3 Major Causes Of Stress That Prevent You From Success (And How To Regain Control)

Working as a freelancer or solopreneur is stressful. It practically comes with the job description. While a little stress is healthy and helps keep you on your toes, too much stress can cause you to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re not careful, this can lead to poor decision-making, burnout and other stumbling blocks that destroy any chance of achieving your entrepreneurial goals. By honing in on some of the most common sources of unhealthy stress, you can retake control of your life and get your business back on track.

1. Money Talks (And Your Head Can’t Stop Listening)

This one may seem obvious, but it’s first on this list for a good reason — for the vast majority of people, it’s the biggest culprit behind stress.

And this is totally understandable! Business owners have all kinds of money-related issues to worry about. Funding, payroll, cash flow, invoicing and more can be a constant source of worry. Even when you are doing relatively well financially, there’s a good chance that money will still be a nagging concern in the back of your mind.

Eliminating your money-related stress doesn’t mean you should ignore it entirely. Instead, it means you need to change the way you think about your finances. This became especially clear during a recent email conversation with Alan Akina, founder and CEO of 101 Financial Workplace Wellness.

He explained, “Everyone — especially entrepreneurs — needs to create a personalized financial plan. From paying down debts to finding ways to lower recurring expenses, taking a deep dive into your finances will help you figure out actionable steps to take control of your money.”

Continued Akina, “If you don’t talk or think about your money, your future will suffer. Learning to make smart decisions now enables lifelong habits so that you control your finances, not the other way around. You need to be educated and have the right tools, tips and tricks for a smart banking experience.”

2. It Takes Real Talent To Make Things Work (And Lots Of It)

Whether you’re a solopreneur or running a Fortune 500 company, you can’t do everything on your own. Wearing too many hats is a big-time stressor for entrepreneurs, yet far too many of us think we’ll be better off doing everything ourselves.

Usually, the opposite is true. Trying to be all things to your business is a guaranteed way to stretch yourself too thin, leaving you mentally drained and unable to give your best efforts at the things you’re actually good at.

This means you need to outsource some of your responsibilities to talented employees or freelancers who will deliver stronger results and help you become more productive. Of course, finding, training and managing talent can become a source of stress in and of itself — especially if you have a lot of outsourcing you need to do.

The best way to reduce your stress in this area is to do your due diligence when first on-boarding talent. Even if you’re hiring a freelancer for a one-time project, take a little extra time to make sure they have the talent and disposition to do what you need them to do. Finding someone who gets the job done right the first time will save you stress, time and money.

3. Now’s The Time To Scale! (Or So You’ve Been Told)

Regardless of their shape and size, all businesses are concerned with growth. Sometimes, however, this can result in a “keeping up with the Joneses” effect — you see other startups scaling rapidly, and feel like your business should be doing the same.

The problem? There are so many factors that are simply outside of your hands: economic downturns that lead to customer loss, problematic clients, trouble finding qualified talent to grow your team — the list goes on.

When you feel such an intense pressure to scale NOW, you’ll be undeniably stressed when things don’t seem to fall immediately into place. Worse yet, this can cause you to make unforced errors by trying to scale your business before it is truly ready for such growth. Trying to scale too soon is actually one of the biggest contributors to startup failures, and it can completely wreck your business plans.

Now, I’m not saying you should take a totally “laid-back” approach to your business. But this is one instance where it might be better to relax and stop worrying so much about what others in your industry are doing. Take a step back and look at your business realistically. Do you have the bandwidth to scale? Is there enough growth potential to cover the inevitable costs that come with growing your business?

Patience is a virtue, and by realistically evaluating where you stand, you can avoid a mountain of stress simply by not trying to scale too early. This way, you’ll recognize when you’re truly ready, and the stress won’t become overwhelming.

Time To Take The Stress Out Of Your Life

Whether you’re dealing with one or all of these stressors, there is no denying the serious toll they can take on your business and your well-being — don’t let that happen!

Start by focusing on one area at a time, taking actionable steps that will reduce your stress levels and help you feel more in control. As you get this toxic stress out of your life, you’ll be able to think clearly and get the results you’ve been working toward.

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