by sonja thorsvik

Controlling Overwhelm And Increasing Resilience

Starting and running your own business is an exciting adventure. The thought of being your own boss, bringing your vision to life, and making a profit can be exhilarating. However, many people often feel overwhelmed when they embark on this journey. In this episode, we’ll explore some of the reasons why people experience overwhelm when running a business and then we break it down into 2 sets of solutions for the overwhelm you can feel as a person in charge, and then ideas on how to simplify your tasks and priorities so you can increase your resilience.


Lack of experience:
Starting a business is not a simple process. It requires knowledge and experience in various areas such as management, marketing, and finance. Many new entrepreneurs may lack this experience, which can lead to feelings of overwhelm.

Starting a business involves a lot of unknowns, such as how much money you will need to invest, how much revenue you can generate, and what challenges you may face along the way. This uncertainty can create anxiety and overwhelm for many people.

Financial pressure:
Starting a business often requires a significant financial investment, and the pressure of managing cash flow and making a profit can be stressful. This can create feelings of overwhelm, especially for those who have never been in charge of a business’s finances.

Time management:
Starting a business requires a lot of time and effort. New entrepreneurs may struggle to balance their work with their personal life, which can create feelings of overwhelm. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of running a business and forget to take breaks or spend time with loved ones.

Starting a business involves making many important decisions, such as choosing a business model, hiring employees, and developing a marketing strategy. Making these decisions can be challenging and overwhelming for many people, especially if they are new to entrepreneurship.

Being Judged:
The fear of being judged can be a significant source of overwhelm for many people. This fear can manifest in a variety of ways, such as fear of failure, fear of criticism, or fear of rejection – all the things humans don’t like. These fears can cause people to feel overwhelmed and avoid taking action, which can lead to procrastination, missed opportunities, and a sense of frustration or disappointment.

They may worry about what others will think of their ideas, their decisions, or their ability to succeed, which can lead to feelings of overwhelm and anxiety.

Sonja Reminder: you will be judged no matter what you do! So do it anyways.


Also, overwhelm can be a common cause of procrastination. When we feel overwhelmed, we may have difficulty prioritizing tasks, making decisions, or taking action. This can lead to procrastination as we may feel unsure about where to start or feel paralyzed by the amount of work we need to do.

In addition, feeling overwhelmed can be stressful and draining, which can lead to feelings of exhaustion or burnout – OR the worst: you never even start… 

On the other side: being overwhelmed and stressed can be significant factors in why some businesses may close. Starting and running a business can be demanding and stressful, and if entrepreneurs are unable to manage the pressure, it can lead to burnout, health problems, or a decline in the quality of their work.

It affects decision-making, productivity, and customer satisfaction, and leads to financial difficulties, decreased profitability, or a loss of customers, which may result in the closure of their business.


I’m going to Break it down into 2 sets: you as a person, and then your tasks to running a business


Set boundaries:

I read recently that a boundary has consequences. 

This is not a boundary: “My hours are 9-5”

This is a boundary: “If you email me after 5 pm you will receive a reply the next morning.”

There are many situations in which it may be necessary to set boundaries in your business. Here are a few examples:

  1. When you are feeling overwhelmed: If you are feeling overwhelmed by the demands of your business, it may be necessary to set boundaries to protect your time and energy. This might involve setting limits on the number of clients you take on, the number of hours you work each day or the types of tasks you are willing to do.
  2. When you are not being respected: If you feel that your boundaries are not being respected by your clients, colleagues, or employees, it may be necessary to set clear boundaries to protect your well-being and professional reputation.
  3. When you need to prioritize self-care: It’s important to make time for self-care, even when you are busy. Setting boundaries can help you prioritize your well-being and make sure you are taking care of yourself.
  4. When you need to protect your personal life: If you are feeling like your business is taking over and bleeding on your personal life, it may be necessary to set boundaries to protect your time and energy for personal pursuits.

Here are a few things to consider when setting boundaries:

  1. Identify your limits: Know your limits and make sure you are not overextending yourself. This might mean setting limits on the number of hours you work each day, the number of clients you take on, or the number of tasks you take on.
  2. Communicate your boundaries: Make sure to communicate your boundaries with your colleagues, clients, and loved ones. Let them know what you are and are not willing to do and be clear about your needs and limits. Pro Tip: Put these in your onboarding guide.
  3. Say no: It’s okay to say no to tasks or requests that are outside of your limits or that do not align with your values. It’s important to prioritize your well-being and not overextend yourself.
  4. Set aside time for rest and relaxation: Make sure you set aside time for activities that help you relax and recharge, such as exercise, hobbies, or spending time with friends and family.
  5. Be assertive: Don’t be afraid to assert your boundaries and stand up for yourself when needed. It’s important to prioritize your own well-being and not overextend yourself.

Seek support:

Surround yourself with people who can support and encourage you. This could be friends, family, colleagues, or a professional therapist, coach or mentor – important to seek support to help you navigate the process. Here are five ways you can seek support when starting a new business:

  1. Network with other entrepreneurs: Connect with other business owners and entrepreneurs in your industry or local community. They may be able to provide valuable insights, advice, and support as you navigate the challenges of starting a new business.
  2. Join a business support group: Consider joining a local or online business support group where you can connect with others who are also starting or growing their businesses. These groups can provide a sense of community and a place to share ideas and ask for advice.
  3. Seek the help of a mentor: Consider finding a mentor who can provide guidance and support as you start your business. This might be someone who has experience in your industry or someone who has successfully started a business of their own.
  4. Turn to trusted friends and family: Don’t be afraid to seek support from your loved ones. They may be able to provide emotional support, encouragement, and practical assistance as you get your business off the ground.
  5. Consult with a professional: Consider seeking the help of a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business coach, who can provide valuable guidance and support as you start your business.

By building a strong network of support, you’ll be better equipped to succeed and grow your business.

Practice Self-Care:

Make sure you are taking care of your physical and emotional well-being by getting enough sleep, eating well, and engaging in activities that help you relax and recharge.

  1. Get enough sleep: Make sure you are getting enough sleep each night to help you feel rested and energized.
  2. Eat a healthy diet: Fuel your body with nourishing foods to help you feel your best.
  3. Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help reduce stress, improve your mood, and boost your energy levels.
  4. Take breaks: Make sure to take breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge.
  5. Engage in activities you enjoy: Make time for activities that bring you joy and help you relax, such as hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or practicing mindfulness techniques like meditation.

Remember, it’s important to prioritize your own well-being when starting a new business. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to handle the demands and challenges of entrepreneurship.


Starting a new business can be overwhelming, especially if you are juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities. 

Personally: I go to my whiteboard at night to prepare for the next day and write out 4 categories of to-do’s: Personal/Business/Goals/Followups – because we are separating our business from our personal lives: treat it like a business. I then put 1,2,3 by the priorities and then how long it would take me so I can plan my day efficiently.

Break tasks into smaller, manageable steps:
Instead of trying to tackle everything at once, break your tasks down into smaller, more manageable steps. This can help you feel more in control and less overwhelmed.

Prioritize tasks:
Make a list of your tasks and prioritize them by importance. This can help you focus on the most important tasks first and avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many tasks.

When you are prioritizing tasks ASK YOURSELF WHAT IS GOING TO MAKE ME MONEY?

Prioritizing tasks can be challenging, especially when everything seems important. Try these steps for yourself.

Revisit your goals & timeline: Revisit your business goals and objectives regularly and prioritize tasks that align with your overall business strategy. I want to make x amount by x.

Identify urgent and important tasks: Start by identifying the tasks that are both urgent and important. These are the tasks that require immediate attention and have a significant impact on your business.

Determine impact: Next, evaluate the potential impact of each task on your business. Prioritize the tasks that will have the most significant impact on your business in terms of revenue, growth, or customer satisfaction.

Consider effort and resources: Evaluate the effort and resources required to complete each task. Prioritize tasks that are feasible to complete based on your available resources, time, and budget. Is it something you already know or you need to learn from the beginning?

Seek input: If you are having difficulty prioritizing tasks, seek input from other stakeholders such as your team, mentors, or industry experts. They may be able to offer a different perspective or provide insights that can help you prioritize effectively.

Delegate tasks: If you are feeling overwhelmed, consider delegating tasks to others who can help you with your process and already know how to do it. This could be employees, freelancers, or even friends and family even if it’s just for a week or two to get your project going.

Use done-for-you-guides: I cannot stress enough the importance of following a blueprint if there is already one there for you. Templates offer you enormous amounts of help and can easily be found online. Stay tuned here for a suite of templates coming soon (hint hint 🙂 )

Find alternative ways to do things you know you need to do but don’t like doing: A big one for freelancers is writing – you know you have to do it, you know you need website copy, social copy, newsletter copy, press release copy and on and on and on… get prompts from AI OR even talk into your computer instead of typing as a way to create content.

Batch Create: Site down and create a bunch of things at one time instead of starting over. For example, take an afternoon and batch-create your social media post text and images instead of wondering what to write every day.

Schedule in advance: Almost everything in an online business can be automated these days. From social media, newsletters, emails, blog posts, podcasts, and videos. So you can create it before and schedule it for later to remove so much overwhelm and save you time.

Remember, starting a business is a journey, not a destination, and it’s okay to take things one step at a time. By taking care of our mental and emotional health, entrepreneurs can increase their resilience and ability to navigate the challenges of running a business, improving their chances of long-term success.




I started my own entrepreneurial career in 2012 scaling up from $0 a year to over $100,000 each and every year. I firmly and wholeheartedly believe there are ways for all of us self-employed entrepreneurs to reach six-figures and beyond and I'm unapologetically here to show you how I do it so you can make your next best move. Let's go.

foUNDER of gigging for gold
i like my coffee black

Obsessed With Increasing Your Odds of success