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2 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Cope with Stress

It helps to have friends—both the experienced and the fluffy ones

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BY Pauline Mendoza - 15 Jun 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

When multiple deadlines fall on the same day, expansion plans go awry, and cashflow problems arise, it’s clear entrepreneurs have a lot to stress about. But even if some challenges can’t be prevented, there are still ways to reduce stress levels.

Seek friends you can trust

When stressed out, sometimes you just need to let it out and talk to somebody. And while it helps to get the perspectives of the people around you, such as your colleagues, as a founder, you have sensitive issues that you cannot divulge to just anyone. Who can you turn to then?

That is the question that Manny Ayala, managing director of Endeavor Philippines, posed to the panel at a discussion at the 2017 Inc40 Philippine Forum. “If you have to fire your CEO, or if you’re not going to make payroll, who would you talk to?” he asks.

Maria Ressa, CEO and executive director of Rappler, says she surrounds herself with people that she knows she could have uncomfortable or awkward conversations with. “I trust our board and our investors,” she says.

Networks of trust are also important for Tim Michael, co-founder and CEO of When faced with a stressful situation, he says that he seeks advice from his trusted network of entrepreneurs here in the Philippines and in Germany. “I just look for someone who has been in a similar situation before,” he says during the discussion.

Having a “little puppy”

Two years ago, Madelene Saguinsin, general manager of Holy Gardens Memorial Park Group, the marketing arm of Destiny Financial Plans Inc., returned to their family business after she gained significant experience as an employee in other companies for several years.

“When holding the reins of the family business, accountability extends to business partners, investors, other family members, and employees,” Saguinsin says of the difficulties she faces.

When stress starts to rear its ugly head, she says, she takes from Steve Martin as Sgt. Bilko in the 90’s comedy film. She quotes him, “Maybe, a plan is not what I really need. What I really need, is just a little puppy.” What she does is take a break, and look for photos and videos of puppies, kittens, and bunnies as a stress reliever.

For other entrepreneurs who are not into these cute little balls of fur, you could have your own version of a “little puppy” too. Whether it is music, baking, or sports, hobbies play a part in the stressful but fulfilling life of entrepreneurship. Do these and have fruitful conversations with your trusted friends in the industry and for sure, things will be better.

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