When Mick and Kate Carroll decided to open their small business, Radius Pizzeria & Pub, they weren’t quite sure where to begin. The couple started attending SCORE workshops and things began to fall into place. “We knew where we wanted to go but didn’t know how to get there,” says Kate. Fast-forward a year later with many 18 hour days, Kate says she has a “very close relationship with stress.” Nearly one in five small business owners work 60 hours a week and 76 percent of small business owners have had symptoms of work-related stress.* Since April is National Stress-Awareness Month, we wanted to shed light on this topic. In an interview with Kate, she shared tips on how she manages the stressors of running a business.

What are some tips on managing stress when first starting a business?

“It’s important to remember that there is always going to be a laundry list of things you need to do. Because of that, working all the time will never create that sensation of completion. You have to take breaks and step away. Reach out to people that you care about. Interacting with others gives you a better sense of yourself.”

How important is exercise?

“Exercise really does help. When you’re stressed out, you’re not doing your best work. Taking short breaks and keeping in mind that even though you have more to do, you will get it done. Even a walk around the block can give you new ideas. Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’s true. The most important thing you can do is just keep breathing.”

Tips on working with your partner in business?

"We starting working with a counselor to help us figure out ways to communicate with each other. You need an objective mediator. We knew we had different ideas to get there, but getting there is hard when you’re immersed in it all the time. And it only took one or two sessions to figure out. The technique 'when you say something in this way, this is what I’m  hearing' has helped."

Advice when dealing with a stressful situation?

“No one  is doing something that someone hasn’t done before. You have people in your area who are doing what you want to do successfully. You can get so wrapped up in your head and looking in one perspective you can't see the forests for the trees. There’s no way you can  do everything. We aren’t all good at every aspect of the business. It doesn’t make you weaker or powerless. For some professionals perhaps the single best thing they are good at is finding and recruiting really talented people to make that idea to come.”   *Source:TheAlternativeBoard

About the Author(s)

Bridget Weston Pollack

Bridget Weston Pollack is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the SCORE Association.

Vice President of Marketing & Communications, SCORE
Couple working together in a business