Stress Management Techniques for the Small Business Owner

Owning a small business comes with lots of perks…your own hours, being your own boss, and building something meaningful to you.

However, the work of managing and running a small business is also an incredibly stressful endeavor.  While stress is understandable, it’s important for your health to reduce tension and anxiety.   Neglecting  stress management and not taking care of yourself can cause health issues, which will prevent you from performing at your optimum level.

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The first step in managing stress is identifying the triggers that cause anxiety to occur.  By eliminating or cutting back on these situations, you will feel more calm and relaxed throughout the day.  For example, does a particular task, such as accounting, bother you?  Hiring an account will leave you with more time to manage other parts of the business, and relieve  the stress associated with managing finances.

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Ensuring that you are healthy, both mentally and physically will also reduce your daily stress. It’s important to learn these stress management techniques:

  • Get a good night’s sleep each night.
  • Focus on the positive – use simple mindset shifts for success.
  • Eat healthy, avoid greasy meals such as fast food.
  • Stay hydrated by maintaining adequate water intake.
  • Meditate and practice breathing exercises throughout the day.
  • Take vitamins and nutritional supplements, such as fish oil.
  • Relieve built up tension through exercise.
  • Keep your work environment well organized and clean.
  • Take a break from the electronic world.  Avoid your computer, tablet, smart-phone and TV and go get some fresh air.

In the end, remember that while stress is a normal part of running a business, it’s important to understand where the stress comes from.  Many entrepreneurs are too hard on themselves, constantly comparing their success to the success of others.  This may stem from fear of failure.  These emotions are healthy and normal, but ultimately cause unnecessary stress and anxiety.  Take it easy on yourself, laugh, and appreciate where you are and where you are going.  You’ve worked hard on starting up a business – it’s time to congratulate yourself.  

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Thom Torode is a Morris County based Executive & Business Coach. He has owned over 5 different businesses and is also a licensed facilitator and co-principal for Elevate Your Leaders in NJ. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

Sunrise Business Advisors can be reached at 862-219-6890 or info@SBAnow.com

 

 

How Sharp Are Your Leadership Skills?

The effectiveness of leadership skills in any team or organization plays a critical role in the levels of success and harmony that can be achieved.

Leadership Skills Compass

Leadership Compass

Take this Self-Assessment to determine whether your leadership skills have been sharpened to a keen edge.

1. I’ve become more comfortable delegating tasks and managing the performance of others than doing things myself.

2. Before committing to a decision, I ask myself if it will serve my purpose. I say “No” to requests for my time and attention that are not aligned with my purpose.

3. Coworkers and those who report directly to me trust me and my effectiveness as a leader.

4. I successfully enroll others in my vision and influence their behavior at work.

5. It’s less what I say and more what I do that affects how others perceive my leadership ability, so I make sure to “walk my talk.”

6. It can be daunting to confront the issues, obstacles and people that block success. But in doing so, I model courage, persistence and a can-do attitude.

7. I hold myself accountable for my actions and the actions of my team/department. I don’t make excuses.

8. I will not be able to please everyone; leadership is not a popularity contest.

9. I view problems as opportunities to excel. In fact, I focus on the opportunities in every problem. A positive attitude can make a project or objective

10. I seek opportunities for education and skills enhancement, as I want to continuously grow my abilities.

11. Everything in my organization/department/team, both good and bad, is a reflection of my leadership. If things need to change, I need to change first.

12. I don’t avoid difficult conversations with those who are not performing to my standards.

13. I plan meetings to keep them short and effective.

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Sharp Leadership

14. I treat others how I want to be treated, with respect and dignity; this includes praising in public but expressing displeasure in private.

15. I am open to new suggestions and receptive to bad news.

16. I don’t hog credit and kudos but attribute them freely to my team.

17. I regularly communicate mission and vision face-to-face to my team.

Are you being seen as a Leader

Are you being seen as a Leader

If you answered true to 10 or more statements, keep up the good work! You have developed strong leadership skills.  If fewer, you may wish to hone your leadership skills with a coach.

Contact Sunrise Business Advisors for your complimentary Leadership Excellence Assessment Preview (LEAP). Thom Torode is a Morris County based Executive & Business Coach. He has owned over 5 different businesses and is also a licensed facilitator and co-principal for Elevate Your Leaders in NJ. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

Sunrise Business Advisors can be reached at 862-219-6890 or info@SBAnow.com

Author’s content used under license, ©  Claire Communications

Full Speed Ahead with Yes for 2014

Full Speed Ahead  with Yes for 2014

Would you like to start next year with more yes’s?  Full Speed Ahead with Yes for 2014.  With 2014 just around the corner imagine and visualize what this year would have been like if all you did was change your wording slightly?

Full Steam Ahead with YES for 2014

Full Steam Ahead with YES for 2014

Nothing zaps a great idea faster than “Yes, but….” You might as well say “No.”

It’s not just about semantics. In fact, “Yes, but” may be the No. 1 phrase for killing personal hope, putting great ideas on ice and threatening innovation in organizations.

Take Jonah, for example. Jonah is a senior manager in the real estate division of a large financial services company when he learns of an open position in the company’s prestigious new-product research team. He’s been successful in the real estate division, but never really fulfilled. What he really loves is the charge he gets brainstorming new ideas and researching their viability.

Jonah is excited to apply for the position—initially, then during a conversation with a friend, he says, “Yeah, I’d be great for that team, but you have to know someone to get named.” After the call, he finds himself increasingly discouraged.

Will he get the position? At this rate, he won’t even apply.

Luckily, Jonah’s coach points out his self-defeating self-talk and suggests a simple fix.

“Yeah,” Jonah says again, “I’d be great, and it’s hard to get on the new-products team if you don’t know someone, but I’m going to give it a shot.” Catching himself again, he says, “And I’m going to give it a shot.”

He works hard on his résumé, even proposes a potential product line for the team to consider, and shows up impeccably for his interview. Jonah doesn’t get the position, and that’s okay because in the process he’s become clearer about his career goals. He’s inspired to take some classes and to develop his network of contacts, thus making his success more likely in the future.

And Thinking

And is powerful. And unites opposites, opens up opportunity, creates possibilities that weren’t evident before. Couple and with yes, and you have a winning combination. Here are a few more examples.

 Yes, and opens up possibility.

Yes, I wake up many mornings with ideas for new inventions, but I’m an accountant. I can’t quit my job.

Yes, I have lots of ideas for inventions, and as an accountant I’ve handled my money well. Next month I’m building a prototype of my most promising idea.

Yes, and invites cooperation.

Yes, I’d love to telecommute, but my boss doesn’t trust anyone and would never go for it.

Yes, I’d love to work from home, and my boss has trouble trusting his employees. I’ll develop a proposal showing him the benefits of telecommuting and suggest that we try it for a month.

Yes, and encourages creativity.

Yeah, I’d love to live here, but you have to be rich to buy a house in this market.

Yeah, I want to live here, and the market is challenging. So I’m seeking unconventional opportunities as I improve my finances.

Try it on. Every time you hear yourself say, “Yes, but,” change it to “yes, and.” In that moment, you’re breaking the habit of closed thinking. The more you do it, the more open your thinking will become. As with any habit, it takes time to break. And it’s worth it.

Full Speed Ahead with YES for 2014! Be stronger for leadership Morris.

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To your success,

Thom

Sunrise Business Advisors is a Morris County based coaching, mentoring and leadership development firm.  They are also licensed facilitator for Elevate Your Leaders.  They may be reached at 862-219-6890

Thom Torode is also an expert executive coach listed on Pazoo.  For more information and to view some of Thom’s other articles go to: http://www.pazoo.com/expert/ttorode/

Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications

Does Your Business Need a Laugh Break Pt 3

Laugh Break

Laugh Break

In Part 1 & 2 of Does your Business Need a Laugh Break we talked about the benefits a good laugh can bring to your business.  Now let’s take a look at the ancillary benefits then give you those 7.5 Ways for Bringing More Humor Into Your Business Life.

Consider these three areas Stronger Connections, Happier Workers, Creative Problem Solvers:

Stronger Connections

Laugh breaks tear down barriers, builds relationships and allows for better communication among coworkers. People with a sense of humor often have the ability to deal effectively with people and work issues; they are able to keep the severity of problems in perspective.

Humor also enhances motivation, collaboration and team-building, quickly creating a climate in which people feel motivated, energized and ready to contribute. You could say that the group that plays together stays together.

Happier Workers

Laugh breaks reduces workplace stress, and breaks up boredom and fatigue. Happier, more relaxed workers are able to better focus on tasks, make fewer errors in their work and produce more. They also stick around longer, are absent less and don’t burn out.

Humor also helps to minimize resistance to change. It is a good weapon to defend against the stress of reorganizing, downsizing, outsourcing and other negative trends in today’s workplace.

Creative Problem-Solvers

Humor unleashes much-desired creativity and divergent problem-solving. For example, good jokes guide us down one path only to suddenly track us onto another with the punch line. This breaks the mind set of our thinking and leads to increased creativity.

The bottom line: All work and no play isn’t even good for work.

 7.5 Ways for Bringing More Humor Into Your Business Life

(How to have a Laugh Break)

Attention all executives and managers: Lead the humor parade. Fun and laughter affects attitudes. And once you affect attitudes, you can unleash a new level of productivity and commitment in your organization (or in yourself). But where do you start? Following are just a few suggestions to get your own creative humor juices flowing:

1)     Figure out your humor profile. Listen to yourself for a few days and see what makes you laugh out loud (and be honest!). Have your coworkers or staff do the same.

2)     Make it a point to look for humor. The more you do, the more you’ll find (and receive!). Try looking at things from an out-of-the-ordinary perspective.

3)     Collect humor. Using your humor profile, start a funny file, collecting cartoons, jokes, comic strips and stories from newspapers, magazines and friends. Set aside a portion of your office or desk or wall as a “humor corner.”

4)     Encourage laughter in your department. Establish a humor bulletin board, keep a prop box, play simple games on a regular basis, gather a “fun committee,” encourage humor breaks.

5)     Laugh at yourself. One of the characteristics of effective leaders is the ability to laugh at themselves when things they try don’t work. Without that, people view them as critical.

6)     Use humor in the course of normal business. Add humor to presentations, performance evaluations, meetings, in memos, newsletters and emails, and at parties and recognition events.

7)     Keep the humor appropriate for the office. Never poke fun at anyone in a subordinate position in the organization and be careful not to offend others with humor that deprecates anyone’s beliefs or backgrounds. There is plenty of wonderful, clean humor out there.

7.5)  Every night at dinner, make family members share one funny or even             embarrassing  moment of their day.

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Sunrise Business Advisors is a Morris County based coaching, mentoring and leadership development firm.  They are also licensed facilitators for Elevate Your Leaders.  They may be reached at 862-219-6890

Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications

Does Your Business Need a Laugh Break 2?

Does Your Business Need a Laugh Break 2?

Thom Torode, MBA (2of 3)

In part 1 we talked about the importance of having laugh breaks.

Still, for too many, the prevailing attitude is that one cannot be “professional” and have fun at the same time. The office motto has become the athlete’s: No pain, no gain. If you’re laughing, then you’re not working.

Right

Laugh Break

 Consider these:

  • The Harvard Business Review (September 2003) reported that executives with a sense of humor climb the corporate ladder more quickly and earn more money than their counterparts.
  • University of Wisconsin professor Stu Robertshaw cites one corporate study in which the firm experienced a 21 percent decrease in staff turnover and a 38 percent decrease in Friday absenteeism after incorporating humor into the workplace.
  • Robert Half International, an executive recruitment firm, surveyed 1,000 executives and found that 84 percent felt that workers with a sense of humor do a better job.
  • In a study, David Abramis of California State University determined that employees who have fun on the job are more productive, more creative, are better decision-makers and team players—and have fewer absentee, sick and late days.
  • An often-cited survey of 737 corporate CEOs by Hodge-Cronin & Associates found that 98% said they prefer to hire someone with a sense of humor to someone without.

Injecting humor in the workplace is not about turning your organization into a comedy club. It’s not about entertaining others or being able to tell a joke. It’s not about pranks, practical jokes or juvenile antics. Instead, it’s more of an attitude, a way of viewing and processing things.

Thanks for reading Laugh Break 2, look for pt 3 on some additional benefits.  In the mean time check out this page for your own laugh break 2 of the day.

17929491_ml (2)Sunrise Business Advisors is a Morris County based coaching, mentoring and leadership development firm.  They are also licensed facilitators for Elevate Your Leaders.  They may be reached at 862-219-6890