Blocking Negativity: The Best Ways to Maintain a Positive Outlook / Managing / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Owning or managing a business is tough work. Even if it's your life's passion, negativity can creep in. Here's how to stop it.

Business ownership is stressful. There are days when it feels like all you do is work, from the moment your feet hit the floor to the late hour that your head hits the pillow.

Even if your business is your passion and represents all that you’ve ever wanted to do with your life, some days it is just plain hard to keep a smile on your face as you go through the work day.

In those moments where negativity starts to creep in, it’s important to redirect that energy towards something positive instead.

When you consciously realign your thinking to target what is really important about your business journey, good things will come of it.

By learning to recognize the signs of negativity, either from the outside or from within your organization, you can combat them head on and come out smiling.

Keep Your Goals Front and Center

Everyone needs to work to earn a living but if you are constantly in the pursuit of money, it cheapens your work. Instead, you should target the ways that the money and success will improve your life and those of your loved ones.

What are the specific ways that your business is going to benefit you and raise your quality of life? Write down those financial goals and read them aloud on a daily basis. It’s not just about making money. You need to determine what that money will do to make your life better.

There may be other reasons you want your small business to succeed: time, freedom with your family, and being able to pursue your passion every day are common ones. Write those down too. What will you do with that extra time? What will you write, invent or create when you have that extra time to do it? Cut out photos that represent your goals or create a dream board that you look at every day.

Be specific about your goals and then remind yourself what they are regularly. When you have a rough day on the job, read those goals aloud or spend a few minutes with your dream board. It will remind you that the low moments are worth it to reach your high goals.

Related Article: 7 Affordable Productivity Tools for Small Business Owners

Master the Mundane

In his bestselling leadership book The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson talks about how successful people do what others are unwilling to do. In the book he says, “Successful people just do the things that seem to make no difference in the act of doing them, and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in.”

Small business owners may have more control over their time and financial future than traditional employees, but that doesn’t mean every day is a happy one. Some days it may feel like the basic things like following up with customers, posting to your blog and social media accounts, and even answering emails is not getting you anywhere.

You may feel like you are getting exponentially more doors slammed in your face than opened to you, but that is what the road to success looks like. A lot of the word “no” but a few important “yes.” The compilation of all of those things little things that you do for your small business count. Get really good at doing the day in and day out tasks of building your small business and that consistency will pay off.

Stop Looking for Approval

Of course, you need some people to like the idea of your small business so that you have customers, but you can’t let the disapproval of a few people deter you. Sometimes the loudest dissenters are the people who are closest to you, and that can make the already-tenuous journey of small business ownership even harder.

It’s important to remember that your business is your own. It belongs to you. The only person who can make it succeed or fail is you – with the help of the people you hand-pick to go along with you.

Success speaks for itself. Work towards achieving your goals for yourself first and then if others see the bigger picture too, that’s just a bonus.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

A small business owner generally associates his or her identity with the company name. When you work for someone else, you may feel a twinge of anger if someone insults it, but your loyalty is surface level.

When someone insults the small business that you created, you launched, you run – it can feel like a slap in the face. You can’t let it though. If someone takes the time to cut down your small business, and you by extension, learn from the feedback and move on. You have plenty more potential customers out there who could love your products or services, and they deserve your positive energy. 

Related Article: The Most Inspiring Books for Small Business Owners

Prioritize Your Health

Exercise. Eat a balanced diet. Sleep enough. Meditate, pray or talk to a therapist to rid yourself of any stress that is weighing you down. You should never be a martyr for your small business cause. If you aren’t healthy, then you won’t make smart decisions, and you won’t be at your most productive levels.

You should always put yourself ahead of your small business. It is a piece of who you are but not the whole person.

There will always be a week when you don’t get to the gym as much as you’d like, or you have a few sleepless nights before a new product launch. Don’t let these things be your norm, though. Your small business will be more successful if you are at your peak strength and health. 

The best part about seeking a positive outlook is that it is contagious. Your employees, customers, and vendors will interact more positively with you if they feel that eternal optimism. Recognize that there will always be bad days but find a silver lining in each one.

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