How Business Owners Can Stop Worrying (So Much)

While it can bring excitement, gratification and financial rewards, entrepreneurship isn’t exactly a relaxing endeavor. Long hours, complications and problems also are part of the package, of course.

For business owners, Dale Carnegie’s “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” is a useful book to have on the shelf. Although it’s been around for decades, this oldie but goodie has a lot of timeless wisdom and practical tips for managing worry.

One chapter, “How to Eliminate Fifty Percent of Your Business Worries,” presents a practical, four-step formula. When you’re facing a problem, ask yourself these questions:

1. What is the problem?  The first step to resolving any issue is to define it clearly. Otherwise, you lose time and energy going around in circles.

2. What is the cause of the problem?  Doing some fact checking and review will unearth key information needed to make decisions.

3. What are all the possible solutions?  Look at your options, along with the pros and cons for each one.

4. What is the best solution?  The answer may be obvious by the time you’ve answered the first three questions.

For better results, don’t just do this exercise in your head. Putting everything in writing clarifies your thinking.

Hopefully this approach will help you find the best solution faster. Good luck!

About Lynne Strang

I'm a freelance writer who helps organizations and individuals meet their marketing and communications goals. I am also the author of "Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40." To learn more, please visit my website:
This entry was posted in Business, Career Changes, Careers, entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Retirement, Success and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to How Business Owners Can Stop Worrying (So Much)

  1. antoinettehayes says:

    Strangely, but I encounter a lot of people who don’t view problems as an opportunity and frustrate themselves. There’s always a solution to every problem.

    When I learned how to view problems as an opportunity some people looked at me as though I was crazy. Jotting my thoughts down combined with prayer always works for me.
    Thanks for the reminder!

  2. In teaching, I plug up holes in the dam as soon as I identify a problem. And then, there’s always an endless Plan A, B, C for almost everything! Summary: It’s a lot of work but worth it to keep control…control in a good way…not be controlling.

  3. Hello. This came at the right time. I lost sleep last night. I don’t like that. I have always felt I had much faith to do away with worries. Because when you worry, it can eat you up if you allow it. sigh.

  4. Great points to keep posted for a constant reminder! Thank you

  5. becky44 says:

    I agree with the earlier comment that this post came at an excellent time! I have spent the last couple days consumed with worry about not having enough time, when instead, I realize I have wasted even more time worrying instead of being at my most productive. I guess I just need to tackle things one thing at a time and not stress about it! Thanks!

    • lbstrang says:

      Well said. Multi-tasking doesn’t always work, especially when you have problems or situations that require your full attention or a dedicated effort. The “one thing at a time” approach is a good way to go.

  6. says:

    Good stuff! Much of the worrying I see with peers is needless. It’s all about focus and dedication. Most do not know how to harness these two elements.

    • lbstrang says:

      Both of the elements you mentioned can lead to less worrying. Focus lets you pinpoint the problem. Dedication gives you the capacity to carry out the solution, which sometimes requires time and/or a sustained effort. Thanks for commenting.

  7. Navin Anand says:

    The first step is tougher than it may appear. Defining the problem with clarity is often the toughest step, with all the emotion and ego invested.

  8. Matt Blake & Matt Pixa says:

    Great suggestions – always have to keep things in perspective! Really like the comment of looking at problems as opportunities. Thanks!

  9. Sometimes we know we have a problem, but we try to escape from the reality because our problem seems so overwhelming that we can’t do anything to change the situation. However, it is said that a journey of one thousand miles starts with a single step. Just find the best possible solution for it and take action. Try to have as many small wins as possible and eventually you will overcome the huge problem you came across.

    Change what you can change and accept what you can’t. In this way, you can stop worrying.

  10. shanghaisam says:

    I love inspirational posts like this. As I always say: Identify the problem; the cause of the problem; identify solutions.

  11. Thank you for a great reminder….I always find it amazing how simply asking the right questions (at the right times) can be so powerful – it´s a great way to keep the perspective but also reminds us of the fact that we are only human and often we need to either look to self-motivate or find inspiration. Great post, thanks 🙂

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