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3 Simple Ways I Relieved Stress While Running My Business Staying active, prioritizing time with loved ones, and lightening your workload are crucial ways to manage stress while steering the company ship.


The daily grind of running a business, managing people, and constantly putting out fires can take its toll on even the most resilient entrepreneurs. But keeping your cool isn't just necessary to your business's bottom-line. It's also crucial to maintaining your sanity.

Mary Jessup knows this all too well. Head of Pittsburg-based Allegheny Valley Transfer Company, Jessup's line of work focuses on one of the most stressful events in people's lives: moving. Her family-run moving and storage business, started by her grandfather in 1925, comes with its share of high-stress situations.

"Moving is very traumatic. It puts people through tremendous stress because they're under the gun," Jessup says. It's her job to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible for every one of her customers. As a result, Jessup has developed strategies over the years to help relieve and avoid stress while at the helm of a successful business.

Below are insights into her tried and true strategies for staying cool under pressure and living your best life as an entrepreneur.

1. Stay active no matter what.

Jessup spent much of her adult life as a self-proclaimed "couch potato," with little time and energy devoted to exercise. But after going through a divorce and taking over the leadership of her company from her father, Jessup knew she needed a way to relieve mounting stress.

She started doing yoga, biking and going to the gym three times a week. The physical activity made her shed weight fast and she lost 50 pounds.

But what she gained was far greater. "You should be physically active, not to lose the weight but because it's good for your mental and physical health. It just helps with everything," she says. "I was more capable of dealing with stresses and more relaxed. When you're working out, you can physically feel a lift of the pressure off you."

Mary Jessup of Pittsburg-based Allegheny Valley Transfer Company
Image Credit: Courtesy of Mary Jessup

2. Schedule time for loved ones into each day.

After a long hard day on the job, it's easy to collapse on the couch and zone out. But making an effort to spend time with friends and loved ones is essential to maintaining your sense of well-being and not letting stress get the best of you.

"I make plans with friends after work and force myself to be social," says Jessup, who schedules these types of social meetings at least two to three times a week. "You get a different perspective and those different viewpoints are important to the way you work."

But even when there's little time to socialize with friends outside of work hours, Jessup makes sure to set aside a little time–even if it's just a few minutes each morning–to give her three Siamese cats attention, an activity that always helps lower her stress levels. "They love you unconditionally," she says.

3. Lighten your load with the help of expert support.

Making time for wellness and personal relationships outside of work wouldn't be possible for Jessup and so many other entrepreneurs if they weren't able to delegate responsibilities to trusted partners who can help lighten the workload.

"As an entrepreneur, you like to think you're more detail oriented than everyone else, but then you end up taking on too many responsibilities," she admits.

One way she's found to successfully reduce her work and stress load is by working with a financial advisor and bank in figuring out the best financial decisions for her business. From determining lines of credit to getting loans for the purchasing of trucks or expansion, having a financial expert who can steer her in the right direction has been a tremendous stress reliever for both herself and the business.

"The entire team is important. Everybody pulling together is what pulls the company forward," she says.

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