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  • Oliver Gleeson

BUSINESS OWNERS: How to Defeat STRESS, OVERWHELM and ANXIETY


Demands. Deadlines. Decisions.

Do they seem relentless?

You are bright, talented, passionate, love being a business owner, and have great ambitions for your business.

Yet, you wonder: why is this so difficult? Why do I run short of time to actually work on the business? Trapped by endless tasks!

You hear of other business owners energized by their work who live on their terms. They spend time on market-facing activities which bring the greatest impact. They do what they enjoy most.

How are they doing this?

Similar to the world’s most renowned and successful CEOs, these business owners lean on the mentorship and counsel of a trusted Business Coach.

If you never considered a Business Coach as an option for yourself, see what a difference a coach can make for your enterprise and in your life. Read on…

By the end of this article you will…

  • Understand the positive impact a Coach provides you and the business.

  • Learn how a Coach grows your business by optimizing your value to your organization

  • Appreciate the freedom a Coach brings, by disconnecting you from the daily grind and releasing you for precious planning time.

Stress, Overwhelm and Anxiety

Business ownership isn’t always as glamorous as it seems.


Often, you feel like you are going at this alone. You feel overwhelmed, that too much rests on your shoulders.


You find taking a proper holiday difficult, as the stress that things will fall apart in your absence has you continuously paired to your smartphone.


You imagine a world where your team can run the business, but the thought of removing yourself from the action and giving up that much control gives you anxiety.


A trusted Coach helps you grow beyond these fears.

What is a Coach, Anyway?

A Coach is your trusted advisor, one who provides customized and personal solutions to decrease your stress and increase your capacity. A Coach boosts your energy which accelerates your progress towards both personal goals and professional growth. (note my earlier article on the role of the Consultant, addresses the differences between a Coach, Consultant, and Trainer.)

Coaching – a Most Valuable Resource

We know elite athletes use Coaches as guides and mentors in their careers, and value their knowledge and advice highly - they wouldn’t function without them. Yet, interestingly, a Coaches value in business isn’t typically viewed with the same degree of importance. Here is a high level overview of the benefits of Coaching.

  • Coaching Benefits Everyone – expect improvement when you engage a coach – at any stage of your business. If your business is struggling or you are at a plateau, a Coach’s impact will ease the burden and elevate your organization. Should you be at the top of your game, a Coach’s expertise draws out the extra potential to maintain those heights. Allows you to soar. A progressive leader approaches coaching as a sign of strength; it serves as a badge of honour. Legendary CEOs Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple), and Eric Schmidt (Google) all advocate the benefits of Coaching.

  • Results – It is well established that the client/organization will experience tangible results with a positive return on investment. Objective evidence-based studies confirm this efficacy of coaching. In short, Coaching works!

  • Objectivity – When it’s lonely at the top and big decisions need to be made, your Coach, with a cross-sector wealth of experience, provides an excellent sounding board. Your Coach does not need to be an expert in your business to move you in the right direction. However, the Coach will ask the salient provocative questions. The Coach ensures your decisions and potential implications stem from wise and practical positions.

  • Truth – Sometimes you simply need to know the truth. Even if the facts are brutal. Surrounding yourself with “yes” people can be ego-boosting, but highly dangerous. Your Coach has the courage to challenge you and make you aware of your blind spots. All Business leaders succumb to insular thinking, and the honesty provided by your Coach gives you the needed reality check that you simply won’t get within your organization.

  • Accountability - Arguably, the most valuable generalized benefit of retaining a Coach: keeps you disciplined, motivated, and increases your capacity to achieve more. No sliding backwards into old negative habits because your Coach reinforces the new routines for success.

Reclaim Your Schedule, Reclaim Your LIfe, Grow Your Business

We mentioned a Coach helps to defeat stress and anxiety and adds value to your company. So, what specific techniques would a Coach use to help?

  1. Maximizes YOUR value to your company

  2. Teaches you to OWN your life by owning your SCHEDULE

  3. Transforms Your Leadership

Let’s explore these techniques in more detail…

Maximizing Your Value to Your Company

Do you find yourself dealing with the urgent at the expense of the important?

Are you pulled from every direction?

Honestly, nobody does it better than you, so you end up doing too much of everything.

Hang on, you say…everything I do is important.

Essentially true. However, a good Coach will show you that certain activities you do are far more important in terms of their value and impact on the business. You need to make choices where to apply your efforts. Your Coach will pinpoint these time-saving distinctions.

Perhaps you’re aware of the Pareto Principle (known as 80/20 rule) You get it – 80% of our results come from 20% of our actions. Conversely,

80% of our time (actions) do not yield high performing results.

In his work, The Freedom Formula, author, and renowned Business Coach David Finkel dissects the 80/20 rule. He reaches a compelling conclusion: a mere 1% of our efforts can produce 50% of our best results! Finkel labels that ‘magical’ 1% as your “A-Level Time.” The rest of your time falls under the categories of B, C and D-Levels.

Thus, if A-Level Time is the Holy Grail of maximum impact, then D-Level time’s lesser value activities deal with mundane tasks: emails, phone calls, admin. work, etc.

Often Business Leaders, unaware of the freeing power of A-Level tasks, struggle as they work on hyperactive C & D- Level activities; then they wonder why they find themselves swamped and time starved!

A skilled Coach understands this concept, identifies, and implements your A-Level Time. You discover a secret new weapon which unlocks your potential and impacts the business. Take in a new deep breath…

A brief example of confusion and clarity:

A Business Owner may see A-Level time as ‘closing the deal.’

However, on further inspection, your Coach recognizes other capable company people who qualify just as well for sales success.

The Coach shows how the owner’s A-Level time is better spent training key employees to assume greater responsibility which boosts the business.

Scale up. Win/win.

Reclaim Your Schedule. Reclaim Your Life

Overscheduled calendar? You’re excited to perform those A-Level activities now, but when? Endless meetings and appointments. No white space!

Your Coach will teach you the skills of calendar management, considered part art, part science.

Allow your Coach to carve out blocks of time for “Deep Work”. This is undisturbed, highly focused time where you disconnect from the daily grind for precious strategic ‘think’ time. Here is where A&B Level activities provide the best impact on the business. Through the Coach, you and your key staff learn these blocks of time are sacrosanct.

Every business owner I have met accepts this concept with zeal and willingness! But they rightfully question how to achieve blocks of focused time with a full calendar? This is where your Coach re-organizes your daily schedule to amplify your A & B activities and minimize the C & D tasks.

Your Coach uses: 4 D’s of Time Management: Do, Delete, Defer, Delegate

  • Do - Coach determines which activities on your list are important enough to be done by you alone. Your Coach analyzes each task to determine if it can possibly drop to one of the categories below.

  • Delete - Coach removes activities which block your progress. There exist several tactics for this purpose: for instance, you can try closing your inboxes and phone notifications when doing focused work. Notice the uptick in productivity. Try this for a day!

  • Defer – Coach will help you recognize which items to defer for not all emails and meetings need to be done at once. Some tasks should be delegated.

  • Delegate – One of my personal favourites for the Business Owner.

As an owner, you gain more control through delegation – an irony often missed by the owner who sincerely believes no one else can match the boss’s efforts. On the contrary: the business will control you if you can’t delegate. Your Coach makes you comfortable with the concept of delegation. It is a vital catalyst to freeing your calendar and offers you the opportunity to work on your business, drive it forward, make it grow!

Transforming your Leadership

This third critical step to reclaiming your life, your schedule, and growing your company transforms you into a COACH of your own business.

As you become Coach and mentor to your team, your ability to delegate C & D Level activities increases and you scale your business. You reduce the company’s dependency on you for success.

Imagine these benefits:

  • Scale the Business – more capable people to drive the business forward allows you to grow rapidly and with greater control

  • More Free Time – More time available to spend on A & B Level activities which bring the most value to the company. More time to think of strategy

  • Reduction of Stress and Anxiety – no longer overwhelmed on a daily basis, you can grow your business and live the life you always imagined.

Your Coach’s job is to assess your skills, your business, and your team. Furthermore, your Coach helps you build the right mentorship plan which is tailored to your organization. The plan which works for you!

ACTION STEPS

Who knew Coaches are so valuable? Top CEOs. That’s who!

Working with a Coach signals your strength and leadership.

Coaches are great listeners who provide perspective, objectivity, honesty.

They hold you accountable on the track to success.

Coaches maximize your value to your company.

They rework your calendar to run a more efficient workplace.

Coaches teach and transform your leadership skills to coach and mentor.

They free your time, reduce your stress, and facilitate more success.

Coaches get results!

So, where do we go from here?

Prepare, Decide, Discuss, Action…

  • Prepare – Write down your feelings. Consider what you want from your business. How do you struggle professionally and personally? How do you view your life now and how do you want to see it in the future?

  • Decide – you choose to have a better life. The idea of working with a coach implies commitment, but you are ready to keep an open mind, to gain some relief from stress and learn new methods for peace and success. There is more than a tinge of excitement associated with the benefits for you and your organization.

  • Discuss – Some Coaches offer a quick complimentary session to talk about your business, what struggles you endure on a personal and professional level. Ask about their process, specifically time management. If they are right for you, you’ll get a good feel about the Coach.

  • Action - hire your Coach. Improve your life.

IF YOU COULD DO IT ALONE…you would have done so, already!

The above tagline is from a men’s weight loss clinic, but it rings true when discussing the relevance of Business Coaching, so I never tire of referencing it.

It’s time to move beyond crisis mode, and to reduce the company’s dependency on you for success.

It’s time to own your life, reclaim your schedule, defeat anxiety and stress.

Get there faster. Go get a Coach.

If you’ve worked with a Business Coach before, tell me about your experience. I’d love to hear your comments, good or bad. Share below or reach out to me directly.