I own a small business and I’m feeling overwhelmed
I’m a small business owner and I’m overwhelmed. It’s understandable, given that it’s a new year (and decade) and most solo business owners have ambitious goals. While goals are awesome when you’re doing the planning, they can be very overwhelming when the new year arrives and it’s time to turn plans into action.
Please don’t tell me to meditate
Meditation is a common way to reduce stress, but it doesn’t always work. I had a daily meditation practice for more than a year before I hit a wall of panic. Meditation stopped being a time of respite. Instead, my daily meditation took me to a place of being overwhelmed with fear and panic. I knew that it was time to find some other ways to reduce overwhelm.
8 ways to reduce overwhelm in your business
- Do a complete brain dump. Some people find lists overwhelming, however I prefer a long list over having thoughts swirling through my head. Once an item is on the list, I don’t have to think about it again. Currently I have a spiral notebook with an ever-increasing “To Be Done” list.
- Make a plan. Having a plan always helps to reduce my anxiety level. When I learned that I needed knee replacement surgery in 2018, having a scheduled date was (surprisingly) better than knowing the surgery was some vague day in the future. Once I knew the date was six weeks away, I created a 6 week calendar to make sure that my work was complete. Following this plan kept my mind focused on actions that I could take, rather than worrying about an event that I couldn’t control.
- Don’t over research. Figure out the line between being informed and torturing yourself with details. I recently purchased a new fridge and the choices were overwhelming! I could have spent weeks doing research. Instead I visited our local Lowes, read reviews on what was in stock, and made a good-enough choice based on my budget and positive reviews.
- See this as a growth opportunity. It’s easy to accept feelings of excitement and bliss. It’s much harder to deal with overwhelm, pain and fear. Dealing with tough times makes us tougher. Try to reframe overwhelm into a learning opportunity.
- Find another voice. Since my silent meditation led to fear and panic, it was time to try something else. I switched to guided meditations. I found meditations that contained affirmations and healing journeys, so that there was a voice guiding my thoughts into a more positive direction. Although I wasn’t exactly relaxed, I wasn’t overwhelmed with fear or panic.
- Make a play list. Music is an amazing way to change your mood. Create a play list to help you feel positive, encouraged and relaxed.
- Ask for advice. Sometimes we need a little help from our friends. Explain why you’re overwhelmed and ask for feedback. Ask what you can do differently to change your mindset. How do they deal with overwhelm? Are there tools or tricks available that can make you feel more in control?
- Seek professional help. Find a therapist, coach, lawyer, financial advisor or other professional to help you navigate your challenges. Although your challenges may be new to you, chances are that a professional has seen them many times beforehand and can offer a helpful perspective.
More posts about feeling overwhelmed in your business
- How to choose the right type of meditation for entrepreneurs
- How entrepreneurs can increase productivity with relaxation and recovery
- How to create a business operations manual
- Rubber duck entrepreneurship
Sue Allen Clayton founded the Solopreneur Academy in 2018 to help female business owners start, grow, and thrive in their one-person business. The Solopreneur Academy helps women conquer overwhelm, isolation and self-doubt. It also provides strategies to increase productivity, run their business more efficiently, and create a work-life balance. Members of the Solopreneur Academy enjoy daily interaction in our private Facebook group, as well as monthly events via Zoom including Master Classes, Book Club, Get It Done Day, Accountability Hour, and Group Coach & Chat.
Sue is the author of Solopreneur Success: How to Plan, Create and Run a One-Person Business. You can learn more about Sue Allen Clayton at SueAllenClayton.com. You can also check out our YouTube channel for videos about starting, growing and thriving in your solo business.