Stress Management Know-How!
Stress in business is like peanut butter and jelly, the ultimate Yin to the Yang. To have one day in business without stress, whether an employee or owner, is like spotting Bigfoot. I’ve had the opportunity of being an employee and an owner, I look forward to sharing with you some of my stressful experiences more from the business owner’s perspective.
After dabbling in the business part time during the day while unloading freight trucks for a large retailer on the overnight shift, I had finally made my decision to pursue my landscaping passion full time in 2005. At that time, my wife and I were living in New England. I remember walking out my employer’s door on my last evening of work and being greeted by a snowstorm. I had just signed my life away on a new truck purchase for my business and immediately questioned what I had just gotten myself into. And so began my stress in business!!
My knee jerk reaction of anxiety was quickly greeted by a counter attack of exhilaration - an acceptance of personal responsibility and a fervent hope for my future and my wife’s. It was truly up to me and no one else, self-determination became my focus. In terms of financing my venture, it came from personal credit cards. I knew this was only the beginning of my stress in business, but I knew only one direction: Forward.
It wasn’t until I became a self-employed business owner when I truly appreciated the value of a dollar. As an employee, I put in my time and collected a paycheck, but not once did I ever think about how that money came to be. I just figured my employer had the funds and wrote me a check at the end of the week. Becoming a business owner introduced me to the concept of “profit.” Profits are the funds which are left over (we hope) after paying for overhead such as licensing, insurance, materials, machines, fuel, maintenance, advertising, accounting & taxes. Business stress is tied to profits. Without profits, there are no paychecks. I learned very quickly to factor in these costs when pricing my services so that I would earn profits and make a living.
Most of my stress with work has come from dealing with potential clients who do not understand the concept of profits. I’ve lost count of the times where people feel that my prices were too high because I was charging more than the cost of materials!! I challenge anyone out there with the following question: “Do you work for free?” Neither do business owners! Please visit the Know Stress Zone again as I delve into other topics related to stress in business. I look forward to your return visit.
I wish you much prosperity.
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The Starfish Story
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young boy paused, looked up, and replied, “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!” ~
~Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)~
This simple story serves as a good reminder that:
• YOU are worth time and effort.
• Maybe you can't help everyone, but you can help someone.
• Goals can be achieved one mini step at a time.