Five wonky stress busters for busy brands and startups

Launching a startup business is a big deal

As a creative marketing agency, we’re often helping busy start-ups and new brands get their businesses off the ground. Indeed, we’re a new start-up ourselves and have had a busy first year getting Wonky going too. Building your own little empire is a very fulfilling and exciting process, but it can also be immensely stressful (trust us, we’ve done it!). Business owners that underestimate what’s required, and don’t manage their time and resources effectively, can fall victim to the inevitable start-up stresses we so often see in our clients.

Our top five stress busting tips

To mark our recognition of Mental Health Awareness week, here are our top five stress busters for effectively managing your #MentalHealth when starting-up or launching a new brand!

  1. Remember – you’re the one in control

Yep, the be your own boss thing is pretty great. We should lie to you and tell you that that means that no one tells you what to do, but that’s not necessarily true. You’ll always have a customer who needs something, or a supplier with an urgent problem that will require your immediate attention.

The good news is that when you own your own business, you don’t HAVE to do what they tell you (most of the time). You have choices and you get to make the decisions. Try to remember this as you venture on your start-up journey and come across obstacles and stressful situations. You chose this. You wanted this. You’re in control.

  1. Breathe, breathe and breathe again

Our Marketing & Strategy Director, Louise, is a big advocate of Mindfulness and breathing to beat anxiety and stress at work. She can regularly be found squeezing in a quick meditation between conference calls! Just a few minutes of mindful meditation practice each day has been shown to significantly improve focus, concentration, emotional regulation and overall well-being. Getting a start-up off the ground can eat up all of your time and energy. But try to put aside even 5 minutes a day and you could feel more energised and better equipped to deal with whatever the day has in store for you!

One of our clients, Surrey Mindfulness, has built up their own business promoting and teaching mindfulness. For helpful tips and advice visit their website

  1. Whistle while you work

When you’re feeling stressed, it’s easy to get caught up in the problem and lose focus on the bigger picture. Research has shown that listening to slow, quiet music or sounds can encourage relaxation, increase your ability to focus and reduce overall anxiety (source: Mind UK).

When you’re next working hard to get something done, or feeling so stressed you can’t think clearly, why not take a few minutes out to listen to some music. If you don’t have access to music, you can whistle your favourite tune to zone out, refresh and refocus on the task at hand (we’ve done this ourselves and it really does work!).

  1. Get the work-life balance right

Are you often the first one in the office in the morning and the last one to leave? If so, you could be working longer than you need to. Working long hours should be the exception and not the norm (so we think). Over-working on a regular basis has been shown to reduce your ability to concentrate, productivity and overall mental health (source: Mind UK).

When you’re building your own business it’s easy for the boundaries between work and life to get very blurred. Your kitchen table may have become your work desk and your personal phone is probably now also your work phone. If you really need to bring work home, or work from home, it’s much easier to have clear boundaries if you designate areas and resources for work only – and stick to it!

Inevitably we know there’ll be times when you need to work overtime to meet a deadline, but try to not let it become the ways things always are. Use a to do list, plan your time and stick to your boundaries. You can then enjoy your life with a healthy work-life balance.

  1. Keep your eyes firmly on the horizon

Our last stress busting tip is simple – remember why you started this business in the first place, and use this to gain perspective when things get difficult. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you will face obstacles and failures along the way to start-up success. Keeping your eyes on the horizon will help keep you motivated when things get tough, and ensure you’re always heading in the right direction!

Join in the #NationalMentalHealthDay conversation

That’s it. Our top five stress busters to remember when starting your start-up. If you like our tips, why not share them with a friend or someone you know going through a stressful time starting their own business? You could offer them support or just some friendly advice. Remember your friends, relatives, colleagues or even those you pass-by in the street every day could be suffering with a mental health problem along right now. Show you’re aware and that you care this week to support #NationalMentalHealthDay

Looking for help launching your new business or brand?

We’ve recently challenged ourselves to push the creative boundaries with some rebranding work for our clients. Here’s how we recently helped a local florist to launch their new business. For further inspiration, check out how we’ve helped other businesses get online and get their messages out there. For help getting creative with your new brand, please contact us via or get in touch

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