Entrepreneurs are no strangers to stressful days. But for entrepreneurs with anxiety, managing the ups and downs of running a business can be even harder.
Veronica Camara is the founder of AVO Agency, a content strategy firm that serves large businesses in complex industries.
She also has anxiety.
In this story, she shares three strategies on how to manage stress and anxiety as a busy entrepreneur.
Using the Stress Scale
Her first method for dealing with anxiety is to use what she calls “The Stress Scale” as a way to avoid getting into a high anxiety state. Each day, she checks in with herself about where she is on the scale — then takes action.
The scale runs from 0-10. Here’s a quick breakdown:
0-3: Normal to low stress. This can usually be ignored.
4-6: Moderately escalated. This needs to be investigated.
7-10: High anxiety state. This needs to be addressed.
Finding yourself in the middle of the scale means you’ve got a chance to curb your anxiety. This might mean taking time for self-care, or trying to figure out the root cause of your stress.
For days that are high anxiety, she likes to ask for support. “That might be talking to a friend or my partner, hiring additional help on a project, or maybe even taking an afternoon off.”
Aligning Business with Personality
As an introvert, working in an open coworking space surrounded by other people was often distracting for Veronica, and sometimes an energy drain. Instead, she opted to rent out private office space for her agency. This is just one way she has designed her workflow to align with her personality.
“As an entrepreneur, you don’t have to do things like everyone else,” she says. “Want to only work from 5am-2pm? Do that. You can design the business around you.”
It’s all about being sensitive to your own needs, and adjusting your environment and work style accordingly. Once you observe something in your business that doesn’t match your flow, take steps to adjust it.
Applying Self-Managemerent Skills
One of the easiest ways to burn yourself out is to do everything alone.
As an employee, you typically have a manager who is responsible for getting you the support you need to do your best work. As a self-employed person, you have to learn how to be your own manager.
She says, “Set yourself up to be successful. Make sure you have the time and resources you need to get something done — whether it’s a small daily task or a big goal.” This could mean you need to hire someone, say no to a client who’s not a good fit, or
Most importantly, remember that you don’t have to do it all yourself.