Overcoming Anxiety In Your Business [Part 2]

Mar 4

Thanks for stopping by to check out Part 2 of my “Overcoming Anxiety While Running Your Business” series! Last week I asked the lovely Sienny, a fellow designer, to share a bit about her entrepreneurial journey and how she manages anxiety. Many of you reached out with gratitude and asked that I share my personal tips for overcoming anxiety while running a full-time business.

As you know, you get what you ask for around here girl.

To the lady boss staying up until 4 in the morning to finish that client project for very little money – I see you. To the lady boss responding to email after email while out with loved ones on the weekend – I see you. To the lady boss sneaking work on your phone while you cuddled next to your partner on the couch – I see you. I see you because I was you. I’ve been there. I know the hustle. I know the frustration. This post is for you.

 

 

The 3 Steps I Took In My Business To Reduce My Anxiety:

1. Set Boundaries

The main source of my anxiety as a business owner was coming from working all hours of the day, every day. I had no set time to work, I simply worked from the time Ben left for work until he got home, and then again for several hours after he went to bed for the night. This was every night including weekends.

Perhaps THE most important lesson I have learned while running my own business is how critical it is to my wellbeing, the wellbeing of my personal relationships, and the wellbeing of my client relationships to set boundaries!

For me, these boundaries include studio hours (Monday through Friday 8am – 5pm [EST]). As hard as it is to stop working with so much going on in my business, this boundary is deeply important. It allows me to make dinner with Ben and spend the quality time that we both need with each other and our four-legged fur baby. It allows me to unwind at the end of the day to recharge for tomorrow. It allows me time to take care of myself. It allows me to SLEEP! It allows me to say yes to far more activities with loved ones because I no longer feel obligated to get out of bed to respond to the client that emails at 2am (it happens!).

Benefits of Setting Boundaries:

  • Take back control over your time. Get back a regular sleep schedule. Have the essential time you need for yourself and your loved ones. Alleviate the pressure of “needing” to respond back immediately to all communications. Be able to attend weeknight and weekend events with your friends and family.

 

How to Implement:

  • Place your office hours on your website, your business cards, your client contracts, and even your email signature. Let people know that you will respond back within 2-3 business days. 
  • Base all project timelines around your studio hours so you are not pressured to work overnights or weekends. Keep all projects in the scope of your studio hours.
  • Develop a Welcome Guide to send to each new client as part of your onboarding process. In the guide be sure to add a section for “Client Communication” where you outline what your client can expect in terms of response time. 

 

2. Know Your Worth

What you charge for your services is critical – it is your responsibility as a business owner to research what others are charging in your industry and price yourself appropriately based off of your experience/talent/and so on.

What you charge no only impacts you but it impacts every other business owner in your industry. If you are charging far below industry average, you are undermining all other’s who have worked so hard to establish themselves as leaders in the industry.

Don’t forget about all of the “hidden” costs of running your own business when you are figuring out what to charge. When you run your own business every dollar you make is NOT a dollar of profit. You have to deduct taxes (and sales tax in some cases), insurance, health coverage, eye coverage, business expenses, retirement……what’s left over after all that can be kept by you. Don’t forget you’ll also want to be saving for the future (house, wedding, car, vacation). See how this all adds up?

Lastly, with all of those hidden costs in mind, what you charge directly impacts how many clients you need to take on to pay your bills. Charging your worth will help eliminate the need to take on a million small projects at once. This will allow you to focus on taking on projects that you’re passionate about and free up your time to invest back into your ideal clients.

Benefits of Pricing Appropriately:

  • Start working with your ideal clients rather than overworking yourself taking on anyone that comes your way so you can make rent. This improves not only your quality of life but also the experience of your clients. You’ll take back control of all the time you were spending on taking too many smaller clients at once to make ends meet and you’ll be able to invest that time in bringing higher value to clients best suited to your service.

 

How to Implement:

  • Do your research on what fellow business owners in your industry are charging. Don’t see prices on their websites? Reach out to your favorite ladypreneur’s in your industry and explain that you are just starting out and aren’t sure what to charge for your services. When you undercharge for your services, you are hurting everyone in your industry, so most will be happy to help you develop appropriate pricing.
  • Make your prices known either via your website or a Pricing Guide you can send as a response to injuries. This way there is no question about what your services cost, and your clients know that they cannot negotiate price. This also forces you to charge what you deserve rather than dropping your price because you feel you won’t make a sale.

 

3. Build A Network

Ladies, trust me when I say building a network is a game changer for your business AND your mental health. Being an entrepreneur, especially a solopreneur, can be incredibly isolating – even for those that are natural introverts. The common fantasy of “working from home” involves wearing sweatpants all day, no make-up, the freedom of not wearing a bra, and working around your schedule. While all of those things (especially the lack of bra – am I right?!?!) are fantastic, people seldom address how lonely it can be to sit by yourself at home all day every weekday.

Benefits of Building a Supportive Community:

  • You’ll improve both your business and your mental health almost immediately. You’ll alleviate the feeling of isolation. You’ll feel more fulfilled as you teach other’s your tips and tricks and gain insight on how to improve your business as they share advice with you.

 

How To Implement:

  • Search for a co-working space near you for some in person interaction. Co-working spaces are fantastic places to meet and be inspired by fellow entrepreneurs.
  • If a physical co-working space is out of your budget, actively reach out to fellow ladypreneurs online. The easiest way to do so is to interact with them via Instagram. DM them to ask if they’d like to be an accountability and/or co-working buddy. You can set up Zoom/Skype/Facetime call’s to work “face to face.” If reaching out isn’t working, don’t be afraid to make an announcement on your Insta Stories that you’re looking for an online co-working buddy!
  • Lastly, get out of your apartment/house and work from your favorite cafe. Most popular cafe’s have fantastic wi-fi and it’ll get you out of the house – forcing you out of those beloved sweatpants ;). 

 

 

So, what steps do you take to eliminate stress/anxiety in your business?

 

Love,

 

 

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