Avoiding Stress and Burnout as an Entreprenuer

entreprenuer stress

Being an entrepreneur is many things. It’s challenging, exhilarating, discouraging and rewarding. Oh, and let’s not forget stressful.

Stress is very common among those starting their own business. You might be stressed because your business is booming and making lots of money, which is great, or you might be stressed because of the exact opposite. Either way, too much work related stress isn’t good for a small business owner, let alone anyone.

Here’s a list of how to cope with stress and avoid burnout as an entrepreneur.

It’s Ok To Say No

If you’re a people pleaser, saying no isn’t your forte. You don’t want to let them down or make them feel bad when they ask you to do something nor do you want them to think that you’re incapable of handling whatever they asked you to do. But you’re only human and can only handle so much. If your workload is already heavy and you take on something that’s 20 percent more than you can accomplish, it’s going to feel like 50 percent, which is going to make you stress out to the max. So it’s ok, really, to tell someone no.

Delegate Wherever You Can

As a small business owner there’s a lot riding on your shoulders. But you have employees, so use them. If you learn to trust your employees you’ll be totally fine with delegating tasks to them. So when you need to take a day off or go on a little vacation, you can actually relax and enjoy it instead of stressing over whether or not things are getting done or if things are being done right. Giving employees more responsibility and trusting them with that responsibility is going to lift a huge weight off your shoulders.

Time Management

Knowing how to organize your time is very important as a small business owner. There are only so many hours in a workday, so you want to make sure you’re spending that time in the best way possible. You won’t have so much work-related stress if you make a to-do list for every day or maybe just every week, depending on your preference of course. You can also track the time you’re spending on certain tasks each day, and then you can decide where your time needs to be better spent or where you can delegate tasks to employees or even what can be eliminated. Managing your time helps immensely with stress management.

Fear Is Fine, Anxiety Isn’t

Some may think fear and anxiety are the same. It’s true they’re closely related, but they’re not the same. Fear is a normal feeling to experience when starting your own business. Fear keeps us from doing something stupid and helps us stay better focused.

On the other hand, anxiety is an emotion you don’t want to experience. Anxiety is when you worry and have sweaty palms and a racing heart because you’re imagining the threat of something bad possibly happening, not because something actually happened. So it’s fine to experience fear as an entrepreneur, you just have to learn to control it and eventually overpower it.

Think And Stay Positive

Remember the saying you’ve always heard — think of the glass being half full not half empty. It seems so simple to think and stay positive, but it’s something that’s easier said than done. Don’t cause unnecessary stress because you’re always being negative. If you’re thinking negatively, then you’ll fail. Stay positive so that you’ll be happier, your employees and customers will be happier, and your business will have a greater chance of succeeding.


Exercising may not be your thing. (Don’t worry, you’re not alone in that). But exercising is a great way to relieve stress. When you’re being active, you’re boosting the production of your body’s feel-good endorphins, which can help distract you from work-related stress. And when we say exercise that doesn’t mean you need to run 20 miles or do an hour-long cardio workout every day. If you’re not into cardio or aerobics, yoga is a great form of exercise that also helps relieve stress.

Don’t Forget You Have A Family And Friends

Your family and friends are probably a big reason why you’re where you are today. They’ve been with you from the beginning and have been your support system, so don’t forget about them once you’ve got your business going. It’s important to maintain the relationships you had before you became a small business owner because they’ll help keep you balanced and happy.

Achieve A Work-Life Balance

Finding a good balance between work and life can be challenging for some. According to the OECD Better Life Index released this summer, the U.S. ranked 28th when it came to work-life balance, placing us ninth from the bottom among advanced nations. This survey also stated that people in the U.S. work 1,787 hours a year, slightly more than the OECD average, and that 16 percent of men and 6 percent of women work very long hours.

Although it seems many working individuals spend more time working than for personal or leisure reasons, the top career concern for men and women is having the right balance between work and family. Research from Hay Group found that more than one in four of employees, who work for companies that don’t support a good work-life balance, plan to leave in the next two years. They also found that 39 percent of employees claim to not have a good balance between work and their personal life. When you find that balance, you’re more apt to be happier and healthier, meaning you’ll perform better at work, make more money and live longer. All things we want.

Entrepreneurship is hard, but it’s also rewarding. Remember to take the good times with the bad and to not stress out over the bad times. You’re lucky you’ve been given this opportunity, so make the most of it and don’t ruin it with stress.

Dustin Heap

Before Signs.com, Dustin had several jobs after graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada. These included positions in two different SEO agencies and Everyday Health, a leading online health brand. He’s worked with both big and small businesses and lived in New York City, Toronto, and Salt Lake City. He currently does the marketing for Signs.com and has experience in a variety of areas under the digital marketing umbrella. Outside of work he loves spending time with his family, sports, books, wood fired-pizza, grilling and smoking meat, and the geopolitics of the Middle East.