress: working in a hot tub. She said: “My husband and I started the business in 2014 and our ultimate stress-buster is hiring a hot tub. The biggest cause of stress is that there is simply not enough time in the day to get work done, especially with two young children. We often work through the night and live on very little sleep. The hot tub is more than just an amazing stress reliever. We also had our meetings in the hot tub and it gave us a creative space with no distractions to develop the concept for our children’s book series Jungle Jam.”
When Massimiliano Gritti co-founder of men’s luxury brand portal Bombinate, feel the stress levels rise, they walk it off. “No matter what the weather or time of day, we walk along the River Thames until we reach the place where signed our first contract,” explains Gritti. “We call them creative walks. We transform stress into excitement with those creative walks where each founder looks back at the long-term vision and mission of the company and describes what he is looking forward to and why. By forcing our founding team to think ahead, to think about the vision, we elevate ourselves from these stressful times.”
The biggest stress point, he says, is losing control or just the feeling of not being in total control. “During our marketing campaigns we are interacting and working with as many as 15 stakeholders and partners. Managing all those relationships and being in control of what is done and when is crucial to the success of the campaign. So, not being in control stresses me and provokes the creative walks that transform the energy into creativity and excitement.”
After six years in business, Paula Hutchings, founder of Marketing Vision Consultancy needed a way of combatting the isolation and stress of running a business from a home office, and she found it through volunteering. She said: “It had to be something that required me to be fully present and have no access to technology or my phone. For the past year I’ve volunteered for two mornings a week at my local infants school, working with early readers who need extra support.
“It is so effective at dealing with the stress of running a business because the children are so excited to be with you, and you meet children from all walks of life, which quite frankly, puts your own worries into perspective. It’s fun and rewarding and in that time at school I am wholly present, in a completely different world to my work life and have no distractions.”
Anna Tsyupko, CEO of payments platform Paybase, swears by cognitive awareness and self-discipline. “Stress is ultimately always caused by our attitude to a situation, not by the situation itself,” she said. “As such, it is important to always maintain perspective, and consciously counter the worrying thoughts when they creep up.
Source By forbes.com