You have probably had the experience of telling a friend that you can’t join her for lunch because you have too much work to do, and she stares at you incredulously. “What work?” she seems to wonder. “You put your baubles on Etsy and wait for the orders to roll in. Right?”
Starting and running a business is incredibly hard work. Never mind the branding, marketing, social media, website creation and maintenance, and product development. What about the accounting, billing, networking and creation of inventory? What about the rest of your life – your family?!
LaunchHER League member Jessica Taylor of Shaka Soap says, “The aspect of starting my own business that was the most overwhelming was learning about SEO [search engine optimization]. I didn’t realize how much time and research it took for a novice to understand how to get your company name out there! Especially when you are exclusively selling online. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it.”
Writer and consultant Tiffany Silverberg agrees: “In general, advertising and marketing was the most overwhelming for me in the early days. Even today, that seems to be the hurdle that tries to pop up and slow me down! My brand is me. Selling me can be terrifying.”
Abbie Chesney of eye on the sparrow designs continues to be overwhelmed by the demands of her business on her time. She says, “Cliche maybe, but time is money. Whether it’s personal time I lost or time I would otherwise be paid for, the time demands of starting up a business were astonishing! There is always something related to the business that is demanding my time. I didn’t realize the value of my personal time until I started giving it up!”
There are many ways to manage the work load of starting a new business and reduce your stress levels. Here are a few suggestions:
- Plan your day, your week and your month. If you know what challenges lie ahead, they may not seem as overwhelming.
- Carefully track your income and expenses. Knowing where your money is coming from and going will save you a headache later (at year-end or tax time).
- Don’t fret about the things you can’t control. Try to focus on the things you can control.
- Take a break. Chronic stress leads to poor health and poor business decisions.
- Choose a daily relaxation technique. Try yoga or even deep breathing.
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember that friend who invited you out for lunch? Invite her over for a bite to eat and then put her to work! Afterward you can both have a stretch on a yoga mat.
And wait for the orders to roll in.