by Michelle Mazur, Ph.D.
Have you ever felt that when it comes to business your mind is not your friend?
Do you find yourself coming up with plan B, C, D, and Z just in case your plan A business strategy doesn’t work out?
Do you ever feel like you’re going to end up like Chris Farley’s motivational speaker character, “Living in a van down by the river.” (Even though you don’t own a van or live nearby a river)?
I’ve totally been there too. Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely pursuit that not only challenges your business acumen but also challenges your mind, spirit, and emotionally growth.
When your mind is running away with itself, here are 3 pieces of sage business advice to help you make friends with your mind again.
1. Focus on the work not the outcome
You’ve wrapped up a sales conversation with a potential client that you would love to work with. You send her the getting started email and then….NOTHING. You follow-up in a couple of days…still NOTHING.
Your mind starts spinning. You need this money. Why isn’t she emailing you back? She said yes. Why isn’t she following through?
This leads to you checking your email a bazillion times a day to see if she emailed. You feel stressed and miserable.
Why you feel so crappy is because you are trying to control the outcome of your sales chat when really you can’t!
Russell Simmons in his book, Super Rich, tells us that in business you can only control your work never the results of your work.
When you are waiting to hear from a client on whether or not they want to work with you, don’t sit by your email – get back to work. Wrote a blog post that you think should go viral, don’t keep refreshing Google analytics – get back to work.
Being overly focused on what we can’t control creates more stress, unhappiness, and worry. Put your work into the world and then focus on the work of creating your business.
When I shifted my focus to the work and stopped trying to control every little thing in my business, my business began to grow and thrive (not to mention I was a much happier Michelle).
2. Patience is a crucial business strategy
I am the least patient person I know. I want everything to happen on my timeline. I set a goal and then wonder why it’s not happening right now!
My friend and business mentor, Erika Lyremark, blew my mind when she said that patience is a business strategy. Everything takes longer than you want it to.
For example, I had a sales conversation with a speaker 3 months ago. I sent her a proposal then didn’t hear from her again. A couple of days ago she emailed me and said she was ready to work.
I have written blog posts that I thought were amazing, only to take a year for it to get any attention – and then it went viral!
I know there are examples in your own business, of things that you wanted to happen immediately, but came along much later.
Just because something doesn’t happen on your timeline, doesn’t mean it’s NOT going to happen.
Practicing patience as an ongoing business strategy is essential to the success of your business and to keeping you sane in the process.
3. Be a business grower not a shower
You’ve probably seen this post on Facebook. A picture of an entrepreneur’s feet bathed in cerulean blue ocean water with this caption:
“I woke up this morning in beautiful Bali. My Paypal account is overflowing with payments. Everytime my email dings – there’s more money. I’m on track to have my 27th consecutive 6-figure month. Passive income rocks!”
Meanwhile, you’re sitting on your couch, trying to keep you cat off your laptop keyboard, and typing your fingers to the bone. If you’re like me, you might have a few choice four letter words for this type of Facebook post.
Here’s the truth: this type of person is an outlier. The vast majority of business owners are not sitting by the beach, sipping Mai Tai’s, and bragging about their 6-figure lifestyle. Most entrepreneurs are quietly working their booties off and focused on growing their business.
Keep your eye on your business growth and don’t be fooled by business show offs.
It’s time to make your mind your friend again. Shifting your mindset is essential to the success of your business, but it’s also key to keeping you happy and emotionally healthy as you grow your business.
What mindset shift has helped you most in your business? I would love to read about it in the comments.
Michelle Mazur, Ph.D. is the CEO of Communication RebelTM, a boutique communication consultancy specializing in the content development of presentations. To steal a lyric from a terrible Bryan Adams song, she firmly believes “Everything you do. You do it for the audience.” Armed with a Ph.D. in Communication, she has helped hundreds of business leaders and entrepreneurs design and deliver presentations from the audience’s point of view. Her speakers have spoken in front of world leaders, First Ladies, and have raised three times the amount of money than expected for charities.
She believes every presentation should leave a lasting impression and the last words of your presentation are the most important real estate in your speech.
She is also author of the Amazon best-selling book, Speak Up for Your Business: Presentation Secrets for Entrepreneurs Ready to Tell, Sell, and Compel and 3 Word Rebellion.
Michelle lives in Seattle with her adoring husband, 2 obsessive felines, and huge collection of Duran Duran memorabilia. You don’t have to fly to Seattle to hang out with Michelle. Come visit her on the blog for all things public speaking, hit her up twitter @drmichellemazur.