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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Mendoza

On a Different Note - Managing Stress


There’s no shortage of things causing stress in life, at work – and as an SBA Lender. Yikes. Let’s just look at recent concerns about whether the government (and therefore the SBA) was going to shut down!


I was thinking about this the other day, after getting off a call with my daughter. She’s just started her freshman year in college, which, of course, is stressful for both of us. In helping her deal with what really is a huge change (as we get older, I suspect we forget just how big a change it is for a young adult to suddenly be away from home!), I found myself asking her a very specific set of questions.


These are questions that are helpful in any situation, and so – from a somewhat more personal perspective than our articles usually offer – I suggest them to you, as you deal with your own stresses at work, in life, and, perhaps, as a parent of a freshman at college.


1. What are the tools you have at your disposal to do the best you can?

Stress tends to make our logical brain shut down, and our emotional brain ramp up. Pause, breathe for a moment, and then think about what you might be overlooking in how to deal with whatever’s happening. There are almost certainly options that your stressed-out brain isn’t seeing. A colleague of mine likes to ask the apparently-ridiculous question, “What would my cat do?” Yes, it’s silly, but it also helps the brain relax and see options that might otherwise not be obvious?


What’s already available to you that you’re not currently seeing?

2. Do you use them?


Once you’ve discovered those options, you have to actually use them.

Yes, that’s obvious, but when we’re stressed we tend to keep going with whatever we’re already doing, even if it’s not working. The ability to, once again, pause, breathe, and then choose consciously and intentionally how we’ll move forward, is key to breaking out of the cycle.


3. What tools do you still need?


So you’ve taken stock of what’s available and you’re engaging with what makes sense – but it’s not enough. You need more.


Where can you find help? Within an SBA Lending team, is there someone you can delegate to, or enlist to work with you? Are there procedures you haven’t accessed that would help you handle the challenge?


Or do you need to look outside your department, request temporary help, or engage with an external resource to get through a particularly challenging and busy time?


Do you or your people need training, perhaps around the latest SBA SOPs?


4. Where – and how – can you find those tools?


Asking within your organization is one answer.


Another answer is, of course, to give us here at LRM Lender Consultants a call to see how we can help, whether with hands-on loan reviews, resolving screen-outs, training, or systems and process creation or review.


5. How much, if anything, do they cost?


Some options – delegation, requesting resources within your organization – are essentially free. Others, obviously, aren’t.


You’ll need to do a cost-benefit analysis to see if the help you need will be worth the effort and cost to get it. When you’re engaging with an expert external SBA consultant (like us, of course), you’ll often reap long-term benefits in the streamlining of processes and validation of checklists that ensure fewer errors as you go forward.


As always, we’re here to help. We’re SBA Lending nerds (and proud of it!), and we’re motivated by the ways we help relieve stress for our clients, giving them room to breathe as we help improve their lending processes and their success. If you’d like to know more about how we can help you, give us a call at 877.576.0819, or contact us through our website here. We look forward to helping you breathe easier!

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