This column is by Marketer & Blogger Steven Sefton
Have you ever had a day in a business where one minute you’re elevated, on top of the world and next minute you’re back on the ground?
Yeah, me too!
Owning a business brings so many ups and downs. All in one day. Sometimes within a few minutes.
As an entrepreneur, you’re at war with evil uncertainty every day. Will we bring in enough money to pay the staff this month? Will that investment pay off? Will we lose clients?
And then, business anxiety kicks in.
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. Worrying about something that actually hasn’t happened yet.”
Is it not the end of the month. Your clients are still yours. If the investment doesn’t work out, so what, you’ll know better next time.
If you worry about the end of the month, you can’t possibly do your best work for your customers. Focus on doing great work now for your client and you will never lose them.
If you did your homework, your investment should pay off. If it doesn’t, then it’s called failure. Something you will do over and over again unless you build in systems and rules into your business life (more on this later).
If you can’t cope with failure, work on an Asda (Walmart in the U.S.) checkout. You will get that right 999 times out of a thousand.
Sorry for being a little hasty, but it’s the entrepreneur life we are committed to, and I’m here to help and give you some tips on how I lead my business and personal life to avoid business anxiety.
1. Learn to say NO
Are you a people pleaser? I am!
It’s a great way to be, but it comes with its downfalls.
You take on a customer that doesn’t work out to be a perfect match for either you and for them. It happens. You work hard on the relationship and you do your best work but the relationship still doesn’t work out.
Or you take on more work from a customer you love, even though you know you don’t really have the time to do it right now. You squeeze it in and it isn’t your best work.
Learn to say NO or get help. Your customer will respect you more. You will keep everyone happy, including yourself and you continue doing great work.
2. Do your best work, don’t aim for perfection
Is perfectionism holding you back?
There’s always room for improvements, especially in business. You could spend ten gruelling hours on writing the best piece of content for your blog. You publish it, promote it and then when you analyse everything, you will find ways you could have done better or ways to improve.
Do your best work at that time and if you find ways to improve, great! Use these to improve next time. Don’t let perfectionism get in the way from actually doing things.
Be brave and put out your best work. If it’s not great this time, next time it will be better. It’s the only way to grow.
This blog article isn’t perfect but I know I will help at least one person and that stops me from worrying ‘what if’. I also know that it’s my best work at this very moment and writing it is actually driving these points even deeper into my mind. That must count for something, right?
3. Create rules
You should do this! You should do that! Both statements contradict each other and you don’t know what choice to make. Have you ever felt that?
I have many times.
Rules can be practical. They take away procrastination. Once you have written down your rules of life and business, you don’t need to spend time thinking what should I do here.
A simple example could be: I’m not going to use Facebook for my business because I want to concentrate all my time using LinkedIn to generate enquiries. I prefer the platform and all my peers are on there. My customers are on there, too.
Once you have this rule imprinted in your head, no more worry from people telling you, you’re losing money by not using Facebook, it has the whole world on there, it’s ad platform is great and you’re missing potential clicks.
All this may be true, but none of this matters to you because your rule is your rule. It’s your decision. You have a plan and you stick to it.
I recently started swimming. No headphones. No phone. No notepad. Exercising without distractions and in silence (except for chatty women, but I just swim away).
This alone time with the noise of my own thoughts has helped me in so many ways. I’m making better plans for my business and personal life. If I have an idea whilst swimming my brain has time to think it through instead of going straight online to get confirmation from an article which is written by someone else.
These moments swimming have not only expanded my thought process but they have motivated me during the day. I normally go swimming just before lunch, after busting out some tasks in the morning. Then, I get back to work and implement those new ideas.
Oh, and it’s good for your health apparently.
My wife taught me about mindfulness. It’s something business owners don’t know how to be sometimes.
In business, we have goals. Reach 1,000 fans on Facebook. Make 100k this year. And so on. We’re always thinking about that end goal and sometimes we’re not content with what’s happening right now, in this present moment.
I ask myself this question in the morning — What do I need to do today to make sure that it takes me one step closer to my goals?
That may be in health, relationships, business, wealth, spiritual and personal growth. I have goals in all of these areas. They work like legs of a table. If one is broken, it affects the rest.
At the end of the day I ask myself this — Did I take myself one step closer to my goals today?
If the answer is ‘YES’ then I know today was a success and I can celebrate that by feeling good about the day. If the answer is ‘NO’ you know what to do tomorrow.
6. So what?
It’s ok to lose a customer. There, I’ve said it. It’s not the end of the world.
Remember how you felt when you lost a client or customer. You have a somber feeling come over you for a while and then you get angry and say, how could they leave me? Then soon after, you pick yourself up and get back to work. I bet you’ve had clients, and lost them, but now you haven’t thought about them for a long time, right?
That is all wasted energy.
You worry about the possibility of losing a client and when you do lose them, you forget about them after a while anyway. Time to stop worrying about what could happen. Work with your clients you have NOW and do your best work for them, NOW.
If they leave, they leave. The only thing you have to do is work with integrity. Today, and every day.
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