Achieving Mindfulness: How to Beat Stress and Stay Productive as an Entrepreneur

Achieving Mindfulness: How to Beat Stress and Stay Productive as an Entrepreneur

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who isn't dealing with stress of some kind.

But for entrepreneurs, that stress can cause serious consequences...not just for the founder, but for the business itself.

A recent survey found that maintaining a small business causes twice as much stress as maintaining a healthy relationship, nearly three times as much stress as raising children, and more than four times the stress of managing their personal finances.

So close your eyes, breathe deeply, and prepare to learn to relax when it comes to your business.

In this TGIM short, you'll...

  • Learn how to dramatically decrease the stress of being an entrepreneur 
  • Discover effective strategies for achieving and mastering mindfulness
  • Find out how to identify your "release valve" so you can use it down the road

Check out the full short below:

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Speaker 1: "You'd be hard pressed to find someone who isn't dealing with stress of some kind or another. Entrepreneurs seem to deal with a little more. Bank of America did a survey recently and they checked in with entrepreneurs who said that maintaining a small business causes twice as much stress as maintaining a healthy relationship with a spouse or a partner, nearly three times as much stress as raising children, that's a hard to believe, and more than four times the stress of managing their personal finances. That stress needs to be managed or there can be consequences not just for the founder of the business but for the business itself."

Speaker 2: "Lindsay MacPhee opened her business the Floatation Center a little over a year ago. Since day one, the two sensory deprivation tanks have been booked solid with people keen to lower themselves into pods containing super salty, body temperature water, where you're only responsibility is to float in the silent darkness and relax. It's been a great first year of business which Lindsay attributes to her motto ..."

Lindsay: "Our mantra or my mission statement is everyone leaves feeling blissed out and we like to do whatever we can to make sure that that happens."

Speaker 2: "Everyone leaves feeling blissed out, everyone but Lindsay that is. She manages five employees and seven independent health practitioners. She's been working on expanding her business adding another tank with one more to come. She's just not used to feeling work stress."

Lindsay: "I used to practice as an engineer and at the end of the day, I was just good riddance, pretty much ready to light a trail of gasoline on fire behind me."

Speaker 2: "Now, the list of things Lindsay is stressed about is almost never ending."

Lindsay: "From getting the third tank up and running, that self-imposed deadlines to not getting enough sleep, not eating well, weight gain, making sure that all my employees are happy, making sure that I'm marketing enough, responding fast enough on social media. That every single person who comes in is getting a really great like having a great experience."

Speaker 2: "That list actually goes on for several minutes. If you run a business, you can probably relate to a lot of that. For those in the business of helping other people relax, there is an extra intensity."

Lindsay: "You have to be on, even in a standard operating procedures that I wrote up for everyone, the very first line is your smile is the first thing that people see. Just make sure that you really give everyone the best. It's challenging at times if the phone is ringing and all these things are going on, and you can feel a bit of a fraud, when I know that I am not practicing what I'm preaching."

Speaker 2: "Lindsay used to have a release valve for stress."

Lindsay: "Gardening, oh, my goodness, I used to garden all the time. I would go into work so early so I could get off early so I could spend the rest of the daylight hours gardening and growing my own food. I have had soils sitting in the trunk of my car for two months now and just waiting to do that again and I haven't."

Speaker 2: "Also falling by the wayside for Lindsay, sleep and exercise and of course, healthy food, good sleep and plenty of exercise are at the top of any prescription for battling stress. They are the big three Glen Moriarty lists off the top of his head. Glen's a psychologist, he's also an entrepreneur. He's the founder of 7 which he describes as an online, free emotional and mental health support system. That website is in it's third year and so deeply does Glen understand the particular stress finder space. He made sure there's a part of his web service that's dedicated to entrepreneurs."

Glen: "Somebody said that being an assertive entrepreneur is like being punched in the face repeatedly while somebody else throws cookies at you and you have to look for the cookies. I think that's sometimes what it feels like."

Speaker 2: "Startups may be transformative but they're also super stressful for their founders and there's something different about that stress. In a regular job Glen says, even if it's a high pressure one ..."

Glen: "There's like a map, there's a career pathway. It's very clearly defined what you need to do to get to the next milestone, to get a promotion. That kind of certainty, it really helps decrease stress. If you're an entrepreneur there is essentially very limited certainty. I think that dramatically increases stress."

Speaker 2: "If you want to dramatically decrease your stress Glen says, in addition to prioritizing, eating well, sleeping and getting some exercise, you should practice mindfulness, and that can be as easy as focusing on gratitude or on a couple of things you did well today. Then be sure to measure your progress."

Glen: "You can say, "Okay, I was super stressed out about this issue. I did a five minute mindfulness exercise and on a scale of one to ten, ten is a max stress. I was a nine, did this mindful exercise, now I'm a six." Okay, you just dropped thirty percentage points with a five minute intervention. That's pretty powerful."

Speaker 2: "If you're busy, you probably love hearing that even a five minute session can make a difference. Other tools in your kit, know what makes you feel better, taking a shower, calling a friend, going for a walk. Then do those things deliberately when times get tough. If you're trouble integrating self-care into your busy day, Glen says maybe try approaching it the way you approach all your business goals."

Glen: "Think about video games. Video games, they start you off, they make it just a little harder than what your current skill level is at. They do that because that's addictive to your brain. Your brain likes that. If you can kind of, you can game your life a little bit if you say this is where I'm at and I'm going to make this goal a little bit harder for me."

Speaker 2: "Right, a little bit harder is the key. If you haven't been exercising at all, don't think you're suddenly going to run five miles. Take a brisk walk to start. If you're still not convinced looking after yourself is important Glen says, it's a little like the phrase "ain't mama happy, ain't nobody happy." In this scenario, you would be the mama. If you're freaking out, you're going to transfer that to everyone you manage. If you can't look after yourself for your own good, do it for the good of your business and your employees. Lindsay, despite the trials and tribulations, the stress and the spider, she's glad she took the plunge."

Lindsay: "I'm glad I didn't know it was this hard. At the same time too, if I had have known then that I would get this so much fulfillment and enjoyment from it, oh, yeah, I would have done it. They're like, you have to walk through fire, okay, let's do this, have some water ready for me at the end."

Speaker 2: "That sounds like Lindsay could use a good long soak in a sensory deprivation tank. Good thing there are three, soon to be four close at hand."

Speaker 1: "In addition to those tips from Glen Moriarty to help beat stress, Shopify has a great blog post with eight stress hacks for entrepreneurs. We've got a link to that in the show notes and you can find the show notes in your podcast app or by visiting\tgim."

Show notes:

About TGIM: TGIM is a podcast for people who can’t wait for the week to start. In each episode we’ll be bringing you inspirational stories about entrepreneurs who have overcome obstacles, built incredible businesses, and are now living the life they want.