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5 Tips For Conquering The Stress Of Success

Among other responsibilities that come with being the boss is gracefully handling the inevitable pressure.

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According to a Harris Interactive survey conducted for the American Psychological Association, 41 percent of employed adults feel stressed out during a typical workday.

Although the poll sampled employees and the self-employed, I believe the number would have been much higher had the survey included only business owners and senior executives.

With all due respect to the average employee, the levels of pressure faced by executives and entrepreneurs can be “off the charts.”

It’s stressful at the top

From an outsider’s perspective, sitting on top of the corporate pyramid puts you in the driver’s seat. In reality, of course, working with business partners, customers, investors, suppliers, etc. merely reveals the limits of your control.

Related: 49 Inspirational Quotes And Mantras To Help You Overcome The Stress Of Running A Business

The higher you are, the higher the stakes

Loss of clients, threats of lawsuits, employee issues, fear of being unable to pay the rent or your employees. These, and many other concerns, can feed a river of sleepless nights, making you feel like you’re fighting a never-ending battle.

Stress can come from any direction because so many things can go wrong – things for which you are directly responsible.

Are you going to fight or flee?

By the way, the “never-ending battle” metaphor is apt because stress is caused by our primal instinct to fight or flee. In the modern world, neither option is (usually) a viable one. The result, therefore, is anxiety generated by our inability to pursue one of those hired-wired options.

Although there’s no magic stress-reduction formula that works for everyone, every time, I’ve discovered five techniques that have been effective for me – techniques I’d like to share:

1Box Breathing

box-breathing

This is a tool I discovered while reading a book about Navy SEALs. Navy SEALs, who conduct high-stress, life-and-death operations throughout the world, must be trained to control their fear and stress in order to succeed (and survive).

Use a visual aid like this one, start by: (1) inhaling for four seconds (as the circle expands); (2) then hold your lungs full for four seconds (as the circle stays fully expanded); (3) exhale for four seconds (as the circle shrinks), and then (4) hold your lungs empty for four seconds (as the circle is contracted).

Repeat as many times as it takes to calm down. This technique has helped me in very stressful situations – situations in which my heart was racing out of control. By performing the breathing exercise, I was able to lower my heart rate, regain composure and control my stress.

2Self-Talk

Positive self-talk may seem like New Age baloney, but it can actually work. Positive self-talk helps you realise that that fear is a choice. By “accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative” it can go a long way toward helping you regain composure in even the most stressful circumstances. It’s like having a therapist or a life coach on call 24/7.

Related: Stress Kills! 5 Ways to Keep Your Stress Levels Low

3Diet

diet-management

When dealing with stressful situations that may endure for months, you cannot neglect your diet and eat unhealthy foods just because they’re quick and easy. You need to put even more focus on eating healthy foods and staying well hydrated.

During stressful times, the body’s immune system can easily be compromised. Failing to adequately nourish and hydrate yourself only increases the odds that you will literally become “sick with worry.”

Stress + poor diet often leads to maladies such as headaches, insomnia and high blood pressure.

Focus on proper hydration and vitamin intake during stressful periods because your body is being taxed at a higher level than it normally is.

4Exercise

This may be one of the last things on your mind during stressful episodes. You may already feel exhausted and worn out. But continuing your exercise program (or initiating a new regimen) – one that includes walking, lifting or light resistance exercise – will help clear your mind, lower stress levels, and generate positive feelings.

When you exercise, the body releases chemicals called endorphins. These interact with the receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain and trigger positive feelings (similar to the feelings produced by morphine).

If you don’t want to drag yourself to the gym, or do 50 push-ups next to your desk, just remember how much better you felt the last time you finished a good workout.

5“This too shall pass”

This too shall pass

When your livelihood and your company seem to be in jeopardy, emotions can become intense. But if you maintain the proper perspective, you’ll realise that the situation will be resolved.

Change is the only certainty in life is change, so keep in mind that however bad things may be today, this state of affairs will not last. Whenever events seem to be spinning out of control, take a moment to put everything into perspective.

Take a walk, meditate, pray or do something that helps you focus your thoughts on the bigger picture. The stress you feel now will fade in time.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Ernie Bray, CEO of technology & services organization ACD Corp, is a high-energy entrepreneur, author and business leader. ACD has ranked six years on the Inc. 5000, four years on Deloitte’s Technology Fast-500 of North America and most recently was awarded "Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America" by Entrepreneur Magazine. Ernie is a respected advisor in driving strategic impact in the areas of process improvement, strategy, management, social media, marketing and innovation. He is also the co-host & creator of the "Balls Out Podcast" a show about success, motivation, business and the winning edge. Ernie is a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt and consultant to various companies

Work Life Balance

3 Ways To Balance Your Business, Family And Everything Else

You can do it all (or at least make it easier to do everything you enjoy) with these smart tips from a successful entrepreneur.

Manny Khoshbin

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The following excerpt is from Manny Khoshbin’s book Driven: The Never-Give-Up Roadmap to Massive Success.

Balancing your life is like one of those acrobatic acts where people are standing on top of one another balancing themselves — each person represents an important part of your life. You want to keep them all up there without anyone falling. Not so easy, is it?

To really appreciate and enjoy what you have, balancing the many aspects of your life is essential, but many people aren’t very good at it. I was one of those people in my first marriage. I was wrapped up in my business and not spending enough time and energy on my marriage. In the end, the marriage blew up.

I admit, it’s hard to say no to business when it comes knocking at your door, especially when you’re selling real estate and a qualified buyer comes along. However, if you don’t know when to put the brakes on and slow down, you may find yourself out of control and missing out on a lot of your life.

Many people get a taste of success and they want to scale it, so they just dive into it 24/7. The next thing they know, 10 years have gone by and they’ve built a huge empire but lost sight of everything else. They realise that their spouse is now their ex, their kids are now teenagers, other family members, as well as friends, have moved on, and they’ve missed so much of their personal life that not even money can buy it back.

So, how do you balance work, family and everything else? For one thing, you need to accept that you have to make many compromises, have a positive attitude and know that it can be done.

Balancing businesses

business-balance

Besides running my own business, Leyla and I are partners in her business. Warning: This type of arrangement will not work for all couples, but it can work well, provided you clarify your positions and respect each other’s roles.

The trick is knowing how to combine, and then separate, business and marriage. For example, Leyla and I sometimes have to go to Los Angeles for meetings or to an expo or a beauty show in Las Vegas. We take the opportunity to make a full weekend out of it, working at the event and then going out on the town.

At home, we have date nights at least once a week, even if all we do is grab a quick dinner and then come back home. It’s important to break the routine and put business aside. On weekends, Leyla’s business is closed and I don’t work, and we spend time with our kids. We try to make time for each of our top priorities: our family, each other and our work.

Unfortunately, when you’re working together and discussing, or sometimes arguing, about business during the day, it’s difficult to switch gears when you get home and shift into husband-and-wife mode. We try to be careful to stop ourselves without letting the day spill over into our personal life together.

I’ll admit, however, that it does take some practice, learning how to turn the switch off before you leave the office to go home. But in time it gets easier. You need to set some rules together, then make sure you’re both on board with those rules.

Related: 6 Secrets Smart Leaders Employ To Achieve Work-Life Balance

Hobbies and passions: cars and cigars

You also need time for your hobbies. Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve loved exotic cars. I bought my first exotic car in 1992, a Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo. Fast-forward 10 years, and I had started falling in love with Ferraris as well as Porsches. I have continued collecting cars, and I now have 15 cars.

Even though they’re a hobby, I have an entrepreneurial spirit when it comes to my passion for cars. In fact, I view them in a similar way that I do great pieces of property, though I’d prefer to keep them than sell to the highest bidder. To me, they’re like works of art that I view as investments, knowing that they’re of great value.

Cars aren’t my only passion, though. It’s important to have some passions that you can enjoy away from work, from family and from everything else. You also want some alone time. For example, I also own a cigar lounge (www.CubanoRoom.com) where I can go to relax by myself or meet another successful member while smoking a fine cigar.

I treat my passions like a business because that’s who I am — I enjoy them and also make money – but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you enjoy bicycling, you don’t have to go and open a bicycle store. You can simply find a group of riders, do some travelling and have fun.

It’s important to fit some alone time into your busy balancing act. We all need some moments when we escape from everyone and everything. The best thing to do is figure out what makes you happy and balance the hustle of your busy life with your own passion.

Related: How To Work 10 Hours Less Each Week

Extended family

Family time is so important to me, both as a father and as a member of an extended family. Besides spending time with Leyla and my children, I see my parents often. I bought them a ranch about 90 miles away from Newport Beach back in 2004. Now they visit us every Friday or Saturday – we have a barbecue and play backgammon or cards.

We also see Leyla’s mom and sister often. Her mom still works as a registered nurse and lives in Beverly Hills. Leyla’s sister is nearby in San Diego where she works for a company called Houzz, an online community for home construction, landscape design, home improvement, repairs and so forth.

Leyla and I both recognise the importance of having our extended family nearby and making time to spend together. Otherwise, time goes by quickly, and you suddenly realise that it’s been years since you spent some quality time together.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Join The Mustang Revolution

Experience the dream and take it for a test drive today.

Ford

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Every new Mustang brings a renewal, of the human spirit, the open road, and the wanderlust that exists within us all. For over 5 decades, America’s legendary Pony car has delivered countless moments of pure exhilaration.

The new Mustang is loaded with bravado, coiled with confidence. It honours this authentic lineage – by launching it forward, with advanced new technology that allows for a level of personalisation not seen before. But very familiar to a new generation of free spirits, who refuses stereotypes, encourage self-expression. Are you ready for this?

The evolution of the mustang

How do you reinvent a car that’s more than a car: An icon that forever changed the landscape of the automotive industry? You don’t. You just make it better. You bring it back to its original roots in a modern way. You create something that’s instantly classic and completely new. 50 years on, we’ve breathed new life into a legend.

Legends who choose to partner with the legend

jay-leno-mustang

Jay Leno, the former king of American late-night television, is known to be an avid car collector. In his collection is a 1965 Shelby Mustang GT 350, one of Americas most desirable muscle cars.

President Bill Clinton owned a 1967 Ford Mustang Convertible before he entered office. He said he found it hard to leave the car behind in Arkansas when he moved into the White House.

Charlie Sheen, veteran actor of the big and small screen, also owned several Mustangs. A Classic 1966 Mustang GT was once on display at Galpin Auto Sport in Calif. Another of his Mustangs, a 1968 Shelby, was featured in the movie ‘Money Talks’.

Patrick Dempsey loves his Mustangs. He loves them so much he raced a specially-built Mustang FR500C in the Grand-Am Road Racing KONI series. When he’s not on the race track he’s the proud owner of a 1965 Ford Mustang Coupe, which was featured at the 2007 SEMA Show.

Jim Morrison reportedly only ever owned a 1967 Nightmist Blue Shelby GT 500. The car was a gift from Electra Records, but rumour has it that he wrapped the car around a telephone pole, and it was never seen again.

Sammy Hagar, former lead singer of iconic rock band Van Halen, is the former owner of a 1967 Shelby GT500. He’s also the owner of the first GCM-R Mustang, one of 100 custom built by Gateway Classic Mustang.

Tim Allen reportedly has a USD50 000 hyper-customised Mustang, which does 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, reaching the quarter mile in 12.4 seconds and can achieve top speeds of 184 mph.

Bob Seger is known for his love of muscle cars from the 1960’s and 70’s. Included in his collection are a Mach 1 Mustang and a classic GT350.

Kelly Clarkson is a lover and owner of Mustang’s. She prominently features a red/white striped GT500 in her music video ‘Go’, she is also rumoured to have owned a hot pink Mustang.

Eminem reportedly bought a brand new 1999 Mustang Convertible with his first royalty cheque after becoming a worldwide superstar.

Related: How To Build A Lot Of Wealth Starting From Zero

Iconic Design

mustang-interior

There’s a certain feeling you get when you start the engine and hear Mustang’s iconic growl for the first time. The Mustang’s design is just as thrilling.

The Cockpit

Taking inspiration from classic airplane cockpits, the Mustang struck a balance between analogue dials and digital feedback. The gear shifter is optimally placed. And the steering wheel just feels right in your hands, for a dynamic driving experience.

The Body

Everything about the Mustang’s design makes your jaw drop. The sharp HID headlamps and signature tri-bar taillamps. The front end that screams energy. The sleek, lean and low body. The improved aerodynamics. Designed with a passion for the legend that is Mustang – this is as good as it gets.

Innovative Technology

SYNC®3 is a responsive, fully integrated, voice activation system that lets you use your favourite devices while your hands stay on the wheel and your eyes stay safely on the road. Sync your phone to call your friends, play your favourite music or find the perfect temperature with hands-free Climate Control.

Seamless integration via programs like Apple CarPlay™ allow you choice on how to remain connected to your world. Equipped with a customisable 8” Colour LCD capacitive Touch Screen; SYNC®3 is quicker and more responsive than ever before.

Rear View Camera

Trouble with parallel parking or reversing into tight spaces? No problem. Ford’s Rear View Camera lets you see behind you. And the Rear Parking Sensors beep to let you know how close you are to objects behind you. The system even turns the music down, so you can hear the beep clearly.

Keyless Entry and Push-button Start

We can’t find your keys for you, but as long as you have the key fob on you, you’re ready to go. Simply unlock the driver’s door with a touch of the handle. To start her up, just put your foot on the brake, press the START/STOP button and you’re away.

Related: How To Build Organisational Wealth Through Increased Efficiency

Performance

Mustang has unleashed two engine options, 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 and 2.3L EcoBoost® both marvels of engineering.

2.3L EcoBoost Engine

The EcoBoost model features the twin-scroll turbocharged 2.3L EcoBoost engine, giving you exhilarating performance with reduced fuel consumption.

5.0L V8 Engine

The Mustang GT’s 5.0L engine has been expertly engineered to maximize power from every compression.

Boasting strong power and torque, Mustang GT’s engine roar and wide-eyed acceleration are the stuff of the legends

Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS)

Electric Power Assisted Steering adjusts to provide you with greater control in a range of road and weather conditions, and even crosswinds and potholes. And it only activates when needed, saving you fuel. Best of all, you’re in control. Choose between three power-assisted settings to adjust steering effort: comfort, sport and normal.

6-Speed SelectShift with Paddle Shifters

Mustang’s SelectShift gives you the thrill of using a manual transmission with the ease of an automatic. Simply toggle the race car-inspired Paddle Shifters on the steering wheel to shift gears up or down, for smooth and effortless gear changes.

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Work Life Balance

A Brain Surgeon’s Tips For Handling Stress Head-On

If you’re comfortable, you’re not learning, this neurosurgeon advises. Oh, and another thing: “Never cut what you can’t see.”

Mark McLaughlin, MD

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Most people at least try to avoid stress, especially when it comes to business and workplace conflicts. Even successful, high-profile business icons struggle with how to handle stress: Elon Musk recently admitted in a tweet reported on by CNBC that he faces “unrelenting stress.”

That’s alarming to hear from such a famous and successful entrepreneur. And he’s hardly alone in the world of business: But as a businessman myself, and a neurosurgeon, I’ve discovered that the secret to a more fulfilling, successful life and career is to engage with stress, not run away from it.

In fact, many stressors we encounter are actually beneficial. Without the stress of gravity, our bones would soften; without the stress of exercise, our muscles would atrophy; and without the active engagement of our minds, our intellects would weaken and we would become more susceptible to dementia.

What’s more, when we’re not exposed to stress, we’re not learning or growing or getting stronger. Only when we fully engage in stressful situations and face our fears head on can we succeed in our personal and professional lives.

As a surgeon, I’ve encountered numerous high-stress circumstances requiring a cool head and decisive action. The discipline of neurosurgery has helped me develop cognitive dominance: It’s enhanced my situational awareness for making rapid and accurate decisions under stressful conditions, while the clock was ticking.

But if my years of making life-or-death decisions in the operating room have taught me anything, it’s that all of us must have the right tools to conquer one of the fiercest opponents any of us face: stress and fear. So, the next time you face a high-stress situation, try the following strategies for making better decisions under extreme pressure.

Related: Is Your Business Prepared For The Worst? How Your Can Stress-Test Your Business

1. Always place a drain

While many difficult situations in life are out of our control, others should never occur in the first place.

There’s a rule in brain tumor surgery: Aways place a drain. That preemptive procedure of putting into place a fluid drain gives surgeons more control of the operative micro-environment and makes the removal of a tumor safer by providing a “pop off” valve that can relieve intracranial pressure. By following this rule, we prevent a life-threatening problem during surgery and control our stress in the OR.

What are your safety valves? What are the “rules” you follow in your life that control stress and keep it in check?

One way to manage stress in the workplace is to deal with your overloaded email inbox. If you find yourself drowning in emails, with unanswered messages from months ago still sitting in inbox purgatory, wipe the slate clean and start fresh with an “email bankruptcy.” Simply delete all emails in your inbox with dates that are over a month old and move on.

With so much electronic communication today, who can possibly keep up? Striving to do so will only result in unnecessary stress, distracting you from truly important matters. An email bankruptcy allows you to stay in the current moment and keep your thoughts focused. (Besides, if something is truly important, the sender will follow up.)

Taking simple burdens such as these off your shoulders will free you up to make better, more level-headed decisions in all aspects of life.

2. Never cut what you can’t see

cant-see-blindfold

This pearl is based on the first rule of neurosurgery from my mentor, the master neurosurgeon Peter JannettaNever cut what you can’t see. Just as illumination and magnification are vital to surgeons, making tough decisions under pressure requires first shining a light on an issue and studying the situation closely to determine its true nature and ultimate solution.

I recently encountered significant stress in preparing for the most important toast of my life … for my only daughter’s wedding. I struggled with a flood of emotions the week before and broke down every time I also practiced my toast – a lot. After a lot of thought, I realised my problem stemmed from remorse at missing out on so many events in my daughter’s childhood due to my hectic surgery schedule.

Illuminating the issue allowed me to accept that these thoughts were natural for someone in my profession: Surgeons whose medical duties often bump up against family obligations. Rather than letting regret torpedo my speech, however, I determined to apply myself to being a better, more present parent in her adulthood.

If you’re running up against a roadblock or find yourself in a stressful or tense position, first shine a light on the issue and look at it from multiple perspectives. Ask yourself, “Why am I so anxious about this upcoming business meeting?” or “What’s really making me clash with this particular team member?” Make a point to illuminate, magnify and dissect your problem: The anatomy of the issue might be right in front of you, and you just haven’t been able to recognise it yet.

Related: 49 Inspirational Quotes And Mantras To Help You Overcome The Stress Of Running A Business

3. Get a second opinion

Avoid your first reaction to any stressful event, as it’s often the wrong one. Almost invariably, your first reaction is going to be geared toward self-preservation, and that’s not generally the best solution to any problem. Instead, find ways to de-personalise the situation, removing emotion from the decision-making process to make smarter choices based on measured facts and different perspectives, not off-the-cuff feelings.

For example, I find it difficult to maintain a balanced perspective when a patient isn’t doing well or has unexpected symptoms after a surgery, so I often turn to one of the five other doctors in my practice for an unbiased, third-party analysis. Reaching out for another opinion is helpful from the perspective of achieving optimum care and deleting the emotional aspect.

If you find yourself stressed, nervous or under the gun, don’t leave the decision on your own shoulders. Get an outside opinion from a trusted partner, colleague, friend or mentor to obtain an unbiased assessment.

By facing stress head-on with these rules, you can gain greater control in work and personal matters, allowing you to practice cognitive dominance in any situation.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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