Entrepreneurs: how to reduce workplace stress and thrive

pink haired entrepreneur using mindfulness to reduce workplace stress

Working as your own boss, creating the perfect schedule, following a dream of your own; what could possibly go wrong?

While the idea of entrepreneurship looks fantastic on paper, the freedom of self-starting is often accompanied by significant work-related stress. While there are common workplace stressors associated with all jobs, the high stakes of creating your own business can have negative effects. In fact, studies have shown that thirty percent of entrepreneurs face mental health challenges including depression or chronic anxiety, a higher figure than those with traditional nine-to-five careers.

The effects of stress can appear in many forms, hiding behind an unbearable headache or an irritable mood. So what do you do when you notice the signs of stress popping up?

While it’s vital to pay attention to your mental health, stress doesn’t need to stop you from pursuing your passion.

Rather than a blaring red flag, it can serve as a stop sign, gently reminding you to slow down and check in with yourself. Here are simple steps you can take to clear your head and stress levels in times of work-related turbulence.

Table of contents
Healthy work-life balance
Stress management technique: mindfulness
Delegate tasks to reduce excessive stress
Create a supportive work environment

Healthy work-life balance

Stress doesn’t always boil over with extreme negative consequences. Often it can manifest in a subdued mood or decreased interest in anything non-work related. With no set hours to structure your day, it can be easy to fall into a work-sleep-eat routine where excessive workloads become the norm. But, it’s crucial to leave room for pleasure in all that business or you risk buying yourself a one-way ticket to burnout.

Whether it’s a physical activity like going on a neighborhood jog, hitting an early morning yoga class, or picking up that Nikon that’s been collecting dust on the shelf, schedule time each day to do something entirely for you. Not only will this help you to decompress, but it could ultimately help your business. A study at San Francisco State University found that people with regular hobbies demonstrated higher capability when it came to brainstorming creative solutions to work-related problems.

Stress management technique: mindfulness

Despite the blood, sweat, and tears poured into a new business, only two percent of startups succeed. With that number dangling above your head, it may be difficult to silence the constant mental to-do list. For this reason, the notion of mindfulness is beginning to pop up frequently in the corporate world. You don’t need to be a neurosurgeon to know that mindfulness tremendously benefits the brain, reducing cortisol levels and therefore feelings of stress. But how does one attain this enlightened state?

No need to find a Bodhi tree to meditate under. You can get peace of mind and experience stress reduction from the comfort of your office space. Taking short regular breaks to focus on your breathing can lead to increased hopefulness and motivation. And with the new intersection of meditation and technology, tranquility has never been more accessible. Headspace, Calm and Stop and Think are all free apps that will walk you through the often intimidating process. Get some namaste in your day.

a women is reducing workplace stress with a yoga break in her office

Delegate tasks to reduce excessive stress

Is your neck starting to hurt from wearing all those hats? In the early stages of business development, you will likely be playing many roles, often simultaneously. Why shoulder such a heavy burden when you have colleagues to lighten the load? Delegation may seem like an effortless task, but studies have shown that one in three managers don’t delegate proportionally. Freeing yourself from some responsibilities will prevent you from spreading yourself too thin, allowing you to funnel your energy into the most crucial aspects of your business.

It’s perfectly normal to have trouble letting someone else take the reins, which is why a capable and trustworthy team is a necessity. The more you know your employees' strengths and weaknesses, the more effectively you can distribute tasks and feel confident in their abilities.

Not sure where to start? F4S is a people analytics tool based on more than 20 years of research. Our free assessment toolcan be taken by anyone and provides insight into where someone ranks in their workplace motivations. Invite your team to take the assessment so you can get to know your team better and delegate tasks based on who is best suited for the task at hand.

F4S dashboard shows team motivations to help manage workplace stress
F4S team dashboard

Once you've set up your team, you can find out more about your team culture.

F4S team culture shows this team likes working with money
F4S team culture

While you’re at it, exploring your own talents and blind spots will gift you with a more realistic view of your professional capacity.  Once you get a clear vision of your sources of stress, you can support your own emotional health by leaning on your productive employees to help get the job done.

You can even use our benchmarking tool to find out if your team motivations are more aligned with entrepreneurs or business builders.

F4S benchmarking tool

Create a supportive work environment

As an entrepreneur, you're in it for the long haul, which means taking care of the potential long-term effects of workplace stress. While it's vital to take care of your own wellbeing, you need to invest in employee wellness as well. Be sure to make time for social activities and team building.

As a business leader, this also means creating a positive work environment and company culture. In taking care of yourself, you lead by example for your staff.

Reduce workplace stress and create a positive workplace culture

Take the free F4S assessment to learn more about your workplace motivations. Start with a free coaching program such as Vital Wellbeing to support your entrepreneurial journey. Then invite your team to do the same.

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