Running a business is one of the quickest ways to learn about the type of person you are. Whether you take enough time to invest in yourself, or even if you have the relevant know-how, running a business requires endurance. And that mental strength can be challenging to locate, especially when you are feeling in over your head all the time. As such, when you start to learn about the real day-to-day issues associated with running a company, with lots of moving parts, and you are responsible for people’s livelihoods and finances, you need to learn the best tricks to develop a sense of mental strength.
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
We live in an age where there’s so much in the way of pointless information and facts. As we start to focus on the important aspects of running a business, you have to figure out a way to filter out those unimportant thoughts. It’s always about focusing on the bigger picture, and when we get sidetracked by these little components, they are unhealthy, severely distracting, but inherently useless. Instead, you’ve got to find ways to either outsource these little thoughts that are not giving you the opportunity to focus on the bigger picture or block them out of your mind completely. A good example is a meeting because it can feel intimidating in that boardroom, with so many people complaining about the littlest things that you don’t really have the time for. But the fact of life is that these people will complain to the ends of the earth. There are little ways to get through these things; look at the Borgata guide on getting through meetings, we live in an age where there’s so much overload, these little things can add up to a lot. It’s easy to say don’t sweat the small stuff, but if you can’t help but sweat over these things, perhaps you need to outsource them?
Facing Your Fears
We avoid things that we are scared of, but when we do this, we let our fears govern our actions. Our fears will, over time, become a weakness. Instead, we have to regain control over the situation, either by facing our fears or letting this become a habit in our daily lives. They say you should do something every day that scares you, and the more you expose yourself to the situations, the more desensitized you become. As such, controlling your perception of the situation is crucial to get a better understanding of your own fears, especially when they are pivotal to improving your business, it’s important to engage with these things. Exposing yourself in those places outside of your comfort zone works to calm you down, albeit not in the short-term. But also you realize that you built it up more in your mind. This is something that goes back to childhood. We get scared of new situations, and once we jump in, they are usually not as bad as we think they are.
A Stoic philosophy, in a general sense, is about reacting to situations with a clearer and thoughtful head on your shoulders. It’s always our reaction to situations that result in stress. When we feel out of control, unable to see the bigger picture, if we practice our emotional responses to the situation, this helps us to navigate the problem, and this will result in less anxiety. So many of us can’t help but feel that anxiety. But if we start to embrace stoicism, a more logical approach to dealing with stress, and managing our emotions, we will more often than not come up with the right solution to the problem. We’ve all been there when we feel anxiety racing around our mind and body, how can we even think about making the right decision when we feel so much stress? Part of running a business is about facing reality but there are things beyond your control, whether this is in relation to dealing with aspects of the supply chain, or it’s about conflict with clients or employees. It’s good for us not to let your emotions get the better of us. As they say, “it’s not personal, just business.” And in fact, as soon as we come to terms with this little expression, it can open us up in so many different ways.
Moving On From Failure
It’s part of our existence. One of the biggest mistakes we make is suffering from setbacks. We feel that we’re a failure, we start to doubt our abilities, and as such, we start to let this cloud our work. If naturally, you tend to feel weaker after a setback, you will deliver more ineffective efforts subsequently. Self-pity is a complete waste of time, but if this is your go-to emotion, you should learn to retrain your brain. There are many different ways you can do this; reframing the situation, positive self-talk, and learning from those that have been there before you are a few. You can take inspiration from the philosopher Boethius, that life is cyclical, like a wheel, in nature. Good times pass away, but so do the bad. And this can certainly help you to develop a more Stoic philosophy when you start to realize there are things beyond your control, and failure is a part of life, this is when you can begin to move on. Use failures as learning experiences. In life, there are so many people willing to jump on us and point out our shortcomings, but these aren’t helpful, and in fact, are downright toxic. This is another lesson we have to learn: if we really want to run a business, we’ve got to get rid of any form of negativity.
Look At Yourself As A Work In Progress
Nobody’s perfect, and those leaders that believe their opinion to be the true one can go take a flying leap. In fact, great leaders listen, develop, and learn along with their employees. It’s common that many people, in order to feel they are in charge of something bark orders and play the role of bossy boss to perfection. But the great leaders don’t separate themselves from the employees. Yes, you will encounter people that want to suck up to you, and have ulterior motives, but for your sense of sanity, you’ve got to believe you are fallible. If you start to love the sound of your own voice and don’t think you need to learn anything, it’s these moments that you will look back on with she regret. Always be the dumbest person in the boardroom, even if you are in charge. You have the opportunity to learn more about people by just listening, and while you have the final say, if you want to lead a group of people, you can’t separate yourself from them.
Having a mental strength to run a business doesn’t happen overnight, but it can be a long journey to understand, not just what you’re made of, but also how difficult turning the mirror onto yourself can be. As we learn the ropes, understand our skills and failures, our business improves, and so do we. Call it grit, determination, resilience, whatever the strong personality trait you hold in high regards, embrace them, learn from them, but remember to give yourself that breathing space. Running a company is stressful, and it can feel like we are in a vacuum of sorts that doesn’t allow us to breathe the air that others do. Life is a rich tapestry, and you can use lessons from everywhere to fuel yourself.