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Published 24 October 2012 13:44, Updated 25 October 2012 06:03
Running a fast-growth business can take its toll. That’s the warning of the BRW Fast 100 – the fastest growing small and medium businesses – to be announced on brw.com.au on Thursday.
One-third of all founders say they have experienced burn-out, anxiety or psychosis in the running of their business. A further 51 have found that running their business has adversely affected their physical health or personal lives. It’s not hard to see why when you look at their average working week.
The Fast 100 working week
|Less than 40 hours||9|
|40 - 50||25|
|50 - 60||27|
|60 - 75||24|
|More than 75||11|
But just as the Fast 100 have an amazing ability to spot a niche and build significant businesses, they have also worked out strategies for dealing with the pressure that comes from their roles.
Larissa Robertson of SCO Recruitment has a theory on a positive feedback loop. “When things get really stressful I find the best thing is to take some time out and really indulge in a massage or facial or sleep in. When things really hit the fan maybe all three,” she says. “Then after I am relaxed I sit down and work through the problem till I have a solution. Hopefully I will train myself into reacting to stressful situations with joy and excitement by always having that indulgence to look forward too. Everything is easier to deal with after a massage!”
Shannon Darcy of All Concrete says a break can do just the trick. “Even if it it’s for a day with the phone switched off,” he says.
4Cabling’s Nicole Kersh found that her stress levels were reduced when she was able to delegate. “It was important for me to step back and take a helicopter view of the business,” she says. “With a different perspective, it was much easier to delegate different roles and learn not to micro-manage my own. I’ve hired a fantastic team who I trust when I delegate and divide tasks.”
Justin Cameron of Surfstitch has linked the idea of work-life balance for he and co-founder Lex Pederson, with performance by “rewarding each other with holidays when major business objectives are achieved.”
What’s your best strategy for dealing with the pressures of running a fast-growing business? Share your views in the comments section below.
The BRW Fast 100, including full rankings, will be published on October 25.