As a landscape business owner, you know the importance of a detailed and well-executed business plan. But what about a plan for ensuring your own peace of mind as an entrepreneur?
“Having an understanding of the who, what, where, when and why of your business is a pivotal part of creating something sustainable and successful,” explains Panache Desai, a speaker and faculty member at Omega Institute, at LifeHack.com. “Even if your business is thriving, if you’re stressed to the point of unsustainability, then what’s the point?”
Unfortunately, Statistic Brain reports the No. 1 leading cause of chronic stress in American adults is too much pressure at work — from personnel issues to tight cash flow to continual employee hiccups, to name a few. And PsychCentral says this chronic stress is linked to the top six leading causes of death — heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide.
Not great reasons to continue operating in a high state of stress.
Think you’re on the path toward burnout? A few signs that you may be overdoing it, according to Blare June, a physician specializing in psychiatry in Halifax, include:
- Feeling edgy or keyed up. In addition to endless worrying, this level of anxiety can also come with muscle tension, disrupted sleep, recurrent headaches and panic symptoms (shortness of breath, chest tightness, etc.).
- Isolation or a need to withdraw from previously pleasurable activities and relationships. These can be signs of depression.
- Lack of focus or concentration.
- An increase in absenteeism from work or work avoidance.
- Difficulty remembering things because you’re so overwhelmed.
- Insomnia; less than six to eight hours of sleep a night.
- Loss of appetite.
- Increased mood swings.
“If you continue going at the pace you’re going, there may be serious complications down the road,” June explains. “It’s best to detect these signs as early as possible so you can prioritize and evaluate what needs to be done now and what can wait until later.”
Running a business is stressful, but coping with that stress is the key to finding balance. “Success is more than making money,” Desai says. “Success means thriving, and that includes your state of mind.”
Desai recommends starting each day with intention. “When you set the intention to have a productive day, you’re much more likely to achieve that outcome,” he explains. “Setting intentions is all about planning and directing your energy in a focused manner. In business, there will always be ups and downs, things that work and things that don’t. Maintaining a successful business is a process of constant refinement. You can allow the ebbs and flows of your business to pull you along with them, or you can set the intention to remain stable and collected, even when the ideal outcome isn’t met.”
When anxiety builds, he recommends the following stress reduction strategies:
- Focus on your breath when your mind is scattered.
- Release tension through exercise and movement.
- When you’re triggered by something someone says, don’t take it personally; practice letting go.
And, finally, track your success. “Just as you track everything in business, do the same in your personal ability to cope with chaos,” Desai says. “Look at the events and circumstances that arise in your business every month and analyze whether or not you met those events with hostility and stress, or peace and acceptance.”