Reducing the Stress of Being an Entrepreneur

Starting and running your own business can be exciting and rewarding, but it can also be very stressful. For most of our almost 40 year marriage my husband has been an entrepreneur and I have sometimes worked with him. Having built my own business as a Stress Reduction Coach I have been reflecting on the stresses of being an entrepreneur.

Signs and sources of stress

Some of the signs of stress overload include irritability, anxiety about the sustainability of the business, and/or high business debt. Relationships within the family can suffer if they do not understand the entrepreneurial drive or the time and effort it takes to start and run a business. For women entrepreneurs, the job of running the household and balancing work and home can create enormous stressors. When you work from home, all the household tasks that need to be done can pull you away from your business. People who are drawn to be entrepreneurs are sometimes idea people who don't like detail and repetitive tasks. Having to work on those things can create stress as well. And when you're stressed it's harder to concentrate and focus.

Organize your environment

One of the solutions is to reduce the stress and create an environment that discourages stress. Have a place where you can keep everything together and organized. A written plan of action for the business posted where you can see it along with a daily plan can help you focus the time you have available.

A system that works for me

I am not a person who comes to organization easily and I have struggled to find a way that works. Daytimers and lists help for a short while, but I have never been able to keep up with them. One thing I have found that works is to have a "big picture overview" of what needs to be done where I can see it. I have a poster board size piece of "static cling" presentation sheet that adheres to my door. It can be easily rolled up and removed if needed. I have several categories that I've posted at the top of the sheet, such as "website," "presentation," etc. These are written on standard sized post-it notes so they can be easily removed and changed. I brainstorm everything I need to do on small post-it notes. After I brainstorm, I then organize the notes in the appropriate columns. I also have a category that says TODAY for the urgent and important things. I can glance at the poster while I am working and see what else I might need to do and when I finish what I need to do, I can throw the post-it away. If something comes up that is not posted, I can put it on a post-it note and put it where it needs to be.

This "system" helped me write many graduate papers and I used it when I planned and wrote my dissertation. Now it helps me as I plan and work my business. This is just one technique that helps me reduce the stress of being an entrepreneur.

Lorna Minewiser, Ph.D has been helping people reduce their stress for more than 15 years. She offers individual and group coaching, workshops, CDs, e-books and a Stress Reduction membership site.For more information you can reach me at

In The News:

Lansing State Journal

Six vie for seats on LCC board, but not the incumbents
Lansing State Journal
He would like to see the college put more emphasis on entrepreneurialism. He would like to see less money spent on landscaping and more on scholarships. "A pretty campus is important," he said, "but it's not as important as making sure that students ...


Google set to open Campus Madrid to drive innovation in Spain
"It's not about the physical space nor the other infrastructural elements - these already exist at the many accelerators that Europe has - but the broader mentality of innovation and entrepreneurialism that Google may be able to import from the Bay Area.".

Sacramento Bee

Sacramento food activists push for urban farms
Sacramento Bee
“We should allow urban farmers to sell their food,” said Hansen. “The city should do everything it can to allow that kind of entrepreneurialism, because growing and selling is a form of small business.” “There is a big economic component to this ...

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UVA Engineering Alum Creates Mini Breathalyzer
NBC 29 News
“We're trying to infuse more entrepreneurialism into our courses, teach the students how to actually build things,” said Keith Williams, UVA engineering professor. Williams says he hopes more students will follow in Masavage's footsteps. “I think that ...


Rebuilding A Detroit Home To Live In&&In Hopes Of Rebuilding The City
"I think what we're doing is really aligned with VFA's mission, because it's a nice mix of entrepreneurialism and social benefit," Nussenbaum says. "It's not charity by any means. But, at the same time, we're contributing to a neighborhood and becoming ...


Startup of the Week: Taking on the big dogs with Tapdaq
I'm a big believer in entrepreneurialism and a big believer of an individual if they have the audacity, motivation and drive to build something of the moment, of their own, then I think they very much should be supported in that, regardless of their age.

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MRO (press release)

Miller Ingenuity's Creation Station Offers Its Employees, Customers, and the ...
MRO (press release)
“Creation Station is a big investment in creativity and entrepreneurialism in manufacturing at a level where it needs a shot in the arm,” said Steve Blue, Miller Ingenuity President and CEO. “We looked at the business landscape where billion dollar ...

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Mumbai University 9th in list of billionaire alumni, above MIT
Economic Times
Interestingly, 63% of billionaires' primary businesses are privately held and 81% of all billionaires made all or the majority of their wealth themselves, telling us that entrepreneurialism and private wealth are keys to billionaires' success ...

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The Northern Scot

Festival of ideas to be held in Elgiin
The Northern Scot
"The inaugural speaker line-up is very strong, with key themes of entrepreneurialism, local democracy and place very well addressed by nationally and internationally recognised speakers. "Their contributions are guaranteed to be thought-provoking, and ...

The Globe and Mail

Laid-off executive cooks up new career
The Globe and Mail
(Kevin Van Paassen for The Globe and Mail). Grace Attard, an entrepreneur coach in the Greater Toronto Area and chair with executive leadership organization TEC Canada, likes to say that entrepreneurialism is “either chosen for you or it's chosen by you.”.

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