Latest posts by M DeMarco (see all)
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They say “winners never quit and quitters never win.”
And we say… “not always.”
Because when starting your own business, you inevitably will encounter tough times. And in those times, you may need to rethink your approach for one that better serves your growing biz and you.
The most successful entrepreneurs let go of the things that no longer serve them. You can too by using these 5 habits to replace their less beneficial counterpart.
GO OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE
We are hard-wired to feel fear when we face uncertainty; it’s what kept our ancestors alive when they lived in the wild.
But these days, our biggest enemy is usually ourselves. We imagine threats where there aren’t any. But successful businesswomen learn to think of uncomfortable situations as opportunities rather than potential disasters.
Stay within your comfort zone means staying where you are right now. Approach change with excitement and faith in your abilities; this is how you turn challenges into possibilities.
STOP AVOIDING CONFLICT
Not dodging conflict isn’t the same as looking for a battle to wage. What giving up your fear of conflict means is that you will no longer allow yourself to be stepped on just for the sake of keeping the peace.
Asserting yourself sometimes means you will get pushback. This is especially true for a woman–not all men are able to deal with a woman who won’t back down. But with every disagreement you’re involved in, you are setting precedent. If you don’t stand up for yourself in your first contentious encounter, people will assume you’ll also back down the next time there’s a disagreement. Set them straight the first time–stand up for yourself and your biz.
NEVER MIND PEOPLE’S IDEA OF SUCCESS
Most people equate success with money. But if take a look around, you’ll soon discover that money isn’t a measure of success. From Bernie Madoff to Princess Diana, a quick internet search shows there’s no shortage of rich people who were reportedly unhappy.
So if it’s not money, what is success? People define it differently: Author and poet Maya Angelou says success is enjoying your work. Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, defines it as being, “active and engaged.” Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington interprets success as obtaining four things: wellbeing, wisdom, wonder, and giving.
So how do you come up with your idea of success? Take out pen and paper and imagine what a perfect month in your life would be like. What are you doing for work? Who have you surrounded yourself with? Where are you living? Who are you helping? These are the foundations of what “success” means to you.
DITCH YOUR FEAR OF FAILURE
“Failure is not an option.” Many people think that the flight commander of Apollo 13 said this. Well he didn’t.
It’s a quote from a screenplay–and it’s fiction. A successful person knows that failure is always an option. In fact, the saying, “failure is not an option” has been replace by a new adage: “Fail fast and fail often.”
Why? Because losing teaches you much more than winning can–provided you handle it right. When you strike out, write down exactly what happened and pinpoint your weaknesses.
If you feel yourself being paralyzed by fear, answer the question, “What is the worst thing that could happen if I botch this?” Unless you’re part of a bomb diffusing team, the answer isn’t going to be “certain death.”
FORGET THE 9 TO 5
In the beginning, expect your business to follow you everywhere. You might be able to leave the office, but the office won’t leave you. It’s natural to have thoughts about work running around in your head 24/7. And now that smartphones are a ubiquitous part of our world, can’t use an excuse like, “sorry, I was away from the computer.”
But just because work is taking up most of your time, it doesn’t have to leave you burnt out and alone. Even if you don’t have time to go on vacation, you do have time to talk to a friend, work out for 20 minutes, take a meditation break, and to eat properly. Learn how to beat entrepreneur’s stress before it kicks in.
Sometimes you have to leave things behind if you want to get ahead. If you know what they are you can ditch them before they hold you back!