Save yourself stress by focusing on what you can control

Ed ChanFounder & Non-Executive Chairman, Chan & Naylor

As the business owner/manager/advisor to your clients and staff, there are a lot of risks that fall on our shoulders. But as the leader, all eyes are on us to step up in these situations. So, what message are you giving to your staff and clients via your demeanor and body language? 

Your clients and staff are looking for confidence, strength and encouragement. They need you to lift their spirits.

Don’t panic—you need to be positive and proactive, even if you aren’t particularly feeling so.

Energy, both good and bad, is contagious. It spreads throughout your office (virtual or physical) and can be felt over the phone in conversations with clients.

In ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, Dr. Stephen Covey highlights in Habit 1 ‘Being Proactive’ a concept called the Circle of Concern vs Circle of Influence.

Circle of Concern

Our Circle of Concern is filled with all the things in the world that affect us—things we care about and things that cause us concern. But they are all aspects of our lives that we have no direct control over, like coronavirus, governments, share markets, travel bans, etc.

Circle of Influence

Our Circle of Influence, on the other hand, is filled with everything we can control—emotions, attitude, health, relationships, decisions, and actions. Ultimately, these are what we should be focussed on as much as possible.

Right now, we must focus on the things in our Circle of Influence, the things in our control. If we instead focus on our Circle of Concern, we are just causing ourselves stress, counterproductivity and simply wasting our energy.

Here are some actions that you can take to mitigate this stress:

  1. Take care of your health. Eat well, sleep well and exercise even—even if it’s just a walk around the block.

  2. When you put the key into the door of your office, pick up the phone or dial into a Zoom call, make sure you come with the right attitude and positive energy.

  3. Consult with your people often—your staff, your clients and your family.

  4. Be decisive. Don't dilly-dally—make decisions quickly and act.

  5. Choose your sources of news and information wisely. Media outlets survive on invoking fear. Seek clear, transparent information from non-bias sources.

Ed Chan
Founder & Non-Executive Chairman, Chan & Naylor

Ed started Chan & Naylor from a small home office in Sydney and grew it into a National Financial Services Organisation that now works without him, with offices in most capital cities around Australia, servicing more than 10,000 clients.

In 2018 he co-founded WIZE Mentoring, a network for accountants who want to know how to successfully grow their firm and have it run without them.

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