Man getting ready to hit laptop
Posted June 03, 2013
| Updated May 23, 2022

5 Ways to Ward off Entrepreneurial Stress

Entrepreneurs are notorious overachievers. They’re accustomed to pushing forward without a playbook, yet the exhilaration of starting and managing your own business also comes with a heavy price – stress. That’s because small business owners tend to work long hours, with little separation between work and play.

If that sounds all too familiar, read on to learn several everyday tips to combat the stress of entrepreneurial life:

1. Don’t link happiness to the results. Running a business, no matter the size, is one big rollercoaster ride. There will be highs, for example, your first customer, a big sale, the launch of your website, or a fantastic customer review. But inevitably, there will also be lows. As much as possible, you need to separate your emotional responses from this entrepreneurial rollercoaster. You’ll be miserable if you feel personally rejected every time you lose a sale, an employee quits, or a lender denies your application.

Remember that the low points are just a natural part of the process. Be grateful that you have the opportunity to follow your passion and remain proud of your ability to create your own path. Enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

2. Exercise.  I know firsthand how hectic an entrepreneur’s daily schedule can be, yet no matter how busy you are it’s critical that you make time for exercise. A good workout helps release stress, as physical activity encourages your body pump out more of those feel-good neurotransmitters. Exercise will help keep your mood elevated even when things at work get really tough.

Choose whatever type of exercise you like the best, whether it’s yoga, swimming, walking, etc. Doing something you love is the best way to ensure you’ll keep it up and reap the benefits.

3. Help others. There’s a famous Chinese proverb that says, “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a month, get married. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody else.”

Countless studies have shown that people who volunteer tend to have higher self-esteem, psychological well-being, and happiness. I think it’s important for entrepreneurs to volunteer their talents. For example, if you’re a marketing consultant, offer to teach some marketing classes at your local community center. You’ll not only get a boost from helping others, but you’ll be reminded why you went into your field of business in the first place.

4. Take charge of your schedule. Most entrepreneurs feel pulled in countless different directions. Often, you’re trading in one boss at the office for 30 new bosses in the form of customers and clients. When too many projects and people are vying for your time, it’s easy to become tense and grouchy.

To prevent this from happening, you’ve got to take charge of your schedule. Analyze each task on your to-do list and decide which ones are busy work and which will be help propel your business forward. Typically, you’ll want to focus on revenue-generating activities and keeping your customers happy; everything else can wait.

5. Prepare and plan. Sitting in a lotus position or taking a short walk outside can have a positive effect on your mood and stress levels. However, running your own business has some inherent risks that need to be realistically considered. Make the necessary preparations to minimize the downside of these risks. For example, you can structure your business in such a way to minimize your personal liability and protect your personal savings. You can build up your emergency fund and choose to run a lean business until your sales start ramping up. No matter your personal situation, you should always manage risk intelligently.

Image: PhotoSpin

The road to reaching zen as an entrepreneur is different for everyone.

What do you do to keep calm while starting or running your own business?

Editor’s Note: This was originally written by Nellie Akalp and published on GalTime.

<a href="" target="_self">Nellie Akalp</a>

Nellie Akalp

Nellie Akalp is an entrepreneur, small business expert, speaker, and mother of four amazing kids. As CEO of, she has helped more than half a million entrepreneurs launch their businesses. Akalp is nationally recognized as one of the most prominent experts on small business legal matters, contributing frequently to outlets like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Huffington Post, Mashable, and Fox Small Business. A passionate entrepreneur herself, Akalp is committed to helping others take the reigns and dive into small business ownership. Through her public speaking, media appearances, and frequent blogging, she has developed a strong following within the small business community and has been honored as a Small Business Influencer Champion three years in a row.

Explore More Blog Posts

Company Applicant vs. Beneficial Owner

Company Applicant vs. Beneficial Owner

The Corporate Transparency Act’s Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Rule went into effect in January 2024, leaving many business owners wondering: Are they required to submit a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report? What’s the difference between...

Certificate of Subsistence: What It Is and Why You Might Need One

Certificate of Subsistence: What It Is and Why You Might Need One

If you own a business that’s registered with the state in which you operate, such as a Limited Liability Company, a C Corporation, or a Limited Liability Partnership, it’s likely that at some point you’ll be asked to provide a Certificate of Subsistence. A Certificate...

How to Hire Temporary Employees

How to Hire Temporary Employees

If the bed-and-breakfast you own and operate runs at full capacity for the months of July and August and the work is too much for you to do on your own, you might consider hiring temporary employees to help. The same goes for a consulting firm that just landed an...

Subscribe to Newsletter

Practical business and financial insights, lessons, perspectives, and know-how brought right to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing!

100% satisfaction guaranteed or we will refund 100% of our service fees with no questions asked!