Running a business? Signing up for stress

How many of us dream of one day running our own business? We fantasize about being our own boss, making our own decisions and about developing our businesses on our own terms. But we often don't think about the very real stresses that are included in running a small business. Few tasks, in fact, require the long hours and commitment that comes with building a successful small business. Business Insider recently had a look at the negative impact that the strain of running a business can have on entrepreneurs. It's a chilling story, whether you're starting a traditional small business or an online tech-based one.


The Business Insider feature begins with the story of Jody Sherman. He had built the online business Ecomom, which sold environmentally-friendly products for children. The business was running low on cash. Then Sherman shot himself. Shortly after the suicide, the business closed until a new owner brought it back in the summer. Business Insider asked the question: Did the stress of running a business result in Sherman killing himself?


The truth is, operating a small business is a pressure-packed task. The hours are extremely long. The decisions you have to make are all big ones. And even if you do everything right, there's no guarantee that your business will become successful. Most small businesses, after all, fail in their first three years.

Riding the coaster

As the Business Insider story says, running a small business is like riding a really violent roller coaster. Life turns into a series of high, highs -- Our business is open! -- and low, lows -- We lost how many dollars last quarter? This kind of emotional up-and-down is not healthy. That's why not many are cut out to be the owner of a small business. It takes a certain disposition, confidence and a willingness to log long, long hours to succeed as a small business owner. Simply put, it's a job for a risk-taker, not for the average person.

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