Managing stress and anxiety as a Creator and Entrepreneur

 I’ve been speaking to a number of business owners and creators lately.

The consensus has been that this year has been tough for a lot of people.

Things have significantly slowed down.

Talks of a recession is on the rise.

And Instagram going through an identity crisis with all the feature updates and algo changes is only overwhelming newer creators, rather than empowering them.

(Pst… You can watch this video here on my thoughts of the latest IG updates and my strategy recommendations!)

That’s why in this week’s email, I’m going to talk about my own recent experiences of stress and anxiety, as well as 7 mindset shifts and affirmations that have helped me tremendously.

I hope it helps you too. 

Let’s go. 

Table of Contents

🌱 #1. “Ships dont sink because of the water around them. Ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening on the outside, get on the inside.”

This incredible Reel audio helped me a lot this past week when business was feeling tough.

I had just found out profits were an all time low for the month.

I had discovered that some past staff members had been over reporting and fabricating hours for months.

I had someone quit on my team.

And for the past months I’ve been rebuilding the business quietly after finally having the courage to let some positions go.

It’s safe to say that throughout the past months, but the past week especially, I’ve felt a range of emotions: Sadness, frustration, rage, disappointment, hopefulness, celebration, and confusion.

But despite all these emotions and despite all the things that were happening on the outside, I’ve had to constantly remind myself to detach and recognize that I can’t let everything that’s happening on the outside, affect me on the inside – and to take it day by day.

Mindset is everything and the more you can work on creating stillness on the inside, the more you can ensure the chaos on the outside doesn’t suck you in.

🌱 #2. The result of growth feels great, but the process of growth is painful.

Whenever I feel discomfort, which is most of the time, I remind myself that this feeling is what I should be feeling when I’m growing.

Here’s a reminder for you if you’re someone who’s going through discomfort right now in life or business:

​If this is the first time you’re building a business, creating content, actually going for your dreams… Remember you’ve never been this version of you.

It’s reasonable for anyone to feel pain, discomfort, disappointment, and any range of emotion when you’re doing something you’ve never done before.

Forgive yourself and be proud of how courageous you’ve been.

Remember: The person who shows up deserves to be there, and when you avoid failure, you’re also avoiding success.

🌱 #3. If I got through X, then I can get through Y.

One of my favourite ways to work through difficult times is reminding myself of the worst moments of my life and the fact that I don’t even think about them today.

My parents divorce.

When I had an eating disorder and wanted to drop out of school.

The time my Business Manager resigned and I literally thought my business would crumble without her.

And likely so many moments, where at the time, I felt like were the worst moments of my life.

Sometimes you just have to remember that time is always on your side, and that “this too shall pass”.

A year from now, so many problems you are going through right now won’t be problems anymore.

Likely, they would be problems that you have conquered and became stronger as a result of it; because there is truly no growth without problems.

🌱 #4. "Your business is broken and if things go well, it always will be."

A past business mentor of mine, Alex Charfen, would say this all the time. And it’s true.

Even recently when I was confiding in my friend and new mentor, George Bryant, I told him how afraid I was to launch my new program. I was so afraid for the unknown that would come with having a whole new offer.

To which he said:

”Your business will break if you sell out your program. And your business will break if your program sells zero. No matter which end of the spectrum, your business will still be broken.”

He’s right.

Even if you 3x your business, you would now have the headache of keeping up with that growth.

Even if you -3x your business, you would have the burden of fixing the losses.

No matter what, so long as you continue running your business, problems will always come up – because that’s the game of being an Entrepreneur.

The moment you recognize this, is the moment you start finding peace.

An incredible business it not built in a year. Have perspective.

A quote I really love is from Charlie Munger, to which he says:

”If you’re in this for the long pull, which is the way to do it, you better be able to handle a 50% decline without fussing too much about it.”

I’ve had months where I’ve cleared 100k in profit.

I’ve had months where I only made $100.

I’ve also had months where I’ve lost 100k.

Back then, I used to be SO reactive to my month to month income statement.

If I had a “bad month”, I would make it mean that I had a bad business. That it was only a matter of time before I go bankrupt.

But that simply isn’t true.

I remember I was once in a room with 7 and 8 figure entrepreneurs.

I told them that I had just made 6 figures in losses, with my profits going from 50% down to 13%.

No one batted an eye. No one felt sorry for me. No one was shocked.

This is when I realized I was in the right room.

Because it wasn’t until I met with higher level entrepreneurs who’ve been in the game for 10+ years where I realized that having low profit or no profit months was simply a part of the game.

A rookie entrepreneur is someone who only focuses month to month, and believes that business success is determined by the year.

A seasoned entrepreneur is someone who understands a great business is built in 10 years.

Have perspective and have patience.

🌱 #6. Happiness is a choice, not a circumstance.

This is a quote that I have on the first page of my journal, because it’s a constant reminder that everything is my choice.

It’s a decision to see what you want to see, to feel what you want to feel, and to hear what you want to hear.

Yes- shitty, terrible, awful days happen.

You can absolutely feel all those emotions.

But one thing I like to remind myself is not only that happiness is a choice, but I also see it as a skill.

It takes skill to decide to find the positive, despite having a terrible day.

It takes skill to decide to forgive someone who did you dirty.

It takes skill to take the high road.

It takes skill to go for a walk, exercise, and do whatever it takes to calm yourself down during a tumultuous period.

For me, it’s a skill I’m practicing every day; but I can assure you the moment I saw happiness as a skill and a choice, was the moment everything changed for me.

Because despite this year being one of the worst income years I’ve had, I’ve also been the calmest I’ve ever been despite it all.

And that is something worth being proud of.

🌱 #7. Stay in your own lane.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t watch my “competitor”’s stuff.

This is to protect my creative integrity, but also my mental health.

BUT, from time to time, it doesn’t mean I don’t get curious and start creeping around.

And unfortunately, 8/10 I leave feeling stressed and not good enough.

Can you relate?

Because if you do, I want to tell you a story that my friend George told me, that empowered me tremendously when it comes to paying attention to competition:

At one of the Olympics, a competitor lost the race to Michael Phelps by 0.01 seconds.

They were head-to-head at the finish line, with the competitor being slightly ahead.

But right near the finish, the competitor took a quick glance over at Michael Phelps.

This one glance costed him 0.01 seconds and as a result, he lost the Gold Medal.

0.01 sections. Think about that.

In that split second, one glance costed him the medal.

So remember:

You’ll never get to where you’re going if you’re lost on someone else’s path.

🌱 #8. If I lose it all, I'll still have my family who loves me. And that's all that matters.

One thing my partner and I always say is that even if our businesses go bust, we’ll still have each other.

I’ll still have my family, and he’ll have his.

I guarantee that there is someone out there who loves you unconditionally, even without your business.

There are people out there who will take care of you. Who will offer their couch to you. Who will keep you safe and warm.

Never take those people for granted in the pursuit of growing your business, and remember that no matter what happens, you will always be able to find safety.
And finally…

🌱 #9. “But did you die?”

This is hands down the one thing I say in my head THE MOST.

As long as I didn’t die, I think I am doing just fine. because being alive is already such a gift.

No matter how many team members or clients leave you.

No matter how many posts flop.

No matter how little money is rolling in right now.

No matter how many investments you’ve made that haven’t paid off.

… You didn’t die.

Are you subscribed to the Confessions of a Content Creator to CEO Newsletter?

What you just read is one of our weekly emails for The Confessions of a Content Creator to CEO newsletter.

Every Monday, I drop a weekly email that shares the candid lessons and stories of what it’s really like being a CEO AND Content Creator. Click here to subscribe!

Lately, I’ve enjoyed calling it the “anti highlight reel” of running a business, because often times I share things that most don’t share publicly on social media.

If this seems like something that’s up your alley, then feel free to subscribe here, and I’ll catch you in your inbox every Monday.

And If you liked this  post, please let me know by screenshotting your favourite part and tagging me on IG stories (just don’t forget to tag me

Most importantly, if you feel this post could help another entrepreneur in need, please send it their way!

As always, I appreciate you and love you.

With gratitude,

Vanessa Lau
Your Creator to CEO mentor.


Keep reading

Want to go behind the scenes?