If you want to be successful in business, you need to learn to channel and improve positivity. This becomes even more important when you’re running a startup.
The early years of a startup are taxing ones, especially if the startup is an ambitious one and has had a lot of investment put into it. The stress can be unbelievable, and it is important to find avenues to either alleviate that stress or to sublimate it into an emotion that is more conducive to productivity.
I looked back over my many years in business and found that I have engaged in many different activities in order to stay positive, but these are by far my top five.
This is a difficult one for an executive to do, especially an executive in a startup. You can get so caught up in the day-to-day grind, the urgent necessity to get in new business, to handle accounting, to get in seed funds. In the midst of all these problems, you might think that it is utterly and completely impossible to take even five minutes out of your day for a stroll.
But it’s vital. I can tell you this from personal experience.
Not only is staring at a screen for too long bad for your vision, but you can also become far too fixated on the immediate problem (or problems) which face you to find any solution to them.
Take a walk. Look outside. Catch a breather. Forget the workday for just a few minutes. You’ll find that you’re far more energetic and positive when you return to the office.
You need to switch off social media, the news, your emails, everything before you go to bed. Forget the business, forget the online world. Do something enjoyable that does not involve the internet.
Read a book — an actual paperback book instead of your Kindle or other e-readers. Or take up a hobby that has you working with your hands. Cook something — anything that gets you out of the digital world and disconnected from work. You’ll find you’re much more refreshed in the mornings, and far more likely to remain positive about the upcoming workday.
Startups and entrepreneurship are all about the excitement of creating something new. We entrepreneurs are a special breed. In a sense, we’re artists — sculpting our businesses and our future until we realize the final product many years later: Our masterpiece, a business worth having and working in.
It’s not about money, it’s about creating something BIG.
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of micromanagement, not only with your employees but also yourself — tidying up every little thing when it really just needs to be left alone.
If you sit down and plan things, work things out for your business, layout the BIG goals and targets, you’ll find that your mental attitude expands to encompass new avenues.
This action of planning things does wonders to stop sweating the little things and increase your positivity.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The first few years of a startup can be tough. And your staff are in it as much as you are.
Focus on the wins and reward your staff every time a small victory is obtained — a new client, a weekly revenue target, anything.
And the rewards don’t have to be extravagant. It can be as simple as closing early on a Friday afternoon and buying cake and drinks for everyone, or maybe a bunch of movie tickets or football match tickets for the crew. It doesn’t matter so much what the reward is, only that there is a reward.
Positivity is contagious, and if your staff feel like the startup is moving forward like their efforts are appreciated, their own positivity will rub off on you and vice versa until an immense sense of camaraderie is generated in the team. And that’s when things really start rolling.
As an entrepreneur, you don’t have the luxury of ever stopping your education. Whether that education comes in the form of books you read at night (see point #2 above) or actual courses and degrees that you take in order to add to your qualifications, you must continue to improve your abilities.
It is your abilities that will take your startup to success or lead it down to failure. A good team will get you there, but you are ultimately responsible for the team’s production. You are responsible for finding that team.
The more you learn, the more you educate yourself, the more know-how you will have to improve your business and to pick the right people to help you.
Better education leads to better chances of success, and nothing cranks up a sense of positivity like success itself.
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