When Starting A Business Feels Intimidating: How to Manage Overwhelm as a New Entrepreneur


Overwhelm is a familiar feeling to all entrepreneurs. Especially at the beginning, when it's just you and your business, the mountain of entrepreneurship can feel like Mt. Everest.

From the myriad of new skills to learn, to the systems and programs to figure out, to the emotional challenges of creating something from nothing, we entrepreneurs have a lot on our plates. And when we can't do it all at once, we tend to get down on ourselves.

A member of my community of new entrepreneurs put it best when she asked:

I feel like the goal post keeps moving because I need to learn new skills or buy new equipment. I know it’s all unfamiliar territory when you are starting out, but I wonder if there are suggestions for coping with the “too much at once” panic moments (before it slips into self doubt)?

Above all else, entrepreneurs need to learn how to manage overwhelm and take care of themselves first in order to build a successful business. Because the lives of our businesses depend on us to keep them going. Without the driver, the car won't go.

Here are some suggestions for how to manage your own entrepreneurial overwhelm:

Discover what you're brand of overwhelm looks like.

When I'm overwhelmed, I work harder. I become frantic and over-schedule myself. Then, I get cranky and eventually break down in tears.

But your overwhelm might look totally different! Some people lose motivation, some people get distracted, and some people numb out, to name just a few. Pay attention to what you do, think, and feel when you're overwhelmed, because when we know what to look for, we can interrupt the process before it spirals out of control.

Make a plan.

After you've identified what your overwhelm looks like, you can make a plan for how to handle it.

Sidenote: It's most effective to create a plan when you're not feeling overwhelmed. In other words, don't wait until you're freaking out to make a plan.

What helps you re-center when you're really stressed out? Write down everything you do, think, and feel when you're overwhelmed, and for each behavior, thought, or emotion, write down something that might help you calm down.

Find a community.

Aside from gathering the right tools, and learning the right things, solo entrepreneurs have to navigate everything from content creation to marketing to sales... Completely alone.

While a lot of us entrepreneurial spirits thrive while working alone, it's definitely easier to accomplish business goals when we've got a little help (cue The Beatles: "I get by with a little help from my friends...").

If you're new to entrepreneurship, and you're looking for a community to help your business thrive, check out EntrepreNewbies. When you become a member, you'll gain instant access to a valuable Masterclass on the topic of emotional overwhelm in entrepreneurship.

Take advantage of free resources.

There's a lot of really great information out there to help you on your journey, you just might have to do a little digging to find it.

To get you started, I created the free email series training called Start Your Business Roadmap. This four-part series will give you the tools, support, and direction you need to cut through the overwhelm and start your business.