Stress Less: An Entrepreneur’s Untraditional Journey

Stress is unavoidable. It’s the impetus to tackle that whole project when the deadline is coming up soon. But it can also be what paralyzes and creates task avoidance. The key is to find just the right balance.

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Kelli Risse of Rise Up and Live Wellness. Like so many entrepreneurs, her journey to entrepreneurship wasn’t traditional, and her unique outlook on stress and mindset are helping individuals and teams solve an age old problem.

“Stress free” isn’t the answer

So many times we tend to dream of a “stress free” life, job, relationship, etc. But that simply isn’t possible. Stress is actually good for us. It allows us to meet deadlines, rise to client expectations, and fulfill our mission. It motivates us physically and psychologically. In small doses, stress is the key to helping us rise to challenges. Without it, we wouldn’t feel the pressure to be at the meeting on time, stretch ourselves, or grow. We just weren’t made to live “stress free.”

So if we can’t get rid of it, how do we manage it? The answer to stress isn’t removing the stressor, it’s learning strategies to help us cope. Think of a great big tree that’s been growing for 40 years. Without the wind, rain, and sun it can’t experience growth. How does it withstand storms and drought? Deep roots. We too need deep roots: resilience and self-regulation. These tools make handling stress a possibility. Being able to rebound from setbacks and maintaining an even emotional state are what set you up to experience exponential growth.

It’s all about your mindset

Your mindset matters, whether you are just starting out on your journey of entrepreneurship or you are leading a large team. Mindset is more than just what you choose to dwell on or how you think. It’s also the people you listen to. Moving from education to direct sales to owning your own business requires courage and the ability to stop thinking about, “What will other people think?” Keeping a small circle of people close who believe in your ability to succeed can shift your thinking from “I can’t” to “I can”.

Mindset also matters in how you view what you do. Are you offering a solution to a problem that your ideal customer is experiencing? Are you able to add value to those you work with? Or are you selling services and products? Changing your thinking to reflect the value in what you have to offer means that making connections and marketing your services doesn’t require a “hard sell” and all the excess stress and negative feelings that accompany it. 

Find balance

One of the biggest causes of stress is change. We naturally resist change. But growth only happens during change. There is no such thing as a perfect work/life balance. It’s unrealistic to think that it’s possible to give each part of your life an equal amount of attention. A better way to think of it is to look for balance during transition. It may not be exactly 50/50. It’s about being healthy at that moment. 

Finding a coach, a partner to hold you accountable, can help you achieve a healthy balance during transition while still moving forward to meet your goals. You don’t have to do the entrepreneurial journey on your own. 

Balance is also necessary when shifting your mindset. Being an employee is not the same as being an entrepreneur. There is no end game. No final product. No set time to be “done”. It’s all about the journey when you are an entrepreneur. 

Final thoughts

Taking time to assess the culture of your team and checking your mindset regarding how to combat stress can positively impact your team in their work and home lives. Stress doesn’t stop when you walk into or leave the office. Learning to be resilient and self-regulate makes weathering the storms that will come easier. Changing your mindset and finding balance help you get out your own way so that you can grow your business and fulfill your mission.

You can’t deny stress or sweep it under the rug. What you can do, however, is utilize proactive strategies to strengthen your leadership ability, your team’s attitude, and the families they go home to.

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