The Mindful Founder: Modern Stress Solutions

In today’s market, startups have never been hotter. It seems as though everywhere you go, new inventive people are coming up with new, even more inventive ideas for their businesses.

However, as one of those startup founders, the stress that comes with running your own new business can be a lot to handle -- not to mention the added stress that comes with the fact that 90 percent of startups are destined for failure.

Whether it is the looming threat of potential failure, funding a payroll, finding investors or just handling the day-to-day obligations of running a startup, stress levels are going to be high. Unfortunately, for today’s startup founder, there is no magic solution that can make the stress of running a startup less overwhelming, or less headache-inducing.

Do You Know How To Change How You Think?

There are ways that you can change your attitude, and your perspective and start becoming a more mindful founder. Being a more mindful business owner means knowing your purpose, having the presence to stay calm and focused and having the gratitude you need to stay positive.

Here Are The Key Stress Solutions:

1.  Practice Mindful Meditation

If you want to be a more mindful founder, then you need to start practicing mindfulness every day. Mindful meditation is one of the best ways to start being more present and aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it, and to have the mental fortitude to not be too reactive or overwhelmed by the world around you.

Founders who are able to meditate daily can be calmer, have clearer thoughts and most importantly, are less reactive to daily stressors. So how do you practice mindful meditation? Simply give yourself 10-15 minutes per day to do nothing but meditate and re-center your mind.

2.  Go Back to Your Purpose

Being mindful is all about having perspective and being able to block out the outside noise and focus in on what your primary purpose is. Chances are, it has been some time since you first developed the idea for your company, so take some time to revisit all of the reasons you began this startup in the first place.

What is the purpose of your startup? This should be more than just making money. Merely making money isn’t a real purpose. If you have a strong sense of purpose, you can remind yourself why you got in such a stressful situation in the first place, you can focus on what is important and have the energy to tackle hurdles and stressors as they come.

3.  Be Grateful of Where You Are

Before the stresses of running a startup really get you down, one of the best things you can do to refocus yourself and really look at the bigger picture is to start being more grateful of where you are. As an entrepreneur, you have a lot to be grateful for. Being mindful of these things is essential to improving your health and happiness.

A great way to be more grateful is to participate in the simply daily exercise of writing down the things you are grateful for. It will help you feel better about your life, be more optimistic and have the positive attitude to realize that many of those everyday stressors aren’t really as bad as they seem.

4.  Take Short Mindfulness Breaks 

If you want to be more mindful in your everyday life, then you need to make time for mindfulness. Take a few minutes per day to manage mindfulness. So many of us forget to take breaks when we are under stress. Take a moment, sit in silence and let your mind wander. This doesn’t have to be full-on meditation, just a few minutes to breathe and let go of the stress that is getting you down.

You are not going to get in shape if you never go to the gym and put in the work and you are never going to be more mindful unless you make it part of your everyday routine. Need someone to remind you to take a break? There are apps such as Calm and Headspace that can help teach you how to breathe and be more mindful.

5.  Take Note of What is Around You 

There are so many founders who are so emerged within the high-stress startup world that they start to develop tunnel vision and find that they are closing themselves off to the world around them. In most situations this is completely unintentional. However, failing to notice what is happening in the world around you won’t help you as a founder.

Grab a journal and start taking note of what is around you. Be more conscious of your surroundings and what you see going on in the world around you. It will help you be more present and it will help you gain a better understanding of the world in which you are trying to operate your company.

6.  Look At the Big Picture

As a company founder in a high-stress environment, it can be easy to focus only on yourself and what you have to do to succeed. This may help you individually, but in the long run, it won’t help you lead your company to success. 

Look at the big picture of your organization and what it is that you are really trying to achieve. Think about everyone in your company, not just you and remember that every decision you make impacts everyone connected to your startup. This type of perspective is invaluable when it comes to handling the stress of making decisions for your company, while focusing on being a more mindful leader.

7.  Be Present of Your Entire Life 

Work-life balance is so important for startup founders because it can help remind you of what is really important in life. You don’t work and run a business so you can stay up late in to the night, sit in front of a computer for 18 hours a day -- or stress yourself out to the point of insanity. There is more to life, no matter how focused you are on your startup.

Be present in your life. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Stay focused on your other interests and hobbies as well. Be thankful for friends and family that support you, love you and that have helped you get this far. Spend time with your children or your spouse and remember that these people, experiences and moments also make up your life. 

Being present for things like this, and putting down your phone and your computer when it is family time, will help you enjoy the moments you can spend with your loved one and to remember the “big picture” when stressors get you down.

Stress is going to happen in the life of any entrepreneur. When startup woes are getting you down, remember these tips on how to be more mindful. They are just a few of the many ways you can refocus your attention and tackle stress head-on when it comes. 

What ways to you cope with your stress as a startup founder?