Feeling overwhelmed with your solo business?

Overwhelmed female business owner

This weekend we celebrated Memorial Day in the United States. This holiday honors all military members who have died in while serving in our military. Memorial Day also marks the unofficial start of summer with all of its joys and stressors.

Summer can feel particularly overwhelming if you’ve got school-age children who are on summer vacation and need your attention. You might also face diminishing cash flow due to clients being on vacation. Another challenge is trying to connect with subcontractors who have their own their vacation schedules. Or you’re trying to figure out how to schedule your own vacation.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, there are many things that you can do. Below are nine strategies that have worked for me.


9 ways to reduce overwhelm in your business

  1. 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.
  2. Make a plan. Take a few moments and figure out what you want to accomplish this summer — then create a weekly plan to help reach those goals. When I learned that I needed knee replacement surgery in 2018, I created a six-week calendar to make sure that my work was complete prior to surgery. I have used this strategy many times. Following a plan keeps my mind focused on actions that I can take, rather than worrying about events that I can’t control.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Try meditating. Meditation is a great way to quiet your mind. It teaches you how to stay in the present and avoid overwhelming yourself with anticipatory fear about the future. (Check out this blog post for information on how to select the right type of meditation.)
  6. 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.
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. Take a break. Overwhelm can be a signal that it’s time for a rest. Check out this blog post to learn why relaxation and recovery are essential for long-term success.

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Feeling overwhelmed with your solo business?
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