Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tips for Getting Through Your Worst Days

As entrepreneurs we all have them... days where we ask ourselves:  "Why do I do it?"  "It is so much easier to get a job."  But fact is, if that were true for you, you would not have been in business for yourself.  What we need, rather, is perspective to help us survive the tough times.

Here is a really neat blog post on - see the excerpt below - great inspiration for those bad days.

Written by Michael Hess, he asked 100 entrepreneurs how they get through their worst days and here are some of the responses he received.  He classified the responses as "Inward-looking" and "Outward- looking":

"Outward-looking people tend to focus on the business itself and the big picture, in a fairly unemotional and matter-of-fact manner, and may also take advantage of outside resources and support:
  • “Compartmentalize… when budgets got real lean I compartmentalized the immediate pain of a tight budget and kept the long term goal in mind.” -Jeff Brodsly, Co-Owner, Elite Merchant Solutions
  • “Think around the problem… there is always another way to look at something, a way to tackle it that has not yet been tried.” — Pamela Barefoot, President, Blue Crab Bay
  • “My philosophy on managing my attitude when things are stressful focuses around four things: Mission, Vision, Values and a Realistic view of the financial situation.” — Doug Burgoyne, President, Frogbox
  • “I make 100 decisions a day, 99 of which I don’t want to think about. The little things cannot be ignored and take up a big portion of your time as a business owner, but keeping the big picture in focus is vital to survival” — Retha Sandler, President,Blamtastic
  • “Perspective allows me to know that just about any successful business does not follow the plan it starts out with… Groupon [for example] was originally a cause-based message board. Call it adjusting or pivoting, whatever. I call it ‘zagging.’” — Dave DuPont, CEO, Teamsnap
  • “Once a week, I review my business plan, review our top projects list, look through the marketing calendar and the financials. I believe you plan or get planned for” — Ellen Rohr, President, Bare Bones Biz
  • “I subscribe to the Vince Lombardi philosophy of winning in the workplace: when things are tough you must get better at what you do.” — Venanzio Ciampa, President, The Promotion Factory
  • “I stay in action. Action alleviates anxiety. I feel better when I am actively doing things to promote my business.” — BJ Gallagher, sociologist/author, Peacock Productions
Inward-looking people use different tools to keep themselves where they want and need to be. They may be philosophical, spiritual, physical, or psychological, but they tend to revolve around introspection, perspective, and mindfulness:
  • “You HAVE to know your purpose for running your company in the first place! Why does your business exist? Who do you serve? What do they need most from you, right now? 99% of business owners do not take the time for this introspection.” — Christian T Russell, Dangerous TACTICS
  • “I remind myself that nobody is making me do this. I chose to build a company… I can stop if I want. This always reminds me that I’d be miserable doing anything else.” — J.T. O’Donnell, President, Careerealism
  • “We mindfully approach unlikable or frustrating things with an attitude of kindness… most important, be kind to ourselves and our staff by remembering that the reason we are in business is to serve others.” — Mitch and Jen, The Paw House Inn
  • “To maintain a healthy perspective we take inventory of the great attributes of our company… Instead of cringing at challenges, we try to savor them… and reflect upon past triumphs.” — Adam Anthony, CEO, Creo Care
  • “Focus on what you have to work with, not what you don’t have. Positivity is everything. Meditating is also key. Anything you can do to keep your head in the game and keep your cool.” — David Collier, President, Ink Floyd Screen Printing
  • “Repeat to yourself that ‘worry’ is a waste of mental resources. I concentrate on what I can control.” — Kenneth Lebersfeld, CEO, Capitol Lighting
  • “I have a “mantra” of sorts, summed up in three words: “Okay; now what?” using [the challenging moment] as the starting point for planning what to do and how to forge ahead.” — Alan Simon, President, Thinking Helmet "

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