Successful Entrepreneurs Know Stress


Something that’s familiar to every entrepreneur is STRESS.  When you choose the path of Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader, it’s amplified. It’s tough enough getting a business up and running.  Doing it in the spotlight, under scrutiny, is enough to take you out of the game before you go up to bat.


April is National Stress Awareness Month.  I’ll be highlighting various articles and resources through my social channels and provide a summary in the Stepping Up Together™ Roundup that’s available to anyone subscribed to the Success Alignment® blog.  If you’d like to be included, subscribe here,




Stress is the body’s natural defense against danger.  The body produces larger quantities of the chemicals cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline to improve our ability to respond to a hazardous or challenging situation.


We know that stress has usefulness.  Prolonged stress can be damaging.  There are a number of ways that stress affects our health and vitality, which in turn affects our ability to produce quality work.


When stress is out of balance, it;

  • Depletes our energy
  • Assaults our self-esteem
  • Can make us sick
  • Stokes our worry and anxiety
  • Affects mental clarity
  • Messes with sex hormones
  • Causes brain damage
  • Increases Inflammation
  • May induce physical pain
  • May lead to weight gain
  • Promotes cardiovascular diseases
  • Often leads to depression
  • Disrupts sleep quality


That’s a long list, and it’s far from complete. What we know is that stress is a part of everyone’s life.  We’re all exposed to it.  No one is immune.  It’s up to each of us to manage the stress we do have.  To do it effectively, it helps to recognize and understand it.





There are primarily three different types of stress.  Acute stress, episodic acute stress, and chronic stress.  Let’s take a look at their differences.

Acute stress

Acute stress is the most common form of stress. It comes from demands and pressures of the recent past as well as anticipated demands and pressures of the near future.  Acute stress is short-lived.  It passes without lingering.  Acute stress can even be experienced as exciting, like the rush of skiing the next level slope.  It’s a little scary, but you want to go there.


Acute stress is what you would have when you’re caught in a traffic jam, or you may be running late for an appointment or you spill coffee on yourself before an interview.  It’s painful, but it’s over fairly quickly and you move on.


Episodic acute stress

These are people who frequently experience acute stress, or whose lives present frequent triggers of stress.


They’re always in a rush, have too many irons in the fire, and their lives are in constant disorder.  They’re recognized by their short-temperament, irritability, or anxious and tense behavior.  Type A anyone?  They are often seen as pessimistic, catastrophizing everything.  The classic worry wart falls into this category.


Chronic stress

Chronic stress comes when a person never sees a way out of a miserable situation. It’s the stress of unrelenting demands and pressures for seemingly interminable periods of time. Chronic stress is damaging.  Without proper care and attention, it can ruin lives.


A big problem of chronic stress is that people get used to it. They forget it’s there. It becomes a part of their daily existence, so they just think that’s the way it is.  Or more accurately, they’re probably not thinking about it at all, so it gets ignored.





We are living in a time where we are mostly well educated, well informed and have access to many luxuries that we mistake for everyday necessities.  That brings with it the pressures of having the latest version of things, staying informed (avoiding FOMO), and not just keeping up with the Jones’, but surpassing them.


We carry a burden of responsibility and a self-imposed pressure for providing a success lifestyle even if we haven’t attained it yet. That means we’re at risk for extending ourselves by taking on debt and not putting away savings to protect our future.


We also have more options in front of us than ever. We can choose to work for an organization or we can choose to branch out on our own.  Both are good options.  Yet both contribute to the excessive stress assault we encounter.


It’s no surprise that the following items are near the top of every list or study about stress I came across;


On top of our stress lists are:

  • Financial stability
  • Workplace stress
  • Not enough time
  • Long Term Health
  • Retirement
  • Social Isolation

  • Environmental Issues
  • Personal appearance
  • Technology
  • Illness
  • Major life events;  marriage, divorce, moving


There are many interesting studies on the topic of stress.  I’ll share just a few points that stood out from the ones I reviewed.  Some of these may seem obvious, but like chronic stress, they don’t go away without addressing them.  Some of these issues have been lingering in our lifestyles for far too long.


Those most likely to be stressed about their work are well-educated, white-collar workers with nearly 50% represented in households earning $100,000 or more.


Those most likely to be stressed about finances are in less skilled jobs with nearly 40% represented in households earning less than $60,000.


Those who site not having enough time have children at home.


Women are more likely to be stressed over family matters.


Relationships with friends suffer because of time pressures at work and family obligations.  We know that healthy, supportive communities are linked with happiness and longevity, yet we willingly set these aside.


One study reported 57 percent of respondents claiming to be paralyzed by stress.


Young people are more stressed than ever indicated by a 33 percent spike since 1989 in two types of perfectionism – self-oriented, or holding rigorous standards for others.


Gen Zers (born between 1995 and 2010) are the most stressed out group. They are carrying lots of debt and competing for jobs in a tight gig economy.  And while they are the most social generation, they’re not taking time to build relationships.  That makes for people who aren’t alone but are lonely, which is a fast-rising challenge in today’s modern world.



I came across a report that indicated the most and least stressful jobs out there.  I’ll list the top three from each and include links if you’d like to see the full report (just click on the title).


2019 Most Stressful Jobs

  1. Enlisted Military Personnel
  2. Firefighter
  3. Airline Pilot

Note;  For any Experts, Influencers and Thought Leaders running their own events, Event Coordinator placed #6 on this list and Public Relations Executive #8.  These are both valuable activities to include in your marketing mix.


2019 Least Stressful Jobs

  1. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
  2. Compliance Officer
  3. Hair Stylist




Much of our time is used up at our jobs.  The job you have and how you relate to it has a tremendous impact on your stress.  I would expect to see Entrepreneurs, such as Experts, Influencers and Thought Leaders, on both lists mentioned above. They have all the stresses that come with running a sustainable, profitable business and they have the freedom and fulfillment doing work that is meaning.  Too much emphasis on the former will wipe out the benefits of the latter.


Stress can be toxic.  Toxic stress means that you don’t have enough control over your life.  When it becomes chronic, it damages the body and the brain in ways that leave us particularly sensitive to factors that can stress us out.


Stress is associated with an increase in the hormone cortisol, which leads to disrupted sleep, poor immune function, higher blood pressure, systemic inflammation, and mental health issues such as depression, cognitive decline, and dementia.



It’s been shown that people choose coping mechanisms and distractions over stress management, which only feeds into the problem. What they need is to incorporate Stress Management or Self Care as a normal way of life.  The way to deal with the stressors of life is to make yourself a priority.


Stress management can help to:

  • Alleviate stress symptoms
  • Eliminate or change the source of the stress
  • Shift your perspective of the stress
  • Recalibrate your body into a healthier state
  • Gain confidence in your ability to deal with stress
  • Provide you tools to get you through stressful situations


Adopt methods of tackling stress throughout your day. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Take a walk outdoors.  Cuddle with your pet.  Listen to relaxing music.


Beautify your environment.  Bring in fresh flowers.  Fill the room with the essence of a good quality essential oil.  I use one that’s eucalyptus based.  Send me an email to to inquire about the product I use.


One of my favorite ways to reduce stress in my day is through laughter.  I’ve been watching Seinfeld reruns since the new year.  They make me laugh out loud.  That’s what you want.  That’s time well spent.


Think about these aspects of Self Care when developing your Stress Management strategy;


Exercise, Nutrition & Hydration, Rest Periods & Sleep, Reflection & Introspection, Unplug with Time Off, Feed your Passions, and Increase Joy.





With all this talk about the damaging effects of stress, there is another type of stress that needs to be talked about.  It’s not talked about very often, but it’s a stress that has helped established Experts, Influencers and Thought Leaders reach their goals.  It’s a stress that will help you too when you learn to utilize it.  It’s called Eustress.


According to Hans Selye, the Hungarian endocrinologist who coined the terms stress and eustress, eustress has emotional and physical health benefits.  Eustress may enable us to live more fulfilling, meaningful lives. It can also instigate the motivation we need to go after our goals.  It increases focus and performance.  Eustress is the feeling of excitement.


Think of eustress as positive stress that supports our efforts.

In order to build muscle, you must subject your body to physical stress.

To lose weight and have the body you want, your body gets stressed.

A woman’s body undergoes tremendous stress through pregnancy and then through the birthing stage.

The stress of hunger can cause you to become resourceful.

Learning stresses the brain keeping it sharp.

You have a speech to give so you rehearse for weeks to nail it.

You set a deadline for your new course and announce it publicly, which thrusts you into action.


These are all examples of eustress.


In the same study that cited 57 percent of respondents feeling paralyzed by stress; 43 percent said they are invigorated by stress.





Being successful as an Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader is going to come with its share of stress.  Too much stress is unhealthy and can cause much damage physically and mentally.  Too little stress is also unhealthy leaving a person weak and lethargic with a cloudy mind. The key is to minimize the harmful stress that keeps you from getting to your goals and maximize the beneficial stress you’ll need to get you there.


I’ll leave you with three ideas to help you accomplish just that.



Aim for a balanced life, but stretch yourself to reach new levels.  A balanced life includes all the key areas that are important to you.  Allot the necessary time to each and reduce the amount of time spent in all other domains.  Get a mentor or coach that can provide encouragement and support to your degree of balance.  Balance isn’t about doing it all.  It’s about doing the necessary things well.


Incorporate the key elements identified above in your strategy.  Supplement with quality vitamins and an adaptogen.  Adaptogens are natural botanicals that have unique characteristics, that help your body combat stress, focus your mind, and elevate your daily performance.  It’s nature’s answer to stress.


The adaptogen I use daily promotes balance and homeostasis in the body.  It helps the body adapt to everyday stressors and supports healthy aging.  Ask me about it by sending me an email to



Learn to enjoy the journey.  Every journey to success is colored with varying degrees of conflict, chaos, and confusion, highlighted by your wins.  Learn to appreciate all the moments as an important part of the journey and you learn to keep the stress in perspective.  Apply gratitude to the simple things you encounter in your day.  It’s a reminder of the success you already have.



Learn to live in Success Alignment® where your inner world agrees with your outer world, where your goals reflect your purpose and your wealth is generated by your valuable contribution to the world you influence.


Success Alignment® is the key to living a beautiful life.  It is the path of Success.  It’s where you come alive.  The journey becomes as delicious as the destiny.




Stress is a part of life.  No one promised it was going to be easy.  Our drive as a species is to continue to evolve.  We are constantly creating, pushing toward the next new adventure.  It’s that drive that has brought us to our current societal norms.  We get to live with the benefits it has produced.  The paradox is, this same drive has caused us a lot of stress.


Evolving.  Keeping up. Adapting.  It’s what we do.  As someone who is striving to be more and have more and live more, you now know stress can hurt you or you can use stress to your advantage.  What you’re aiming for is not always going to be comfortable, but it’s worth the effort.  Stress Management and Self Care strategies are going to be necessary to carry you through.


When I established the Success Alignment®? brand, I discovered a surprising side effect that neutralized the effects of harmful stress and elevated the presence of eustress.  Not only does it support my clients’ efforts in getting them to their next level, but it provides them the confidence and clarity they need to stay engaged and focused.


Stress is going to be there.  Managing it is going to be your choice.  How you deal with it is a decision you have to make.  For the Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader, Self Care and Stress Management are not options.  They are non-negotiable.





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