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A recent report by the accounting software specialist Xero concluded that stress is a growing problem for small business owners. October 10th is designated as World Mental Health Day, so I would like to challenge you to take 5 minutes out of your day to focus on yourself and think about how you feel at this moment in time?

Having personally suffered from anxiety, driven by the hectic workload and pressure of an international corporate role, I know that these things creep up on you. It is a fine balance between pressure that drives you and pressure that inhibits you.

Don’t Hide Behind Your ‘To-do’ List

Do any of these ring a bell for you?

  • ‘I don’t have time to think about myself’,
  • ‘If I don’t do it, no-one will’,
  • ‘I can’t afford to be ill’, there are jobs that need to be done’

However, these can often ‘self-excuses’. Things we hide behind, so we don’t have to admit to ourselves we are struggling. We put on a front that we are coping, in case we are perceived as failing. We hy away from asking for help until it is too late.

Workplace Stress Is A Growing Problem For Small Business Owners

83% of small business owners say they have experienced stress in the last 6 months

Workplace stress, anxiety and depression are becoming more common as technology advances increase the speed at which we work increases. But it is not just workers in the corporate world that this affects. A recent survey of 500 small business owners, conducted by Xero, found that stress is a growing problem for small business owners. The survey notes that 83% have experienced stress in the past six months, with almost half (49%) saying they have been more stressed than normal and 17% admitting they are “highly stressed”.

One in ten says the stress of running a business has had a negative impact on their mental health, causing sleepless nights (41%), drinking more alcohol (21%) and arguments at home (13%).

The findings show that the top ten factors causing the most stress for small business owners are:

  1. Managing staff (42%);
  2. Admin (35%);
  3. Feeling responsible for the success of the company (31%);
  4. Keeping up with compliance (26%);
  5. Paying for overheads and expenses (24%);
  6. Keeping clients happy (23%);
  7. Imposter syndrome (20%);
  8. Filing taxes (19%);
  9. Time pressures (17%);
  10. Multitasking (14%).

Outside factors also causing stress include high street decline (34%) and Brexit uncertainty (18%). One in ten (11%) said they felt vulnerable to economic conditions.

If any of the above resonates with you – that’s good! – you are noticing it, not hiding from it!

There is plenty of help available, doctors are much more aware and sympathetic to mental health conditions than they were a couple of decades ago. GPs can now support by recommending counselling options as well as prescribing drugs if required. Online there are sites such as the NHS site or UK’s Mental Health offering fantastic self-help resources providing podcast, video’s and tips.

Business-wise, outsourcing some of the administration and compliance requirements may lighten your load and reduce the pressure from constant multi-tasking. If you need ideas on what to outsource check out our scope of services or check out our FREE resources.

So, back to my original challenge – and be honest with yourself – how you feel at this moment in time?

Based on an article by start-up donut.