If your business is keeping you up at night instead of energizing you to jump out of bed in the morning, you may need a mindset adjustment. Here are a few suggestions:
Change Focus: At times when all you can think about are your issues and fears, spend a day in quiet retreat. Turn off the phones and the screens and reflect on the following:
Reacquaint with your Strategic Framework: The elements of a strategic framework are your business mission, vision, core values, and strategic thrusts. These are the “big picture” foundation of your business and there are times when we all need to reacquaint ourselves with the reasons we started our business, the reason our business exists, the vision we have for how our business serves our personal lives and the lives of our customers. For me, it’s like a shot of adrenaline when I gift myself time to reflect on my purpose and values, make resolutions and plans that re-align my thinking and activities with this framework.
Reflect on your achievements over the past year and over the past 3-5 years. You will gain strength and inspiration from the realization of goals accomplished, lives impacted in a positive way through you and your business. Often reflection reminds us of big issues we’ve overcome in the past, the fears that never materialized (sleepless nights wasted) and the creativity we’ve applied in the past to turn issues into opportunities.
Are you just overwhelmed and stressed from doing too much by yourself? Often we aren’t’ thinking with a positive mindset if we’re stressed out. What activities can you delegate or outsource so you have the time and energy to focus on the big picture?
Eliminate negative influences from your life. If watching news creates stress and worry, turn it off. Try to minimize time spent with people who spread anxiety if you don’t feel strong enough to diffuse their negativity with a positive thought. Negative social media getting to you? Eliminate it from your online timelines and newsfeeds.
Change Perspective: Looking at a problem from a different angle raises different options which can alter your approach to the issue.
Ask yourself if this “issue” can be viewed as an opportunity. Isn’t that where we entrepreneurs shine, seeing the “issues” of this world and providing solutions? Sit down and brainstorm a list of the positive opportunities that can be derived from this problem.
Ask advice from your support community. If you don’t have a support community, use this as an opportunity to develop one. Every entrepreneur can benefit from power partners in whatever form works best for you – a coach, a mentor, an online forum, a mastermind team, an advisory board, etc.
Look at the issue in a detached way. If a colleague shared this problem with you over coffee, what would you advise? I find we often intuitively know the answer but don’t act on our own advice.
Take a holistic view of your business by using a SWOT analysis. Quickly brainstorm your current situation by developing a full list of strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats facing your business at this time. Concerned about a potential new competitor? A quick SWOT may remind you of your strengths compared to them or the opportunities you have due to exclusive supplier relationships…the possibilities are endless.
Change Scenery: Put distance between yourself and your business on a regular basis.
Regular vacations are essential for your own health and the health of your business but it’s obviously not an option every time you’re faced with an issue. Consider other personal habits and practices of self-care to reduce stress.
Take a walk. Run. Ride a bike. Hike. Get up and get away from your office. Studies show the benefits of physical exercise for the entrepreneur.
Distract yourself. Go to a movie. Have dinner with friends. Play with your dog. Go fishing. Indulge your hobbies. Take a weekend out of town and don’t talk about work! It’s amazing what a break can do for your mental state, providing you with the clarity that constant focus cannot reveal.
Take up a silent practice – meditation, EFT (tapping), prayer, yoga – any active practice that frees your mind from thoughts of worry and replaces them with stillness or positive affirmations. Activity that is good for the health and soul of the entrepreneur is good for the soul of your business. Your personal peace brings peace to all around you.
Entrepreneurship is a journey of courage and resilience. No entrepreneur is promised a path of perfection – problems come with the territory. Applying a few tactics to changing your mindset will strengthen you for inevitable challenges and give you greater satisfaction when you reach the ultimate success.
Small Steps to a Better than Ever Business…
Choose one area above which resonates for you – how about the one you read and immediately thought “I know I can better at this…?” If you’ve been neglecting self-care, take a walk or begin a meditation practice. If you’ve lost focus on the long-term vision for your business, spend a few minutes today renewing your soul and enthusiasm by reviewing your vision and core values. Reflect on how far you’ve come from when those words were first written. Repeat again tomorrow and the next day.