Test Kitchen: Strategies for Managing Ownership Stress

Stress is the devil for any business owner.

Owning a business is supposed to be fun. You have control over your career path and finally guide your own ship.

What should be the dream can easily become a nightmare without proper stress management.

Some stress is inevitable. However, you must be cognizant of how much you let in and how you process such stress before any other can arrive.

In the years of business ownership, both with Brewer Magazine and with Abettor Brewing, I’ve had sleepless nights pondering the future of each business, sales strategies and even defining my own success.

Without even a single outside entity, your own care for your business will elevate your stress level. You’re an owner for a reason — you have a vision and you like to succeed.

As we all know, the road to success is lined with failure — one doesn’t exist without the other. Although dealing with failure can be tiring.

A quality product is your key element. For Brewer Magazine, it has great content that can assist your day-to-day business growth and for Abettor, it’s making great beer for customers in our market.

The inevitable key to your product is sales. Without a strong sales force, it won’t matter how great your product is. No one will ever know how good it is or how it can help their business.

When we think about beer we imagine a superior product that customers will love. When you enter into distribution or even place a beer on tap in your own taproom you’re solving a problem for the restaurant/bar owner or your taproom manager — providing a quality product that will consistently make them more money.

Once you understand that you’re solving a problem with your product you’ll place a new value on the product that will be focused on making someone’s life or business better — the No. 1 aspect of any successful business.

For Brewer Magazine it took us almost five years to get our sales division dialed in perfectly.

Fortunately, we had strong elements in our product development very early on. Our biggest struggle was developing a sales force.

In fact that has become a theme of stress in my business lifetime. We all have a continuous failure that seems like a burden to carry and sales is probably mine.

Entering into distribution with Abettor Brewing I realized sales is a dog-eat-dog world — although I knew that already.

The most stressful element of sales is hiring and building the right team. If you’re anything like me and you come from a creative background sales professionals will always be strange to you.

They bring a new and unique energy to your business, but as salespeople, they’re always selling — which is good when it’s your product, but not so good when they’re selling you.

I’ve learned to compartmentalize. There are must-haves, needs, and wants. Employees will always have “wants,” and if you can’t properly categorize those desires you’ll see everything as a “must-have” which begins to weigh on you regularly. Too much of this type of stress and you’ll find yourself just gasping for air.

Lastly, you’ve got to realize that delegation doesn’t make you lazy. You’ve hired people and utilized revenue from your business to ensure jobs. Those jobs are to take on certain areas of your business. Having someone do something a different way isn’t overstepping your bounds, but so many times it feels like it.

A lot of our stress is simply feelings and thoughts we get trapped with. It’s hard to let those things go and we spend late hours staring at the ceiling pondering those decisions.

You’re not going to be great all the time. You’re going to fail and that will include failing to properly compartmentalize your stress. Just be aware that it’s normal. Remember to listen to yourself, take time away when you need it, and don’t put pressure on how long a decision may take you. This is your journey and no one else is dictating the time you need.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *