I watch my Facebook feed as a member of a group shares the anxiety she is feeling over her latest task. The girl feels like she is drowning in a sea of anxiety. Anxiety in entrepreneurs like her can be quite devastating.
The girl, we’ll call her “Ashley”, worries about where she’ll find her first client. She is very short on money this month. She wonders where she’ll get the money to pay her rent and keep the internet on long enough to start her business.
She shakes out of fear as she asks group members she can trust about what she should do about her situation. Offering advice on this issue is easy for people who have been in her situation more than once.
Anxiety in entrepreneur mindsets can be a very dangerous thing. It can be very insidious as it wriggles its way into every facet of your life. I can tell you with a certainty that you won’t see it coming until it is too late.
The anxiety can stem from several different places, my friend. I’m here to explain today where some of the anxiety comes from. Read along while I explain where entrepreneurs feel anxiety. Who knows? You might feel it in these areas as well!
Anxiety in Entrepreneurs: The Beginning of Hell
Anxiety in entrepreneurs can mark the beginning of mental hell for all involved. It can be even worse for the people working under them in their business. It can manifest itself in many different ways, which I’ll get into later in this post.
Let’s think for a moment about all the stress entrepreneurs go through in a day. I want you to think about every task the business owner has to fit into a mere 12 hours per day. Service-based entrepreneurs don’t get to leave their businesses in an office.
It’s a true nightmare if their office is inside in their home. They can close the door behind them but their thoughts remain in that office long after they vacate it. Think about that for a moment, my friend.
I have a few symptoms of anxiety to “discuss” with you tonight. The anxiety triggers will cover quite a few facets of the business. Have you felt any of these triggers yourself? Take a few moments as you read along to see if you have or not.
1. How the heck do I find my ideal clients?
This was a source of great anxiety for us all when we started as entrepreneurs. It doesn’t matter what type of client we cater to, nor what industry they are in. We all ask this question and some have considerable amounts of anxiety over it.
Anxiety for entrepreneurs in this stage can be overwhelming. It can be especially overwhelming when you’re first starting out. There is a major case of information overload at first when you’re trying to find your client.
You try to find as much information as you can about where to find them. You don’t realize until it’s too late that you’ve got too damn much of it. You might be chuckling at the moment but think about the poor folks who don’t know any better. Horrible, right?
2. I’m supposed to fit HOW MANY TASKS into my day?
Most people don’t realize how much an entrepreneur has to complete in one day. Sometimes there isn’t enough time in the day to complete everything. This will cause anxiety in entrepreneurs who aren’t used to the strain of it all.
For entrepreneurs who are new to the idea of being one, they don’t know what the title covers. They don’t realize how much work goes into a business like the one they’re trying to build. They didn’t realize what all goes into it because they didn’t research into it.
There are quite a few millennial entrepreneurs who tire of the corporate ladder. They don’t want to climb it only to have their job eliminated once they get there. These are the ones who turn to starting their own business.
These are also the ones who don’t realize what they are getting into by starting their own business. They don’t see the ups and downs of it so they don’t see the stress. Frankly, they didn’t see the behind-the-scenes looks before they jumped right in.
In fact, quite a few of these entrepreneurs are asking the question when they first start. How much do I have to do in one day? If they are chasing the accomplishment they feel afterwards, it would have to be quite a bit.
3. Why is this client so angry with me today? What did I do?
This is another question that can create quite a bit of anxiety in entrepreneurs. Sometimes we don’t know why the client is mad so it makes us wary of what we could’ve done. We often go through everything leading up to this, wondering what went wrong.
This situation can be quite tense and we must take time to cool off from the frustration and anxiety. We definitely don’t want to do something we would regret later. We love to keep clients on the roster but sometimes we can’t do that, no matter how hard we try.
I know it can be difficult to sever ties with a client, which leads to other feelings of anxiety. Take a look at number five on my list if you want an example of other anxiety from this situation. Fixation can happen if we let it and it turn ugly if we don’t watch it.
4. I owe WHAT for that service?
There are some instances where unexpected bills pop up. This leads, of course, to anxiety in entrepreneurs as well. It can be tough in the months where you may not have the money to cover it. This leads to even more anxiety if you didn’t have a nest egg to fall on for situations like this one.
In fact, I have a situation like this one when it comes to medical bills. I won’t get into the medical procedure (gross alert!) but I’ve been fighting with the people who did the procedure. It’s a long story but it’s been causing me quite the anxiety.
If you feel that the company you went through is charging too much, don’t be afraid to argue with them. I know it will cause more anxiety but don’t pay it right away. If you do have the niggling feeling, don’t ignore it in the back of your mind.
5. What can I do to make rent this month?
Sometimes you may not have enough clients to pay the bills one month. You begin to think of other ways you can pay the bills to make ends meet. You think about sacrificing coffee from Starbucks to make sure your lights stay on.
This thought causes a lot of stress since you weren’t thinking you’d have months like this one so early on. You knew it was coming but not so quickly in your entrepreneurial journey. You know you can make it work but at what cost to you?
That thought crosses your mind as you look at other side hustles for more money to get that extra money you need. You know there may not be a quick fix but you need to do SOMETHING, right? You don’t want to have to ask for money from your parents again.
It may hurt to do that but sometimes you have to put your tail between your legs. You have to do whatever you need to make your business work. You don’t want to go back to a corporate job, no matter how hard this entrepreneurial journey is.
Over to You, Buddy!
Have you felt any of these anxiety triggers yourself? Let me know by dropping a comment below! Also feel free to take a look at my Pinterest to find relief for your anxiety. Trust me when I say that I’ve been in your place more often than you think!