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5 min read

7 Unique Stressors Solopreneurs Face and How to Overcome Them

7 Unique Stressors Solopreneurs Face and How to Overcome Them

I’m not going to sit here and say that solopreneurs are more stressed than the average person (who am I to make that comparison), but, what I will say is that we are faced with a unique set of challenges that many don’t understand unless they’ve been through it as well.

These challenges can lead to some stressful situations, and if you’re not prepared to handle them, it could negatively impact both you and your business.

So, here are a handful of unique stressors solopreneurs face as well as stress reduction tips to help you overcome them. One of these changed my life; can you guess which one?

7 Unique Stressors Solopreneurs Face

 

1. Stress From Isolation

Regardless of if you’re an extrovert or introvert, sometimes the “solo” in “solopreneur” can become all too real. You don’t have anybody to bounce ideas off. Nobody to celebrate with during success and nobody to turn to during your failures. 

It’s a weird feeling when the isolation hits you. But there are ways to combat it:

  1. Pick up a social hobby outside of work. Just because you aren’t working with others, doesn’t mean you can’t get this interaction elsewhere.

  2. Join an in-person or online community in your field or industry.

  3. Become a mentor.

The list goes on, but the bottom line is, if you make an effort to interact with others, it can help to boost your morale which can lead to increased levels of productivity, and ultimately a more successful business and a happier you.

 

2. Stress from Self-Imposed Deadlines

For whatever reason, if I set a deadline for myself, I have a hard time sticking to it, but if somebody else gives me that same deadline, I’ll be sure to meet it. What kind of nonsense is that? 

Speaking anecdotally, it sounds like I’m not alone. And, if you continue to miss your own deadlines, you push off the success of your business further and further. Procrastination can ultimately be a huge stressor if it gets out of control.

To avoid this, consider finding an accountability partner. Have weekly meetings, set goals and tasks, and report back the following week. See how it impacts your business and anxiety.

Also, if possible, treat yourself like a client. Set work meetings. Block off time to get stuff done. See if you can almost trick yourself into meeting those deadlines. Hey, it’s worked for others in the past! May as well give it a shot.

 

3. Stress From Mixing Personal and Professional Life

Many solopreneurs have the inability to turn off their work, which makes it easy for it to bleed into their personal lives. It becomes all-consuming which can become very stressful because work is always on the brain. It ends up taking away from the more enjoyable things in life.

Solopreneurs need to prioritize and implement boundaries. Have a separate office in your home. Set specific work hours. Take time away from your computer.

The alone structure will help relieve some stress but you’ll also find that time away from your professional to-dos can actually open your mind to brainstorm creatively around your business. I personally find that I get my best work ideas while hiking, so boundary setting can serve multiple purposes.

4. Stress from Having To Balance All Aspects Of Your Business

Solopreneurs are forced to become the Jack-Of-All-Trades in their business, even if they have little to no experience in certain areas. Imposter syndrome can easily kick in when you feel inadequate to run all operations within your company, which can lead to increased stress. Here are some ideas that may help:

Batch work

As a solopreneur, you need to be a marketer, salesperson, operations manager, and so on. So, to avoid going back and forth between your various roles constantly, batch your work. For example, on Monday morning, only focus on client work. Monday afternoon focus on marketing. Tuesday morning, client work. Tuesday afternoon, operations review and audit. You get the idea.

Avoid multitasking

To piggyback off of that, avoid multi-tasking. It may feel like you’re getting multiple things done at once, but you’re likely only doing half of each thing. Focus on one thing at a time and aim to cross something off your list. It will make you feel so good.

Delegate

You may be a solopreneur, but there are some aspects of your business that may be too difficult or too displeasing to complete on your own. Work with virtual assistants or independent contractors to help with the areas of your business you no longer want to focus on yourself. It will help alleviate the stress of not knowing what you’re doing 24/7.

 

5. Stress From Working In Your Business, Not On Your Business

Many solopreneurs get so caught up focusing on to-dos for their clients and customers that they neglect to take a step back to focus on their business. 

Client and customer work can become a carousel that is hard to get off, but you need to prioritize time to work on your business and optimize it so that you can streamline your efforts and critique what’s working and what isn’t.

To help with these efforts, focus on ways to optimize your processes as well as areas that you can automate. The key here is to work smarter, not harder, and the only way to do this is to prioritize time to tweak your business in the areas that need it.

It will significantly reduce your stress to know you’re saving yourself time in the long run.

 

6. Stress From Financial Uncertainty

Finances are a stressor for anybody, not just solopreneurs, but as a solopreneur, you no longer have a steady paycheck to rely on or benefits that working for a company provides. 

But think of it this way. Those company perks are really just a false sense of security and can also be taken away from you at any time. It just seems more reliable.

Being a solopreneur also means you have to pay for everything, often with an uncertain income stream (especially in the beginning). It’s important that when you have periods of increased income that you set aside some of it and save for the periods of the years that you may experience dips in cash flow. Budgeting as a solopreneur is key.

Also, there are false assumptions that everything within your business costs money. Rest assured, there are tons, and I mean tons, of tools and apps out there that are free that you can use to run your business, as well as free tools to help educate yourself on the various aspects of your business. So, be sure to research these options if you’re working on a tight budget.

 

7. Stress From Not Taking Care of Yourself

The healthier you are overall, the better equipped you will be to handle the obstacles you’ll inevitably face as a company of one. In order to make your business the best it can be, you need to bring your A-game to the table. In order to do this, you need to make yourself priority #1. Remember to:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Get outside and breathe in some fresh air

  • De-clutter your space - it’s an instant stress reliever

  • Take time away from technology

  • Prioritize doing the things you love for an instant mood booster

And honestly, that last one is what changed my life and what I still strive to improve to this day. I think it can change yours too if you put effort into it.

There’s no doubt being a solopreneur comes with its stressors, but there are ways to mitigate them and keep the joy within your business.

What other stress reduction techniques do you use? We’d love to hear them!

There's actually a pretty simple way to mitigate many of the stressors that come with being a small business owner, and we call it The Solopreneur Success Cycle. Check it out!