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Making it simpler to cope with daily stress

Entrepreneur Philip Bain started a company during the recession. In a series of articles, he shares his personal advice on leadership

Ever just hit an emotional or mental wall when you are just weary of dealing with people?

This is a common problem in leadership. You are getting it all ends from people, nothing you say or do is right and everything is being criticised. Time is taken up with, as one of my former employees used to say, the "niff naff and trivia" and you get little thanks, if any, for what you are doing.

Leadership can be thankless, lonely and draining.

No point sugar-coating it, if you are any sort of leader, you are going to face times like this.

So how do you cope when it gets to this point?

It will get easier

Shoulders will broaden and skin will thicken through the journey and it will get easier in dealing with people.

The key thing to understand is that people are well... just people.

And before you get too critical of them, remember you are also one of them.


Talk to someone who will let you vent. The person on the receiving end is just acting as a bucket for you to pour it all into.


Walking for me, and I suspect others, is a great time to 'declutter' the mind, talk to yourself, straighten things out, get clarity and ultimately de-stress.


For some reason, it always seems worse at night. Sleep on it, get some rest and in the morning it just doesn't seem as bad. If your head is fried and you are pacing the floors at 1am, do yourself a favour and get into bed.


Go out and enjoy yourself. The old adage of 'work hard, play hard' is corny but true. Sport, hobbies, holidays, whatever it is you do for play go and do it.

Get back in the game

Get on with it. You are a businessperson, a successful entrepreneur and there is work that needs to be done. There is a time for pause and rest but there is also a time to get back in the game and persevere.

Learn from it

It's good if you have learned some lessons from the wall-hitting experience. Although maybe you have learnt nothing from it, which is okay too. Don't naval gaze too much. What was bothering you has probably turned out to be not that important anyway.

Philip Bain is the co-founder of ShredBank, chair of the Chartered Institute of Management in NI and the author of an entrepreneur's handbook, Start To Grow

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