How to Stay Encouraged - 10 Tips to Keep You on Top
By Victoria K. Munro
Victoria K. Munro is co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small business .
Running a business, especially in the early years, can be an emotional roller-coaster ride. Running the many facets of the business, managing cash flow, handling difficult clients, adapting to changing markets, and all in an unpredictable economy, can be overwhelming. On top of that, life simply isn't always fair. Some days, it's easy to become discouraged and let the inner fire that inspired you to launch this venture wane. There are times when we all need encouragement.
Below are 10 tips to help you stay encouraged and press on in spite of the ups and downs, adversities and setbacks you may face.
1. Be careful what you think. Our thoughts have enormous power to affect how we feel. They determine our attitude. Read or listen to positive, inspirational books and reflect on what you learn.
2. Seek out someone you can encourage. Others around you need your help and support. Reaching out to someone else will lift your spirits too.
3. Think about what motivated you to start your business. It was probably more than a paycheck. Perhaps something you're passionate about that will make the world a better place. Maybe something you enjoy and are really good at. Review and recommit to your company mission. Write or rewrite the vision you have for the business.
4. Don't try to do it alone. Recruit a team of cheerleaders. Surround yourself with positive, upbeat people who can be your sounding board and provide the business know-how you need. Choose those who'll be honest with you, yet give the emotional support and encouragement we all need when the going gets tough-your own personal board of advisors.
5. Focus on the positive. Be aware of and stop all negative self-talk. Write out and repeat positive affirmations.
6. View setbacks as stepping-stones to success. Don't waste time and energy rehearsing past (or possible future) negative events. Determine to learn from every obstacle in your path and every mistake you make. These experiences, the lessons learned and knowledge gained will serve you well in the future, and better equip you to help others.
7. Find someone to brainstorm with, bounce ideas off and learn from. Just sharing your frustrations and challenges with another can lighten the load. Consider hiring a personal or business coach.
8. Smile often. Studies show that smiling releases endorphins that make us feel good. It also causes a measurable reduction in our blood pressure. Try it! It works, even when you don't feel like smiling.
9. Create a pleasant environment you enjoy working in. Our surroundings affect the way we feel. When the sun is shining, it's easier to be cheerful. Music can also be a powerfully enriching tool to calm and revitalize us.
10. Be good to yourself. Take a break. Go for a walk and enjoy nature. Do something different. Take a mini vacation-get away for a day or two and refocus.
Victoria K. Munro is co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small business owners through creatively designed programs and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses.
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