It’s not easy to be a successful entrepreneur. Apart from a great idea, you also need strength, resilience and a determination to succeed despite the odds being stacked against you. A lot of startups fail in their first year. Some people give up then and there, deciding that the entrepreneurial world is not for them; others brush themselves off, pick up the pieces and start all over again.

Starting a business, any business, can be very stressful. You will have to work long hours for very little financial reward in the early days – and with no guarantees that your business is going to be a success. How you deal with the stress is important, so if entrepreneurial stress is dragging you down, here are a few tips to help you cope with it.

Minimise financial stress

Cash flow is one of the biggest problems new startup businesses face in the first year. Obviously it helps to have your ducks all lined up in a row and finances firmly in place before you go into business, but if things go wrong and major debtors are slow in paying, have a Plan B to fall back on. This could involve a temporary line of credit, perhaps in the form of a bridging loan from financing companies like, releasing some equity on a property, or invoice factoring. Whatever option you choose, make sure you plan for the eventuality and don’t leave it until your creditors are banging on the door.

Embrace failure as a learning process

Never be afraid of failing in your venture. The fear of failure can lead to an unbelievable amount of stress, all of which can be avoided by accepting that sometimes, no matter how well you have planned, things can and do happen that are outside of your control. The important thing to remember is that failure is a learning exercise. If your business does go down the pan, look at what went wrong and learn from it. Your next startup will be more successful as a result.

Networking opportunities

Slaving away on your own can feel extremely isolating, which in turn can exacerbate feelings of stress immeasurably. Hopefully you have a business mentor, who is there to offer guidance at all stages of your startup journey, but be sure to utilise local networking opportunities, too. Talking to other entrepreneurs in the same boat as you can be really comforting. Even if they can’t help, they can still offer support – and you might make some useful business contacts at the same time.

Rest and Relaxation

It is easy to get sucked into the mentality of believing that if you don’t work 18 hour days, your business is doomed. This might help you grow the business in the short term, but in the long term all that will happen is that you end up having a nervous breakdown. Don’t try and be a human dynamo. We all need some down time, so make sure you take some time out to exercise and spend time with friends and family.

Some stress is good for you as it focuses the mind and helps you achieve your goals. Too much stress is bad, so make sure you fall into the right camp.

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