If you have friends who are entrepreneurs, you probably observe them display signs of stress from time to time… or better said, all the time. You’re probably wondering, “why are entrepreneurs stressed all the time?” And if you want to help them break out of this pattern, you will want to know, “what is the main reason why entrepreneurs experience daily stress?”

As entrepreneurs ourselves who network with friends and clients who are also business leaders and entrepreneurs, we are equally curious about the answer. We jumped in to research the reasons so that we could write this AND implement our own suggestions.

The Biggest Reason Entrepreneurs Experience Daily Stress

As it turns out, there are countless reasons why entrepreneurs experience stress, but our findings indicate that the main reason for daily entrepreneurial stress is… you guessed it, money.

The financial squeeze that often accompanies a new endeavor can lead entrepreneurs to their wits end, and the psychological toll can be significant. So, let’s call it out and discuss some ways to combat the daily stress experienced by entrepreneurs.

The psychological toll of stress can be significant, deadly even, and it is important to understand what stress is, what causes it, and how we can best manage it for a healthy life. Heidi Hanna, a leading expert on stress and former Executive Director of the National Institute of Stress defines stress as, what an individual (or organization) experiences in the gap between demand and capacity.

Hanna explains that there are innumerable reasons for stress and it’s important to remember that not all stress is bad. In fact, you really shouldn’t think of stress as “good” or “bad.” Rather, we suggest you consider and be curious first about how the stress is impacting your life.

Some stress can stimulate growth while other stress and stressors can cause deep breakdown and burnout. The stressors to be concerned about are those chronic lingering stressors that just won’t go away. Hanna explains that this is your body trying to tell you that something is up. Again, be curious about the information that the stress is trying to provide, ask yourself clarifying questions, and use the energy you’ve garnered to fuel action.

Other Reasons Entrepreneurs are Stressed

Now, we will talk about some ways to combat stress below, but let’s look at some of the other reasons entrepreneurs likely experience stress…Here is a hot list:

  • Financial Squeeze – Money
  • Decisions – and Decision Fatigue
  • Uncertainty
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Long Hours


The Financial Squeeze

If you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur just getting started, or even an established company, the financial squeeze may be no stranger. That is likely what landed this as the number one stressor for entrepreneurs. Furthermore, budgeting topped the list of the number one reason for financial stress.

Here are a few things you can do to help lower your finance-related stress:

  • Sound budget
  • Focus on the things you can control
  • Find ways to earn more money
  • Save money (if you can)
  • Budgeting and tracking
  • Talk to professionals, like us at Win Enterprises!

Decisions – Decision Fatigue

The idea that after making too many decisions, your ability to make good ones goes down drastically. In other words, plan out your decisions. As an example, some CEOs will cluster their decision-making meetings in the mornings to avoid afternoon decision-fatigue. Entrepreneurs, typically with few resources are left to make A LOT of decisions for the business, and most come with significant stakes.

Here are a few signs of decision fatigue:

  • Procrastination
  • Impulsivity
  • Avoidance
  • Indecision
  • stress…



Although uncertainty can be seen as an opportunity for reward, the unknown is also a big stressor. The Business Collective dubbed entrepreneurship as the “Roller Coaster ride of unknown outcomes” – with highs, lows, and the unexpected twists, turns, and drops. Forbes magazine recommends the following 6 strategies during times of uncertainty:

  • Take charge and do the basics
  • Address stress signals early on
  • Sharpen your “uncertainty tolerance”
  • Find small escapes
  • Curb rumination
  • Accept uncertainty

Personal Responsibility

Owning your own business is tough and the responsibilities can be overwhelming. Entrepreneurs must take personal responsibility for the way they handle a variety of duties and tasks, some of which affect others. The Small Business Chronicle suggests the following to help with personal business responsibility:

  • Take responsibility for mistakes
  • Professional Development – learning opportunities
  • Great planning
  • Rock solid finances
  • And… don’t forget to stay organized.

Long Hours

Entrepreneurs, like many small business owners, work incredibly long hours. Entrepreneur magazine suggests an entrepreneur’s work time be spent in a blend of the following:

  • 50% – operations of the business
  • 25% – asset creation
  • 25% – hiring and training


Now that we know about the main causes of entrepreneurial stress and how to identify it, let’s talk about some quick macro-level ways of combating everyday work stress.

Just as stress is unique to everyone, so are the mechanisms and approaches to managing it. Heidi Hanna recommends a simple approach to managing stress, citing that the brain is happiest when it has capacity, connection, and clarity.

When stress strikes, try following:

  1. Assess – Is this an acute or chronic stress?
  2. Appreciate – What is this stress trying to tell me?
  3. Adjust – Energize and take action to alleviate stress (BFF)


AND… stay focused on the following to aid in stress reduction:

  1. Breathing – Slow and full breathing (~6 breaths per minute)
  2. Feeling – Shift the lens to positive emotions – think about positive feelings
  3. Focus – On slowing down, staying calm and connected.

In addition to the abovementioned ways to help combat stress, you can also try a personal mantra. Something that can be easily remembered and referenced during difficult or reflective times. According to Heidi Hanna, who also encourages us to create a strong personal mantra…

“Think of a word or phrase that describes you at your best… This is your mantra. I am strong!” Or, I am the greatest entrepreneur! … you get the gist.

To review – know yourself and how you handle stress, stay vigilant and make healthy choices, BUDGET, practice regular stress management, and keep celebrating those wins!


Author: Noah Blocker-Glynn