Lots on Your Plate?

Balancing your entrepreneurial duties is tough, but you can channel your stress into action.
Magazine Contributor
3 min read

This story appears in the October 2006 issue of Entrepreneurs StartUps Magazine. Subscribe »

To stay energized and focused, learn how to move forward even under the most extreme pressure. Rather than battling your subconscious to eliminate the sensation of being overextended, learn how to put your feelings into perspective given the tasks at hand. Begin this process by teaching yourself to maintain momentum even when you feel overwhelmed.

1. Weave your personality into your discovery process. Enjoy the process of starting a business by learning the methods that work for your personality. Start by examining your innate responses when you become overstretched. Do you feel defeated when you look at your to-do list? Realize that whatever you feel at these moments is natural; it's part of who you are. Master the art of moving forward by learning to turn on your "affirmative mind-set." Assess your immediate reaction to circumstances. Then decide to work through the chaos by taking action, despite how you're feeling personally.

2. Commit yourself to taking clear action. Don't wait for the right time to move forward. When starting your own business, there are few moments of absolute certainty. Learn to rely on your intuition to obtain clarity and prevent becoming weighed down. Use your experience to divide large projects into realistically achievable smaller tasks. Then take your first action.

3. Energize your efforts by trying something new. There's more than one way to achieve your business goals. When you feel overwhelmed, do something out of character to explore new methods for redirecting your stress. Perhaps do the opposite of what you normally would--a different routine can easily re-energize your efforts. Rather than e-mailing to follow up with a customer proposal, pick up the phone and call. Even if it feels uncomfortable, taking an unusual approach can produce amazing results and provide you with new options for future growth.

4. Stay focused in the moment, not on the future. When entrepreneurs are just starting out, they often resist taking action because they worry about what may or may not occur in the future. Trust in the ability that galvanized you to become an entrepreneur-your ability to accomplish any task. Your duty is to take practical action, learn from the world and allow the people in it to support your efforts. As you move forward, those around you will give you insight into developing your next action step or tell you how to improve your product.

5. Give yourself a break. No matter how committed you are to your business success, you need time to recharge. If you overextend yourself, you may actually get less accomplished the longer you work. Reset your positive mental attitude by scheduling time to exercise, take a walk or have coffee with friends. Even a quick stretch can make a huge difference in your outlook and productivity. As you train your brain to adapt to new challenges, the interval between feeling swamped and taking action will disappear.

Romanus Wolter, aka "The Kick Start Guy," is author of Kick Start Your Success and Kick Start Your Dream Business.


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