Is Stress Hurting Your Startup’s Bottom Line?

June 30, 2016

6:00 pm

Startups, especially those in the technology sector, have been booming during the past few years. Three years ago, entrepreneurship numbers had already far surpassed those during the dot-com bubble, and they’ve continued to grow since then. This latest surge in startups has seen a wide variety of creations, ranging from environmental products to classroom technology that helps children with autism learn more effectively.

Although it is impossible for every new business to become successful, those that fill a specific niche have a far better chance now than they did a decade ago. However, some entrepreneurs may be struggling to hit it big for a reason they wouldn’t suspect: stress. A whopping 47 percent of Americans are currently dealing with high levels of stress, and this has the potential to be much more destructive than most people realize. In other words, unless you put some stress reduction methods in place, you may have a harder time getting your new startup off the ground.

What Toll Does Stress Take?

Stress is linked to a long list of issues that can make it very difficult to stay focused on your business. According to the medical experts at Lybrate, insomnia impacts 30 to 50 percent of adults at any given time, and stress plays a major role in the development of this sleep condition. When you consider the fact that insomnia costs an average of $2,280 in productivity per worker every year, it becomes easy to see how this side effect of stress could wreak havoc on your bottom line. Combine that with being less able to focus and communicate effectively with clients, and you have a recipe for startup disaster.

There are many other medical problems associated with stress, including depression, heart disease, gastrointestinal distress, anxiety, asthma, headaches and diabetes. As you can imagine, each of these issues will make it harder to give your all on a daily basis, which will almost certainly cause your business to make less money. Sadly, an entrepreneur who has a mixture of these stress related complications will probably make things worse by taking on the added strain of launching a startup. The good news, though, is that there are some things you can begin doing to better manage your stress.

Stress Management Techniques

Spending even five minutes in nature is one of the best natural stress relievers. As an added bonus, University of Michigan researchers have discovered that people enjoy a 20 percent increase in their memory retention and ability to pay attention after taking a nature walk. If you are tied up at the office and absolutely cannot leave, studies suggest that looking at nature scenes for 10 minutes can provide a positive boost.

Many large businesses are also turning to regular massages to help their employees manage stress, and this is something that you can emulate. You may not be able to afford to have a massage therapist in the office like Google and several other big name businesses, but making time to go to a local establishment for this type of weekly or bi-weekly self-care will make it much easier for you to focus on building your startup.

Other proven methods for reducing stress include daily meditation, exercise and even coloring. There are several creative ways that you can incorporate these stress busters into your daily routine, no matter how busy you are. A prime example is to begin having walking meetings. Alternatively, you could start each meeting with a 10 minute guided meditation to ensure that everyone is as relaxed and grounded as possible.

No matter what type of stress relievers you choose to use, it is imperative for every business owner to give themselves a break each day. Working from sunup to sundown may seem like the only way to get your startup off on the right foot, but it will ultimately cause you to become so stressed out that you end up losing money. If all else fails, set aside a few six minute blocks throughout the day and use them to read for pleasure. After all, studies have shown that this one simple act can reduce your stress levels by as much as 68 percent.

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Holly Chavez is a former engineer and current writer and entrepreneur. She enjoys writing informative articles about technology and is amazed at all the new inventions and strides that happen every day. Holly also cares about the environment and is involved with writing projects and activism that supports sustainability, Green living and lowering the carbon footprint.