The life of a small business owner is one that is run on an environment akin to a pressure cooker. There are usually so many dynamics and in most cases all happen at once. Aside from running a business, you are also responsible for your employees, your customers, your suppliers, your family and also your own sanity. What’s more, there is the additional societal expectation that you must live up to the image of success. Beyond the image of a stable business owner is an individual who juggles so many balls and can use some help
Business/ professional level
An entrepreneur undergoes huge amount of stress every day;
- Trying to find the business leads and deals.
- Financial and technical capability to delivering the deal.
- Getting paid and managing your costs
- Physical and structural limitation
- Problems with competition
- Problems with regulations and accountability
As an individual, the business owner still has life happening to them;
- Exhaustion, Burnout,
- Personal limitation and doubt
- Relationship and family problems
A business owner will always have to deal with other people’s issues
- Problems with the business partners
- Problems with employees
- Problems with customers
Juggling all those things is highly stressful and risky affair. Some balls will drop with great costs to individuals and to the business. You need to work out a place whereby you are comfortable with handling the issues that emerge. You need to build a healthy work environment; physical, emotional and mental that builds and optimizes performance rather than drains and limits. Among the solutions will include;
You will need to have that internal meter that tells you when things are getting overboard. You need to identify the triggers and risks and have a plan to manage them. Same will apply to the people you deal with. Know then but most importantly empower them to know themselves, their triggers and troubleshooting mechanisms.
Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t always the highest point in professional life. You start your business and immediately realize that you are limited in so many areas. You will quickly realize that not only is there a long way for you ahead of the road, you are even not sufficiently doing the present things well enough. Draw up and follow a personal development plan. Attend further training and re-skill. Same for your staff. Keep healthy habits and lifestyles by exercising frequently. Take up hobbies that help relieve the pressure and enjoy the little things life has to offer.
Begin by getting the right people to work with you and build a team that plays for each other. Be professional in dealing with stakeholders so as to avoid grey areas and blind spots. Plan and prioritize your work so as to avoid chasing deadlines. Leave sufficient room for you to do correction work where required. Avoid work you are not sufficiently qualified and comfortable performing. Be realistic and expect that growth will happen at a modest pace. Do not be too hard on yourself when things don’t go too well. Learn, relearn and make another try for a better outcome in future.
It is important to empower your employees to be able to take the right decisions and do the right things without your direct supervision. Get the right people, give them the right environment, ensure that they see your vision as you do. Train and retrain them and support them. Trust them to make the right decision and soon you will be able to enjoy time outside the business without the interruption of phone calls. Of course, always have the right controls and accountability systems.
While running your business is your responsibility, running your employee’s personal life isn’t. Find a way to shift responsibility. Build up an organizational structure that sifts and deals with small issues early. Encourage and support employees to set up welfare committees to deal with their issues. Observe the labour and employment rules that also make your life easier. Employees who have WIBA and NHIF wont stress you too much. Employees who can access credit from the banks won’t be your worry with their small emergencies.
Seek professional help
If you have identified any risks to your mental health talk to someone. That can be your spiritual leader, a respected peer or a friend. Do not wait for things to go bad before you start to seek help. There are professionals who cha help you deal with those mental challenges
Work life balance
Draw a line between work and personal life. Ensure work does not spill into personal time. Make a habit of keeping the evenings for yourself by strictly observing working hours. Respect your weekends too. Hard to take annual leaves but ensure you sneak in at least a week-long holiday at least every 8-12 weeks