Unexpected and stressful aspects to entrepreneurship

According to the article “6 Stressful Things New Entrepreneurs Never See Coming” by contributor Jayson Demers on Entrepreneur’s website, entrepreneurs expect that there will be stressful long hours and challenges to face to get a new company going and keep it afloat. However, Demers notes, there are six unexpected dangers in entrepreneurship that can prove stressful:

  • Interrupted cash flow. Cash flow keeps you running, but emergency expenses, late customer payments and other such surprises can interrupt your revenue stream and cause you to scramble to fulfill your financial obligations. Make sure to mark down every monetary transaction to the cent to help you through this time.
  • Partner quitting. Whether you have a partner or an employee who has been with you from the start of the business that helps you in fundamental ways, an unexpected departure can leave you feeling both bereft and frazzled as you try to change your business management approach. Remember that all employees will leave eventually, and while some may give you notice quite in advance, others may not.
  • Isolation. As the head of the company, you will often be forced to keep any reservations about the business’ workings to yourself, leaving you with no one in whom to confide. In addition, working long hours away from your family and friends can add to the feeling of loneliness and isolation.
  • Loss of major clients. While you should never depend on just one client, sometimes a long-standing client is like a long-standing partner — you think they’ll never leave, and you tend to depend on the revenue that client brings. Once they do leave, you may start to doubt your business approach, and you will certainly have to rebalance your cash flow and look into your client retention strategies.
  • Competition. When competition that imitates your business model arrives, it seriously puts your company at risk. Instead of panicking, you should observe their business model and see how you can outperform them, whether by modifying your prices, target audience or some other factor.
  • Burnout. Burnout is something that develops gradually, and the time over which it develops can vary from person to person. However, the more you work hard and exhaust yourself, the faster it will come until the day when you find you resent your business instead of seeing it as a passion. Since burnout is very difficult to reverse, the best possible course of action is prevention. Make sure to take some time for yourself and to not always work to total exhaustion.

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How to schedule your day as an entrepreneur

According to the article “5 Ways Successful Entrepreneurs Schedule Their Day” by contributor Dan Scalco on Entrepreneur’s website, entrepreneurs are most successful when their busy days are structured. As such, Scalco notes fives important scheduling tips to enact so that entrepreneurs can maximize their time and productivity:

  • Have a morning routine. Starting from when you wake up, have a morning routine and keep to it. Even if it means getting up a little earlier, add a little activity to your morning, such as taking a walk, checking email or reading.
  • Tackle the high-priority jobs first. It can be tempting to take care of all the trivial tasks first thing in the morning, but you should see to your most pressing tasks while you are fresh and not tired out from seeing to other concerns. Make a list of priorities for the day and begin with the most important ones.
  • Don’t over-pack your schedule. Having to rush from one appointment to the next and constantly adjust your mindset can quickly burn you out. Know your limits and don’t overextend yourself by committing to too much during one day. Understand how much you can take to keep busy but not frantic.
  • Step back when you feel too stressed. A small bit of stress can help you focus on the task at hand, but becoming overly stressed can lead to fatigue and health problems. Know when to step back in a stressful situation and allow yourself to refocus, either by taking a walk, exercising or just switching to a different task.
  • Take time to reflect. When you can reflect on your accomplishments for the day, it gives you a sense of satisfaction and creates positive feelings towards your work, which can help motivate you to stay on the path you’re taking. Reflection also helps you see just what you are accomplishing with your time, thus increasing your productivity.

Related: 5 holiday time management tips

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