Sometimes, even the best startup leaders and founders will find themselves under the weather every once in a while. It’s natural to experience stress, especially when it’s from honest hard work and effort that is geared towards achieving a particular goal or vision. However, when you start to do things that are detrimental to others, your startup or yourself, or perform actions that would seem rash or bring great risk, then the stress has turned into something negative. No matter if you are the leader or founder of the startup or a fresh hire to the company, stress can demotivate you and ultimately make you want to quit. While you should never neglect your mental health and should seek professional help when warranted, here are some ways for you to handle your otherwise normal bad stress.
We’re all familiar with the saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. So then, what keeps the tough moving and going when things are bad and seem beyond our control? It’s important to remember what drove you to establish your startup in the first place: your mission and vision. As your startup grows and expands, you start to take on more responsibilities and duties;you need to talk and negotiate deals and terms with new investors, you need to find new markets, you need to find new talent for your startup to thrive. All of this may lead you to forget about your roots and lose sight of the long term goal. It’s important for you to always keep an eye on the original mission that your startup was founded for. Your startup may be out to provide a solution that makes the world a safer place. Or it may be about making people’s lives easier and more convenient. Or it could be about sustaining our planet so that future generations can live in a world full of beauty and life. Whatever the vision is, if it is something that you truly believe in and something that you would strive for, then it is this same belief and conviction that will see you successfully through the tough times. While the going may not always be easy, and indeed there will be challenging times ahead, a strong belief in your mission and vision will keep you motivated and focused for whatever you will face.
One of the best cures against overwhelming stress and tedious boredom is this: a sense of fun. As the saying goes, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and Jill a dull girl”. Not only does fun enliven the atmosphere and keep spirits motivated and high, it also contributes to creativity as well, which is one of the essential components for productivity and innovation, especially for a tech startup. It is common nowadays to find new startups that have a dedicated space for employees to have some “me-time” to relax and have some fun, which can either be a video game room, an indoor yoga room, or something else similar for employees and workers to take a break. It’s an ideal space for them to take a breather and recharge themselves before going back into the fray, perhaps armed with a fresh new perspective on how best to tackle a demanding challenge.
When in a rut and overwhelmed with stress, sometimes all you need is just a reassuring pat on the back from another human being to get you back on track. Support from your team and workers is a crucial part of why you founded your startup in the first place. No one can do everything by him or herself, and after all, we humans are social creatures. Smart leaders will have close confidants whom they trust that can help them to stay focused and on track, as well as to sustain their motivation and uplift their spirits from time to time.
Managing stress healthily is one of the key issues that every startup leader or employee needs to deal with in order to thrive and succeed in a fast-paced and constantly evolving world. Do not be afraid to seek professional help when the blues last much longer than expected, or if you start to lash out at people. Running a startup or business is very important, but not as important as your life and mental health.