Entrepreneur Business Success Coping With Stress
By Beck Lee
In today’s world, coping with entrepreneur business stress and stressful situations is woven into the essence of human life. When starting a new business venture, many start-up entrepreneurs are still working on the 9-5 model which competes for their time. Add to this tough competition, financial pressure and incorporating building a business with family life, can cause a tremendous amount of stress.
How do successful people cope with stress?
Before we look at how successful people cope with the stresses of running their own business, let’s first understand what coping is and why it is that some people are able to move through daily stress easily, whilst others simply give up on their dream of running their own business as soon as things get tough.
Coping is a mechanism that we use to successfully deal with responsibilities or difficulties linked to stressful life and daily struggles. How we choose to deal with stress related to running our own business is linked to our personality traits and mindset; that is our perception of stress and the type of coping strategy we use to manage our stress.
A note about personality traits
Personality is generally regarded by psychologists as the unique emotional, experiential, interpersonal, attitudinal and motivational styles of a person (McCrae & Costa, 2003). According to Hambrick & McCord’s (2010) study, those who are driven by success, have a cheerful disposition, open to change, and are not depressed are able to implement future-oriented coping strategies when business and daily life stress occur.
This is because successful people view stresses as challenges and an opportunity for personal growth.
Over the last 30 years, there has been extensive literature discussing the concept of future-oriented coping where researchers have established two primary differences within this coping construct. These are proactive coping and preventative coping. The main differences between these coping strategies are motivational drivers and differing levels of worry.
Preventative coping builds resistance resources against potential threats. As with other traditional coping strategies, preventative coping equates to risk management and typically an emotion-based maladaptive coping strategy such as avoidance or distance coping is applied to minimize emotional stress.
If you are currently using a preventative coping strategy, chances are you will burnout due to prolonged exposure to exhaustion, cynicism and the inability to achieve the desired results in your business. Sadly, this can lead to behavioral changes, particularly when entrepreneurs try to avoid stresses, including sleep disturbances, substance use (alcohol) or simply giving up on their dream of having your own successful business.
Proactive coping includes taking initiative, planning for future events, envisioning success through reframing stresses and accumulating resources that strengthen coping strategies. Proactive coping strategies become goal management instead of risk management, ultimately leading to an opportunity for personal growth (Kumar & Kadhiravan, 2012; Locke, 2009).
Needless to say that successful people use proactive coping strategies to manage their stress.
Time management and the way you approach your work (and your day for that matter) can help you create the necessary behaviors and mindset to ensure your business success. Furthermore, surrounding yourself with a community and social network is another proactive coping strategy.
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If you want your life and business to be different, you have to be willing to do something different first. Mastering my mornings is just one of the things I do as part of my daily ritual to ensure I set my stress-free day up for success.
Setting your stress-free day up for success
- Get out of bed at 5 am
- Splash cold water on your face – This will ensure you become wide awake
- Drink a tall glass of water to rehydrate your body after sleep
- Meditate and/or give gratitude. This clears any resistance and focuses your energy on all the positive aspects of your life and what you want to bring into your life
- Affirmations. These are powerful reminders of the limitless potential in each and every one of us. I personally write my gratitude, affirmations, and goals in my journal.
- Visualizations. Really focus on those things that you really want to call into your life. Feel these visualizations with every single fiber of your being.
- Exercise. Get your body moving in some way.
- Reading. Whilst you are eating breakfast read 10 pages or so. Grow your mind with knowledge.
- Hold a business meeting with yourself. Allow yourself 30 minutes to work through your ambitions, desires, and goals. Journal whatever comes to you. Then spend 10 minutes focusing on setting up your week and daily tasks that will bring you closer to what it is that you want in your life and business.
Allow yourself approximately 2 hours for this whole process. I promise this will leave you feeling inspired, motivated and prepared for the day ahead.
As a psychological sciences student, I have incorporated empirical research, methods from my mentors and my own personal experience into this blog. Please comment below how you set your day up for success or if you have any surefire ways of dealing with stress. Life is a journey, not a destination and learning from each other is part of the experience.
To Your Success,
Hambrick, E. P. & McCord, D. M. (2010). Proactive coping and its relations to the five-factor model of personality. Individual differences Research, 8, 67-77.
Kumar, K. & Kadhiravan, S. (2012). Perceived stress and proactive coping of college students. Indian Journal of Positive Psychology, 3(3), 302-304.
Locke, E. A. (2009). Handbook of principles of organizational behavior: Indispensable knowledge for evidence-based management. (2nd ed.). West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
McCrae, R. R & Costa, P. T., Jr. (2003). Personality in adulthood: A five-factor theory perspective. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Publications.