How to Cope with Grief as a Small Business Owner

Embracing Loss is a Challenge

As a small business owner, it can be difficult to cope with the grief of losing a loved one. It is important to recognize grieving is a normal process and can affect all aspects of life, including work. On March 2, 2021, I lost my father to Covid and for the month of February, the rest of March, and most of April, well I was a mess. Business came second, my family came first. What I learned over those several months while balancing the mother, wife, daughter and small business owner roles was humbling.

I accepted that sometimes the risk of not hitting a goal or deadline was worth the cost. In my instance, it was the potential fine for not filing taxes on time. Did I get them done? Yes. Were they printed and ready to be mailed? Yes. Did I pop them in the mail? No. Why? My mind was distracted. My father was in Canada, I was in the States and the border was closed. Distraction is an understatement. My intention was to mail them. I even brought the envelope to Canada with me. But there they sat in my car until I got back to the US the first week of April.

What I needed were coping tips as a business owner. Similar yet unique to those coping mechanisms as an individual. So here they are, learn the tips I wish I had on how to manage the emotions associated with grief. And find ways to cope while still running your business. Remember, grief isn’t always triggered by a loss of an individual. It can be triggered by a major change in your business too. In my instance, it was the loss of my person.

Understanding Grief and How to Cope with It as a Small Business Owner

As a small business owner, understanding grief and how to cope with it is an important part of managing your business. Grief is a natural response to loss and change. It can be caused by the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, the loss of a job, or other major life changes. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and confused when faced with grief. But there are steps you can take to manage it effectively.

The first step in understanding grief is to recognize that is a normal reaction to loss. Accepting that you may experience a range of emotions such as sadness, anger, guilt, fear, and confusion. It’s also important to remember that grief is unique to each individual, so what works for one person may not work for another. Talk to your associates about how your day is going. Share if it is not such a great day, or that what you are experiencing is creating a bigger distraction and you need more time.

It’s also important to be aware of the physical effects of grief. You may experience fatigue, difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, or other physical symptoms. It’s important to take care of yourself during this time by getting enough rest, eating healthy, and engaging in activities that bring you joy. Give yourself permission to stop and rest in the middle of the day. I realized that when I got back home, I needed a 20-minute nap in the afternoon. Not necessarily a deep sleep, but time to close my eyes, rest my mind and reset my emotions.

Coping Mechanisms

Another important step in coping with grief is to reach out to friends and family for support. Talking to someone who has gone through a similar experience can be helpful, as can seeking professional help from a counselor or therapist. Many people find comfort in attending support groups or participating in online forums where they can share their experiences with others. Find your business grief person or persons. Schedule coffee dates to chat about what is going on and how it is impacting your business. You will be surprised who else needs you and your experience.

Finally, it’s important to make time for self-care. This could include taking up a hobby, reading, exercising, meditating, or spending time outdoors. Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally can help you cope with grief in a healthy way.

Understanding grief and how to cope with it is an essential part of managing your small business. By recognizing that grief is a normal reaction to loss, being aware of the physical effects of grief, reaching out for support, and making time for self-care, you can better manage your grief and continue to run your business successfully.


Grief can be a difficult emotion to deal with, especially when you are a small business owner. It is important to remember that it is normal to feel grief and to take time to process your emotions. Finding support through friends, family, or professional counseling can help you cope with your grief in a healthy way. Taking breaks from work, practicing self-care, and setting boundaries can also help you manage the impact of grief on your business. With the support and strategies, you get through a difficult time and find a to keep your business running.

Recap: Coping with Grief as a Small Business Owner

Grief can be an overwhelming emotion for any person. But it can be especially difficult to cope with as a small business owner. As a small business owner, you need to be able to keep your emotions in check and focus on the task at hand. It can be hard to stay motivated when feeling grief. The good news is there are ways that you can cope and continue to build your business.

First, it is important to take some time for yourself. Take a break from work and do something that will help you relax and clear your mind. Whether it’s taking a walk, reading a book, or talking to a friend, it’s important to take time for yourself and allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come up.

Second, talk to someone. Talking to a counselor or therapist can be a great way to process your feelings and get support during this difficult time. You don’t have to go through this alone.

Finally, make sure you are taking care of yourself. Eat healthy meals, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep. Taking care of your body will help you to better cope with your grief.

If you want to learn more about how to cope with grief as a small business owner, please reach out to me. Being a small business owner can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. With the right strategies, you can still succeed and reach your goals.

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