Starting an online business can go from you being extremely excited to feeling like you are drowning in a pool of overwhelm very quickly.
An overflowing to-do list and not enough hours in a day can make any new online business owner feel unsure about their capabilities of running a business. On top of that, the progress of an online business can quickly become halted if the owner is so overwhelmed and stressed out that they just end up doing nothing.
I personally remember a few times during my first year in business where chocolate and Netflix binges were my only method of escape from the crushing overwhelm I was experiencing.
Here are 5 of my best strategies to help you start growing your business with a lot less stress and a much greater sense of ease and flow.
Hire a coach, find a mentor, join an online community.
You need to be around like-minded people more than ever right now. People who have been where you are. People growing their own business who understand the challenges.
Starting a business and not having anyone around that understands what you are going through is going to end up with you being on a very lonely journey.
Friend and family support is often not enough.
Entrepreneurs need other entrepreneurs to communicate with, share ideas with and get support from.
Facebook and Meetup.com are a great place to find supportive entrepreneur communities.
Create a Schedule
As Benjamin Franklin supposedly once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Some people find it helpful to schedule out their entire day down to the minute. I prefer to keep some flexibility in my day but will schedule the most important tasks. The ones that once completed will have me feeling like I had a productive day.
Knowing what you have to do before that day even begins is going to help prevent you from getting caught up in ‘shiny object syndrome’, which is a common place for new entrepreneurs.
Before implementing a daily schedule into my business, I can’t tell you how many times I felt ‘entrepreneur guilt’ for spending/wasting my entire day researching the latest and greatest business building app.
You didn’t become an entrepreneur to be a jack of all trades. Chances are you know what your gifts are. If you are spending time doing tasks that are sucking away your time & energy, that is going to take away from you working in your zone of genius. And you producing in your zone of genius is the thing that is going to grow your business the fastest.
Sites such as Fiverr and Upwork are the perfect place to outsource on a budget.
Brain Dump All Of Your Ideas
It’s very common for entrepreneurs to have a million ideas in their head at once. Have you ever been awake at 2 am because you had a brilliant idea at 11 am and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since? Then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
But thinking about a new idea can turn from exhilarating to overwhelming in a very short time when you let your thoughts run wild. Getting those thoughts out of your head and down on paper will save you a ton of wasted hours on overthinking.
A brain exhausted from overthinking does not create and perform well.
Do yourself a favor and make brain dumping a part of your daily schedule.
I have a pen and a notepad with me at all times for this very reason.
Stop Consuming So Much Information
Have you ever felt calm, cool and collected but then after reading your daily dose of content delivered to your inbox your anxiety is through the roof?
Consuming too much information is the cousin to overthinking and both are closely related to the overwhelm that can consume you when you first start your business.
Free content is everywhere and can be an amazing tool to help build your business. But it is very easy for a new online entrepreneur to want to consume every piece of content they come across and subscribe to every newsletter. This can very quickly lead to information overload and you not knowing where to focus your efforts.
How to overcome this?
Only consume content that is related to your current goal. And then use the ‘consume and implement’ strategy. This is where you implement at least one thing you learned, right after you consumed the content. Free content is a wonderful resource but rather useless if you never take action on it.
Building a business can be stressful at times but is also supposed to be fun. If you are finding it’s all stress and no fun then take a step back and remember why you went into business for yourself in the first place. My guess is, it wasn’t to experience more stress than before.
Originally published at medium.com