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4 min read

Stress Management for Solopreneurs: Techniques That Actually Work

Stress Management for Solopreneurs: Techniques That Actually Work

Welcome to the Stress-Free Life of Solopreneurship… NOT!


Solopreneurship—what a compelling way to meld your passion, skills, and independence into a tool to live life on your terms! But let's be honest: when you're the CEO, the sales team, the marketing department, and sometimes even the janitor, stress doesn't just knock—it kicks the door in.

With no one to pass the ball to, the weight of the entire venture rests solely on your shoulders. Sound overwhelming? You're not alone, but stress isn't necessarily a result of your solopreneur journey. There are ways to manage it effectively.


Recognize Stress—Yes, It's There Even if You Ignore It

The first step in stress management for solopreneurs is acknowledging its existence. Brushing it under the rug won't make it disappear. You need to identify it before you can address it.

Symptoms of Stress:

  • Physical: Headaches, fatigue, and insomnia.
  • Mental: Anxiety, irritability, and indecisiveness.
  • Emotional: Mood swings, lack of motivation, and feeling overwhelmed.

These are just the textbook symptoms. Your body may manifest it in other ways as well.


Top Stress Management Techniques

Here are some practical stress management techniques specifically tailored for the busy life of a solopreneur:


Time Management

The Pomodoro Technique

I suspect this was named after an egg timer resembling an Italian tomato. The idea is to set a timer for 25 minutes and concentrate on a single task. When the time is up, take a 5-minute break. After four cycles, take a more extended break, which will help you focus and give you a well-deserved respite.

Eisenhower Matrix

I learned this from Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which changed my life. The process is to separate your tasks into four categories:

  • Urgent and Important
  • Important but Not Urgent
  • Urgent but Not Important
  • Neither Urgent nor Important

Then do the following:

  • Neither Urgent nor Important: Delete them with extreme prejudice. Burn them if you can!
  • Urgent but Not Important: Delegate them. "What?" you say, "I'm a solopreneur! Who exactly am I supposed to delegate to?" My answer is to get help. Get a virtual assistant or someone as a contractor to let you focus on what makes your business thrive.
  • Urgent and Important: You should spend most of your time here but not all of it. Note that a lot of this stuff is typically firefighting issues resulting from how well/poorly we are running our business. I recommend you note those issues because this is where most of your stress comes from.
  • Important but Not Urgent: This is where the magic happens. All those issues you noted in Urgent and Important can be fashioned into tasks that improve how your business functions and reduce the number of Urgent and Important tasks. This is working ON your business. Doing this will reduce stress over time.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Take 10 minutes out of your busy schedule to sit, breathe, and be in the moment. Mindfulness apps are an excellent tool for this. And no, this isn't some esoteric ritual; it's brain exercise.

One of my favorite meditation tools is called binaural beats. You listen to these sounds on headphones at a relatively low volume. They present slightly different sounds in each ear that induce a particular frequency of brain waves. Depending on the frequency generated, you can enhance sleep and relaxation, meditation, concentration, creativity, and focus. Here's more information.

Physical Activity

From a brisk walk around the block to an intense CrossFit session, physical exercise releases endorphins—the body's natural stress reliever. So, ditch that extra cup of coffee for a dose of endorphins. Whatever you do, get up from your chair regularly. Smart watches can help to motivate you to do these things.

Support Network

Solopreneur doesn't mean you're stranded on an island. Your family, friends, and even virtual communities of like-minded individuals like the Solopreneur Community can offer support. Sharing challenges can lighten your emotional load and provide novel solutions to challenges you may face.


Yes, I know you're awesome, but no one is a superhero. Consider outsourcing for tasks that don't require your particular brand of genius. As I mentioned above, outsourcing tasks that are Urgent and Not Important as well as things you aren't good at or don't like doing, can be a fantastic stress reliever.


Combatting Financial Stress

Financial stress is the arch-nemesis of every solopreneur. You might not become a billionaire overnight, but you can:

  • Budget Smartly: Understand your income and expenses and plan accordingly. Get an accountant to help you if needed.
  • Emergency Fund: A backup financial resource can serve as a stress buffer. But I didn't need to tell you that.
  • Diversify Income Streams: Don't put all your eggs in one client's basket. This is important and hard to do when you've got that one big client you don't want to take your attention away from.


Stress Resilience: Building Mental Fortitude

Here's the kicker: You can't eliminate stress, but you can train your mind to be more resilient. Developing a growth mindset and learning from challenges instead of dreading them can be your stress-resistant shield. You can make failures into lessons. Learn those lessons, and failures become wins. Avoid negative self-talk; try to stay positive while not fooling yourself.


When a Task Feels Overwhelming, Break It Into Steps

That old saying about a journey of a thousand miles beginning with one step is true. Break it down and do the first thing, then the second. It will quickly feel less overwhelming.


Just Do It!

A (hilarious) person I know on LinkedIn posted the following:

  • I just did something I've been putting off for 6 months.
  • It took me 15 minutes.
  • I will learn nothing from this.

I think he's telling the truth.

Don't be like him.


A Lifelong Journey

Managing stress is not a one-time task but a continual process. And let's face it: If being a solopreneur were easy, everyone would do it. But then again, you're not everyone. You're that brave person daring to sail solo.

So, take a deep breath, practice these stress management techniques, and be ready to take the world by storm—one manageable chunk at a time.


Stress management for solopreneurs isn't a luxury; it's an absolute necessity, especially early in your solo career. By incorporating these actionable tips into your routine, you're not just surviving the solo business world but thriving in it.


Want to know another stress management technique? Finding community. Going solo in business doesn't mean you're alone. And it just so happens we have an awesome community of solopreneurs ready to welcome you. Join today!