Today we’re going to go over the main sources of stress in small businesses. Most small business owners, most entrepreneurs, are feeling stress. And so many of them believe that this is just the way it is. And this is just the way it has to be.

And today, we’ll realize that even though it’s incredibly important and smart to meditate and to improve your own skills to be able to cope and deal with the stress, which is something I have other videos about, that it’s completely, completely possible that you will fix some things in your business to make it a way less stressful business.

And therefore, it will be easier to deal with the stress because there will be less stress in your business. But right before we will go over the seven biggest sources of stress and how you could potentially fix them to improve your business and make it less stressful. I want to talk about something first. 

First, we have to understand that some businesses, some business models, some industries, some business ideas are prone to be more stressful than others.

When I was just starting out as an entrepreneur, my first business was a web developing business. And as a part of the web development services, we used to give to clients like big companies, one of the things we used to do is to give them hosting services. And this business tends to be incredibly prone to stress.

Why is that?

Because if someone’s website, a big company’s website, right now is down, then the owner of the company, then the marketing team of the company, everybody is going to be freaked out and they’re going to be crazy. They will want to have results. They want it fixed right now. The same way as we used to give some marketing SEO services, if someone suddenly gets less leads, their marketing is decreased, they are spending money in marketing, and they’re getting no results, they are going to be stressed. Of course, there are other industries as well, like medicine, and stuff like that, that are simply more prone to stress, 

I decided that I am not going to start a business that is in this type of business. Because I decided that my physical, mental, and emotional health is so much more important than a specific industry that I’m going to get into.

So to begin with, I’m choosing businesses that are less prone to stress. Of course, if you right now have a business, I’m not saying that you should close it or sell it or something like that, even though it might be an idea. But you can fix and make any business less stressful. But I’m just saying that some businesses are still going to stay a bit more stressful than others.

So let’s go to the seven top sources of stress. 

Managing people | First source of stress

According to studies, the number one biggest source of stress for managers and entrepreneurs is stuff related to managing people.

The way I see it, as long as everybody in your company or entire staff is calm, is relaxed and they’re doing their job perfectly, there is no stress.

When does the stress begin?

The stress begins when your employees are starting to get very stressed and they are pouring the stress on you. The thing you have to learn to do is to manage them in a way that will help them be more independent.

So business owners dream to have independent employees. But on the other hand, most of us make the same mistakes. We criticize them. We micromanage them. We always tell them what should be done differently. And what should be done better. And when they try to make a decision, we always want them to share it with us. And then we can correct their wrong decision.

If you want to have more independent employees that are less stressed, more independent, more free, and they’re not pouring their stress on you, all you have to do is simply let them have their decisions. Let them make their mistakes. Let them do their work.

Of course, what it requires from you is, first you need to hire the right people. You need to find the right people and to hire them. And if you realize that you hired someone which tends to be like not the right fit for your business, you have to learn how to fire them as well.

Because if you are letting go and I have made those mistakes so many times and when I pick the wrong person. And when I feel bad about firing them, it used to happen to me a lot and it took me a lot of time to fire them. And in this time I lost a lot of money that I wasn’t even aware of.

So you have to learn to find the right people [and] to fire them if they are not the right people and to simply let them do the work. And so many times they are going to surprise you and a decision or a product that you thought wasn’t as good will turn out to be so much better than you anticipated. 

Having too many tasks | Second source of stress

The second biggest source of stress in business is having too many tasks, too many things to do and not enough time to do everything. And if you are in business for some time now, you know that this is not a problem. This is simply the way it is.

If you’re a business owner, you will always have ideas. You will also have so many things you can potentially develop in the business. You will always have more things to do than time to do them. And when you have more and more people to do more and more of those things, then you will have more and more and more things to do.

The business owners to do is, the intrapreneurs to do is will never, never be [Inaudible 05:26] completely. And this is something you will have to learn to live with. What you will actually have to learn to do is prioritize. You will actually have to learn to prioritize what are the most important things. And only do those things or delegate them. And all the other things that are less important, less urgent, leave with the fact that your business can be better, leaving with the fact that your business could be doing better if all those things were done.

But live with the fact that you are not doing them. Otherwise, you’ll simply be stressed forever. 

Fear of failure | Third source of stress

The third cause of stress is fear of failure. Well, everybody fears failure. But entrepreneurs and business owners might fear failure even more.

The reason is that we feel so many times it’s all eyes, our own us, be it our family members, our friends that are always looking at what we’re doing. And if we have staff then our staff are looking at us as well. And we actually are very afraid to disappoint everybody. So failure is not just like doing a project and failing with it. It’s just also the fact that we’re going to disappoint so many people.

And the only solution I can offer you to this idea is that you have to understand that most successful business owners, most successful entrepreneurs fail from time to time. And if you will think, if you will act, if you will treat your business as you’re treating a child, as something that you will never let it die, that you will never let it fail, then you are going to suffer. You might love your business. And it’s great. You might really enjoy your business. You might actually feel passion for business. You might fight for your business.

But you have to understand that your business is not your child. And if your business dies, it doesn’t mean that you die. It’s not the end of the road. And you can start something else. And you can start something new. And you can recover from it even though it feels like it’s a terrible thing to say. But most successful business owners, most successful entrepreneurs have survived it and have moved on. 

Cash flow problems | Fourth source of stress

The fourth major cause of stress is cash flow problems.

So let’s for a second discuss what’s the difference between cash flow problems and profitability problems.

If you are, for example, selling pizzas and the cost of making a pizza is like $5. And you’re selling pizza for $4. That’s not a cash flow problem.

That’s a profit problem. Because every pizza you sell, you’re actually losing money. If you have this problem, then you of course need to fix it as soon as possible. You must change your pricing. You must change your expenses. You must drastically change your business model to do everything to fix this problem or else it’s not going to fix itself. On the other side of it, most business owners, most entrepreneurs when they’re just starting out, they have a profitable business. They have a profitable product or service. The problem might be that they have cash flow problems.

What does it mean to have cash flow problems?

Maybe right now, I need to buy the ingredients for the pizza for $2.

But I’m only going to be able to sell it tomorrow for $5.

Then right now I need to pay $2 that I don’t necessarily have.

And I’ll only get that revenue in the future. This might cause me some cash flow problems. Because right now I don’t have money.

And if you multiply it with 1000 pizzas, 10,000 pizzas, then the cash flow problems can be very major.

Other examples could be something like, if you run a web design studio or something like this, then you might be having a project with a big company, that’s going to take like three months. In those three months, you have to pay rent. You have to pay your employees. And maybe that company will actually pay you only when the project is done. Then right now you have to pay all the expenses. But you don’t necessarily have the income just to cover it yet.

So how can you fix those cash flow problems? How can you make these cash flow problems less intimidating, less stressful? First thing, if you’re just starting out, if you are just in the really, really beginning of your business, you have to realize it’s natural. It’s natural for a business when it’s just beginning to have cash flow problems.

Maybe you will need to finance it on your own. Maybe  you’ll need to grow slowly just to be able to finance it yourself. And it’s fine. It’s okay. It doesn’t mean anything bad about you or about anything. If you’re having those cash flow problems for a long period of time, like years and your business is currently running and still you face cash flow problems, maybe you need to have something to fix it. And there are many techniques and ways to fix cash flow problems.

I’ll probably make a video about it in a couple of days. And I’ll put the link in the description.

But for now, just understand as long as your business is profitable, it doesn’t have profit problems, only have cash flow problems, even though it can cause major trouble. You can deal with it. You can fix it. It’s not the end of the world. 

Stressful customers | Fifth source of stress

Cause of fear number five is stressed clients. As I said in the beginning, it’s sometimes related to the industry. But most of the time in most industries, there are happy customers and there are stressful customers.

What I used to say, and what I used to do for my own business is that if a client even if it’s incredibly profitable, if we could create massive amounts of stress in the business, I will not serve this client anymore.

The reason is, even if right now it makes you more money to keep this client, to serve this client, still it creates fatigue. It drains your energy. And it takes away from your ability to grow your business.

One of the hardest things to do is to fire “a client that’s paying well, but that’s an incredibly annoying person”.

But once you do it, you will never look back. It’s one of the most liberating feelings ever. And you will see that very quickly, you will find a way to make up for it by finding other very good clients. 

Fear of rejection | Sixth source of stress

Number six is fear of rejection. Fear that your business is not delivering enough value, that your product is not good enough, that your business is not good enough, and that you yourself is not good enough.

And I have another video link right here that discusses this specific issue.

But to be very short, what I truly believe is that we have to make the separation between our business, between our product, between our offer, and ourselves.

I see so many like sales coaches saying that as a business owner, you must learn how to sell yourself. No, there’s only one occupation of very ancient one that are selling themselves and we’re not in this occupation. So you are not selling yourself. You’re selling your product. You’re selling your service. And if someone is saying no. If someone doesn’t like it, is not saying no to you. It doesn’t say you are not liking you. It doesn’t like the product, it doesn’t like the service, it doesn’t like the offer, or it simply is not happy about it.

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, if you want to be a successful business owner, you will have to understand that some people will not like it.

When I hear an entrepreneur, when I hear a business owner telling me I have 100% satisfied customers, I instantly know that he did not have so many customers. Because even if you deliver the best service, even if you have the best product, some people are not going to like it. And you will have to learn to face it. 

Complex accounting | Seventh source of stress

Cause of stress number seven is complex accounting and compliance and it’s frightening. And as stressful those things can be I believe I found a solution to it.

What you need to do is find professionals that are not only professionals, but are also teachers in their own mind. So if you find the best lawyer in town only willing to show you how smart he is and how stupid you are, then this is not the right person for you.

Maybe if you have a huge lawsuit or something maybe. But you want to find a lawyer that’s also professional, but also willing to explain everything in a clear enough language that you can understand. It’s the same with your accountant. You need someone that will not only tell you, you have to pay this amount of taxes or you have to do this or that with your money. You want someone who will sit down with you and explain everything in a simple language that you can understand.

After like 10 years in business, I’m not a major in accounting or anything like that.

But I understand accounting so much more than many business owners. Because I sit with my accountant and he explains those things to me until I understand. And I insist on understanding before I make payments, before I do things. And over the years, I got enough knowledge that I feel confident in this area. And this area doesn’t make me feel stressed at all. 


Last thing you have to remember is that if your business is killing you, it’s not worth it.

Just like when you’re negotiating a deal, if you are not really to walk away from the deal, you are in a very vulnerable spot in the negotiation. People can take advantage of you. People can get a deal that’s not good for you. Because you are not willing to walk away.

The same is true in business. If you do not have a willingness to close the business. If you do not have the willingness to let your business die and fail, then you are in an extremely vulnerable spot.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t love your business, that you shouldn’t take care of it, that you shouldn’t fight for it. I’m fighting for my business. I love my business so very much.

But I understand that I have the willingness that if this business creates more harm than good, then I’m going to say goodbye and let it go. And that’s true for any one of my businesses. And this is something that gives me so much freedom that it allows me to innovate. It allows me to create more deals and invest in more businesses and do way, way more of the things that I care the most about because stress is not holding back. 

Hey it’s Gal Tzhayek. Thank you for watching this video. If you liked it, please press the thumbs up button. And you can also subscribe to the channel. Make sure you get notified each and every time a new video is uploaded. I’d like to hear your questions or your reviews in the comment section below and I’ll see you in one of those new videos.