Stressed? You're the problem and the solution, says entrepreneur Ramit Sethi

'I Will Teach You To Be Rich' founder debunks the common sources of stress

Everybody is busy all the time. There's always so much to do. And entrepreneurs, in the midst of launching and building businesses, are the most overwhelmed of all.

Or so they think. But there's a simple step they can take to fix the problem, says Ramit Sethi, a personal finance guru and founder of the online personal finance and career resource "I Will Teach You to be Rich" and GrowthLab.com, where entrepreneurs go to launch and grow their online businesses.

"When I hear entrepreneurs talking about being overwhelmed, a lot of times when you dig in and you find the root cause, a lot of it is an inability to set boundaries," he says.

Ramit Sethi
Photo courtesy Ramit Sethi

"If you take a look at what entrepreneurs are working on, a lot of the times they are doing knucklehead stuff they should not be doing," says Sethi, in a conversation with CNBC.

In the very early days, a founder does indeed have many responsibilities. "You need to be sweeping the floors, you need to be sending emails, you need to be responding to customers," says Sethi, who is now 34.

But as your business grows, you have to learn what you shouldn't do anymore.

"There's this famous phrase, 'I can't afford what I used to be able to do,' so you may not be able to afford to mow your lawn anymore or do your laundry or answer those customer service emails."

If you take a look at what entrepreneurs are working on, a lot of the times they are doing knucklehead stuff they should not be doing.
Ramit Sethi
personal finance guru, entrepreneur, author

If you're stressed out and feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and look at what's on your to-do list. Prioritize what you absolutely need to do. Otherwise, either take the task off the to-do list or delegate responsibility, says Sethi.

Sethi admits that on occasion, he does get stressed out. But that's not very often.

"I don't wake up saying, 'I'm stressed out,'" says Sethi.

If he does, that's a sign to Sethi that he has some reflection to do.

"Then I want to take a step back and say, 'Where did I go wrong in some of my planning?' There's always going to be times where crazy amounts of work come up but if that's happening more than once every so often I try to take a look inside and see what can I do to improve my situation."

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