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Entrepreneur Stress When Scaling a Business

Entrepreneur Stress When Scaling a Business

One of the greatest things about being an entrepreneur is having the opportunity to utilize your creativity, intelligence, passion, and drive to create something that can have a valuable impact on others. What could be more rewarding than turning your concept into a thriving business that addresses a pressing need, right? However, this dream scenario can sometimes seem too good to be true, resulting in founders and entrepreneurs dealing with stress at an alarming rate and not having as much fun as they initially anticipated.

The Entrepreneurial Journey

When I was considering college, I was eager to attend Babson College due to its renowned entrepreneurship program, which was recommended to me by a family friend. My interest in entrepreneurship began in 6th grade when I had a part-time job stocking shelves. I would use my earnings to purchase discounted candy, which I would then sell at school the next day for a 100% profit. In 7th grade, I essentially ran a mobile store (my backpack and me) selling shoelaces. The trend at the time was for fat, colorful, and unique shoelaces, and I would buy them to sell at a 200% profit. Some days, I even sold them straight out of my shoes because it was all about supply and demand. I had a loyal customer base, and my only problem was keeping enough inventory in stock to fulfill requests, and that is a great problem to have. At the age of 13, I asked my older brother to take me to a motorcycle dealership. Before I left the store that day, I paid cash for a four-wheeler that I had decided I wanted, negotiating $300 off to buy the floor model. I vividly recall the salesperson asking my brother, "Is this kid for real?" to which he replied, "Yes, he definitely is."

Fast forward to after college, I worked for a conference and trade-show business. For many years, one of my primary roles was to develop conferences and expositions from a conceptual stage into multi-million dollar events. I was supported by talented and passionate individuals who worked diligently to establish marketplaces, both in person and online, providing channels for entrepreneurs to generate leads for their businesses. Over time, I learned and created my own playbook on how to scale a business through trial and error. While there were plenty of errors causing short-term pain, they were immensely valuable for my career.

Many founders and entrepreneurs lack exposure to building markets, scaling a business, or selling effectively. They also do not have the talent and knowledge supporting them during their journey. This often leads to common entrepreneur or founder mistakes that can cause stress. Having a great idea and creating a product is one thing, but successfully executing a go-to-market strategy, understanding the buyer's needs, and mastering the art of selling are entirely different challenges.

Entrepreneur Stress is Real

Entrepreneur or founder stress can really have a negative affect that should not be ignored. In the 7th edition of Startup Snapshot, 70% of 400 founders stated that entrepreneurship has impacted their emotional health. Surprisingly, only 10% of them seek help from their investors, fearing that it may raise questions and make them appear weak. What should they do next?

Often, individuals talk with friends, join a community, or seek counseling as the situation wears on them, their family, and their relationships. Unfortunately, only 23% seek professional help, find an executive mentor, or hire a coach, and those who do not often fail. When they look back, they wish they had.

Failure is often a very valuable lesson that can be very expensive, but as an entrepreneur, the most effective use of your time is to learn from the failures, successes, and experiences of others who have faced similar challenges. Investing in yourself in this way is one of the most important steps you can take to scale your business and increase your chances of success.

Many founders and entrepreneurs have turned to practices such as meditation, personal training, and retreats to clear their minds. While these methods can be valuable, and I encourage them, they do not directly address the challenges of scaling a business. When a business is scaling, running smoothly and operating profitably, managing the pressure from investors, customers, and employees becomes easier. That means less stress. It just makes sense, doesn't it?

If you are an entrepreneur facing challenges selling your product or service and its impacting your ability to scale your business, or if you are starting to experience growth and need help with taking it to the next level, I would be delighted to schedule a time to help and discuss the way forward. Just grab time on my calendar.