Have you ever been in that situation where, out of ten tasks you do nine right and one wrong, and the people around you talk only about that one task you got wrong? Welcome to the world of an entrepreneur in the 21st century business. Human nature, albeit basically good, has a strong proclivity for negativity in numerous avatars – complaining, self-doubt, negative assumptions, preconceived ideas, worrying, premature judging and blaming, among many more.
Without a shred of a doubt, entrepreneurs can say that their job isn’t easy. Neither was their road to becoming successful businesspersons. Their lives are stressful, erratic and fraught with failures and risk. Negativity of any kind has the potential to cripple an entrepreneur’s spirit and send his/her thought process into a downward spiral. A handful of pointers can help budding and veteran entrepreneurs combat negativity.
Some of the punchy reasons why entrepreneurship appeals so much to people as a career option are:
- Play fire with fire: When a negative thought comes knocking into your mind, shoo it away by picturing a positive thought/moment/idea. Timing is key here – you can’t let the negative thought branch out. Nip it in the bud by imagining a nice moment you had in the past week or month. So, if you’re thinking, “Will anybody ever accept this product for their enterprise?”, replace it instantly with a recent photo of your startup receiving funding from your investor.
- Trust your gut: Very often as an entrepreneur, you will arrive at decision roads that diverge into two, three or more smaller roads. To assist in making the right choice, you fall back to trusty advisors, mentors, family and friends. Some of these characters might oppose, deflect or even belittle your ideas. During these moments, it’s imperative to stick to what your gut says. Remember why you started up this business. If the person giving you advice shares the same vision as you, perhaps it’s worth considering.
- Shift of responsibility: As the head of your organization, you must be dole out responsibility to two types of people: one who thinks he/she cannot accomplish a seemingly arduous task and the second who just squabbles about his/her role. Both types heavily and negatively impact the company’s performance. You can soothe the first type’s workload by either assigning help or by making them recognize their responsibility so that they don’t get around to complaining about their work. The second type is more dangerous: this person will crib just about anything – the office, the work hours, the management, colleagues or their work. When they rant about these issues, a good retort would be to hand responsibility back to them by saying, “How do you plan to change that?” It might even push them to finding out a cracker of a solution for the problem!
- Attitude procreates following: There’s a story of two footwear salesmen going to a town that doesn’t use any footwear. Salesman 1 mumbles, “There’s no one who wears shoes here, so how can I ever sell in this town?” Salesman 2 with a bright smile on his face contrasts, “There’s no one who wears shoes here, that’s exactly why they will buy my shoes.” The second salesman’s attitude breeds positivity and is exactly what’s required to reach the peaks of entrepreneurship.
- Learning forgiveness: The art of forgiveness is one of the veins of entrepreneurial leadership. You will always have lapses in work – your finance colleague might get an MS excel formula wrong, your shipment might arrive later than usual, you might miss a deadline to submit an uber-important report. These situations inevitably lead to frowns, fear and fights. It’s near impossible to get everything right all the time. So, adopt forgiveness, to others and to yourself. Crying over something bad that has happened is never going to change that outcome. Instead if you tune out and tune back in with a fresh perspective, things will get better.
We are all facing battles everyday as entrepreneurs. But we’ve been given the privilege to solidify our attitudes, sharpen our minds and positively influence the people around us. By practicing some of the above points, we have the power to shape the world economy into what we want it to be.
It’s true that entrepreneurs have both financial and non-financial metrics to gauge their success. What success means is extensively subjective – a clandestine concept in every entrepreneur’s mind that wants to make a difference in their own and other’s lives.