Characteristics Of A Low-Stress Business

There was a health discussion I was following on X about having a “low-stress job” and how it positively impacts your health. I think the same can be said for having a “low-stress business”. There was a point in my life when I was younger where I was willing to deal with a lot of stress to make money but not anymore.

I do think eustress is important. That just means a healthy amount of stress you can handle that makes you better without hurting you. However, any business that is going to hurt my health or family relationships over the long run isn’t worth it to me.

Here are some characteristics of a low-stress business.

Realistic time demands – If I have so much work to do each day that I’m not going to have time for anything else that’s a problem. Sometimes having to work all day is necessary but ideally, I want a business that allows me enough time to move, stay healthy, and spend time with my family daily.

Some level of flexibility in the schedule – Having to work specific hours each day sucks. I did it for years just like most people have to. This is another thing that sometimes you have to do but having to do it every day is depressing. Most people who work a 9-5 don’t actually do work from 9-5, you spend a lot of the day socializing and playing on your phone.

I much prefer to run a business where so long as you get your work done, “when” you get your work done is less important. If that’s not fully possible, I at least want to make my own schedule every day.

Autonomy – A level of “ownership” over what you do. You’d think this would be guaranteed with being a business owner but if you have clients that isn’t always the case.

Predictability – Minimal occurrences of “crisis mode”. This is a big one. If you are in crisis mode every day there is nothing that will deteriorate your health faster.

Efficacy – Having a role that you’re suited for that matches your personality and your skillset. You can start a business and get stuck in a role that you hate and even suck at. This happened to me with my e-commerce business.

Efficiency – Minimal unnecessary meetings, and feelings that your time is being wasted. I’ll sometimes go a full day of what feels like “work” and realize I accomplished nothing. It’s very depressing.

Overall, a level of respect for your health, your maturity, your skills, and your time is what you should be looking for from a low-stress business. It is possible to run a successful and profitable business this way.

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