Want to know what a great stress reliever is? Being positive — having a positive attitude. There are days when the entrepreneur simply feels overwhelmed and when that happens, stress also happens.
Here are some steps I take (and you can too!) to embrace a more positive attitude and help your stress melt away:
- Tap into a positive event that happened to you recently. Simply remembering a happier time can reduce your stress.
- Mingle with optimists. Being with people who have upbeat attitudes will increase your positive feelings.
- Believe in yourself. If you have the thought that you can be successful, chances are you will be successful.
- Eliminate negative phrases whenever possible. If you find yourself saying, “I can’t,” or “it won’t work,” try to turn those phrases around to more positive ones.
- Complaining may feel therapeutic at the time, but it will eventually sap your strength and your good attitude. Complaining will rarely solve an issue unless you’re confronting it head on and may even earn you the title of the “Eeyore” of the group for projecting a negative attitude.
One of the best ways to reduce stress is by being physically active. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins which boost your mood but exercise and keeping your body healthy helps your overall lifestyle.
Enterpreneurship is taking the country by storm and if you’re considering dipping your toe into the waters of being your own boss, here are some of my steps toward growing a small business into a thriving endeavor:
- Know yourself. Why do you want to be in business? Freedom? More money? To give yourself a job? Your inner motivation will drive your determination and ultimately impact your bottom line.
- What are you passionate about? Pursuing your passion as it relates to your business endeavor could help you succeed. Your passion will show through and will engage potential clients.
- What makes you unique? Do you do something that no one else does? What is your differentiator?
- The customer is always right. If you’ve ever worked a retail job you know this is a customer service mantra. When you’re running your own business, you truly need to embrace that ideology.
- Do you have a niche? To grow a thriving business you need to know who your customers are, where to find them, what they’re seeking a solution to, and how you can help them address their pain points. Can you do this?
- Write a business plan and daily goals. Consider your business plan your long term goal, and your daily goals are what you need to accomplish today or this week to achieve those long term goals.
- Get out of your own cocoon. You need to get away from the office and network and make connections. Shake hands. Set coffee dates for follow up. No business can exist in a vacuum.
- Don’t listen to the dream killers. It seems that everyone I speak with has a dream killer in his or her life — that person who says, “you can’t make a living at this,” or “Not many new businesses survive.” You know the type. Separate yourself from them and surround yourself with people who believe in your vision.
- Invest in yourself. Staying healthy and planning for your retirement (yes, it seems odd to play for retirement if you’re just starting out, but there is no time like the present!) Be active. Eat healthy. You are the business you need to take care of yourself.
- Inspire your team. If you don’t have a team, inspire those with whom you network and interact. Inspire and motivate and reward your clients. Word of mouth on your positive attitude will spread like wildfire!
Are you considering going into business? What’s your passion?
Did you know that inertia feeds on itself? The longer you put off doing a task or making a call or even making a decision, the harder — and less attractive — it becomes to make a decision. Enter inertia.
Did you know you use more energy avoiding making a decision than you do by simply committing? It’s true. Also, the longer you delay making a commitment the harder the final decision becomes and you might even be dissatisfied with the outcome because of lengthy procrastination. Procrastinating on a decision can also lead to a snowball effect where you have myriad decisions piling up and in the face of them, the decision making is daunting.
On the flipside, though, making decisions leads to making even more decisions and accomplishing more than you’d imagined.
When you’re faced with a decision — whether it’s as life changing as: should I relocate? Take a new job? Have a latte or an espresso? — grab pen and paper and write down the worst case scenario for each decision that needs to be made. After that write down the reasons why you can’t simply reverse the decision once you’ve made it. If you find yourself going down a path that simply isn’t, or hasn’t, worked out. Take steps to reserve it.
Being frozen in place drains your energy and saps your emotional strength. Are you procrastinating any decisions?
Let’s face it, there are tasks that we undertake in our lives and in our businesses that we truly love and there are tasks that we dislike so much that we will procrastinate on them until all we are faced with are those tasks which sap our energy and our productivity.
As business owners, we need to know what our core competencies are and embrace those. We also need to admit there are tasks for which we are simply not suited (social media, marketing, bookkeeping, etc.) and we need to find a trusted partner with whom we can trust those activities so that we can focus on our core skills.
You likely got into business for yourself because you have a skill to offer, a problem that you can fix for your clients, and a need that your skills or products can fill, right? Savvy business owners know that they shouldn’t let the tasks that they simply don’t enjoy or at which they don’t excel get in the way of running the business that they love. To effect that, they have learned to outsource.
Outsourcing simply makes sense, especially if you look at the time and money you will be losing by struggling to complete payroll tasks or write press releases. Your expertise is what makes your business valued by your clients. Relying on the expertise of others to complete other tasks will enhance your productivity and your business’s bottom line.
Yes, there will be upfront costs to pay for outsourcing, but the benefits you reap will more than make up for that. Are you focusing on your core competencies or being bogged down by tasks for which you’re not suited?
Business owners invest in the business by purchasing equipment and hiring staff, but how often does the business owner invest in him or herself? Taking time to invest in yourself will help you reap rewards.
Here are some ways the entrepreneur can invest in himself:
- Education matters. Continuing education in your profession is always a wise investment. Are there certifications you can earn? Courses you can take that will help keep you up on current technologies? Any education that can set you apart from the competition?
- Investing in yourself outside of the realms of the business is crucial to mind and body. What can you do that will advance your life’s purpose? Are there goals you are working toward? Take steps every day to achieve them.
- Stay healthy. As an entrepreneur the stresses are many and varied. You need to take time every day to exercise and eat with mindfulness. Better health will help you perform at your peak and will also give you more energy and reduce your stress.
- Cultivate relationships. Yes, it takes a lot of hours and effort to sustain a business that will support yourself and your family. You also need to invest in your relationships though. Schedule time off for family time. Cultivating relationships also extends to business and networking events. No entrepreneur can exist in a vacuum.
- Plan for the future. Whether the business is brand new or if you’ve been working it for decades, the future will be here before you know it and you need to be prepared to face it head on. Whether that means, saving and investing for retirement or working toward a goal for the time when you close the business and move onto other endeavors, you need to have a conscious plan for it.
What are you doing to invest in yourself?