How to Battle Anxiety as a Business Owner

How to Battle Anxiety as a Business Owner

Mark Raffan

Anyone who’s ever dealt with extreme pressure like a looming deadline, major presentation, substantial content creation, or make-or-break meeting knows how much anxiety can derail your thoughts. While employees feel pressure, as a business owner, the stakes are even higher. So how can business owners and thought leaders battle anxiety effectively?


Distract yourself

Whether your preference is to go a few rounds with the heavy bag with angry rock music on full blast or go for a quiet run in the woods, we all have tried and tested ways to distract ourselves when the pressure gets to be too much. Exercise, baking or cooking something complex, or getting a massage and letting your therapist know that you’re putting in headphones and relaxing. If you’re required to focus on an alternate task, even for a few minutes or an hour, you can get a much-needed mental reprieve.


Settle into sleep with words

Tossing, turning, and playing that difficult conversation over and over in your head? Anxiety and stress can keep us from sleeping, and when sleep is how we recharge our mental batteries, losing it can be debilitating. Consider a white noise machine for the bedroom or downloading boring or meditation podcasts. Listen to the podcasts on headphones if you need to keep the room quiet for your partner, and try to focus in on the podcast as much as you can to keep those other thoughts from churning.


Breathe. Really, just breathe.

There’s a reason all those smartwatches and fitness trackers come with breathing apps. Getting oxygen into your body stimulates the brain and can help you think clearer. If your watch or tracker has such an app, use it.

If you don’t have a device, use this simple trick to remind yourself to inhale: when the phone rings or you hear an email notification chime in, before you answer it, take two long, slow deep breaths.


Remind yourself it’s not forever

An impending deadline or event can seem like it’s taking over your life, particularly if it’s months away. Remind yourself that the stress and pressure you’re feeling is temporary. Consider planning a vacation or special reward for yourself in the few days after your big and anxiety-inducing project. This will give you something else to look forward to.


Surround yourself with good people and ask for help

If you’re truly feeling overwhelmed, that can create major anxiety. If you need help with projects—like content marketing, article writing, content creation—try to surround yourself with capable employees who can have your back.

No time to hire extra help? Leverage other services to do some of the grunt work; pay the local print shop to lay out and print your report. Hire a graphic designer on Fiverr or Upwork to lay out your PowerPoint presentation. Engage a content creation agency to produce your content or help with your content marketing.  You can even hire virtual assistants by the hour that can help you with those ever-growing little tasks. If you feel like you need more support, consider hiring a temp agency, marketing agency, or thought leadership and branding specialist to help steer you clearly to success.

Anxiety and stress come with the territory when you’re a business owner, but it doesn’t have to rule you. Use these tips to take back control and power your way to success.


Mark Raffan

Mark Raffan

Mark is a serial entrepreneur and lover of marketing and influence. Mark built the #1 negotiation podcast in the world and is an expert negotiation, influence, and persuasion coach that has coached executives and their teams in some of the largest companies in the world.