Running a business? Signing up for stress

Are the owners of small businesses under more stress than other workers? Along with what impact could this stress have? These are questions that Business Insider recently covered in a rather chilling feature story. The story shows just how stressful running a small business can be. And it shows how tragic the results can be when that stress proves overwhelming.

A sad ending

The Business Insider feature starts 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. A couple of weeks after the suicide, the business closed down until a new owner brought it back in the summer. Business Insider asked the question: Did the stress of running a business lead to Sherman killing himself?


Is Sherman’s tale a warning for stressed-out business owners? The Business Insider story says that running a small business is one of the most stressful tasks people can undertake. And it’s tough to argue. The competition is intensive. Consumers still aren’t looking to spend lots of money. And even if small business owners do everything right, the odds are high that their businesses will still shut down within three years. That’s one stressful project.

Ups and downs

Business Insider compares it to a especially frightening roller coaster. Running a small business comes with a series of intense highs and lows. One day your business is bringing in new customers. The next, the crowds have stopped and inventory is sitting quiet on your shelves. It’s little wonder that so many business owners are under so much stress. The message here is that entrepreneurs who dream of opening a small business should be realistic. They need to be prepared for stress. They should be prepared for the down times. Running a small business is a big challenge. It’s not one well suited for the bashful.

Posted on: 03.21.14