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Feeling Stressed About Your Home-Based Business?

Whether your home-based business is a full-time pursuit or you’re managing it alongside a full-time job, effectively balancing your home business with the rest of your life can be a challenge. To enjoy and experience life (and your business!) to the fullest, keeping bad stress to a minimum is a must. Follow these tips to keep the stress at bay:

1. Choose the right program for you. Whether you are a home-business newbie or are developing something fresh to enhance an already well-established business, it’s vital that you choose something that suits, supports, and enhances your personality. Think about your personal preferences, tendencies, and abilities before joining up. Ask yourself – is this really something that fits who I am? Would I be comfortable with this? A bad fit will just cause anxiety. (To get to know and understand yourself and your natural preferences better, take the MBTI personality questionnaire and do some reading about your personality type.)

2. Do something you can be proud of. Supporting or selling for a company that you don’t believe in will only harm your mental and emotional health. Do you agree with the company philosophically? Does the company sell products that you have faith in? Do you feel good about having your name associated with this company? Take your time to research the company. See what others are saying; check some reviews. Read the website thoroughly. If you have contact in person or by email with the company, how are you treated? Would you feel good about referring a friend or family member to this company? If you are not completely comfortable, move on.

3. Choose marketing and communication methods that suit you. While many companies have suggestions as to the best approaches for promotion, adapt what you read to fit who you are. Are you an introvert? Then you may prefer to use the written word (like email or direct mail) more than the telephone. If you’re an extravert, on the other hand, you may not be able to wait to get on the phone! Trying to change yourself to be a match with the company and its expectations will only add pressure to your life. Just remember that the many, many people out there like you will prefer to communicate in the same ways that you do! You can connect with them in a way that no one else can.

4. Take your time. How many times will you come across that one-time-only, last-chance-forever, don’t-miss-this-one offer? Time and time again. Take a deep breath, don’t pressure yourself, and make your decisions when you are ready, not when someone else tells you to. Give yourself time not only to choose the best business for you, but also time to learn, grow, and achieve. As adults, we often expect that we should be able to do everything immediately and perfectly. How ridiculous! Take time to learn the new vocabulary, time to research and organize, time to set up the business in a way that works best for you. (Don’t allow the growing number of emails in your Inbox to sway you from this!) It’s your life, it’s your business – time pressure will steal your enjoyment and turn it into just another stressful “to-do” list.

5. Don’t take it personally. In my second week of research into potential Internet home businesses, I signed up by email for information from one particular company. I gave my phone number, too, and, later that day, the company called. After I listened to the fellow’s pitch and (politely) refused it, he hung up on me! I felt horrible for a few minutes, but then I came to realize that it was probably best that I didn’t sign with a company that had representatives who would treat potential customers that way! Keep focused on your goals, and don’t let anyone’s bad behaviour discourage you or deter you from your course.

6. Set boundaries. It’s not easy to keep up with the busyness of life, with many other commitments besides your business needing (and wanting) your time. Make a decision – whether that be on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis – as to how much time you will set aside for your business, and gently but clearly set boundaries around that time and energy. Even if something unforeseen means that you have to be flexible with those boundaries, reschedule the time right away. Remind yourself that you won’t be the only one who benefits from these boundaries and the growth (personal and business) that will come out of that focused time.

7. Do some self-care. While you may be tempted to use every spare minute on growing your business, don’t forget to nurture yourself along the way. Look after your physical health. Exercise for extra energy and to keep yourself positive, focused, and disciplined. Eat well. Set up your work area ergonomically. Also, make sure that you have enough play time to stay relaxed and happy. Set aside time for hobbies and other activities that rejuvenate and encourage you.

8. Watch out for too much financial strain. Although you will read over and over again that you have to spend money to make money, keep your own financial beliefs and comfort zones in mind each time you click that purchase button. Have a very clear picture in your mind at all times about what your personal financial boundaries are, and how far you can go before the stress of what you have spent far outweighs the good you feel about investing in your new business.

9. Be (and stay) organized. Be organized with your information – keep all of the information about your sites, links, passwords, etc., in one place, so that you are not wasting time hunting through old emails. Stay organized financially – keep track of what you’re spending and when, so that you don’t get carried away and have some nasty financial surprises. Be organized with your daily, weekly, monthly, and longer-term goals. Have a place for those to-do lists, and stick with them. Watch out for distractions that can lure you away from your business goals, like that Inbox. Before you know it, an hour or two has slipped away as you read through email, and you’ve done nothing that actually benefits your business.

10. Don’t try to do too much. Although getting starting with a number of programs right away is very tempting, what with the many promises of instant and great amounts of cash, just remember that taking on too much will quickly lose its excitement and start to feel utterly overwhelming. Choose one or two things to get started with, and then branch out, if you want to, when those are well on their way and under control.

Bottom line, remember why you are doing this. Whatever the reason that you decided to create and grow your home business – and I know the reason is a good one – remind yourself of this person, goal, or dream regularly. You won’t find a better motivation anywhere to stay optimistic, focused, and stress-free. Your home business, just like any job or business, can and should be a source of immense pride and joy for you, rather than a constant worry. Be true to yourself, take care of yourself, and nurture your business, and you will find that your business truly will give you delight and satisfaction, rather than just more stress. Good luck!