Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. It takes a special kind of person to quit their job and have enough self-motivation to control their income. It’s definitely an uphill battle with a lot of highs and lows. But in the end, being an entrepreneur can give you the freedom and flexibility you’ve always wanted. And depending on your business and how hard you work, you might earn more money as an entrepreneur than an employee.
There are benefits to being an entrepreneur, but running a business isn’t always a walk in the park. At the end of the day, you are responsible for whether your business succeeds or fails. Getting a company off the ground takes a lot of work, time and energy, and some entrepreneurs give up before they’re able to make a real profit. Between difficult clients, managing employees and dealing with fluctuating income, it’s easy to lose your mind. But there are ways to cope and stay in the game.
1. Don't Overbook Yourself
You’ll have to work hard to grow your new business and replace your full-time income. But it’s also important to set limits and not overbook yourself. Some entrepreneurs think they have to work around the clock in order to be successful. It’s true that hard work and effort are the deciding factors in whether your business makes it, but overbooking yourself won’t necessarily get you to the top faster. If anything, overbooking yourself can make you stressed, agitated and you might start to question why you left your job to deal with these headaches.
Getting a brand new company off the ground will likely require working longer than eight hours a day, but this doesn’t mean you have to pull 12, 14 or 16 hour days on a regular basis. Understandably, you may not have the luxury of dragging your feet, especially if you need to quickly replace your income, but it’s also important to grow at a steady, but reasonable pace. There are only 24 hours in a day and if you take on too much work, the quality might suffer.
2. Don't Stress About Your Debt
Many entrepreneurs have to get loans, whether from a bank or a private investor. Getting into some type of business debt is normal in the beginning, but you don’t want to get in over your head and take on too much debt. A business loan can provide funds to purchase supplies, pay for advertising and get your name out in the public faster. You might be anxious about owing thousands of dollars. Rather than focusing on the actually debt, consider the bigger picture and think of the debt as an investment in your future.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Working around the clock and skipping sleep doesn’t benefit you or your company. Whether you’re a one-man show or you have employees, your customers expect you to be mentally sharp and working at your best. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’ll be groggy during the day and more prone to careless mistakes. And if you’re physically exhausted, you might be irritable and agitated which can turn off customers and affect the reputation of your company. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, make sleep a priority and get at least 7 to 9 hours a night.
4. Exercise Regularly
Running your own business is going to be stressful — there’s no ifs, ands or buts about it. Clients will get on your nerves and some of your employees with flake on you. Between managing the business, dealing with customer complaints and handling financial matters, it may feel as if your head is about to explode. Regular sleep can help maintain your peace of mind, but you shouldn’t ignore the benefits of regular exercise. Even if it’s just 20 or 30 minutes a day, regular exercise can combat stress and boost your mood. Exercise releases brain chemicals that affect mood. If you’re in a better state of mind, it’ll be easier to deal with the stresses of being a business owner.
5. Don't Forget to Eat
As an entrepreneur, you might get busy and forget to eat during the day. Your mornings might start early, and before you realize, it’s 1 PM or 2 PM and you haven’t had anything to eat. Even if your stomach isn’t growling and you’re not thinking about food, it’s important that you remember to sit down and have a meal. Breakfast is important since it gets your day off to a good start and helps maintain your mental sharpness. If a heavy lunch makes you groggy and tired, opt for healthier, lighter selections such as crackers, fruit or raw veggies.
6. Get Out of the House
You may like the idea of having your office at home. You can roll out of bed in the mornings, walk across the hall and start working before you even get dressed. But unfortunately, being stuck in the house all day, every day by yourself can get boring and solitude can feel as if you’re going crazy. This might be a problem if you’re used to working around people in an office setting. To avoid losing your mind in a quiet house all day, pack up and change your work location. Depending on where you live, there might be small office spaces you can rent by the hour, or you can find a quiet place to work outside the house, maybe the library, the bookstore or a coffeehouse.
7. Know When to Quit Your Day Job
After starting a business, you might hold onto your full-time job for a little longer - until you’re absolutely sure that your business can support your expenses. Some entrepreneurs, however, keep their jobs longer than they have to. Having a full-time job might provide extra security, but it also steals time that can go toward growing your company. Also, juggling two jobs can be too much to handle and kill your sanity.
Once your company starts to generate consistent income, do the math to see if you’re able to quit your full-time job. You might be able to kiss your job goodbye faster if you reduce some of your living expenses and cut out unnecessary spending.
8. Know When to Quit a Client
Not only should you know when it’s time to walk away from your full-time job, you should also recognize when it’s time to quit a client. Just because you’re an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to accept every single client that comes your way. One of the beautiful things about being your own boss is you can pick and choose work. If a client or customer drives you completely insane or doesn’t appreciate your efforts, you can terminate their contract to avoid going crazy and dealing with unnecessary stress.
Running your own company lets you work at your own pace and you have the freedom to work in any location in the world. Being an entrepreneur has its challenges and it can feel as if you have too much on your plate. The above tips, however, can help you maintain your sanity. This is important because when you’re mentally sharp, you’re in a better position to help your company grow.