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We are often faced with negativity in our entrepreneurial journey — not everything will go the way we want it to. If you fail, embrace it, get up off the ground and try again.
That’s easier said than done, right?
How you react during difficult times has a lot to do with your mindset. If you have a negative mindset, it’s very difficult to improve anything. But, a positive mindset will help you overcome difficult situations or people and put them in your rear-view mirror. Here are five ways to help you maintain a positive mindset during difficult times.
1. Remove all negativity from your life.
It's simple: If you surround yourself with positive people, then their positivity will often rub off on you. Unfortunately, negative people's negativity also rubs off. So, just like you might quarantine a contagious patient, you have to be willing to distance yourself from people who create a negative environment.
“It’s not always the easiest thing to do, but removing negative individuals or situations from your life will greatly improve your mindset. When you maintain a positive mindset, you are less likely to be thrown completely off course when you are faced with a difficult situation,” offers Kevin Adkins, CEO of Kenmore Law Group.
I know without a doubt that distancing myself from negativity has had a tremendous impact on my life — both personally and professionally. Get rid of the Twitter trolls. Separate yourself from negativity and negative people. Once you've done that, you'll be in a good position to handle any situation in your personal or professional life.
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2. Always have a detailed plan.
Any time you have a detailed plan mapped out in advance, you will recover from negative experiences much faster than you would if you were just winging it along the way. Jacob Taylor, CEO of Luxe Water Walls agrees, saying, “Without a plan of action, a difficult situation is going to take much longer to overcome. With a plan mapped out, you know what you need to do to get from point A to point B. When the going gets rough, a lack of direction can not only stall your progress, but also lead to a complete collapse.”
Creating a detailed plan helped me reach all of my entrepreneurial goals, whether those goals included building and scaling a digital marketing agency or launching an e-commerce brand in a week. A good way to map out your goals is to define a starting point and an end goal, then fill in the middle with as much detail as possible, breaking every major milestone into smaller micro-goals.
I have had plenty of negative experiences in business, but I didn't let that negativity get me down. Instead, I used a positive mindset to move forward. Giving up is the easy way out, but when your mind is in a good place, you won't even consider surrending.
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3. Accept reality — even if it's a negative reality.
Life as an entrepreneur can be brutal, and accepting reality isn't always easy. You might think you have the best idea for a product or service, but then the market dictates otherwise. People might not respond with the positivity you expected — they might get even give negative or feedback — or it might not be as scalable as you thought.
When confronted with a problem, the sooner you can accept reality, the quicker you can move on. Realizing that your idea can't get off the ground would be a huge blow, taking the wind out of your sails.
But, in that moment, you have two choices: You can either wallow in negativity or remain positive and move on to your next idea.
James Dyson, creator of Dyson vacuum cleaners, is a good example. He created 5,127 prototypes, all failures, until he produced the first successful unit.
This was over a fifteen years! I don't know if I could go so long without getting bitter or negative about the process, but I can promise you that his positive mindset is responsible for his current net worth, which Bloomberg lists at more than $8 billion.
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4. Don’t let personal emotions — positive or negative — affect business decisions.
If you're in a really negative situation, sometimes you are better off cutting your losses and moving on. If you can remove personal emotions during difficult times, you will make more positive decisions for you and your business.
“Entrepreneurs are very passionate people, and the last thing someone wants to admit is that his or her idea sucks. If the ship is sinking, you need to be able to jump, and fast. By removing personal emotions from the situation, you are able to make decisions that will help to get you out of a bad situation as quickly as possible,” says Jacky Chou, Founder of Indexsy.
Too often, personal emotions — whether positivity or negativity — get in the way of good business. Just remember the first rule: if it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense.
5. Turn negative moments into new opportunities.
When something devastating occurs, like a failed business, you can either let it destroy you or motivate you. When one door is closing, look for another door opening. I can’t tell you how many times I have failed over the years. Early on, I found myself stuck in a rut of negativity. I hated what I was doing. My only positive takeaway about my ventures was that I enjoyed marketing, which eventually led me to launching my own marketing agency seven years ago.
I turned something I hated into something I loved. Something negative into something positive. All because of mindset.
“If you find yourself struggling or faced with a situation that isn’t ideal, look for a new opportunity. A bad situation can be pivoted into something more positive as long as your mindset is right,” suggests Mark Ortiz, Founder of Reviewing This.
“I’ve made billions of dollars of failures at Amazon.com,” says Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. “Literally billions . . . . Companies that don’t embrace failure and continue to experiment eventually get in the desperate position where the only thing they can do is make a Hail Mary bet at the end of their corporate existence.”
The entrepreneurial lifestyle is a good one, but it isn't easy. You're going to face plenty of negativity, frustration and failure. That's just how business works. During those negative times, you need to make sure you have the right people around you because your mindset is greatly impacted by the people you surround yourself with. If you have negative people around you, then their negativity is will affect you. But, if you have good, positive people around to help pick you back up, then their positivity will bolster you and can make that difficult road easier.
If you ever need someone to talk to when the going gets tough, reach out. I always try to make time for other entrepreneurs. You can hit me up on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn.